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Mom in Va. who lived through Cultural Revolution addresses school board regarding Critical Race Theory


Fritz
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1 hour ago, Fritz said:

This went on for over a year with remote schooling. The teacher's union fought tooth and nail to continue with remote learning via cameras rather than return to the classroom. Now they've been found out by the parents from those zoom lessons what was actually being taught (and not just CRT) and they suddenly care about "privacy".

This isn't the same thing to me for many reasons. Hosting the class over video is not necessarily the same thing as recording the class on video. Many of my kids classes are specifically not video taped, and the teachers let us know that they wouldn't be, for privacy reasons. Most people I've talked to say that none of the kids keep their cameras on during online lessons (and among my own kids, this is true for my kids in high school and college, but not the younger one). I know some teachers have rules about it, but many don't. In general, older kids don't want to be on camera. That said, there had to be specific court rulings to determine if the Zoom sessions could be recorded and how they could be distributed and used if they were. I just think a lot of things are trying to be linked together here that have nothing to do with eachother (CRT, recording classrooms in school, conducting lessons online during a pandemic).

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1 hour ago, Frances said:

Honestly, I’m not sure either side is very good at consistency or sticking to principles. 

Yes, we're all human beings. Circumstances change and people change. 

But we keep hearing about the so-called illiberal left. Everyone wrings their hands about cancel culture. We hear about "the mob" stopping discussions. But yet we seem to be able to have those discussions. 

Yesterday some guy published an article arguing that the graves at the residential schools in Canada were actually good. Is he "cancelled" now? 

But there are now multiple bills passed in different states that will restrict the freedom of teachers to adequately teach their students. It will instill a spirit of fear in the classroom. 

Who is passing those laws? 

People want to believe myths about how persecuted conservatives are on campus and in the schools and corporations. Where do those myths originate? Everyone who believes them will tell you anecdotal things about it. They are deeply ingrained beliefs. 

But are they true? 

Is there any doubt that these bills are true? 

So we're not talking about the same things at all with the both sidesism. 

Certainly there are nasty, crazy people on both sides. 

There are an entire group of - I'm not sure what to call them, they're not journalists - commentators who have built careers on discussing, over and over again, how the left is so illiberal. 

Part of their shtick is write, "I'll probably be cancelled for this but..." 

But do they get cancelled? Do they go away? 

Certainly people (both from the left and right) have been kicked off of Facebook and Twitter. Those are private companies and they have a right to enforce a code of conduct. I'm not sure they always act as they should. 

 

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2 hours ago, Fritz said:

This went on for over a year with remote schooling. The teacher's union fought tooth and nail to continue with remote learning via cameras rather than return to the classroom. Now they've been found out by the parents from those zoom lessons what was actually being taught (and not just CRT) and they suddenly care about "privacy".

Well I’m not a teacher.  I’m a parent who would not be very happy about it.  We sign a consent form for every activity our kids take part on for photography purposes and we’re suddenly going to jump to full time video footage open to any parent who wants it? 

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On both sidesism:

Quote

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – A Sullivan County school teacher and baseball coach is facing possible termination by the school district.

The charges of dismissal come after two incidents pointed out by the school district.

The first was after a parent who complained in early February about an opinion article Matthew Hawn assigned to his Contemporary Issues students by Ta-Nehisi Coats entitled “The First White President,” which the complaining parent claimed painted the former president in a negative light.

Update - he was terminated. 

Sullivan County school board approves teacher termination charges, supporters outraged

A few posters have argued for 25 pages about the how terrible CRT is. And we've also heard about the terrible illiberalism of the left. 

But a high school teacher was just fired for assigning a Ta-Nehisi Coates essay and a poem about white privilege. 

One thing is not like the other. 

 

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8 hours ago, Dmmetler said:

I will also add an advantage. Normally, when a teacher is being evaluated, it means an administrator is physically in the room, which absolutely changes the behavior of the kids. Being able to watch through a camera (or, in a classroom set up for it, behind a mirror) means that the administrator gets to see much more of a normal day. Which in turn, makes it easier for the administrator to support said teacher. 

Aw, you reminded me of when my high school teachers had their evaluations.  We were so nervous for them and were on our best behavior because we wanted them to do well. I'm sure the admins saw right through that! 

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

On both sidesism:

Update - he was terminated. 

Sullivan County school board approves teacher termination charges, supporters outraged

A few posters have argued for 25 pages about the how terrible CRT is. And we've also heard about the terrible illiberalism of the left. 

But a high school teacher was just fired for assigning a Ta-Nehisi Coates essay and a poem about white privilege. 

One thing is not like the other. 

 

Wow. I haven’t had a kid in public high school, so I’ve lost touch with what is considered acceptable. They say it wasn’t the topic but that the video used inappropriate words, so I looked it up and see it has two f-bombs and a sh*t. Isn’t that about Catcher in the Rye level? Or am I misremembering? The irony of being fired over this particular poem, though. 
https://www.wattpad.com/554232322-spoken-word-white-privilege

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I read the accompanying documents for the teacher’s firing.

he was given a letter of reprimand in Feb abt using the Coates article both bc of language and also bc he (the teacher) did not present an opposing view. The teacher stated there was no credible source for a differing point of view to the Coates article.

