Thursday, May 18, 2006

Teacher Fired For Showing Profane Videos – or Anti-Bush Videos?

In Limestone, Alabama an eighth grade science teacher, Steve White, was fired from his job and is being forced off the ballot for a House seat in Alabama District 4 after supposedly showing profane videos to his class. This began with White being reprimanded for showing his students a lewd anti-Bush film, though he is accused of showing other inappropriate films to his kids.

White has been written up, suspended and eventually fired for showing his class a video of President Bush, Fox commentator Sean Hannity and members of Bush’s staff which included profane language.  White was also accused of showing other videos to the class, including a toothless bikini-clad Alabama fan with cigarettes and beer, an animated short film of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and an old lady with dirty advice.

Today the school board met for 4.5 hours and came back with the 6-1 decision that White was ineligible to teach in their school district. The Alabama Democratic Executive Committee has indicated it will look into forcing White off of the ballot for a house seat in the upcoming election.  And the name of the one board member who voted against the suspension was printed publicly to discourage future similar votes.

During this past weekend, we discussed what a great education we received at Germantown Friends.  This was because we were encouraged to think, to question the images we saw in current events, and to criticize, or even laugh at, events that don’t make sense.  And to me it seems like these videos are an effort to get these kids to think, especially considering the presence of an anti-Clinton video balancing the Bush film.

We looked at another case like this in New Jersey a few months ago, and like in that case, there certainly is the question of whether it’s right for the teacher to impose his views on his students. But to me, this does appear to be a teacher trying to get his students to think.  I don’t believe they’re hearing any language the kids wouldn’t have heard by age 14, and I don’t think he’s forcing his views upon the kids.  

If we continually prevent our teachers from teaching kids how to think, how to question, how to make up their own minds, what type of children will we raise?  Let this man, and others quality teachers, teach!  That’s a very real quality of the education they provide.

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Posted by Scottage at 4:02 AM / | |