Jump to content

Menu

I am so ticked off (warning: might be offensive to some)


Halcyon
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay, so my 9th grader who has been homeschooled all his life is attending the IB program at our local high school. He has had issues since the beginning: the teachers arent' great, the content is dull, and he is not being challenged (I've posted about this before, and received from great advice from everyone here). So he decided well before the elections that he wants to return to homeschooling at the end of the semester, and although i was initially a bit resistant (felt he should give it more time) but he demonstrated to me that he is willing to accept certain conditions (want him to find a p/t job, want him to find a volunteer position, I wanted HIM to do the research for classes and present it to me..) So anyway, long story short, he's coming home and he's VERY happy about it.

 

My issue currently: his American Government teacher has been going on and on about how great Trump is, and how wonderful his children are, and what great 'advisors" they'll make to Trump. Okay, I am not in favor of teacher's pushing their own political agenda on kids, whatever side they are on--I would say that in a government class, it would be fruitful to perhaps have a civilized discussion about both parties and what they have to offer, but to stand in front of the class proclaiming the "rightness" of your position without really allowing for dialogue is just not okay by me. But DS and I decided we'd let it slide; after all, he was leaving. He's not an outspoken kid, so he didn't feel comfortable bringing up his discomfort in class, fwiw.

 

Yesterday, he comes home and asked me "what is post-birth abortion?" I had never heard that phrase, so I looked it up and told him what I learned. He tells me that this AG teacher told him that "liberals all support post-birth abortion". WTH? First of all, there's no such thing, second of all, when it was brought up in an academic journal years ago, BOTH sides of the aisle excoriated the article and its implication--so basically, the teacher is spreading lies and propaganda. I am so upset--this program is supposed to encourage "critical thinking" but the teacher himself is discussing something like this and proclaiming it to be true? 

 

I am tempted to call the school. But then I think--he's leaving, why rock the boat? Thoughts? Oh, and this is the same teacher who has shown four movies in class--Legally Blonde I am Sam, and two other pop culture movies tangentially related to the law or government. What a waste of time.

 

So...without going off on a tangent about "post birth abortions", would you say this behavior warrants a phone call? Or should i just let it slide?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I would make a call, and then breathe a huge sigh of relief that my son is coming back home and will no longer going to be subject to this teacher. I have zero tolerance whatsoever for this current and alarming trend of presenting false, made-up, invented information as factual. 

  • Like 22
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, I would totally call the school. Your DS may be leaving, but it is simply not right behavior for a teacher. Somebody needs to speak up - it might as well be you. You can postpone the conversation until grades are done if you are concerned, and mention it at your "exit interview" as one of the reasons you are leaving the school.

  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the teacher be referring to euthanasia or partial birth abortion? The term is weird so I'd be figuring out what was meant.

 

I'd absolutely summon a meeting between the principal teacher, and myself to discuss my concerns. I wouldn't go to the principal without talking to the teacher first but I wouldn't want to talk to the teacher without a witness either. Clarification on a few points that don't make sense and discussing your concerns with content and tone isn't out of line.

Edited by Arctic Mama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If YOU have concerns, and you obviously do, then others have concerns as well. The more the principal hears from concerned parents,

the more he/she will be inclined to take disciplinary action against said teacher.

 

ETA: yes, you should say something. 

Edited by scrapbookbuzz
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Conservative voice here.  I think the teacher's boss should know and should tell him to tone it down.  I don't mind stating which side one is on, but from what you say, this guy has gone way too far.  It's not in furtherance of the goal of educating the kids.  He needs to tone it down for the sake of all the kids who have to put up with him for the rest of the year.

Edited by SKL
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it warrants a discussion with the principal. I would not let it slide because there are a lot of kids who are exposed to this guy.

What is the principal and school board like? We had the reverse problem of OP's being in a blue state. Luckily the principal got a higher post in another district in curriculum planning. The teachers my kids had in K-4th were generally mild but I have heard teachers being extremely bias in political views from middle school kids in my kids outside activities.

 

ETA:

The school board is lots worse and some lost in the recent elections for other reasons.

Edited by Arcadia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would not get into whether or not "post-birth abortion" is a thing.  My issue is with saying or implying that "all liberals" are in favor of that, among other extreme comments.  If he really believes that then he is an idiot.  But more likely, he is used to talking in a way that is not appropriate for a classroom.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would call.

