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Deborah Flora

Deborah Flora, President and Founder of the non-profit Parents United America, galvanizing parents all over the country to stand for their right to be the ultimate authority in their children’s lives.

Chicago teacher outshines unions, putting students ahead of strikes

Cancer survivor Joseph Ocol is featured in upcoming documentary ‘Whose Children Are They?’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After school in 2005, one of Joseph Ocol’s students was shot dead in the streets of Chicago. This left the Chicago public school math and algebra teacher “traumatized,” he told Fox News Digital.

Knowing his students were vulnerable to violence during after-school hours, Mr. Ocol launched an after-school chess program to save lives. That’s why each time teachers union officials call strikes, Mr. Ocol crosses their picket line. They have mocked him and labeled him a “scab” in national media outlets, but he stands in service to his students. He’s also continued in-class learning when the unions used COVID-19 to push the cancellation of classes once again.

The Philippine-born teacher, who says he is vaccinated and observes CDC safety protocols, is one of many educators and parents who tell their stories in the upcoming documentary Whose Children Are They? The documentary will be released in theaters nationwide on March 14, 2022 through Fathom Events. Tickets are available to purchase here.

A 17-year veteran of Chicago Public Schools, Mr. Ocol has promised students and parents that he will be there in person whenever possible, even though, as a cancer survivor, he is at greater risk for COVID-19 than others.

Because of his refusal to join a union strike in 2016, Mr. Ocol was expelled from the union, something he took in stride.

Mr. Ocol stated, “It was early in the morning, and I was surprised about [the strike]…I made a choice that I had to be with my students because I made the promise to be with them to practice that day. So, I decided to cross the picket line.”

Mr. Ocol teaches five classes with a total of 82 students, plus 30 more after the school day ends. Parents and students appreciate his dedication. On the morning before the Chicago Teachers Union demanded remote-only learning, 20 of his 22 homeroom students came to the school, he told Fox News Digital.

“‘Whose Children Are They?’ needs to be seen by every parent,” Mr. Ocol said. “Among other things, it exposes how teachers unions are calling the shots and why parents need to intervene to take back their children’s education. I have nothing against the union, but I have something against those who use the union as a tool for their political agenda, which they pursue by dangling the plight of the kids in the middle of a fight.”

Mr. Ocol not only gives the students a haven after school, but first-class instruction. In fact, his chess team at Earle STEM Academy won a national championship in 2016 and the team got to meet former President Barack Obama.

“Mr. Ocol is the kind of courageous and caring teacher that represents the best in education. It is time for activated parents and brave teachers to stand together without the interference of those with an ideological agenda so children can flourish,” said Parents United Founder Deborah Flora, who is a producer on the film along with her husband Jonathan Flora, an award-winning writer, director and producer.

‘“Whose Children Are They?’ is designed to launch a national conversation about the need to return to education instead of indoctrination,” stated Deborah Flora. “No one who sees this comprehensive overview will ever view our current school system the same way again. We took special care lining up articulate and passionate parents along with caring teachers and renowned experts in the field in order to expose the gravity of the problem and discuss what we can all do about it.”

Produced by an all-star production team, the documentary reveals exactly how dangerous schools have become and what parents and tax paying citizens can do about it.

Slated for release this spring, “Whose Children Are They?” features brave teachers, emboldened parents and frontline experts who show how schools are corrupting children sexually and indoctrinating them into believing that America is systemically racist, boys can be girls, and that Marxism and socialism are morally superior to free-market economies.

The film features parents, education experts and cultural critics who speak plainly about the Marxist underpinning of many school programs.

Also serving as Producer is Rebecca Friedrichs, founder of For Kids and Country, and author of Standing Up to Goliath which features Mr. Ocol’s story and first gave voice to teachers silenced by unions. Mrs. Friedrichs, who taught for 28 years, served as plaintiff in the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Association which blazed the trail for ending forced unionization of teachers and government employees.

“The unions get in the way of heroes like Mr. Ocol, at the expense of the children,” said Mrs. Friedrichs. “‘Whose Children Are They’ informs parents and teachers of the dangers in our schools and exposes the so-called teachers’ unions as the root cause of the problems.”

The team also includes Executive Producer Gerald Molen, the Academy Award-winning producer of Schindler’s List and other blockbusters including Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, Amistad, Twister and Rain Man.

In addition to Mr. Ocol, Mrs. Flora and Mrs. Friedrichs, experts include Dr. Carol Swain, Robert Woodson, investigative journalist Alex Newman, Ian Prior of Fight for Schools, Gina Gleason of Real Impact, Mailyn Salabarria, who grew up in communist Cuba, and Xi Van Fleet, who grew up in Maoist Red China.

“We’re all standing together as one voice to shine a light on the union’s dark agenda in our schools,” said Mrs. Friedrichs. “Unions have worked for decades to divide us. We will no longer allow that. We’re laboring to restore the sacred Education Triangle: parents, teachers and students working together for excellence.”

Fathom Events is a recognized leader in the entertainment industry as one of the top distributors of content to movie theaters in North America. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC); Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK); and Regal Cinemas, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group (LSE: CINE.L), Fathom operates the largest cinema distribution network, delivering a wide variety of programming and experiences to cinema audiences in all the top U.S. markets and to more than 45 countries. For more information, visit

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