At the Center for Union Facts, we often track instances of union officials engaged in illegal activity—most often stealing their members’ money. But in an extremely disturbing case out of California, a former official in Local 2022 of Randi Weingarten’s American Federation of Teachers has been charged with child sex abuse.
John Arthur Loyd, a teacher and former Treasurer of AFT Local 2022 (the Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers) stands accused of four counts of lewd acts with children. The local paper, the Morgan Hill Times, reports on the charges:
Police arrested Loyd after a student at Paradise Valley Elementary School told school staff last week that the teacher had inappropriate contact with her. Detectives continued to investigate whether or not there were more victims, and the D.A.’s complaint—served to Loyd just before the Oct. 7 hearing—noted an additional victim had come forward.
While there is no evidence that the union or the district covered up Loyd’s alleged crimes, his position as a union officer did allow him to bring pressure on the district when it suited him. The Times reports further:
Myers added that Loyd’s transfer to Paradise Valley Elementary at the beginning of the 2008 school year was a correction of miscalculated staffing levels. In Dec. 2008 Loyd, then the Treasurer of the Morgan Hill Federation of Teachers, complained the involuntary transfer was MHUSD administration’s retaliation to his bargaining activity as a union leader.
This demonstrates one of the major problems with union-negotiated work rules in schools (the most notorious is “tenure,” the practice of giving teachers effective jobs for life after a very brief trial period). While there is no evidence Loyd used his union position to evade accountability for his alleged misdeeds, his union position offered him the opportunity to raise a stink anytime the district did anything he didn’t like.
Loyd’s alleged abuse, if proved, would only be the worst crime committed by a onetime local AFT official in recent memory. (Numerous corruption cases against other officers have led to convictions and prison time.) If you are a member, officer, or employee of the AFT or one of its locals and you believe that union officials are engaged in unethical activity, please let us know through our anonymous drop-box what is going on.