 

I don't think any specific political views should be pushed in school, and he's clearly crossed the line from what you wrote. Discussion is great, creating a safe space to learn and dialogue - absolutely. But teachers in a PS (this is PS, right?) need to be neutral re: politics. In a private school, obviously we'd be signing our approval with the tuition check, so I still might call if concerned, but if it's a conservative leaning school I'd either expect it or not be surprised (and presumably if our kids were there, I'd support that). PS is a different animal. I think it sounds like he's using his platform and power to promote his own views. I find that inappropriate from conservatives or liberals.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go to the principal. And anyone else. This is ridiculous.

 

Teachers are not supposed to push their own agenda. The stuff you describe is insanely inappropriate.

 

I also want to say this is nothing like our family's experience with an IB school. American Government is not in the IB curriculum, but us required in most public high schools. My oldest also had a bad government teacher, but not like what you describe. She just did not know the topic (and didn't like that my ds corrected her daily). Anyway most of the IB teachers we had we exceptional.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your son is leaving.  Do nothing until his final grades are in and then send a rational (not emotional) email detailing parental concerns pushing the teacher's agenda and cc the principal.

 

That's what I would do. Make sure he can't be penalized first. 

Edited by TranquilMind
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a problem with a teacher pushing a political agenda and viewpoint in that way regardless of what the viewpoint is, so I'd contact the school even if my child was leaving. What this teacher is doing is not OK. I'd do it because he's not fostering critical thinking, and that's not fair to the other kids. He's creating a one-sided environment in which free, fact-based discussion is not encouraged. And I'd do it because it would just plain make me feel better. (Our experience is with teachers pushing a liberal agenda. Same rules apply.)

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd call, and I'm not one to make my presence known on campus.  Usually if my kid has a problem, I leave him to fight it out with the caveat that I'm there behind him if he needs me.

 

You bet your bottom I'd call, make sure the principal and teacher knew I was recording our meeting, and lay it all out on the line right there.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could the teacher be referring to euthanasia or partial birth abortion? The term is weird so I'd be figuring out what was meant.

 

The teacher probably did say post-birth abortion.  There were a few fake news articles floating around talking about how Hillary was going to make post-birth abortion legal, etc., etc.  Even if the teacher was actually talking about euthanasia or partial birth abortion, ALL liberals are not for those things.  The teacher is saying things that are factually incorrect.

 

I'd call.  I might even let the school board know.  And I might pull him out now.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm conservative.  I would be complaining to the principal about the very over-the-top politicking in the class.  even from my seat - it would be wearisome.  the class is supposed to be about government and how it works, why, etc. etc.  not about pushing particular *politicians*.

 

I wouldn't necessarily encourage him to do what my dd did when she was in that position in college.  (mandatory class - VERY liberal prof who was more interested in indoctrinating students into her beliefs than actually teaching them critical thinking skills - which was ostensibly what the class was about.)

dd hearkened back to a well-taught IB theory of knowledge class (which is all about critical thinking) - where they went to original sources, and multiple -sources for one subject, and asked questions going at it from all angles. poking holes, etc.  it taught them to think, and to be able to see holes in arguments.  (and take advantage of them.) she was constantly asking questions that exposed the holes in the positions she was presenting. by the end of the semester - that prof hated her.  (she also downgraded her.)  I quote " you're brilliant, but you're wasting your talents". dd wanted to know what she meant.  "she's ticked you don't want her as your  mentor."   dd commented she'd rather have a mentor who was actually intelligent.  (she was close to several of her major profs.)

 

you might want to consider getting him in a debate club.  (covers a lot of the same stuff as ToK.)

 

and as for IB - how well it is done can really vary with the director in charge.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a public school teacher and have taught History before.  He is out of line.  

 

I can't imagine you are the only parent upset about this.

 

Call, complain, write an email, do whatever it is you need to do.  

 

NOT OK.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

and when you call - you might find you are on of  many who have called.

I called about a math teacher. It was october, MANY parents had already called and complained.  (i had the advantage of knowing dd's school counselor socially.  he gave me  more information.)  I think if they could have gotten rid of him they would have - but  that would have left them with no teacher, and he had a contract for that year.  (at least it was only that school year.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The teacher probably did say post-birth abortion.  There were a few fake news articles floating around talking about how Hillary was going to make post-birth abortion legal, etc., etc.  Even if the teacher was actually talking about euthanasia or partial birth abortion, ALL liberals are not for those things.  The teacher is saying things that are factually incorrect.

 

I'd call.  I might even let the school board know.  And I might pull him out now.

 

Yep........ nor are most liberals for those things................

