ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland public school teachers union is shaking its finger at Gov. Larry Hogan for calling its advocates “union thugs” in a Facebook post.
The Maryland State Education Association said on its Twitter feed Saturday: “We should never resort to name-calling.”
The tempest boiled up Friday when Hogan responded to criticism of his recent decision to save, rather than spend some state funds. He wrote that his administration has spent record amounts on education while protecting teacher pensions.
He concluded, “Don’t believe this phony ‘cut’ propaganda from the union thugs.”
That brought a flurry of posts and tweets from union sympathizers, some likening Hogan to Donald Trump.
Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer tells The Washington Post that Hogan was referring to the union’s lobbyists and “paid political operatives,” not school teachers.
The head of the teachers union in Montgomery County says Hogan’s comment sends the wrong message during a typically positive and exciting time for teachers, as they prepare to go back to the classroom.
“I think it’s really disappointing,” said Chris Lloyd, president of the Montgomery County Education Association.
“It’s something that really has a negative impact on teacher morale,” Lloyd said. “I would hope that he would watch his tone and language a little bit more carefully.”
WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.
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