Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon showed up and gave support at a rally for teachers’ rights in Washington D.C on Saturday. Damon flew in from Vancouver over night, where he is shooting for his upcoming movie Elysium.
He delivered the keynote address at the march. He praised his experience at public schools and his “incredible” teachers. He said the character qualities instilled in him by his public school teachers couldn’t be “tested,” which is a jab at the current U.S. emphasis on standardized testing.
He then blasted the government for wasting teachers’ time on test prep and preventing them from approaching students in a more effective way.
In his day, “they were allowed to be teachers,” he said.
Days after the march, one of Damon’s comments to a reporter at this event has gone viral.
A reporter asked him why teachers aren’t incentivized by the fear of job loss (once a teacher gets tenure, it’s extreme difficult to fire him).
Damon responded: “a teacher wants to teach. I mean, why else would you take a s***ty salary and really long hours and do that job, unless you really want to do it?”
The video below of Damon’s response already has 800,000 views on Youtube.