C’mon Beesly – The Office Star Tweets Lie About Teachers

Look, I’m a teacher. Assuming Jenna Fischer does have our best interest in mind, I'm gonna make a humble request.

Actress Jenna Fischer, playing secretary-turned-paper salesman Pam Beesly in the hit television series The Office, became beloved for suffering under a boss who despite good intentions constantly said really ignorant things. It seems she learned well from Steve Carell’s Michael Scott as she recently joined the pantheon of blue-checkmark Twitter titans quick to send out emotional rants with little regard for accuracy.

On Saturday, Fischer decided to share her disgust with the large tax cuts recently passed by Republicans in Washington by promoting a blatant lie:

“I can’t stop thinking about how school teachers can no longer deduct the cost of their classroom supplies on their taxes…something they shouldn’t have to pay for with their own money in the first place. I mean, imagine if nurses had to go buy their own syringes. #ugh"

Okay, look, I’m a teacher. I appreciate Fischer attempting to speak out on our behalf, though I have a strong suspicion her concern is born more from her ideological distaste for people keeping more of their own money than some altruistic devotion to those of us who work in schools.

But there are a couple problems with Fischer’s comment. First, a number of parents are probably scratching their heads as they put her tweet talking about teachers buying their own classroom supplies next to the list of supplies the school instructs parents to purchase either individually or in the form of book/material fees. While it’s true that many of us teachers purchase items throughout the year to help facilitate what we’re doing in the classroom, it is disingenuous to pretend that parents don’t shoulder a significant burden for school supplies as well.

The second problem with Fischer’s tweet is that it is a lie. A big, fat lie. In the Senate version of the tax cuts, the teacher deduction had been doubled from $250 – where it has been for years – to $500. In the final bill, Congress decided to leave the deduction at $250. There should have been no confusion for anyone who spent more than 10 seconds researching this issue, meaning Jenna’s tweet was beyond irresponsible. With her substantial following, the lie she promoted was retweeted nearly 65,000 times (at least count) and had been “liked” over 218,000 times.

Who knew that Pam Beesly would be the textbook embodiment of fake news?

After increasing pushback from truth seekers, the actress went back to Twitter on Christmas Day to issue her version of a correction. In true Michael Scott fashion, this was an interesting mea culpa:

“Thanks for your tweets! I had some facts wrong. Teachers surveyed by Scholastic in 2016 personally spent an average of $530 on school supplies for students. Teachers who worked at high-poverty schools spent an average of $672. The tax deduction was capped at $250.”

Of course, to date this “correction” hasn’t even gotten 500 retweets. And even if it does, Fischer still is dishonest. The tax deduction was left precisely where it has been for years – including all the years of the Obama administration when teachers were spending every bit as much as they are now and Fischer was silent on this apparent outrage.

It’s politics; I get it. But assuming that Jenna Fischer does have the best interest of us teachers in mind, might I make a humble request? Please Beesly, don’t oppose tax cuts that are going to put a couple thousand extra dollars in each of our pockets every year, okay?

After all, if we’re going to have to buy our own supplies, that’ll go a long way to helping.

Comments
No. 1-16
ekay
ekay

"......that should be covered by the districts." That is the key point here -- our Federal Government is taking over too many of the resposibilities that belong to the people, with the result that they are gathering more and more power over the people than those who wrote and signed our Constitution mean for them to have. It is We The People who are falling down on our job(s).

Diogenes
Diogenes

I read her concern as genuine. As the husband and father of teachers, I see quite clearly how much money is spent by caring educators themselves that should be covered by the districts.

esotericwy
esotericwy

Trump Derangement Snydrone seems to have a very different effect on Lefts depending upon their level of STUPIDITY and their need to demonstrate that they are clueless but thinking that they re smart.

TheDancer16
TheDancer16

Thank you Peter Heck for your article. We, my husband and I, most often agree with your opinions. However, we have a serious problem with your choice of this picture for your article. Really ...?? A low cut, red dress, with cleavage shown ? And add the fact that the dress is bright red and the background is bright red makes it impossible not to see it. Not a very godly example to be putting that kind of an image out there. Especially to quote your words from your video entitled, Modesty and Sexual Assault; "Our culture is sadly reaping the harvest of the sexual revolution that we have sowed. We are witnessing what a pornographic society that worships sex and revers lust degenerates into" and what our response as Christians should be. So, based on your own words, there was absolutely no reason for you to choose a sexually explicit picture in a low cut dress that shows cleavage, and draws maximum attention based on the bright red for your article. Even if this was the ONLY picture available of this woman, which of course it isn't, it could have been cropped to where all that is seen is her face. We are very disappointed in your VERY poor decision to put this picture with your article.

Zenas
Zenas

Boy, as a homeschooling parent, I sure could use that deduction for all the money I spend on curricula.