Originally posted by Astyanax
This kind of extreme, unthinking legalism is not a realistic interpretation of the principle of separation of Church and State: it is a fetishization
of it, another example of how some Americans appear to see the US Constitution as an object of veneration and worship rather than a work in progress
(as all such documents must be by their very nature).
an object of veneration. It's the line in the sand that government is not supposed to cross. Yes, it's a work in progress, but for
those parts of it currently in existence, it is and will always be a source of constant squabbling and interpretation.
The principle of separation of Church and State is merely a principle in constitutional law; it must defer to the greater principle of freedom
of conscience, which is a principle of natural justice.
No, because the Constitution is
the very basis of all American rights and law, "principles of Constitutional law" have a very big impact on
how things here are run. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion along with
the Separation of Church and State, the Right to Bear Arms--all of
these impact everyday life in America. You said you're not American; if you haven't lived it I don't know how well I can explain it to you.
In fact, it is precisely freedom of conscience that the principle of separation of institutions was intended to serve, and the teacher's
actions in this particular case amount to nothing less than an attempt to use the latter to pervert the former.
Again, teachers in the American public school system don't have much of a choice. They get their marching orders just like any other worker.
Sometimes those orders put them in a no-win situation like this.
Teenage boys should be raised by men, not by bureaucrats and ambulance-chasers.
So when my father died and I was seven, my mother should have immediately re-married the first guy who made eye contact? For someone else who claims
to have liberal views, that's a pretty misogynistic statement to make.
As for my own liberal views, even I have to concede sometimes that things are the way they are. Again, it's hard to explain if you didn't live
through the American public school system, but the fact is, kids in public schools here do not have rights. It is honestly that simple, and it's
spelled out in black-and-white.
The public school system in America used
to be about education. Now it's glorified daycare. With No Child Left Behind, teachers are forced
to teach kids to pass specific tests. If the kids don't pass, schools lose Federal funding, and the teachers lose their jobs. School right now
exists to keep kids off the streets and force-feed them facts and figures. They're being taught what
to think, not how
Teachers don't really have "freedom of conscience" to handle situations as they see fit. They're under tight control and CYA is the word of the
day. Otherwise you're looking for a new job, and it's hard to find a new teaching job if you got fired from the last one for handling a student's
gorss insubordination the wrong way. Unfortunately, often, there's no "right" way, at least as far as school boards and communities are concerned.
It's sad, but it's true, and until the Bush Administration goes quietly into the night and the system is fixed, that's how it will be.
[edit on 4/7/2008 by The Nighthawk]