That Feb letter said he had already received in writing earlier in the year a statement abt his role as a teacher in that class...that he is required to provide differing points of view.

Then, later in the year, he played the Lacey video. Both issues that he had been reprimanded for occurred  again...inappropriate language and also no other opposing view (to the poem) was offered.

It seems like the point of the class is to look at both sides of contemporary issues/current events. And the guy didn’t do that, according to those documents. He was given more than one chance, too.

the one letter also states a student reported before the teacher played the video, the teacher said, “I’m going to get fired fo this” 

So 2 written letters...reminders of the purpose of the class before he played the video. One of those letters mentioned do not use inappropriate language.  And if that student is accurate, the teacher knew he was doing something that was endangering his job.

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4 hours ago, pinball said:

I read the accompanying documents for the teacher’s firing.

he was given a letter of reprimand in Feb abt using the Coates article both bc of language and also bc he (the teacher) did not present an opposing view. The teacher stated there was no credible source for a differing point of view to the Coates article.

I had only read the poem yesterday. Now I’ve read the Coates article and I’m even more baffled. It’s a very long piece, and the only “language” is multiple uses of the n-word in part of it. But if a long, thought provoking piece about race and class can’t be studied in class because it includes those words, that’s going to eliminate a lot of material. That doesn’t make sense to me for high schoolers. As far as an opposing view, can you come up with a suggestion that would be an opposing view to this? If this was just presented without any class discussion afterward and if the students were expected to agree with everything in it to be counted correct on assignments and exams, that would be a problem. I can’t imagine that’s the case though. It’s a piece that lends itself very well to having opposing viewpoint discussions after reading. Coates himself introduces competing views to his throughout the essay. I suspect the politics of the piece may have had a more significant bearing on how parents responded than anything else (though if any of them read it all the way through, they would see Coates is equal opportunity in that way, and Sanders, H. Clinton, and Biden get called out later in the essay). I thought it was a really interesting piece and think it would make for great class discussion at the high school level. To fire a tenured high school teacher over that and a single poem with a couple swear words seems like a gross over reaction. 

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8 minutes ago, KSera said:

I had only read the poem yesterday. Now I’ve read the Coates article and I’m even more baffled. It’s a very long piece, and the only “language” is multiple uses of the n-word in part of it. But if a long, thought provoking piece about race and class can’t be studied in class because it includes those words, that’s going to eliminate a lot of material. That doesn’t make sense to me for high schoolers. As far as an opposing view, can you come up with a suggestion that would be an opposing view to this? If this was just presented without any class discussion afterward and if the students were expected to agree with everything in it to be counted correct on assignments and exams, that would be a problem. I can’t imagine that’s the case though. It’s a piece that lends itself very well to having opposing viewpoint discussions after reading. Coates himself introduces competing views to his throughout the essay. I suspect the politics of the piece may have had a more significant bearing on how parents responded than anything else (though if any of them read it all the way through, they would see Coates is equal opportunity in that way, and Sanders, H. Clinton, and Biden get called out later in the essay). I thought it was a really interesting piece and think it would make for great class discussion at the high school level. To fire a tenured high school teacher over that and a single poem with a couple swear words seems like a gross over reaction. 

Yes. 

What is meant by an "opposing view" anyway? With an essay like Coates, there isn't an "opposing" view that I can think of. Maybe another article saying that Trump isn't racist? But the article is so much more than that. 

Besides, it doesn't seem like the teacher assigned the article as an argument. He assigned it to spark discussion amongst his students. So how would that need an "opposing" view? 

Besides, we all know that there are all kinds of other writings assigned to the students in that school, very similar to Coates', that aren't assigned with an "opposing" view. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Fritz said:

https://www.newsweek.com/misguided-argument-against-bans-teaching-critical-race-theory-opinion-1607753

French et. al omitted the crucial words "an individual should" and then assigned an entirely foreign meaning to the statute they attacked. The Tennessee bill simply does not say what they claim: that schools may not teach lessons that make students feel uncomfortable. It says that schools may not teach lessons that include or promote the concept that students should feel uncomfortable simply due to their race. It would not prohibit teaching about Jim Crow just because some white kids might feel bad after learning undisputed facts. It would prohibit teaching Robin DiAngelo, or similar authors, who make the racist and demoralizing argument that "white identity is inherently racist."

https://nypost.com/2021/07/09/disingenuous-defenses-of-critical-race-theory/

Critical race theorists, of course, have the right to express their beliefs as individuals, but voters and taxpayers are not obligated to subsidize their speech and include it in the public school curriculum.

After all, the public education system is not a “marketplace of ideas”; it is a state-run monopoly with the power of force. Even under the most dogmatic libertarian philosophy, monopoly conditions justify, even require, government intervention.

The anti-critical race theory bills do not restrict teaching and inquiry about the history of racism; they restrict indoctrination, abusive pedagogies and state-sanctioned racism.

