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Public now sees teachers as mooches -- Chris Lynch
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Public now sees teachers as mooches -- Chris Lynch

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I was a teacher with about eight years of experience at the time of Act 10. I loved my job.

I marched in protest for many days at the Capitol, and those days of solidarity were some of the most inspiring I have ever seen. But in the end, Act 10 was one of the hardest things I've ever had to live through.

Before Act 10, I was a wide-eyed, hard-working agent of change in my school district. I really thought that the general public supported and respected education and teachers. But Act 10 revealed an ugly truth and brought out the worst in people. People I had loved and respected were publicly supporting Gov. Scott Walker and marginalizing teachers. We were called every name in the book. I was taunted on social media and in public. We were made out to be crooks who didn't really have to work for a living, and we were ripping off the public.

I don't think I will ever fully recover from Act 10. I know now that the public really doesn't care about education and the people who work in education. It doesn't matter how hard I work, or how much I do for my school district and community. In the end, the public sees me as a mooch, and they would happily do whatever is needed to save a buck.

Chris Lynch, Pardeeville 

The only Republican senator to vote against Act 10 a decade ago is our guest on today's political podcast, "Center Stage, with Milfred and Hands." Find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

See the whole series: The Great Divide: 10 years since Act 10

A decade later, the Wisconsin State Journal looks back at the historic debate and protests over the controversial anti-union law known as Act 10.

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Between 2010 and 2017, four major public sector unions in Wisconsin saw significant decreases in their membership.

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The most seismic political story of the last decade in Wisconsin began on Feb. 7, 2011, when Republican Gov. Scott Walker informed a gathering…

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A selection of Wisconsin State Journal photographs from the historic protests of February and March 2011 at the state Capitol. The largest pro…

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A collection of Wisconsin State Journal front pages during the historic Capitol protests of February and March 2011. Gov. Scott Walker's plan …

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Video highlights of the fallout over the introduction and passage of what would become Wisconsin 2011 Act 10 in February and March, 2011. 

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