Scott Walker Has Been Telling This Teacher's Story For Years And She Wants Him To Stop

06/11/2015 06:25 pm ET | Updated Jun 12, 2015
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential GOP presidential contender, has been telling the story of Megan Sampson for years, and she seems quite sick of it.

In 2011, Walker wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed about Sampson getting laid off as a way to bolster support for his fight to end collective bargaining in Wisconsin. According to Walker, Sampson had been laid off from her job in Milwaukee Public Schools, even though she had been named an Outstanding First Year Teacher. He said that, because of policies in collective bargaining contracts that protected teachers with seniority, great teachers like Sampson were losing out.

"My state's budget-repair bill, which passed the Assembly on Feb. 25 and awaits a vote in the Senate, reforms this union-controlled hiring and firing process by allowing school districts to assign staff based on merit and performance. That keeps great teachers like Ms. Sampson in the classroom," he wrote.

Walker's controversial plan to restrict collective bargaining for public employees successfully became law. Sampson got a job as a teacher in a different district.

At the time, Sampson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she was displeased with the media attention.

"My opinions about the union have changed over the past eight months, and I am hurt that this story is being used to make me the poster child for this political agenda," Sampson said in 2011. "Bottom line: I am trying to do my job and all this attention is interference and stress for me."

Years later, Walker is still telling Sampson's story. And she still wishes he wouldn't.

This week, Walker wrote another op-ed -- this time for Iowa's Des Moines Register. Walker has not announced his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election, but political analysts largely believe he will run.

"Megan Sampson was named the outstanding first-year teacher by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English in June of 2010. A week later, she received another certificate: a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools system," he wrote in The Des Moines Register. "In 2011, we changed that broken system in Wisconsin. Today, the requirements for seniority and tenure are gone. Schools can hire based on merit and pay based on performance. That means they can keep the best and the brightest in the classroom."

Sampson did not immediately return The Huffington Post's requests for comment.

However, on Wednesday, Sampson told The Associated Press that she does "not enjoy being associated with Walker's political campaign." She said the Wisconsin governor does "not have permission from me to use my story in this manner, and he still does not have my permission."

Spokespeople for Walker did not respond to requests for comment.

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