In Idaho, for example, the law tells public schools they cannot “compel students to personally affirm, adopt or adhere to” noxious ideas, such as one race “is inherently superior or inferior” or that an individual “should be adversely treated on the basis of race.”

 

In the Bari Weiss podcast and in the Times op-ed, French and his colleagues appear to take a third position: They claim that many of the practices of critical race theory are already illegal under federal civil-rights law and, therefore, new legislation is unnecessary.

This might be true as a matter of pure legal theory, but in reality, thousands of public schools are already engaging in these abusive practices and most parents do not have the resources to file a federal civil-rights lawsuit at every infraction — and the Biden administration has dropped all enforcement against critical race theory in public education, eliminating another avenue of protection.

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What worries me about the U. Nebraska statement is that I can see state boards of regents adopting it wholesale. There are entire departments in many schools that simply cannot exist with those statements taken as a given. You can't honestly study history, or sociology, or current cultural situations, or literature, or Law if you assume that America is perfect and that everyone can achieve the American Dream?  

 

How the heck is that "education, free speech and sound learning", when you're denying the lived experience of what is likely a majority of your students, and many of the faculty???

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

We should expect to see these kinds of attacks on academic integrity in other 'red' states soon. 

 

"Whereas America is the best country in the world..." 

I'm embarrassed for them. 

 

Is it normal for universities to adopt statements like this? I didn’t think universities imposed curriculum like that. I thought that ended at the K-12 level.

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18 minutes ago, KSera said:

Is it normal for universities to adopt statements like this? I didn’t think universities imposed curriculum like that. I thought that ended at the K-12 level.

No. This is not normal. None of this is normal.

It's pretty hard to argue that the laws aren't banning speech/restricting what is shared in classrooms when people are using those laws to fire teachers and try to get picture books about Ruby Bridges tossed out of elementary schools for being insufficiently rosy. A very little girl, now 60+ woman, lived it but today's kids are too precious to read about it. It's sick. I didn't actually believe people would be so stupid and so bold but there you have it. They literally intend to use these laws to white wash/ erase history. https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/local/williamson/2021/06/11/wit-wisdom-curriculum-williamson-county-schools-critical-race-theory-criticism/5192703001/

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24 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

A Georgia teacher resigned after a white parent complained to the school about something said by an African American student before class. 

 

 

That's the third similar story I've read just today. It's really disturbing, actually. If I had kids in schools in any of these area, I would feel I had no choice but to pull them out and homeschool, because a high school literature classroom that can't discuss current events or racism or anything that might offend a (white) student is a watered down pablum kind of education. I'm bothered to think what kind of adults will be turned out by these school districts and what that means for our nation. How will they manage in college? (ETA: I suppose they could go to the University of Nebraska)

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Without getting into the weeds, schools don't work if students feel entitled to be offensive to each other. 

No student should be deliberately offending other students on the basis of race, sex, ability, class or orientation.

There cannot be any kind of caste system at play. That's the whole point of tackling racist bias in staff, right?

Yes, it's unfair to those from oppressed groups that they don't get their turn at being offensive, after have long suffered offence. And I'm sure the idea of campus civility is considered White.

Nevertheless, in environments where students are compelled to attend*, the rights of all students to a non-hostile place of study are equal.

*Public schools K-12

I'd back any student of colour under my care to her right to the above.  But I'd also have to back any male student, or any white student too. In school, they are individuals, all deserving of respect, not representatives of a racial or sex identity group.

Outside compelled environments, I'll back the right to offence all the way. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Fritz said:

https://nypost.com/2021/07/09/disingenuous-defenses-of-critical-race-theory/

Critical race theorists, of course, have the right to express their beliefs as individuals, but voters and taxpayers are not obligated to subsidize their speech and include it in the public school curriculum.

After all, the public education system is not a “marketplace of ideas”; it is a state-run monopoly with the power of force. Even under the most dogmatic libertarian philosophy, monopoly conditions justify, even require, government intervention.

The anti-critical race theory bills do not restrict teaching and inquiry about the history of racism; they restrict indoctrination, abusive pedagogies and state-sanctioned racism.

In Idaho, for example, the law tells public schools they cannot “compel students to personally affirm, adopt or adhere to” noxious ideas, such as one race “is inherently superior or inferior” or that an individual “should be adversely treated on the basis of race.”

 

In the Bari Weiss podcast and in the Times op-ed, French and his colleagues appear to take a third position: They claim that many of the practices of critical race theory are already illegal under federal civil-rights law and, therefore, new legislation is unnecessary.

This might be true as a matter of pure legal theory, but in reality, thousands of public schools are already engaging in these abusive practices and most parents do not have the resources to file a federal civil-rights lawsuit at every infraction — and the Biden administration has dropped all enforcement against critical race theory in public education, eliminating another avenue of protection.

I heard Greg Lukianoff interviewed yesterday ( from FIRE) and he seemed to suggest there were plenty of orgs set up to take these cases pro bono. 

I wasn't 100% convinced by that. Taking a case to court is a huge undertaking. 

