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Matt Damon Schools Reporter, Defends Teachers (Video)

Matt Damon
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

“A teacher wants to teach,” Damon said at the Save Our Schools march.

Matt Damon attended the Save Our Schools march in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, in support of teachers and the education system. He was the keynote speaker at an event on Saturday, and marched with 5,000 others at the two-day conference.

Damon, whose mother is a teacher, got into a heated discussion with a reporter from Reason.TV when she seemed to indicate that teachers did not have any reason to work hard, whereas actors were driven to work hard because their jobs were not guaranteed.

“You think job insecurity is what makes me work hard?” Damon asks the reporter. Damon's mother is standing right next to him throughout the interview.

“I want to be an actor, it’s not an incentive, that’s the thing,” said Damon. “It's the problem with ed policy right now, this intrinsically paternalistic view of problems that are much more complex than that. It's like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when they have tenure. A teacher wants to teach. I mean, why else would you take a sh--ty salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really love to do it?"

Someone off camera – apparently the cameraman – then says, “Aren’t 10 percent of teachers bad? Then percent of people in any profession should think of doing something else.”

“Well, ok then, maybe you’re a sh--ty cameraman, I don’t know,” responds Damon.

In another interview during the event, Damon also spoke out about his views on the debt ceiling debate. “I’m so disgusted man,” he said. “It’s criminal that like, you know, so little is asked of people who are getting so much, I mean, I don’t mind paying more. I really don’t mind paying more taxes. I’d rather pay for taxes than cut like ‘Reading is Fundamental’ or ‘Head Start’ or some of these programs that are really helping kids.