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would call. If you know other parents, I'd discuss it with them as well. When I was a kid, I didn't tell my parents what was going on in school and, in hindsight, that was a mistake. I would bet a lot of parents don't even know what's going on.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep........ nor are most liberals for those things................

 

That's the thing - talking like that is going to intimidate and silence anyone who is even dipping his little toe into liberal ideas.  The experience of the kids in class who disagree with the prof is going to be excruciating.  Teachers (at that level) can't be allowed to create a hostile environment regardless of views.

 

Edited by SKL
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the principal and school board like? We had the reverse problem of OP's being in a blue state. Luckily the principal got a higher post in another district in curriculum planning. The teachers my kids had in K-4th were generally mild but I have heard teachers being extremely bias in political views from middle school kids in my kids outside activities.

 

ETA:

The school board is lots worse and some lost in the recent elections for other reasons.

hmmm, we had an elementary principal who was eventually transferred to the curriculum dept - because the union made it impossible to FIRE HER.   it took a new district superintendent coming in to do that much.  the previous one was her friend and constantly covered her patootie.   despite-  the involved parents pulling their kids (including me), and high teacher turnover.

calling her incompetent would be an understatement.

 

I would call.

 

I don't think any specific political views should be pushed in school, and he's clearly crossed the line from what you wrote. Discussion is great, creating a safe space to learn and dialogue - absolutely. But teachers in a PS (this is PS, right?) need to be neutral re: politics. In a private school, obviously we'd be signing our approval with the tuition check, so I still might call if concerned, but if it's a conservative leaning school I'd either expect it or not be surprised (and presumably if our kids were there, I'd support that). PS is a different animal. I think it sounds like he's using his platform and power to promote his own views. I find that inappropriate from conservatives or liberals.

even in most private schools - I'd want them to stay politically neutralish.

for PS - it's way over the line.

 

I have found teachers who focus on their opinions (no matter their viewpoint or subject) don't know enough about their subject to be teaching. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's the thing - talking like that is going to intimidate and silence anyone who is even dipping his little toe into liberal ideas.  The experience of the kids in class who disagree with the prof is going to be excruciating.  Teachers (at that level) can't be allowed to create a hostile environment regardless of views.

 

this is a 9th grade teacher.   (in some ways, I find it  worse becasue these are kids, just starting to actually have independent thoughts.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was in high school, my teachers generally mentioned their opinion when politics was relevant to the class.  Everyone with a brain has an opinion.  There's no point hiding that.  Somehow all my teachers managed to do this without offending or intimidating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

this is a 9th grade teacher.   (in some ways, I find it  worse becasue these are kids, just starting to actually have independent thoughts.)

 

I know.  Kids in 9th grade have opinions.  They need to not only develop their understanding, but also learn how to participate in a civil discussion.  Teacher is not helping either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

he could start asking questions about the constitution, why various amendments were made.  why it switched from senators being appointed by their state gov to elected,etc.  how the various branches function against each other.. .

 

get all the kids asking questions pertinent to the subject of the class.  none of which involves any living politician.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know.  Kids in 9th grade have opinions.  They need to not only develop their understanding, but also learn how to participate in a civil discussion.  Teacher is not helping either.

 

he's a teacher - not a professor.

 

I remember adults trying to steamroll me at that age.  I simply shut up and never opened my mouth, didn't change my opinion on anything.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I'd call.

 

I work for a private Christian school and a state university. Both schools said that we should not bring personal politics into the classroom if at all possible. At the private school, we were told not to tell students who we were voting for and to handle it all only in terms of discussing the rhetoric of both sides. That seemed overly conservative to me at first, but it did indeed keep things even. I actually had a student ask me yesterday who I voted for when we were talking about a related issue, and frankly it was a nice out to say that the school policy is that I not reveal that.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's the thing - talking like that is going to intimidate and silence anyone who is even dipping his little toe into liberal ideas.  The experience of the kids in class who disagree with the prof is going to be excruciating.  Teachers (at that level) can't be allowed to create a hostile environment regardless of views.

 

 

True......... it would be just as wrong for the teacher to say something outlandish that a few extreme conservatives adhere to, and say "Republicans think this "x" crazy thing"........

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Professor Peter Singer at Princeton (my alma mater, so I know it was real and not a fake news thing) has been an outspoken advocate for the post-birth abortion (though I'm not sure that was the name he used) idea.  And I think he has gotten wide-spread media attention for it which may be increasingly catching on.   I consider myself a liberal, but to be against this idea did, at the time I first ran into it (1990's?), make others villify me as a conservative.  It was, in fact, being looked at as the reasonable view for a liberal to take.  Even though as I saw it, it seemed more like a Hitler getting rid of people he considered defective type of fascist thing to consider doing.  

