Teacher’s union Ukraine gaffe ‘free advertising for school choice’

The second-largest teachers’ union in America posted a tweet in support of Ukraine, but the gesture fell flat as critics pointed out the photos they shared completely botched the Ukrainian flag – and a hasty edit made matters worse. 

Corey DeAngelis, national director of research at School Choice Now, pointed out the irony and thanked the leaders for the free advertising for school choice.

First was a post from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) that read, “AFT President [Randi Weingarten] and [AFT Executive Vice President Evelyn DeJesus] stand with #Ukraine.”

The post included a photo showing the two women holding an upside-down Ukrainian flag overlaid with the phrase “We stand with Ukraine.”

Another photo was posted by the AFL-CIO Twitter account with a whole group of leaders holding the same erroneous flags. Once aware of the error, AFL-CIO posted the photo with poorly photoshopped flags appearing right-side-up. Eventually, the tweet was deleted. 

The series of posts was captured and shared by Matt Whitlock on twitter:

“They did to that flag what they did to education these past two years … pretend they care, but really, they just made it upside down,” a tweet from Reopen California Schools read in response to the gaffe.

California state Sen. Melissa Menendez tweeted, “That’s the flag of Ukraine alright, upside down … Shout out to the teachers union for this promotional piece on the importance of school choice though.”

DeAngelis also noted that AFT’s Weingarten misspelled Ukraine as “Ukriane” in another tweet, which has since been deleted.