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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by dejo, Mar 2, 2006.
Students support teacher suspended for Bush remarks
Damn, I knew I forgot to demand time for opposing viewpoints when I was indoctrinated about the moon landings in both history and science classes!
Should we also have time for opposing viewpoints after the flag salute is performed? Are we going to start letting Holocaust deniers into High School classes? Because that's the ad absurdum point this 'equal time for opposing viewpoints' takes you.
Speaking of which, I don't think people in the military academies get enough 'opposing viewpoints' regarding war.
I came really close to soiling myself when I heard about this nonsense.
It was very clear in the "recorded tape" that the teacher was not trying to tell the kids how to think.
It's absurd that little jerk thought he could get rid of a teacher that disagreed with him.
I'm extremely proud of those students. I only wish I could be there to support them!
(Side note: I find it ironic that the student just happened to have a tape recorder that day. How weird. I suspect that he was taping possible for DAYS before the one on tv was recorded... he must have been trying to get something on the teacher )
He may have had a laptop with a built-in mic. Plenty of high-school students these days are equipped with those. I'll hold off on judgement until we hear more facts.
The teacher's comments do seem somewhat out of place for a geography class but again I'd like to get some more info about what that class' discussion topics for the day were.
Um...the teacher says that some people compare Bush to Hitler.
What exactly is the "opposing point of view"? That nobody compares Bush to Hitler?
I'd like to be a smart@$$ and say it's that everybody compares Bush to Hitler, but some whiny snitch might be taping it and get me in trouble.
its obvious the teacher is a bush-hater, as are alot of people in the country.
so what I think is he knew the teacher would say something inflammatory everyday, so one day he brings his tape recorder, knows his dad is the opposite of the teacher in viewpoints, (of course that makes this kid the same way cuz he is a sheep and has no mind of his own in politics like most americans), and that upon hearing the recording would call the principal and complain like every other parent who thinks the teachers are why their kids get F's.
my fave quote from this student (sean allen, a 15yr old or so sophmore) is:
seems like the kid needs to stay in school a little longer.
when will parents learn teachers are GOOD people, NOT bad people. They are doing what YOU should be doing, but instead you work and have latchkey children. Suck it up, its public edumacation, you did it, now shut up and let your kid do the same.
The article said it was a geography class, not a political propaganda class. His comments were very inappropriate in a classroom setting. Can you imagine a science teacher attempting to teach creationism in class in place of evolution? No, because that is taboo, inappropriate, and without merit. When it is the other side, all of the sudden it is okay to indoctrinate students with left-wing viewpoints. We can't have it both ways. Either teach the substantive class material or don't. We should make every effort to remain viewpoint neutral in the classroom, especially when the viewpoint is ultra-radical like the teacher's comments about Bush and the U.S. We are supposed to teach the children to think for themselves, not how to think like the rest of us. While he is entitled to his viewpoints, he should not be permitted to share them in that setting. Besides, there are more subtle ways to do this without being so obvious. He is obviously a moron for not being a bit more delicate with his approach. While I agree that we are in a world of trouble, his methods for dealing with it are wholly inappropriate.
BTW, I'd love to hear the recording of Bennish's remarks, but the link on that website (DenverPost.com) is a piece o' crap. It keeps crashing in WiMP and won't play at all in VLC.
This was posted just as I was posting my own previous remark.
You make some good points, but even so there may be some wiggle room for the teacher.
Did the kids initiate the discussion? It's possible if they were studying, say, Middle Eastern geography and one or more students brought up the question of US interference in that region. If Bennish was answering a question instead of lecturing, he's got a lot more leeway.
And did the kid who objected say so to Bennish, instead of tattling to his dad? If so, did Bennish deliberately ignore the kid's objection?
I'd want to know all of this before I came down on Bennish, but, as I say, I can't get the link to the audio recording to work.
Finally, I can't agree that the teacher's views are "ultra-radical". All we know for a fact from the article is that he said that some people compare Bush to Hitler. Which is perfectly true. Done it myself from time to time.
And I live about 10 minutes away from this school. Colorado is nuts.
This teacher could say what he wanted. IF one of the kids disagreed why didn't he chime in? More importantly, why doesn't this kid look at it from the Goggles of Reality and see that Bush is nothing more than a tyrant, hellbent on the destruction of the world?
In a TV interview, the student said he always tapes in some classes, as an aid to his note-taking.
Sure, the teacher has a right to his opinions on any subject, but there is a time and place for certain opinions. I don't believe political opinions are appropriate in a geography class, particularly categorical statements. In a political science class, it seems to me to be appropriate for a teacher to make his positions known, so that the students can understand. Even so, a classroom teacher should make every effort to be objective. The deal is to *examine* all sides of views, not preach.