 

Or shades of The Giver where people are euthanized when they are too old, too ill, don't follow the rules right.

 

As I understand it there are issues related to universal health care and how much to do (pay) for an infant who might be in a vegetative state, for example.

 

I think the idea that all liberals support that (or have even heard of the idea) is obviously wrong and your son is right to be upset.

 

But at the same time, I think you should know that IME this is not something that his teacher has made up out of thin air.

 

You might want to have your son look up what is going on with Peter Singer, and also what, if anything, is going on with the post-birth (or other names may be used) abortion idea for the Netherlands and perhaps for states like Oregon, which have right to die legislation in place.  And also how it relates to ACA/universal health insurance ideas.

 

Edited by Pen
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, do you need his grades for anything in the future? And are you worried that this teacher would retaliate by bullying your son if you complained? If so, don't rock the boat right now, but speak up when your son leaves. 

 

If you think that your son will not be affected, let the school board and the principal know what is going on in this teacher's class.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In re the Trump advocacy, I agree that he should not be doing that.  My ds's school used some articles in magazines, Junior Scholastic to try to understand election issues and talk about them. Some of the kids talked about who their parents were voting for apparently and so on, but so far as I know the teacher kept it as a discussion and understanding political cartoons and discussing electoral college etc.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would wait until your son is done, and you have printed official transcripts of all his time there . . . (As, in my world view, my kid's welfare comes above most of my general philosophical principles . . . So, I'd want my kid out of the line of fire before I went to war.)

 

And then I'd go on a rampage.

 

School board (public meetings -- bring some friends), meeting with the principal, etc, etc. 

 

If your son is willing, I'd ask him to make some discreet recordings (smart phone/body cam/whatever) of the class/teacher for the remaining days your son has his class. Could make some very good viral videos . . .

 

THIS IS WHY OUR ELECTORATE DID WHAT IT DID.  The rejection of science, the anti-intellectualism, the equalization of facts carefully presented by a coherent and competent journalist vs the random thoughts based on made up nonsense vs the intentionally misleading "fake news" stories put out by a corrupted empire of news-tainment idiots . . .

 

Journalism is nearly dead. As is academic integrity. Accepting this abuse of position as OK is not a responsible option, IMHO. Fight it. Make a loud and angry noise. 

 

The teacher is just a moron with a STAGE. Very appropriate considering his preferred candidate. I'd go to war and try to get his ass fired. Or at least make him as miserable as possible. 

 

Thank goodness you are bringing your son home. What a nightmare. 

 

(((hugs)))

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, do you need his grades for anything in the future? And are you worried that this teacher would retaliate by bullying your son if you complained? If so, don't rock the boat right now, but speak up when your son leaves. 

 

If you think that your son will not be affected, let the school board and the principal know what is going on in this teacher's class.

 

Yes, there is the concern that he would be graded more harshly. He's getting a 95 in the class now and he'd like to leave with an A. the teacher is obviously very biased, and my son is worried he would find out who complained about him. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Professor Peter Singer at Princeton (my alma mater, so I know it was real and not a fake news thing) has been an outspoken advocate for the post-birth abortion (though I'm not sure that was the name he used) idea. And I think he has gotten wide-spread media attention for it which may be increasingly catching on. I consider myself a liberal, but to be against this idea did, at the time I first ran into it (1990's?), make others villify me as a conservative. It was, in fact, being looked at as the reasonable view for a liberal to take. Even though as I saw it, it seemed more like a Hitler getting rid of people he considered defective type of fascist thing to consider doing.

 

Or shades of The Giver where people are euthanized when they are too old, too ill, don't follow the rules right.

 

As I understand it there are issues related to universal health care and how much to do (pay) for an infant who might be in a vegetative state, for example.

 

I think the idea that all liberals support that (or have even heard of the idea) is obviously wrong and your son is right to be upset.

 

But at the same time, I think you should know that IME this is not something that his teacher has made up out of thin air.

 

You might want to have your son look up what is going on with Peter Singer, and also what, if anything, is going on with the post-birth (or other names may be used) abortion idea for the Netherlands and perhaps for states like Oregon, which have right to die legislation in place. And also how it relates to ACA/universal health insurance ideas.