I'm not convinced by the bans though. 

And yet - what to do? 

Exercise parent choice, I suppose, where possible, about where the child attends school. Doesn't seem adequate. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Without getting into the weeds, schools don't work if students feel entitled to be offensive to each other. 

No student should be deliberately offending other students on the basis of race, sex, ability, class or orientation.

There cannot be any kind of caste system at play. That's the whole point of tackling racist bias in staff, right?

Yes, it's unfair to those from oppressed groups that they don't get their turn at being offensive, after have long suffered offence. And I'm sure the idea of campus civility is considered White.

Nevertheless, in environments where students are compelled to attend*, the rights of all students to a non-hostile place of study are equal.

*Public schools K-12

I'd back any student of colour under my care to her right to the above.  But I'd also have to back any male student, or any white student too. In school, they are individuals, all deserving of respect, not representatives of a racial or sex identity group.

Outside compelled environments, I'll back the right to offence all the way. 

 

 

The student wasn’t being deliberately offensive or otherwise. If you bothered to read the story, or look it up, the student said WRT to the 1/6 insurrection, ‘Why aren’t those people being arrested, if they were black, they’d be in jail.’  That opinion/observation triggered a parental complaint. The district where that happened also has a history of poor ethnic representation in leadership positions and serious issues with disparate treatment.

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10 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Without getting into the weeds, schools don't work if students feel entitled to be offensive to each other. 

No student should be deliberately offending other students on the basis of race, sex, ability, class or orientation.

 

I agree students shouldn't be offensive to eachother and shouldn't be deliberately offending other students based on their ace, sex, ability, class or orientation. In the case above where the teacher was called out and resigned, the student (and then parent) complained was not the target of deliberate offense. An African American student made an off hand comment that the results would have been different had the January 6th insurrectionists been Black, and the white student complained to their parent who complained to the school. The school instructed the teacher he should have redirected that student and that schools are no place for discussions of politics or anything controversial. I think that's ridiculous at the high school level.

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51 minutes ago, KSera said:

That's the third similar story I've read just today. It's really disturbing, actually. If I had kids in schools in any of these area, I would feel I had no choice but to pull them out and homeschool, because a high school literature classroom that can't discuss current events or racism or anything that might offend a (white) student is a watered down pablum kind of education. I'm bothered to think what kind of adults will be turned out by these school districts and what that means for our nation. How will they manage in college? (ETA: I suppose they could go to the University of Nebraska)

The idea that parent choice is a thing when these policies apply statewide is ludicrous. Public schools (charters are also public schools) are subject to the same laws.

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22 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

The student wasn’t being deliberately offensive or otherwise. If you bothered to read the story, or look it up, the student said WRT to the 1/6 insurrection, ‘Why aren’t those people being arrested, if they were black, they’d be in jail.’  That opinion/observation triggered a parental complaint. The district where that happened also has a history of poor ethnic representation in leadership positions and serious issues with disparate treatment.

What makes this even worse is that what the student said was true. We all know it. Why would we expect a teacher to "re-direct" (what does that even mean) a student who makes a true statement? 

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6 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

What makes this even worse is that what the student said was true. We all know it. Why would we expect a teacher to "re-direct" (what does that even mean) a student who makes a true statement? 

This is true also. I was telling my DH about the Ruby Bridges book being banned, and he made the comment to wonder allowed the impact of the photographs being edited so that Ruby looked to be a small, white girl, surrounded by large crowds of angry, yelling Black adults. The banning of that particular book in schools hits me particularly hard, because the Ruby Bridges picture book has typically been how I initially introduce the Civil Rights Movement to my kids. It makes me cry every time.

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34 minutes ago, KSera said:

I agree students shouldn't be offensive to eachother and shouldn't be deliberately offending other students based on their ace, sex, ability, class or orientation. In the case above where the teacher was called out and resigned, the student (and then parent) complained was not the target of deliberate offense. An African American student made an off hand comment that the results would have been different had the January 6th insurrectionists been Black, and the white student complained to their parent who complained to the school. The school instructed the teacher he should have redirected that student and that schools are no place for discussions of politics or anything controversial. I think that's ridiculous at the high school level.

It is the teacher's job to manage classroom dynamics. If you are dealing with politics in the classroom, even more so. It's a hard task; if a teacher does it successfully, it minimises complaints, both genuine and frivolous.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

It is the teacher's job to manage classroom dynamics. If you are dealing with politics in the classroom, even more so. It's a hard task; if a teacher does it successfully, it minimises complaints, both genuine and frivolous.

 

 

I disagree with the premise that controversial topics shouldn’t be discussed in a high school literature class. I would’ve had to resign as well if I were him, because I can’t imagine teaching that way.

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7 minutes ago, KSera said:

I disagree with the premise that controversial topics shouldn’t be discussed in a high school literature class. I would’ve had to resign as well if I were him, because I can’t imagine teaching that way.

A teacher can raise controversial issues. I know - I've done it. But you must always remember that your role, in charge of students, is to teach, not proselytize. 

