Where the Personal becomes the Political at our whim...
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:: Friday, February 28, 2003 ::
The Maine Thing So I know that you all have heard about the problems reported in Maine of teachers telling children (some as young as 7 years old) that their military parents are doing bad things by going to Iraq.
In Maine, Department of Education Commissioner Duke Albanese sent a memo to superintendents and principals, writing that it had been brought to his attention some school personnel had been "less than sensitive to children of military families regarding our continued strained relations with Iraq."
He said discussion should allow for questions and differences of opinion, but "be grounded in civil discourse and mutual respect."
The issue has also grabbed the attention of Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Gov. John Baldacci.
"Any suggestion that their parents are doing something wrong is extremely unfortunate and could have a harmful effect, particularly on young children," Collins said.
Baldacci said he's "disappointed" by the actions of some educators in public school systems.
Great, they are disappointed. I'm so happy to hear it. And a memo was sent! We know that solves all problems!
Haynes urged schools to keep alive classroom discussions about Iraq, and present different views on the issue, even if there have been complaints about teaching methods or teacher comments.
"Often it is a misunderstanding of what the teacher is trying to do," he said. "But it's also the case that some teachers have a political agenda they can't keep out of the classroom, and that they must do."
I've always been torn on this. If a teacher has a history of bringing his/her political agenda in the classroom then perhaps they need to keep quiet on the issue, and if it happens on a repeated basis, maybe they shouldn't be there. I will also say that while a teacher may think they are leading a balanced discussion, most of the time it isn't. Bias comes across in the subtle comments. And if they keep getting comments from students that are anti-war then it is up to them to present the other view. I think my expectations are too high. I can't even get that kind of critical thinking from college professors most of the time.
:: Bitter 1:18 PM [+] ::