That's what I was thinking of as well. It would be worth figuring out if this was a random diatribe or actually connected to a greater discussion, as one has more merit than the other. But I agree that polarizing all or nothing characterizations are hardly helpful. I got given plenty of those in high school and college (republicans are selfish and hate the poor, George Bush is a war criminal, etc) with no recourse and isn't helpful to furthering understanding or discussion in the class - I'd say that and the lack of real civics content from the description are big issue and worth bringing to attention of the principal. The pro Trump stuff, with his cabinet and such? A non issue compared to the rest, IMO.

 

Even with a highly partisan teacher I wouldn't expect retaliatory lowered grades, but it can happen. I don't think it's common thankfully.

Edited by Arctic Mama
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would wait until your son is done, and you have printed official transcripts of all his time there . . . (As, in my world view, my kid's welfare comes above most of my general philosophical principles . . . So, I'd want my kid out of the line of fire before I went to war.)

 

And then I'd go on a rampage.

 

School board (public meetings -- bring some friends), meeting with the principal, etc, etc. 

 

If your son is willing, I'd ask him to make some discreet recordings (smart phone/body cam/whatever) of the class/teacher for the remaining days your son has his class. Could make some very good viral videos . . .

 

THIS IS WHY OUR ELECTORATE DID WHAT IT DID.  The rejection of science, the anti-intellectualism, the equalization of facts carefully presented by a coherent and competent journalist vs the random thoughts based on made up nonsense vs the intentionally misleading "fake news" stories put out by a corrupted empire of news-tainment idiots . . .

 

Journalism is nearly dead. As is academic integrity. Accepting this abuse of position as OK is not a responsible option, IMHO. Fight it. Make a loud and angry noise. 

 

The teacher is just a moron with a STAGE. Very appropriate considering his preferred candidate. I'd go to war and try to get his ass fired. Or at least make him as miserable as possible. 

 

Thank goodness you are bringing your son home. What a nightmare. 

 

(((hugs)))

 

 

The IB program is supposed to be particularly about critical thinking--HOW to think about things using facts, primary sources, and then coming up with intelligent, logical arguments. What this teacher is doing is so NOT in line with that thinking: using fake news sources, propaganda, the works--it would be funny if it weren't so wrong and offensive.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I'd call.

 

I work for a private Christian school and a state university. Both schools said that we should not bring personal politics into the classroom if at all possible. At the private school, we were told not to tell students who we were voting for and to handle it all only in terms of discussing the rhetoric of both sides. That seemed overly conservative to me at first, but it did indeed keep things even. I actually had a student ask me yesterday who I voted for when we were talking about a related issue, and frankly it was a nice out to say that the school policy is that I not reveal that.

 

 

To be honest I am surprised there isn't a policy like this in place at our school, given the current political climate. I cannot convey how disgusted I am on so many levels. Using fake news in an American Govt class? What's next? Using Breitbart as a valid source? But I tend to be very emotional about these things, and DS is NOT--he's quiet, studious and hardworking, and I just don't want to insert myself inappropriately or at the wrong time.

I like the idea of doing this after he has his first semester grades. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The IB program is supposed to be particularly about critical thinking--HOW to think about things using facts, primary sources, and then coming up with intelligent, logical arguments. What this teacher is doing is so NOT in line with that thinking: using fake news sources, propaganda, the works--it would be funny if it weren't so wrong and offensive.

 

Exactly. The teacher is 100% in the wrong and needs to be removed from any teaching position, let alone teaching government!! He's abusing his position and doing the exact opposite of what he should be doing. Thus, I'd go to war . . . to the extent you can manage . . . It's not your duty to get him fired . . . but I'd do my best to the extent I had the energy/time/metaphorical bullets . . . As I'd see it as my duty to do what I could handle to make the world a better place, and certainly getting him out of the classroom would be a significant improvement for the thousands of students he'd impact over a career. Kids deserve good teachers. He's clearly not one.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be up at that school talking to the principal so fast no-one would know what had hit them.

 

Is grade sabotage really a big problem over there ? Waiting seems like it will do nothing buy downplay your justifiable anger at the lines this teacher has crossed.

 

I don't know. We are brand new to this school, and to public schools in general. I wouldn't even know who to talk to--probably the principal, right?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well now that I think about it, is it possible the guy was giving examples of extreme things that are said during campaigns?  Even if that is the case, the abortion example is really a sucky one to bring up in school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tread carefully. You're making accusations based on hearsay from a child. You may or may not being getting the full story and context.

 

 

To be honest, i don't see how bringing up such a partisan topic in a 9th grade Government class would ever be contextually appropriate.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...