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1 hour ago, KSera said:

That's the third similar story I've read just today. It's really disturbing, actually. If I had kids in schools in any of these area, I would feel I had no choice but to pull them out and homeschool, because a high school literature classroom that can't discuss current events or racism or anything that might offend a (white) student is a watered down pablum kind of education. I'm bothered to think what kind of adults will be turned out by these school districts and what that means for our nation. How will they manage in college? (ETA: I suppose they could go to the University of Nebraska)

Keep’em dumb so they’ll vote the right way. The plan is pretty obvious. 

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27 minutes ago, KSera said:

I disagree with the premise that controversial topics shouldn’t be discussed in a high school literature class. I would’ve had to resign as well if I were him, because I can’t imagine teaching that way.

And in this case, the teacher wasn't even guiding a class discussion. A student made the comment in response to seeing the news. The teacher just happened to be standing there and overheard it. The idea that he had an obligation to re-direct (how?) this student for making a true statement is completely ridiculous. 

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23 minutes ago, Plum said:

I just happened upon this book The Political Classroom. It's about teaching civil discourse and politics in high school. There's an NPR article about it that explained it. And their website has a whole bunch of resource links and an outline of the book

 

 

Does this level of difficult political discussion really happen in high school classrooms or is that just something I see on tv? It seems idealized to me. That last part about political seepage I think is what most parents are concerned about. 

I 100% believe there are highly skilled teachers who can teach difficult political issues in the context of their subject areas. I don't know how common it would be to have access to a highly skilled teacher of this kind. 

I know I studied a subject that dealt with difficult and controversial topics  (in high school) and there was not political seepage from the teacher. Counterpoint is one way that teacher avoided charges of activism vs tuition.

I knew the teacher's politics from elsewhere, but he did not foreground them in the classroom. 

Thats the model I use teaching current events ( not entirely relevant, as my students are not compelled). Present + counterpoint - it's best if my students remain unaware of my personal or political views - they are not my congregation.

I just looked at the book outline. It actually looks really interesting, and it seems to take v seriously the task of teaching political issues. My personal issue is not that it's done 9-12, but that it's done simplistically and without reference to what evidence base exists, in the literature or elsewhere. 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

A teacher can raise controversial issues. I know - I've done it. But you must always remember that your role, in charge of students, is to teach, not proselytize. 

The problem is that the teacher was specifically told that he may not raise controversial issues. Further, he wasn’t the one who made the comment and it wasn’t part of a lesson (it was before class). 

2 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I 100% believe there are highly skilled teachers who can teach difficult political issues in the context of their subject areas. I don't know how common it would be to have access to a highly skilled teacher of this kind. 

I know I studied a subject that dealt with difficult and controversial topics  (in high school) and there was not political seepage from the teacher. Counterpoint is one way that teacher avoided charges of activism vs tuition.

I knew the teacher's politics from elsewhere, but he did not foreground them in the classroom. 

Thats the model I use teaching current events ( not entirely relevant, as my students are not compelled). Present + counterpoint - it's best if my students remain unaware of my personal or political views - they are not my congregation.

 

 

 

I agree this is the ideal way for teachers to engage their classes in these topics. 

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1 minute ago, KSera said:

The problem is that the teacher was specifically told that he may not raise controversial issues. Further, he wasn’t the one who made the comment and it wasn’t part of a lesson (it was before class). 

I agree this is the ideal way for teachers to engage their classes in these topics. 

Yeah, I'm speaking generally.

Parents will get unhappy if a teacher abdicates management of group dynamics. It's part of your job. It extends to the playground. 

 

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7 minutes ago, KSera said:

The problem is that the teacher was specifically told that he may not raise controversial issues. Further, he wasn’t the one who made the comment and it wasn’t part of a lesson (it was before class). 

I agree this is the ideal way for teachers to engage their classes in these topics. 

And, seriously this is becoming patently absurd…there are no flipping playgrounds in high school.

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I was teaching elementary music at an urban public school when the Littleton school shooting happened, and was on Breakfast duty when one of the 5th graders put his head down on his arms and was shaking and obviously crying. As the kids left  to go to class, I sat down with him to see what was going on and what I needed to do. His statement was “they only care because they’re white kids. They could blow up our school and it wouldn’t make any difference.” This particular student’s older brother has been shot and killed while walking home from his fast food job, when he accidentally walked into a heated gang situation. This student had seen his brother’s killing justified and his brother smeared on local media.

 

Should I have redirected him? Or should I have let him cry and, once he was calm enough, let him go to class and let the school guidance counselor know that he needed support?

 

His statement was just as “political” as the one the high school teacher was supposed to redirect. 

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2 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I was teaching elementary music at an urban public school when the Littleton school shooting happened, and was on Breakfast duty when one of the 5th graders put his head down on his arms and was shaking and obviously crying. As the kids left  to go to class, I sat down with him to see what was going on and what I needed to do. His statement was “they only care because they’re white kids. They could blow up our school and it wouldn’t make any difference.” This particular student’s older brother has been shot and killed while walking home from his fast food job, when he accidentally walked into a heated gang situation. This student had seen his brother’s killing justified and his brother smeared on local media.

