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Students walk out in protest of teacher suspension

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posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 07:59 AM
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Let's clarify one thing. This was not a geography class (like most of us took in school) but a human geography class. It deals with the relationships between people as it relates to location.

Now should this topic have been talked about? I am not sure, I certainly don't agree with his message. I do think everyone who says high school students should not have to hear things like this, it is for a college class should stop and think for a minute. These kids are only a couple of years away from being legal adults. They are only a couple of years away from being able to fight for their country and to vote. We need to stop pretending like this was a bunch of 12 year olds (like Bill Oreilly said and argued last night). These are high schools students not middle school students.

At some point don't you think they should learn all there is to learn about the world and the different views? Why should we wait until after they are old enough to vote or be drafted before we let them hear all messages.

To me the biggest mistake this teacher made was not inviting someone in from other points of view. That would have made this much better for the kids.

Okay the walking out in protest? Good for them, as I have said I believe they are old enough to think for themselves. If they want him back they should have that right. At least they are standing up for something. Why can't we all be happy for that.




posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:00 AM
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Originally posted by Tommio
Whoa whoa whoa, the teacher did not rant on about his own personal beliefs, he made a statement and said, something along the lines of i dont expect you to agree with this i want to even argue against it. He was trying to stimulate an intelectual debate in a class to make kids think. That sure sounds like the sort of teacher we should have in every class room. I dont agree that GW is on a par wit hitler but he is close to a mad man. If any of you watch the news you will have heard what the guy said as a student taped it then ran off to the local press/radio. The kis said he was trying to stop kids being brainwashed or something along those lines, yet it seems he has failed coz he has already been been brainwashed into defending the bush administration no matter what.

IMO suspending this teacher sucks.

It sounds like you are the one who didn't listen to the teacher or read the article. The student did not "taped it then ran off to the local press/radio". The audiotape is still available on the link, btw.

And your statement that he was not trying to push his own beliefs is wishful thinking on your part. Not to flame, but it sounds like you are young and a bit startstruck by this teacher.

This guy is a geography teacher. Now I say that for a reason. In one part of his rant, he was comparing the evil of American tobacco farming with the US destroying the poppy crop in Bolivia. He asked the students where the largest tobacco farms in the world were. No answer, so he told them ... in "what's called North Carolina." He actually said what's called North Carolina! This to a highschool gepgraphy class??? It sounds like he should spend more time on geography and less time on his personal political views.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:00 AM
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The most inspiring teacher I ever had was a high school physics teacher, "Mr. Phil", who started his Monday classes with 5-10 minutes of political discussion. He pretty much hated anyone that became president, especially Carter. For that time, the classroom was a chaotic mess... but every single student looked forward to it, and spent the weekend thinking about what they'd say on Monday.

It was a brilliant technique to break the ice and "turn on" our brains. He was legendary throughout the state for having the highest average scores of any science or math teacher... and his labs were seriously tough.

When he retired some 10 years later, there were over 1,000 former students and standing room only (including me) in the school auditorium for his retirement "surprise" party.

Parents and society need toughen up and realize that it's more important to inspire students to think on their own, than it is to examine what sparks the inspiration. Once thinking starts, amazing things happen.

Could you imagine if a teacher like this had been hobbled?

Is this teacher like "Mr. Phil"? I have no idea. But it sounds like he's attempting to inspire free thinking. And it's a tragedy that our society (and many ATS members) can't see that it's the most important thing of all.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:01 AM
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I dont think Hitler would appreciate having every individual's political foe compared to him.

Only two things stopped Hitler from taking over the world; invading Russia and not developing the nuke fast enough to drop it on Washington and Washington dropped it on Japan.

Germany should have formed a military alliance with Russia. Had they done that and invented the nuke before the United States, there wouldnt be a United States of America. There wouldnt be any Jews. And there probably wouldnt be any blacks or arabs either.

We really must stop comparing people to Hitler just because they are a political foe. Clinton was compared to Hitler while we bombed the crap out of the former Yugoslavia.

Clinton? Compared to Hitler? What a joke! How do you compare a guy to Hitler when he cant even get away with cheating on his wife????

To the credit of President Bush, he isnt sending Arabian women and children to gas chambers. If he plans to take over the entire middle east, he will need to speed things up a bit before it takes him 200 years.

Hitler took over his neighbors with very little effort. I dont see Mexico or Canada getting worried for an invasion. In fact, Mexico is so not worried about the US military, they are sending THEIR troops into OUR country in an effort to transport drugs (a debateable opinion).

My opinion is that the geopraphy teacher needs to take a course in history. Better yet, he ought to talk to a Jew. One that survived WWII and the German death camps.

I'll bet a dollar he has never in his entire life spoke to a single one.

More qualified as an idiot then a teacher.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:03 AM
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Did you hear the tape? This was not a geography lesson about the political situation in North Africa, he was comparing our current government to Nazi's. THis teacher was also not a 60 y/o man/woman with some wisdom and worldy views, he was a Gen Y with an agenda that is better suited for the coffeehouse he hangs out at on Friday night.

