Legislator’s former teacher doesn’t appreciate her calling him a ‘hog’

Peter F. Siller wrote a letter to state Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, a former student of his, condemning her for  referring to school employees as “pigs” and “hogs” in a recent floor speech.

When state Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons referred to school employees as “pigs” and “hogs” during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on June 13, she might have expected some backlash — she probably didn’t expect to hear directly from one of her former teachers, however.

Lyons’ comments were directed toward the teachers, education support professionals and higher education staff who comprise MEA, as they requested changes to a bill dissolving the Buena Vista and Inkster school districts. School employees didn’t ask for much — they just wanted displaced employees in the dissolved districts to have the opportunity for employment in the receiving districts.

In response to MEA’s request to protect school employees, Lyons, chairwoman of the House Education Committee, said: “Pigs get fat — hogs get slaughtered.” 

Thirteen days later, Lyons, a Republican from Alto, received the following letter from her agriscience teacher at Lowell High School:


June 26, 2013


Representative Lisa Posthumus Lyons
86th District
Anderson Capitol Office Building
124 North Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Dear Lisa,

As your Agriscience Teacher and FFA Advisor at Lowell High School, I watched you grow throughout your high school career into adulthood.  I encouraged and coached you in your leadership development activities on the local, regional, and state levels.  Now, as a resident of Bowne Township, I am one of your legislative constituents.

So, when I saw the video of your comments on the floor of the House of Representatives that teachers are “pigs” and that “hogs get slaughtered,” I was appalled and deeply offended.  You degraded and alienated the entire profession that is responsible for the education that ultimately lead to the office that you currently hold.

The educational system in Michigan needs the complete support of the legislature and the citizens of our state in this time of turmoil and change.  However, the efforts of the legislature, led by the Republican majority, have been aimed at destroying the basic fiber of education in Michigan as well as degrading and demoralizing the educators and support staff responsible for educating our children.

It is imperative for you in your leadership role as chairperson of the House Education Committee to support and promote a partnership with educators to save the educational system in our state.

Therefore, it is my sincere hope that you and your legislative colleagues will work collectively with educators to improve the educational system for the children of our state.  The alternative will have catastrophic consequences.


Peter F. Siler