 

Should I have redirected him? Or should I have let him cry and, once he was calm enough, let him go to class and let the school guidance counselor know that he needed support?

 

His statement was just as “political” as the one the high school teacher was supposed to redirect. 

Of course you did the right thing. 

He was a student in distress, end of, and pastoral care comes first. 

I actually consider comfort + appropriate support to be a form of redirection from the (marginally) political content of his speech. Appropriately so.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Of course you did the right thing. 

He was a student in distress, end of, and pastoral care comes first. 

I actually consider comfort + appropriate support to be a form of redirection from the (marginally) political content of his speech. Appropriately so.

I don't think it's marginally political. The point is that it's hard to know where "politics" ends and "real life" begins. "They don't care about me because I'm black" is both deeply political and deeply personal. 

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23 hours ago, pinball said:

I read the accompanying documents for the teacher’s firing.

I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
 
Rev. Dr. MLK Jr.
 
Edited by Harpymom
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re so-called "CRT" bans evoking civil disobedience

3 hours ago, Harpymom said:
I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
 
Rev. Dr. MLK Jr.
 

When Ruby Bridge's picture book gets banned, this is actually inevitable.  There is no way for teachers to cover historical content. 

And, weirdly, a lot of people drawn to teaching actually are committed to covering historical content.

 

Teachers will be censured and fined (several bills call for $5,000 fines, for using content like Bridges' book or Coates' essay that are deemed, after the fact, to have "casued distress") or fired, that has already started.  Some of them will sue; that is the process by which these blanket and crazy-broad bans will be legally challenged, as they have to be. There will be Scopes trials in states throughout America.

I have to believe the state legislators ramming these laws through KNOW that. Evidently the political calculation must be that such circuses will serve their interests in the culture wars.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pam in CT
forgot the *fines* that many of the "CRT" ban laws include
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9 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

I have to believe the state legislators ramming these laws through KNOW that. Evidently the political calculation must be that such circuses will serve their interests in the culture wars.

This is so very true. And it works every. single. time.

(And is true regardless of one’s thoughts on any given political/social/cultural issue. IME, the bread and circuses ploy has been used successfully by every side for any given issue going back millennia. One merely needs to read Thucydides or Cicero to see it in play.) 

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red meat, bread and circuses, and culture wars

2 minutes ago, brehon said:

This is so very true. And it works every. single. time.

(And is true regardless of one’s thoughts on any given political/social/cultural issue. IME, the bread and circuses ploy has been used successfully by every side for any given issue going back millennia. One merely needs to read Thucydides or Cicero to see it in play.) 

It OFTEN works. 

Sometimes it backfires.  See: the very-rapidly replicated defense of marriage laws, and where and how they were challenged recently; or Bull Connor's furious defense of Jim Crow laws, and where and how they were challenged in their time.

(That is what MLK meant, in speaking about public and organized disobedience to unjust law "in reality expressing the highest respect for law."  If we believe in the Constitution, in the First Amendment, in equal protection, if we believe that SCOTUS really does apply the law according to principle and not by politics...

... if we truly do have the highest respect for law... 

(and nation, and democracy, and our capacity to lurch and jolt, with missteps and backsliding along the way, towards a More Perfect Union, with Liberty and Justice for All...)

... then these very bad laws will not stand.

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21 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

red meat, bread and circuses, and culture wars

It OFTEN works. 

Sometimes it backfires.  See: the very-rapidly replicated defense of marriage laws, and where and how they were challenged recently; or Bull Connor's furious defense of Jim Crow laws, and where and how they were challenged in their time.

(That is what MLK meant, in speaking about public and organized disobedience to unjust law "in reality expressing the highest respect for law."  If we believe in the Constitution, in the First Amendment, in equal protection, if we believe that SCOTUS really does apply the law according to principle and not by politics...

... if we truly do have the highest respect for law... 

(and nation, and democracy, and our capacity to lurch and jolt, with missteps and backsliding along the way, towards a More Perfect Union, with Liberty and Justice for All...)

... then these very bad laws will not stand.

There’s a good chance, however, that they might stand because states have such broad authority over what is/isn’t taught k-12 and state supreme courts are less non-partisan than SCOTUS. 

Beyond that, it’s shocking to see it suggested that students should be ‘redirected’ or directed to divorce their lived experiences from what they are learning in the classroom. That is pedagogical malpractice and personally invalidating. Evidence-based teaching encourages students to connect what they’re learning to real world situations, whether it’s math or poetry. It’s what helps information stick. These students are living monuments to history and their family stories are part of shared US history. I’m old enough to remember when Holocaust survivors, relatives of students, were welcomed in classrooms to share their stories, and when parents/grandparents were welcomed to share their stories of attending segregated schools so students could really understand the words/pictures on the pages. This is a giant leap backwards. Whether the laws are overturned or not, something that may take years, the damage has already begun to manifest.

Edited by Sneezyone
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18 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

red meat, bread and circuses, and culture wars

It OFTEN works. 

