San Clemente resident and Anaheim teacher Rebecca Friedrichs has a case that was recently accepted to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Friedrichs is trying to have the nation’s highest legal authority overturn a decision that forces teachers to join a union and pay union dues.
Friedrichs is the head plaintiff in a petition against the California Teachers Association, the National Education Association and other local entities.
The petition was filed in the Southern District of California’s U.S. District Court in April 2013.
Friedrichs said during a conference call Tuesday that she became passionate about this issue when she started teaching 28 years ago.
“I was student teaching with an outstanding master teacher, and next door to our classroom was a teacher always yelling at her 6-year-olds,” Friedrichs told the San Clemente Times.
Friedrich’s experiences with teachers who she thought were unfit for the position—but protected by tenure and unions—made her not want to join such organizations that protected those teachers.
The case Friedrich’s is trying to overturn is the 1977 Abood v. Detroit Board of Education case in which the courts ruled teachers must be unionized and pay dues.
“We’re specifically asking them to strike down the California statute that requires that,” Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights in Washington, D.C., said during a Tuesday phone conference.
Friedrichs said she’s been passionate about this issue since she became a full-time teacher. She also said she believes ample teachers do not need to try to galvanize themselves with unions.
The respondents—the unions— will file motions Oct. 26 in response to the motions brought forward in the case.
At this point, Pell said, the courts have decided to hear the majority of the case in the next Supreme Court session. The court has not scheduled oral arguments yet, but Pell said that will likely begin in late December and that a decision, if not made ahead of schedule, would not be rendered until about June 2016.