Suspension seems to be a kneejerk reflex, these days. I can see a butt-chewing on the teacher about objectivity and appropriateness, but I don't think that suspension is called for unless there is some previous history of problems.
I'm curious to see how many on this thread would be upset at the teacher if he was promoting Bush and his policies in class. As Desertrat has already stated, the kid consistantly brings his tape recorder to class. The kid's parents are both Republican and Democrat, so enough of this "sheep following daddy's lead" nonsense. Apparantly, the teacher goes on propagandistic tirades a lot. It's a geography class, not political science, nor the world according to a loony leftist class. Even if a student brought up the topic, the teacher should have held off until after class to discuss politics.
Here's one man's opinion: Teachers are tasked with teaching the subjects they are responible for. This is geography. Not history, Poli/sci, international business culture, etc.
The opinons this teacher is entitled to do have their place, but not when he's supposed to be performing his duties as a teacher.
So why am I quoting you? I would have a problem with any teacher that gos so far off subject in class - let alone for as long as he did. This is regardless of pro/anti Bush'ness.
I agree with you.
I agree that suspension seems like overkill, although I would note that this is apparently not this teacher's first "offense":
The story claims that at least some of the students involved in the protest objected to Bennish's comments, which suggests to me that the teacher is pretty popular among his students and/or the kid who tape-recorded him is not all that popular with his peers.
well i can say from experience parent-teacher conferences take place for two reasons:
teacher contacted parents about a problem the child is having in class
parents contact teacher about a problem the child is having WITH class
the latter being the jerk parents who cant teach their kid anything and expect the same system they bash all the time to work for their kid. gimme a break, parents who think teachers are the problem, should roll over and die, let their kids run free in the backyard, theyd be better off.
parents shouldnt expect the teachers of their children to have the same ideology as them.
if they want that, goto a private school of your choosing
either way, kids, parents of this nature DONT DESERVE public education.
without all the details none of us can pass judgement in this situtation, but again i stress parents today are f***** up.
the same people who drug their children (Ritalan) to take the blame away from the parents, away from the teachers, and onto their kids.
And your logical fallacy riddled rant has what to do with the topic?
So I take it you're a parent? You're unwilling to pass judgment on this case but apparently have enough information to determine that all of today's parents are "****ed up"? Please.
This is an exceptionally broad-brush statement to make, and it offends me as a parent who takes great interest in my children and their upcoming education. I know many parents who are similarly involved in raising good, conscientious children.
Regarding the actual topic of this thread, it is not uncommon for teachers to discuss issues outside of their "assigned" topic. Why wouldn't we want that, as long as the discussions are appropriate and aren't so regularly off-topic that they impact the assigned course material?
Once again, a reporter has decided to make a story out of something that at best is of local concern. Who knows what the facts really are? His previous "offense" is not specified and took place a few years ago, hardly a reason to haul him over the coals. What is concerning is that so many students feel the need to report their teachers for saying that some people disagree with the President.
Agree. The story is extremely short on facts, in particular the context in which the teacher said what he said.
Well, I'm not sure how much I agree with this. My feeling is that if the teacher were taking advantage of a captive audience (his high school Geography students) to rant and rave about his personal political ideology, it should be reported and the teacher should be advised to stick to teaching geography. As you and others have pointed out, it's not clear if that's how things actually went down in reality.
I can't read the story, my eyes are fixated on the cute protesting girl in the picture.
I know that at the time you posted this, you had not had a chance to listen to the actual recording. I've only just now listened to the first five or six minutes, myself.
Unless someone has just done a remarkable editing job on the tape (and I don't think that's been alleged), the kids didn't initiate this discussion or anything like that. The recording is long enough that I don't think it can be reasonably suggested that we're hearing his comments out of context. And I'd even hesitate to call it a lecture -- this guy is in engaged in what sounds (to me) like a wild-eyed rant.
And for the record, it would be just as inappropriate if this were (for example) a history or English teacher delivering a Sean Hannity-style rant to his students. I still agree with Ugg's earlier comment that we don't (and probably won't ever) know all of the facts in this case. But I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario in which a 10th grade Geograpy teacher's ranting and raving like this would be appropriate.
Whoa. She looks like she'd eat you for breakfast. And not in that way you sicko
Heh, what ********.
Back in high school, one of my history (then geography...I took classes I had no interest in or requirement to be in just to be in his class) teachers would slam Bush almost every day (see why I wanted to be in his class whenever possible ) and no one complained. Granted, my HS was pretty liberal, but still. If you disagree, either speak up and argue with him or keep quiet.
I agree. But I don't think the teacher should have been suspended. He should have been kept after school for detention.
Yes, agreed. Like I said earlier, a suspension seems like overkill if it's truly an isolated event.