Before you ask, Coe and Gilger are not right-wing Fox News union haters. They are parents first and as far as I can tell, left-wing east-coast radicals who go on about the corruption inherent in a capitalist system blaming both parties for their troubles. They would become outraged when the board hires police to patrol the campuses after the Sandy Hook shooting regularly. What Coe and Gilger do in their doc is outline how corruption has infected the district and how none of the money went actually to educate its students, but instead lines the pockets of the influential unions. They tackle instances of voter fraud and corruption, an unaccountable board making decisions without consent from the community, and intimidation practices.
My biggest frustration is how the powers-at-be hid behind the banner of “our children” and “education” as a shield from attack. Dissent is portrayed as an attack on children. Also, add the Union factor. Unions are essential in representing the worker, but there’s tremendous power that comes when you lead a Union and have control over a massive retirement fund (see The Irishman). They’ve always been the good guy, but when you have a large voting block of members that will always vote your way…well, power corrupts.
“Clearly, Coe and Gilger had zero budget for their film, but they are a crafty duo.”
Let’s talk about the documentary as a film. Clearly, Coe and Gilger had zero budget for their film, but they are a crafty duo. Coe and Gilger capture as much footage as they could to document the uphill battle and intimidation they faced and the literal ugly faces of corruption. They snuck cameras and recording devices into “public” board meetings, left them rolling when the police captain warned them that they are not welcome, and go behind the scene as one of the union-backed candidate’s mother was operating the voting machines for her son’s re-election.
Going back to “no money.” I will say the graphics and animation throughout the film are cheesy and reminds me of old television graphics from the 80s and 90s. They are also not that great at editing footage to tell a story. There is a great deal of information and rhetoric being unloaded, and many of their points could have been made more concisely and better scripted. But what’s undeniable is the bravery and perseverance of Coe and Gilger to step into a fight that scared off their fellow parents, and a dirty fight at that. They stuck their necks out on an issue that could have come out disastrously for them in the end (see The Irishman).
We Have Your Kids is a real grassroots documentary, and the only thing bipartisan about the film is the corruption they dared to expose.
"…stuck their necks out on an issue that could have come out disastrously for them in the end (see The Irishman)."