Walter’s Perspective: Shame On Karen Lewis

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s too early for the Oscars and Emmys, I know, but I already have a nomination for the worst performance of the year by a new star of stage and screen: the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, Karen Lewis.

At a conference in Seattle last month, she made fun of the lisping, a speech impediment, and of herself back in college

“I spent those years smoking lots of weed, self-medicating,” Lewis said in a speech at a conference of teachers union leaders.

Uh oh. Oops.

“Oh, Iā€™m sorry, there are kids here. I wasn’t supposed to say that, right?ā€ Lewis quickly added after the remark about smoking marijuana.

No, Ms. Lewis, you were not supposed to say that ā€“ not in a keynote address at a public conference, not on the eve of negotiating a new contract for 32,000 Chicago teachers.

Not funny, Ms. Lewis, crowing about smoking lots of weed in college.

It’s not that you inhaled, but that it didn’t occur to you you might be recorded fondly remembering it.

If you’re not smart enough to know about open microphones, and to be careful, are you smart enough to negotiate that new contract?

  • PM

    Great Perspective, though I wouldn’t call it comedy but rather something CPS and other schools across the country are battling – and that’s bullying. Plain and simple, teasing someone because they’re different or have a challenge is outright bullying. Sure she apologized, but she should do the right thing and resign or better yet, be removed from her position. Bullying should never be tolerated no matter how old one is.

    • A mom

      Excellent point! I didn’t even think of her outrageous comments in that way, but you are right. iIt exactly what she’s doing in her “attempt at humor” – making fun of someone. Pathetic!

  • jerry Pritikin

    The lisp was in regurds to the head of CPS being gay… She is what is wrong with the teachers union. In this time of working within a reduced budget… she wants more and more, like getting their birthday off with pay among other things. There should not be 1 minute of overtime allowed, and reduced the amount od sick day paid.

    • Tamara

      The chicago teachers do not get paid birthdays off.. get your facts straight. Teachers in the union get 10 sick days a year which can be banked toward retirement. They do not get social security and get a pension which on average is 20,000 a year upon retirement. They do not get paid overtime.. it is a salaried position. Also.. you need to work on your spelling. It looks like you didn’t pay very close attention when you were in the primary grades.

  • PT are one to talk..are you still driving drunk Skippy?

  • Just Axin

    I think “Jabba The Hut” Lewis even tried to sound like a white guy. Can’t we find a racist edge here too? They certainly would.

  • Centurion

    AT least she didn’t publicly call him a HONKY!

  • mike mcdole

    The CPS teachers should be tested to ascertain if they are competent to teach.

    • Larry

      Exactly what test would that be? I have taught mathematics for 34 years and know the subject backwards and forward. That does not mean I know how to communicate with inner city students who have little math background and, in most cases, hate the subject. Teaching is an art and every year and every student is different. Each student requires a different skill, much like a doctor requires individual diagnoses for each patient. When I make anywhere near what a doctor makes, lets talk.

      • Larry


  • Sue

    Lewis is the is the best reason for union busting I’ve seen. Every time she opens her mouth, shakes her curls and emotes gibberish, it’s obvious this lady is a lousy spokeswoman for the teacher’s union.. If our educators voted this person in as their best, the children don’t have a chance at an education.

  • Student Survivor

    Apparently, this is the best that 32,000 teachers can offer as their leader. Sad.

  • the magic elf

    you know prople are blowing this so far out of range have the Teachers everywhere lost their FUNNY BONE!!!!!!!

  • knappydawg

    Glad the teachers ellected this slob, kind of shows their mentality. What a joke. Just shows nobody wants this job!!

    • Larry

      ellected? LOL. So she apologizes for the insult and gets called a slob. Nice. Kind of shows YOUR mentality.

  • Karen, the 400 pound Gorilla.

    Is anyone really surprised at the behavior of this Knee Grow? Whay do blacks lag so far behind everyone else in this country. No matter how much is given to them, they still behave like primitive animals. So this ape went to Dartmouth? Thank God for affirmative action, right? Goes to show you that even an Ivy League education can’t pierce the primitive mind of a Knee Grow. Call me racist. I really don’t care. I’d rather be racist than stupid like the all of the people who keep voting for Democrats in Chicago. Karen Lewis is the poster child… sorry, poster chimp… for the Democrat party in Chicago.

  • Percival

    I was ADHD long before it was “cool”- I graduated High School in 1970. I also self-medicated with pot solely because it calmed me enough to stay on task in class. I can’t fault that part of her speech.

    But please, remarking on someone’s speech impediment? The words that come to mind to describe that are “hurtful” and “denigrating”. That is flat-out bullying. She should resign in shame for that and thereafter be mercilessly “counseled” just as are students who bully.

    Also, claiming he’d have gotten his lisp “fixed” in public school? Be real, the only “fix” applied in public schools for lisps is amateur surgery practiced by bullies.

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