If a parent wants to tell their 8 y/o kid about hate, and how the president sucks, that is their own choice. But you send your children to school to learn, not to be blinded by propoganda.

The child brings the tape recorder as a teaching aid, this is not uncommon, or maybe he was telling his father what the teacher was saying in other classes, and didn't beleive so the kid taped it. Doesn't matter.

I also saw a interview with the kid and he looked far from a troublemaker. If a child came home from Earth Science, and told his parents that he was talking about God, you can bet that teacher would be suspended, so what is the difference?



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:11 AM
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Originally posted by ADHDsux4me
Ok, we need to develop a background on this story first.
:
Often there is conflict between 2 or more political parties in one state or country which forces a dividing line geographically. North & South (American Civil War), India/Pakistan/Bangladesh, these countires were unified under the Indian Flag until just after World War 2, but politics and a little regional war seperated them geographically.
-ADHDsux4me

This is the only part of your post that pertains even remotely to the topic at hand. The rest of your post is an attempt to cast suspicion on the student's motives for reporting this teacher. Nice try at diversion, but it won't work.

Someone else had asked why the student felt a need to tape a topic that was mostly visual. Maybe he was a slow visual learner, who knows? Some people learn more easily by listening, some by seeing, etc. Whatever, it is another attempt to cast aspersions on the student.

Another point: If you listened to the tape, you'll see that except for a few "definitions" that the teacher wrote on the board, the class was almost exclusively lecture.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:12 AM
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Like this should be a surprise....

What I find amusing is that those who are so outraged by the prospect a teacher discussing something political in a high school classroom remain nonetheless relatively silent when the same is done by educators on the subject of religion. Where is the outcry there?

As I recall, the Constitution actually prohibits the latter and inherently expects the former.

Don't be fooled. My bet is that the kids in that classroom were not likely to be one of the ones who thought pet ownership was in the Bill of Rights.


Do I like what the teacher said? No. But let's keep this in perspective... It is hardy a surprise that this happened when our President enjoys one of the lowest public support ratings in history.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:18 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
But it sounds like he's attempting to inspire free thinking.
And it's a tragedy that our society (and many ATS members)
can't see that it's the most important thing of all.


Inspiring free thinking is NOT subjecting children to hate filled
political rants. Especially when they aren't equipped to be able
to talk/discuss back with any authority against an authority figure.

Inspiring free thinking in a Geography class is fine ... but he didn't
stick to that which was approved by the school board, the town,
and the state. Also, what he was blathering wasn't high school
geography, it was more in line with college social studies or
political science.

Free thinking is NOT the most important thing of all for children.
Knowing that there are laws that have to be followed, that
when you have a job you are expected to do what you have
been hired to do, are vital to survival in this world and to society
in general. Free thinking is good, but it has it's place. Completely
taking a class over and 'free thinking' unapproved garbage unto
kids isn't teaching free thought. It's just pontificating.

How would you like some authoritative figure teacher to
'free think' fundamentalist Islam or fundamentalist Christianity
onto your child?

AND these are children. They are still children. It doesn't matter
that they will be adults in 3 or 4 years. They are children NOW
and that's the level he's supposed to be teaching to. They aren't
in college. They don't understand anything except what is
crammed into them.

Sorry skepticOverlord - he broke the law. I find it a
'tragedy' (to quote you) that some here can't see that.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:21 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
The most inspiring teacher I ever had was a high school physics teacher, "Mr. Phil", who started his Monday classes with 5-10 minutes of political discussion.

It was a brilliant technique to break the ice and "turn on" our brains.

Could you imagine if a teacher like this had been hobbled?

Is this teacher like "Mr. Phil"? I have no idea. But it sounds like he's attempting to inspire free thinking.

The icebreaker technique you mention is a well-used one, and perfectly valid for the first 5 or 10 minutes of a Monday class. This guy was delivering unopposed, i.e., his own, political views on the students for up to 80% of the class time. He had a captive audience of malleable minds and pushed his own political views on them. Example: his definition of capitalism.

Your physics teacher had a lot more going than his 5 to 10 minute Monday lecture would be my guess.

Is this guy the next "Mr. Phil"? I doubt it - he sounds more like the next Ward Churchill.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
They don't understand anything except what is
crammed into them.


Funny, I don't recall having that problem at that age. I'm sorry you did.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by loam
those who are so outraged by ... a teacher discussing
something political ... remain ... relatively silent when the same is
done by educators on the subject of religion.


That's why I brought up the scenerio about a teacher blasting kids
with some (pick one) fundamentalist religion.

Would those that are crying 'inspire free thinking' ... would those
folks want some authority figure teacher pushing his/her religion on
their children in the classroom... using venom and images of hellfire
.... NO!

It would be wrong and it would be against the law.
As it is in this case.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
...it would be against the law.


How is political speech in the school against the law?



