Same job, different uniform.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Yet another reason homeschooling is looking better

If you haven't read about the Coloardo high school teacher who went too far in class (click here), you must.

Geography instructor Jay Bennish was put on paid leave while the school district investigates the circumstances surrounding an audio tape of one of his lectures. There is a five-minute audio clip if you scroll down and to the right (called "Radical Remarks"). I encourage anyone to listen to it.

About 150 kids walked out of class yesterday in support of Bennish's "free speech." As hard as it is to get 17-year-olds to skip class (cough), I can't help but think the purpose of it is mostly lost on them. This isn't about freedom of expression, it's about taxpayer money and unfair advantage.

We do have freedom of speech in this country, but none of us are naive enough to think it's absolute. All of us enjoy a culture that supports expression and even protests. But sometimes there are consequences for our words. For instance, my pastor COULD use the pulpit as a political soap box, but as a consequence he would lose the church's tax-exempt status as a charitable organization.

In the same way, teachers who use their lectures as sermons (all this guy needs is a big tent and a microphone to max-out his preachiness) are failing the taxpayers. If you're going to spout off your opinions, which should be done in careful moderation, you ought to present a balance. Failing to do so makes one no better than a bully.

A teacher's job is not to convince students to think like he or she does; a teacher's job is to impart knowledge. Much like a journalist's code of ethics, their aim as well should be to inform as much as possible as objectively as possible. Kids are smart enough to draw the "right" conclusions. If they're not, it is not in a teacher's job description to do it for them.


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4 Comments:

Blogger Jeb said...




This is definitely not about free speech. I think it is very safe to say that if this teacher had somehow been using his geography class to talk about Jesus and Christianity, it would not have been tolerated, and there probably would have been little "walk out" support by students. This story has been all over talk radio and the comments he made were COMPLETELY inappropriate for a public school scenario of any kind - even a politics/government class. All he has to do to teach geography is tell kids where countries are. You can talk about the politics that created the boundaries - that is important and even necessary for understanding, but the rest is nothing but grandstanding.

Friday, March 03, 2006

 
Blogger Seth Huckstead "The Petty Athanasius said...




Teachers like this are all over the college campus, the difference is these kids are still young and do not have the choice of being in his class. He obviously has an agenda. When I was in High School (11 years ago :) ) I had a Biology teacher who liked to go off on abortion and how more people should get abortions to help stop overpopulation (although some countries are starting to see the effects of declining population on their economy's). He also believed and tried to convince his class that people should abort handicaped children because of their burden on society. This teacher represents a system that is corrupt, just research the National Education Association. Part of the problem is the fact that education is not nuetral, as we pretend it is this humunistic mentality is sweeping into the minds of our children.
-mist

Friday, March 03, 2006

 
Blogger Snarky the Moonbat said...




I heard the recorded rant and was struck by how incredibly... mundane it all was. The usual goat tripe. Nothing really new, nothing novel, nothing striking. Nothing said with an interesting turn of phrase.

In fact, it reminded me of nothing more than recycled propaganda. He was simply playing back the recording inside his head from his classes, passing the message along to a new generation of lemmings.

It was not "free speech" at all. Nor was it really speech as such, either. It was, simply, sound and fury, signifying nothing...except how far we have fallen..and how precious little education actually occurs within the walls of our schools.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

 
Blogger girlfriday said...




Yeah, I think more to the point is that school is for schooling, not indoctrinating (though some of it can't be avoided I suppose).

That said, I don't agree with Ms. Lane that kids are always smart enough to draw the right conclusions. That's what education is for, right Socrates? We just need to keep an eye on what the nature of education is.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

 

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