Won't Back Down Sparks Controversy In Wake Of Teacher's Strike
It may be the most controversial movie of the year—pitting teachers against parents.
Won't Back Down stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis as a mom and a teacher who take over a failing elementary school, despite opposition from the teacher's union.
But teachers union leaders are giving the movie two thumbs down. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers says the movie is a low blow.
"They single out only one culprit for blame and that is teacher's unions," said Weingarten. "We had a meeting with parent advocates from across the country a couple of weeks ago and they were as disturbed about this film as I was because they've been working in schools to fix things."
But Michelle Rhee, who once ran the Washington D.C. School system and now heads the advocacy group Students First, says the movie is a clarion call for parents and teachers.
"I don't know how you can call the movie anti-teacher when the heroine of the movie, played by Viola Davis, is a teacher. It's a very empowering movie for teachers," said Rhee.
The movie is being released just as Chicago's striking teachers take to the streets leaving 350,000 students with no classes.