Thursday, March 02, 2006

Teaching Politics

It appears that the teaching profession has forgotten what they are being paid to do- and who they are being paid by. According to the Channel 9 News in Aurora Colorado, following President Bush's State of the Union speech a geography teacher made comments in a lecture that compared George Bush to Adolph Hitler. Leaving aside the complete inappropriateness of the comparison, what expertise does a geography teacher have to comment on a political occurrence? And how does the teacher's personal opinion relate to a lecture in any event? Fortunately, a student recorded the comments and the teacher is now on leave. Even the school district admits that it appears the teacher acted inappropriately.

However, that is not the only incident of late involving teachers speaking outside of their areas of competence. In another story, this one filed by the Morris County Daily Record newspaper, it appears that the teachers at Parsipanny High School in Morris County, New Jersey feel themselves qualified to hold a mock 'international war crimes trial' accusing President Buch of comitting 'crimes against civilian populations' and 'inhumane treatment of prisoners'. According to the Daily Record, the panel judging the case includes 'two English teachers, one history teacher, a guidance counselor and someone from the school's media department...'. So English teachers somehow have competence to decide this case? A 'person from the media department' has competency? and the inclusion of a 'guidance counselor' has me laughing. As if guidance counselors have any expertise in this area. The only member who possibly might have some expertise would be the history teacher.

Since one of the charges is 'crimes against civilian populations' I wonder when they will think to try Joseph Stalin? Or possibly Mao Tse-Tung? Or even 'gasp' Fidel Castro, all of whom have committed real crimes against (their own) civilian populations. They might even cast their glance at a more recent dictator, one Saddam Hussein, currently being tried for real by his former subjects. The US invasion of Iraq removed a dictator who killed and raped his own population. That no longer occurs, and there is a burgeoning democracy in the former dictatorship. The rape rooms are gone and most Iraqis feel that things are getting better. As for the charge of mistrating enemy prisoners, I wonder if these bleeding hearts have noted that while US detainees are housed in comfortable cells, regularly fed and even given their own prayer rugs, detainees of the Muslims we are fighting receive no such amenities and usually end by being beheaded. And there is one other small difference. US detainees were captured on the battlefield, without proper uniform and they are specifically exempt from the Geneva Code. They are in fact entitled to none of the amenities that US soldiers are giving them. However, the detainees of the Muslims are usually journalists, or other private citizens who really are non-combatants.

However, these incidents clearly point out two things- that teachers increasingly are injecting their own biases into subjects about which they know very little, and that the liberal establishment appears to be grasping desperately for any straw that will allow them to somehow promote their agenda, and indoctrinate the youth. If you are an English teacher, what training have you had in international relations? What expertise do you have in the diplomatic arena? And what knowledge, if any, do you posess that allows you to pontificate on the science of warfare? As for 'guidance counselors', what expertise do you have in any of these areas? Have you ever served in a position that would give you the insight or knowledge to accurately analyze political events? The answer is alsmot certainly not. So where do you get off setting yourself up as an expert? That appears to be false advertising to me.

These people seem to think that expertise in one area, makes them experts in others as well. However, speaking as one who holds graduate degrees in History, I can assure them that it does not. I would not presume to opine in the arena of science, physics, or other arcane disciplines in which I posess no special skills or knowledge. These people should show similar restraint. A degree in English or Education does not make one an expert in History, archaeology, politics, diplomacy or warfare. Journalists, who are similarly lacking in these skills also make this mistake. However, they at least are being paid to write thier mindless pap. Teachers have no such excuse for blathering on regarding subjects in which they posess no knowledge.

There is absolutely no excuse for either of these cases. Teachers, teach your subjects and stay out of the political arena. If you are a political science or social studies or history teacher, then you might have some excuse for discussing (in a strictly neutral manner) political events. However, there is never an excuse for attempting to force your own biases and prejudices onto impressionable children or young adults. These cases demonstrate why parents need more insight and control over what is being taught in the classroom. Teachers simply are not trustworthy- especially considering the liberals' stranglehold on the public educational system. If you do not support your President, that is one thing. But this is walking the line of treason and sedition, and it needs to be stopped. Now.

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

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