My daughter has a Social Studies teacher that insists on passing off his opinion (taken straight from Rush’s formerly nicotine-stained fingers) as fact. He has a daughter named Reagan, if that helps you determine where this guy’s ideology lies. He has used the classroom to teach that abortion is murder, that Nancy Pelosi is forming death panels, and that undocumented people (illegals!) are to blame our current health care crisis. Heres a email I fired off, but I am scheduling a meeting with him as well:
It has come to my attention that you use your classroom to extol the virtues of Conservative thought. It should not be my responsibility to remind you that you are there to teach, not preach. It is your right to have an opinion, but it is my right to have my daughter receive an education free from political propaganda. You may not be aware that Alena’s grandparents were undocumented when they arrived in this country. Your inference that illegal immigrants are to blame for this country’s health care crisis upset her, and I am putting you on notice that if it happens again, I will contact our family’s attorney. I am sure the Robertson County School District has plenty of excess funds with which to fight off a lawsuit, especially one where precedent is clearly set.
If you like, I am happy to debate the immigration issue with you as an exercise for the class. Or, if you prefer, we can discuss the merits of any of the proposed health care legislation currently being considered in Congress. I am quite sure you have read each bill in it’s entirety, so you should be comfortable defending some of the positions you have passed off as fact in your classroom.
This is really very simple, Sir. Were the shoe on the other foot, and I had your children in my classroom, and attempted to indoctrinate my charges into the Godless, heathen, liberal agenda, I believe you would be as concerned as I. Feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions or concerns.
Update: The Missus (whose daughter also attends his class, but at a different hour) accompanied me to the meeting. The teacher brought along his assistant, to help clarify what was said that morning. The school principal monitored the meeting as well. The teacher wasn’t combative, and started off by apologizing if he hurt my daughter’s feelings. I told him it wasn’t necessary, as I didn’t feel it was intentional. He listened while I ran through my complaints, and afterward, promised to be more mindful of how he presents controversial current events in class.
Though he explained that he “always” tells his class that his take is only an opinion, I did inform him that his position made that opinion more weighty…13 yr olds won’t usually understand the disclaimer. He agreed, so there wasn’t much point in going on.
In my opinion, the small things that seem insignificant can be the most important. For instance, we do not use the word “illegals” in our home, as it is a word that diminishes people without documents to a status of “less than.” Hearing it in a classroom gives the term some credibility, legitimizes it if you will. This teacher tends to frame things almost exactly like radio talk show hosts do, and I happen to think that it appeals to the lowest common denominator. It is unacceptable in a public classroom. We will take him at his word for the time being, but remain ever vigilant.