Oct. 9, 2012
I recently had a chance to see the film Wont Back Down, a movie about an effort by parents and teachers to replace the failing school their children attend with a charter school. The movie, set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is based on a real story that took place at the Desert Trails elementary school in Adelanto, California. The movie stars Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosie Perez, and Holly Hunter. Wont Back Down was produced by the same company, Walden Media, that made the 2010 education documentary, Waiting for Superman.
Wont Back Down is a good, courageous film. I cant recall any movie taking such a tough line on a union in this case a teachers union that impedes reforms to a horrific educational system. It is hard to imagine that the Screen Actors Guild was happy about this movie being made, but it was. I did a quick Google search on the movie and found many political-focused negative reviews that objected to the movies union bashing. Good grief. Toughen up folks you are the power structure that has failed. Show a little humility.
In fact, Doreen Diaz, the actual mom in Adelanto, California, who fought for a better school, writes that the unions tactics made the dirty tricks depicted in the movie 'Wont Back Down' seem tame by comparison. Diaz fills in some of the details:
They told some parents the school would be shut down as a result of their efforts. They took photographs of the parents who refused to rescind their signatures. Some parents who were undocumented felt their immigration status was being used against them.
Nice folks. Diaz also has an interesting story about Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who participated in a nationally televised panel about the film and about trigger for failed schools. It isnt flattering.
If you have an opportunity to see Wont Back Down, please do so. Courage deserves to be rewarded. A vote for the movie is a vote for heroic mothers like Doreen Diaz across America who are fighting for better schools for all of us.
Here is movieguides review for objectionable content. The movie is rated PG.