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Area educators go to Washington, D.C.

Beryl Griner, a Snoqualmie Valley School District teacher, and her husband Dan Griner, a retired Carnation teacher, recently returned from Washington, D.C., where they attended a pivotal U.S. Supreme Court hearing Jan. 10 that directly affects thousands of Washington teachers.

At issue was whether the First Amendment right of unions to speak on behalf of its members trumps the free speech rights of nonunion members who do not want to pay for the union's politics but who are forced to pay for collective bargaining.

The consolidated cases are Davenport v. Washington Education Association and Washington v. Washington Education Association. The Court has not issued a decision in the case.

The Griners - members of Northwest Professional Educators, a nonunion professional educators organization offering many of the same benefits of unions such as liability insurance and legal services - joined teachers from around the country to advocate for individual teachers' free speech rights not to fund union politics they do not support.

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