From my Won’t Back Down review for Slackerwood:
Now, here’s the misleading thing. The movie is based in Pittsburgh (and was filmed there), and characters playing school district officials talk about a “fail-safe law” that means parents can take over a low-performing public school (with a certain percentage of teacher approval) and make it a charter school. Well, as far as I can tell, no such law exists in Pittsburgh. So far, such “parent trigger” laws have only succeeded in California. But if we are to believe the movie, and perhaps this is the hope of the production company and the movie’s backers, parents everywhere should have the right to take over their children’s schools.
In Won’t Back Down, the people from the teacher’s union are the closest thing to antagonists Nona and Jamie face (besides the principal and Col. Tavington-like teacher, obviously). One of the many muddled things about this film is its view of the union. On the one hand, we have Holly Hunter’s Evelyn who heads the teacher’s union. She is not completely shown in a negative light; she’s even downright sympathetic at times. But the union doesn’t want the school to change, because then the teachers can’t be unionized. So they must be the baddies.