Brave Ohio Teacher One of Many to Claim Janus rights

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Jade Thompson has long fought the Ohio Education Association’s radical agenda for many reasons, by being a nonmember. Now she is finally able to exercise her Foundation-won Janus rights.  Michael Kelly has the story in the Marietta Times.

Mrs. Thompson has recounted her story to CEAFU supporters at a previous annual convention, citing instances where union officials had used forced dues to pay for ads against her husband, a public official.

Jade Thompson, a Spanish language teacher at Marietta High School and the wife of Ohio Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta, filed the lawsuit only hours after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus vs. AFSCME. The high court found that withholding dues – termed “agency fees” – from non-members by the union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, was a violation of the First Amendment rights of the employee, Mark Janus, who works for the state of Illinois and objected to being associated with many of the political and social positions taken by the union.

Thompson’s complaint is 20 pages, detailing her objections to being forcibly associated with the Marietta Education Association and its stand on many political and social issues. Thompson has a record of public complaints on that issue, but the Janus decision has provided an opening for her to end her relationship with the teachers’ union through the courts.

The Marietta Education Association is affiliated with state and national teachers’ unions, which have published resolutions on education policy, school financing, charter schools, voting rights, sex education and the metric systems, among other things, that Thompson disagrees with, the lawsuit states.

The association offers a way to opt out, but it involves a process that Thompson in the lawsuit contends is onerous.

“If Ms. Thompson fails to undertake any step of this process for any reason or fails to navigate the process accurately, the Union collects

the full agency fee and uses it to subsidize political and ideological causes she opposes,” the lawsuit states.

Those who wish to opt out have a 30-day period each year, usually Dec. 15 to Jan. 15 to do so. The lawsuit cites Janus as stating that requiring an affirmative opt-out is “an unacceptable burden on speech.”