Sometimes it backfires.  See: the very-rapidly replicated defense of marriage laws, and where and how they were challenged recently; or Bull Connor's furious defense of Jim Crow laws, and where and how they were challenged in their time.

(That is what MLK meant, in speaking about public and organized disobedience to unjust law "in reality expressing the highest respect for law."  If we believe in the Constitution, in the First Amendment, in equal protection, if we believe that SCOTUS really does apply the law according to principle and not by politics...

... if we truly do have the highest respect for law... 

(and nation, and democracy, and our capacity to lurch and jolt, with missteps and backsliding along the way, towards a More Perfect Union, with Liberty and Justice for All...)

... then these very bad laws will not stand.

What you say is true.

What I mean, though, is that those types of laws (or proposals if they haven’t yet been voted into law) serve the general purpose of whipping up ill feelings of one side for the other. I look at it as two related but slightly different issues. It almost doesn’t matter to the laws’ proponents whether the law stands legally (as these bans shouldn’t and hopefully don’t pass constitutional muster); what matters is galvanizing the base. Either way (the law stands or is overturned) the goal was achieved — dividing the populace into polarized camps for the benefit of polarizers. 

“Qui bono” and “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” are two phrases I like to bear in mind when the fans of division are flamed. 

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Here’s a nice breakdown that addresses the the issue from multiple angles.  

https://www.thefire.org/13-important-points-in-the-campus-k-12-critical-race-theory-debate/

“The reality is, as usual, complicated. Proponents of these bills need to realize that they can’t legislate these ideas out of existence, and that the more egregious bills are not only unconstitutional and thus totally futile, but throw fuel on an already raging culture war fire. Opponents of these bills need to read the bills and be honest about what’s actually in them and recognize that their opponents are motivated by something other than a desire to hide the true history of slavery. It is my hope that, wherever you lie on this issue, this article has given you a greater understanding of the opposing side. And if not, you’re welcome to join those yelling at me across both sides of the aisle!”

 

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because it's all about the base, about the base

7 minutes ago, brehon said:

....What I mean, though, is that those types of laws (or proposals if they haven’t yet been voted into law) serve the general purpose of whipping up ill feelings of one side for the other. I look at it as two related but slightly different issues. It almost doesn’t matter to the laws’ proponents whether the law stands legally (as these bans shouldn’t and hopefully don’t pass constitutional muster); what matters is galvanizing the base. Either way (the law stands or is overturned) the goal was achieved — dividing the populace into polarized camps for the benefit of polarizers. 

“Qui bono” and “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” are two phrases I like to bear in mind when the fans of division are flamed. 

Yep, absolutely.  This brouhaha was never about classrooms.

 

 

(and to lighten things a bit, I offer up this, just swap the spelling of "base" and substitute "good trouble" for "no treble" and you're good to go...)

 

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re "divisive concept" bills

27 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

Here’s a nice breakdown that addresses the the issue from multiple angles.  

https://www.thefire.org/13-important-points-in-the-campus-k-12-critical-race-theory-debate/

“The reality is, as usual, complicated. Proponents of these bills need to realize that they can’t legislate these ideas out of existence, and that the more egregious bills are not only unconstitutional and thus totally futile, but throw fuel on an already raging culture war fire. Opponents of these bills need to read the bills and be honest about what’s actually in them and recognize that their opponents are motivated by something other than a desire to hide the true history of slavery. It is my hope that, wherever you lie on this issue, this article has given you a greater understanding of the opposing side. And if not, you’re welcome to join those yelling at me across both sides of the aisle!”

 

That's a good rundown, thanks for posting.

I particularly appreciate point 8. Proponents and critics of the divisive concepts bills are largely talking past each other on the issue, which so aptly characterizes this 28-page thread that I feel we're being watched...

Quote

Proponents of the bills see them as banning sessions where preteens are made to apologize for their race privilege, or where biracial children have been told that one parent probably physically abused the other due to their oppressor status. They look at sections in the bills that ban teaching mandatory guilt, genetic essentialism, and racial superiority and wonder — and assume — that opponents of the bills must be proponents of teaching those concepts.

On the other hand, critics of these bills see bans on the 1619 Project, and vague clauses that arguably reach any discussion of slavery, and interpret them as a highly politicized mandate to teach a certain view of history intended to soften the horrors of slavery and minimize historical racism. They see those who support such laws as wanting children to learn a jingoistic and propagandized version of history. While some on each side are undoubtedly acting in bad faith, the majority are motivated by sincere and valid concerns, and both proponents and opponents are motivated to ignore the valid points of their opposition. 

 

... and point 12. What is the deeper cause of this battle? A breakdown in societal trust and trust in expertise, particularly along partisan lines. 

Quote

While trying to explain the situation in a forthcoming interview with Michael Moynihan at VICE, I realized that at the core of what’s going on is a fundamental lack of societal trust and the lack of trust in expertise. Many parents, even many on the left, don’t necessarily trust K-12 teachers to do the right thing on their own. They believe that without new laws, rather than educating about certain historical facts, teachers will be indoctrinating their children into a bleak worldview. ..