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:26 AM
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Originally posted by loam

What I find amusing is that those who are so outraged by the prospect a teacher discussing something political in a high school classroom remain nonetheless relatively silent when the same is done by educators on the subject of religion. Where is the outcry there?

As I recall, the Constitution actually prohibits the latter and inherently expects the former.

Do I like what the teacher said? No. But let's keep this in perspective... It is hardy a surprise that this happened when our President enjoys one of the lowest public support ratings in history.

Oh please. Don't set up a conclusion and expect a debate.
And what the dickens does this have to do with Bush's current ratings? Could this be an attempt by you to divert the discussion?



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by loam
I don't recall having that problem at that age. I'm sorry you did.


I'm sure you did. You just didn't know it at the time.

ALL children are sponges. They are tape recorders. Take a survey
of kids in school and they will say they are 'republican' if their parents
are republican or they will say 'democrat' if their parents are democrat.

They aren't old enough to be able to form educated opinions on
important issues. They don't have the life experience. They don't
have the education. They haven't lived on their own to fully understand
much of anything. That's why children aren't allowed to vote. They'd
just write down on the ballot what their parents, or teachers, told them to.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by loam
How is political speech in the school against the law?


What the teacher did broke the law. It broke school law.
The school has publically made that statement and it stands
by their actions.

The teacher is required to teach the subject he was hired to teach.
He has certain books and information that the school, city, and state
have approved for use and for the children to learn.

What he was pontificating was his own radical political views and
it had nothing to do with the job he was hired to do, and it had
nothing to do with what the school, city, and state had approved
for the children to learn.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:34 AM
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from FlyersFanFree thinking is NOT the most important thing of all for children.
Knowing that there are laws that have to be followed, that
when you have a job you are expected to do what you have
been hired to do, are vital to survival in this world and to society
in general. Free thinking is good, but it has it's place. Completely
taking a class over and 'free thinking' unapproved garbage unto
kids isn't teaching free thought. It's just pontificating.

FF, you deserve a WATS for that very cogent statement.
Children need limits; too often, well-meaning parents don't realize that and give them too much leeway.

You have voted FlyersFan for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


[edit on 3-3-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
I'm sure you did. You just didn't know it at the time.


So now you are an expert on my past?



Originally posted by FlyersFan
ALL children are sponges. They are tape recorders. Take a survey
of kids in school and they will say they are 'republican' if their parents
are republican or they will say 'democrat' if their parents are democrat.


Note the emphasis supplied.


Originally posted by FlyersFan
They aren't old enough to be able to form educated opinions on
important issues. They don't have the life experience. They don't
have the education. They haven't lived on their own to fully understand
much of anything. That's why children aren't allowed to vote. They'd
just write down on the ballot what their parents, or teachers, told them to.


Prove that teachers have the same level of political influence on children as parents have...

Where do you draw the line, then, on political speech in the classroom?

Where are your answers to my other questions?

Tempest in a teapot....

[edit on 3-3-2006 by loam]



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
What the teacher did broke the law. It broke school law.


Provide the precise legal citation.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
This guy is a geography teacher. Now I say that for a reason. In one part of his rant, he was comparing the evil of American tobacco farming with the US destroying the poppy crop in Bolivia. He asked the students where the largest tobacco farms in the world were. No answer, so he told them ... in "what's called North Carolina." He actually said what's called North Carolina! This to a high school geography class??? It sounds like he should spend more time on geography and less time on his personal political views.


Now that I have watched and listened to both the video and tape by the student, I am more convinced then ever this teacher has no place in our school system. Talk about a loose cannon, I even think he should be checked into a local mental facility for a few years, he is so far left wing it really makes me sick to think that a teacher could even get away with something like this.

What makes it even worse is the school administrators have known about this for sometime which is even more disturbing, because they did nothing about it. :shk: Perhaps they should consider having them see a head shrink too.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by loam
So now you are an expert on my past?

Prove that teachers have the same level of political
influence on children as parents have...


The EXPERTS (psychologists and sociologists) know
these things about children. I was a psychology
major. I'd be happy to dust off the books and start
giving you book titles to go read about Child Psychology.
Teachers are authority figures whom children have been
taught to respect, learn from, and not to talk back to.

www.denverpost.com...

Excerpt




Karen Rouse
March 2, 2006
Denver Post

James McGrath Morris, an author who has written about academic
freedom issues, said Bennish's comments are acceptable for an adult
audience, but they are hard to defend in a high school classroom.

In a number of legal cases, courts have ruled that "up until the age of
majority, children are easily influenced ... in a way that they don't have
the faculties to sort out rights from wrongs," Morris said.




Where so you draw the line, then, on political speech in the classroom?


It must be age appropriate. It must be in accordance to what the
school, city and state have approved for use in the classroom. It must
be in a class that the discussion is appropriate for (high school
geography isn't the appropriate place to say Bush = Hitler).
It must NOT be pontificating by an authority figure for some strange
power trip over children who are stuck listening to him.


[edit on 3/3/2006 by FlyersFan]



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