Ever Vigilant

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.


21 Comments

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21 responses to “Ever Vigilant

  1. She’s a little young to have to learn that people in authority aren’t necessarily also an authority on things. Keep pushing him.

  2. Well, thats the issue, right? By college age, one hopes their child is able to make that distinction, but a 13 yr old usually cannot. Except for mine, and a handful of others, of course….

  3. democommie

    Mack:

    Have you got a way to make sure that e-mail gets sent every few hours until he answers it?

    I think you are probably already aware of this siutation:

    http://blog.au.org/2009/08/10/martyr-complex-florida-school-officials-face-possible-penalties-for-pushing-religion/

    if not, read and ponder.

    What really gets my irish up is that these people have about 18 hours a day to inculcate their mythology into the spongelike skulls of THEIR children and yet they think that they should spend their workday pushing it on yours.

  4. Right on, Mack. This teacher sounds ridiculous.

  5. The Missus

    This teacher is repeat offender. Two years ago he told my daughter’s class he should not offer his own opinion as he had been in “trouble” for doing it before. This was immediately after telling the class he thought abortion was murder. They were 11 years old. My livid phone call to the principal, obviously did nothing. My daughter has him again this year, she really likes the guy. I just want him to stop with right wing talking points.

  6. democommie

    Dear Mrs. The Missus:

    Nice or no, he gots ta go. Having spent far too much time around people who are both serial liars and completely nuts– but pleasant–I opt for honest sanity, warts and all

  7. Pingback: Robertson County Teacher Messes With The Wrong Mexican : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  8. Gary

    Well Mack,

    It looks like the Social Studies teacher was correct in his inference:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-01-21-immigrant-healthcare_N.htm

    The costs seem to be in the billions each year. Might want to apologize to him.

  9. Nah, Gary. The CBO report lumped together border states with states where the immigrant population pays in far more than they receive in services. I’ve attended meetings with Congressman who asked Hospital Directors point blank if the undocumented were their biggest problem, and both times, the hospital officials said no, it is native-born UNINSURED.

  10. democommie

    Mack:

    Were you all scary looking at those meetings? I mean you might have intimidated those people–oh, wait; you probably didn’t need to carry a gun on those gigs.

  11. That is absolutely ridiculous. How long will you be giving him to respond before you follow up?

    Looking forward to hearing how this gets resolved.

  12. Then what about this from the USA Today story?

    HOW COVERAGE VARIES

    Adults

    Type Uninsured

    U.S. citizens 14%
    Legal immigrants 25%
    Illegal immigrants 59%

    Children

    Type Uninsured

    U.S. citizens 9%
    Citizens whose parents are legal immigrants 13%
    Foreign-born children of legal immigrants 25%
    Citizens with illegal immigrant parents 25%
    Foreign-born children of illegal immigrants 53%

    Source: Pew Hispanic Center, 2005

    I suppose if you’re talking absolute numbers, that’s one thing, since there are obviously far more US citizens than illegals, but the percentages are telling. As you said, assuming this is a country wide study, that means that there are some areas that are barely affected, and some areas that are seriously crippled.

  13. democommie

    Exador:

    You’re absolutely right about that. I’m told that the “coverage” selections for illegal aliens under the “plan” that is NOT being discussed because of the woo factor is two words long: “No coverage”.

    While I have a healthy cynicism about my government doing what’s best for any of us, I trust the faceless bureaucrats over the corporate fatcats every time.

  14. democommie

    See, I din’t use ONE swear word; am I fucking good or what?

  15. vanderleun

    An email? Why don’t you man up and go talk to him face to face?

  16. We have a meeting scheduled for next week. I’ll probably won’t go strapped…

  17. democommie

    I do hope Mr. vanderleun is being a kidder, you’re being a kidder, right?

    I’m only asking because I thought that Mack made it fairly plain, here:

    “Heres a email I fired off, but I am scheduling a meeting with him as well:”

    I don’t know though, maybe that sentence means something entirely different when you’re wearing an aluminum foil hat.

  18. I love fighting with teachers! Especially when I win.

    Which you will, this guy needs to be doing something more suited to his social skills… like working the copy room.

  19. That teacher’s also likely talking about some of his own students, since schools won’t turn away students on the basis of immigration status.

    And he’s talking about Blue Collar Muse’s dad, too: “He met and married my mother, fathered me and finally went to get a job for which he needed to be bonded. At that point it came to light that he’d been living as an illegal here for years. Fortunately, the naturalization process was simpler then and his marriage to my mother was sufficient to get him his citizenship.”

    http://conservablogs.com/bluecollarmuse/about/

  20. democommie

    John Lamb:

    I often wonder how many of the anti-immigrant types would be on the outside looking in, if the measures they advocate had been put in place in, say, 1850?

  21. Jon

    The great irony is that this putz apparently doesn’t even know that his hero was basically an open borders guy.

    I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still. — RR

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