..You may suspect that the next thing I’m going to do is to issue some kind of clarion call about learning to trust each other again. While I’d love to do so, I have no illusions that there is any quick fix to this conflict, as it was a long time in the making. We know it’s bad that our culture war helmets are on all the time, but both sides can find ample reasons to justify their suspicion.

 

To the issue raised in the most recent plot twist in the thread... Point 13 is that there are going to be a LOT of lawsuits.

That too is (obviously, always) a battleground of the culture wars.

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56 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

Here’s a nice breakdown that addresses the the issue from multiple angles.  

https://www.thefire.org/13-important-points-in-the-campus-k-12-critical-race-theory-debate/

“The reality is, as usual, complicated. Proponents of these bills need to realize that they can’t legislate these ideas out of existence, and that the more egregious bills are not only unconstitutional and thus totally futile, but throw fuel on an already raging culture war fire. Opponents of these bills need to read the bills and be honest about what’s actually in them and recognize that their opponents are motivated by something other than a desire to hide the true history of slavery. It is my hope that, wherever you lie on this issue, this article has given you a greater understanding of the opposing side. And if not, you’re welcome to join those yelling at me across both sides of the aisle!”

 

Whatever conversation people are having here, or on high-minded academic/legal grounds, in local communities around the country things are much messier and uglier. On the ground, the laws are being used as an excuse/justification for removing essential historical content, sanctioning teachers, and muzzling students. This is the continuation of a long struggle to sanitize history. And while the lawsuits wend their way through the courts, kids will lose. As always. Textbooks won’t stop being written while this is hashed out and the stripped ones will do damage long after any legal issues are resolved. The Trail of Tears wasn’t a long walk to a new home. Chattel slavery wasn’t the immigration of workers. Still, that’s what many children have been taught thanks to the last version of this kerfluffle. It’s not an esoteric examination of the rights of parents vs. schools, lacking in long-term consequence.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/01/aclu-fights-state-bans-teaching-critical-race-theory

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1272682

https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/does-academic-freedom-shield-teachers-as-states-take-aim-at-critical-race-theory/2021/06

 

Edited by Sneezyone
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13 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Whatever conversation people are having here, or on high-minded academic/legal grounds, in local communities around the country things are much messier and uglier. On the ground, the laws are being used as an excuse/justification for removing essential historical content. This is the continuation of a long struggle to sanitize history. And while the lawsuits wend their way through the courts, kids will lose. As always. Textbooks won’t stop being written while this is hashed out and the stripped ones will do damage long after any legal issues are resolved. The Trail of Tears wasn’t a long walk to a new home. Chattel slavery wasn’t the immigration of workers. Still, that’s what many children have been taught thanks to the last version of this kerfluffle. It’s not an esoteric examination of the rights of parents vs. schools lacking in long-term consequence.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/01/aclu-fights-state-bans-teaching-critical-race-theory

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1272682

https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/does-academic-freedom-shield-teachers-as-states-take-aim-at-critical-race-theory/2021/06

 

The sub headline of that article I posted was, fittingly: 

Who’s going to win? I can’t say for certain, but it’s most likely not the children.

I agree it’s a shitshow and doesn’t serve children or their education well.  

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Just now, LucyStoner said:

The sub headline of that article I posted was, fittingly: 

Who’s going to win? I can’t say for certain, but it’s most likely not the children.

I agree it’s a shitshow and doesn’t serve children or their education well.  

With that, I agree.

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I know that many of us use the American Indians in Children's Literature to find good children's books about Native Americans. Here is a link to their coverage of a Mexican Studies program in Tucson. 

https://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/2012/01/aicl-coverage-of-arizona-law-that.html

The program was outlawed by the State of Arizona but that was overturned because a federal judge found the ban was motivated by race. 

I was reminded of the Tucson program when I read this article from Chalk Beat. 

As states place new limits on class discussions on race, research suggests they benefit students

Quote

A handful of recent studies have found that students are more engaged in school after taking classes that frankly discuss racism and bigotry — just as some educators like Mason fear such discussions could be threatened by a wave of broad state laws designed to limit the teaching of what some are calling “critical race theory.”

I'm always skeptical of studies about education. It's hard to measure quality. But this feels right to me. When students honestly discuss a problem that see their in their own lives they will be more engaged in school. I saw this in teaching my daughter. 

And thinking back about the teacher who was criticized for not "redirecting" the student, what happens to a student when he/she is "redirected" away from an unprompted response to the news? Don't we want our students to engage thoughtfully with current events? It would be telling a student to not do what a school should want them to do. Would that student be more or less likely to engage in school after that? 

You could argue that the white student who was offended (to be honest we don't know if the student was offended or the parent was offended which is an important point) might be less likely to engage in school after he/she was offended. I don't want any student to be in a hostile school environment but I don't think the expectation in a high school classroom should be no offense. Being offended is sometimes part of open and honest dialogue. Of course it should be polite and respectful and the comment the student made was not impolite or disrespectful. 

 

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