Hey guys, did you know we are in the middle of a Presidential election year? I know, I know, it is hard to keep up with everything going on in the world, when there are important things like Kim and Kanye news, the NFL, the final season of Jersey Shore, American Idol, and oh so many other things that deserve our undivided attention. Despite all of this though, we are squarely in the middle, actually we are on the home stretch, of an election year, and well, elections can make people go a little cuckoo.
As an example of this I give you Port Richmond Pennsylvania, and Carroll High School in that fair town. Samantha Pawlucy, a sophomore in that school, had the gumption and gall to wear a Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan campaign t-shirt on that school’s casual dress day (at Carroll High School the students wear uniforms). As one might expect in a high school Samantha was given some ridicule for wearing her t-shirt, but what you wouldn’t expect is who was giving Ms. Pawlucy this ridicule. It wasn’t any of her friends or peers, it was her geometry teacher.
Hey, okay I had some teachers that would get involved in some playful banter with their students, and at times me, when I was in high school, so this teacher probably just made a passing joke, you know some gentle ribbing, and that was about it – right? Umm, no.
Samantha’s geometry teacher went full-on, no holds barred, politically biased on her, not just in front of the class, but the teacher even went out into the hallway to encourage other teachers and students to make fun of her and her support for Mitt Romney.
It doesn’t stop there though.
Apparently this t-shirt caused such a meltdown in this teacher’s reasoning faculties that she called in a teaching assistant to try and write something on the shirt, and even demand that Samantha remove the shirt altogether and put on one the school would provide for her.
But it still doesn’t stop there.
The geometry teacher then quipped that Carroll High School is a “Democratic” (meaning that she apparently believes the school operates according to the Democratic Party platform) and then stated that she thought it was wise to inform Samantha that her wearing this Romney campaign t-shirt is equivalent to her donning a KKK robe and hood.
Uh, yeah, okay, so much for rationality in public discourse, let alone the fact that a teacher should know better than to engage in and espouse their political beliefs in the classroom, and they certainly shouldn’t humiliate one of their students over a campaign t-shirt; regardless of how they feel about the candidate. Yet, this is the kind of madness that sweeps over people during an election year – oh and the teacher did not get fired over this incident either, just moved to teach a different class; win/win right?
Anyone who has read more than one of the articles I have written should know I am no fan of Mitt Romney’s, nor am I a Barack Obama supporter either, but that does not mean that I want to berate, or belittle anyone for their political views. I would particularly expect our educators to not publicly humiliate and intimidate one of their students for a differing political view than themselves. What this “teacher” did is nothing short of bullying, and last I checked there is a cultural push to end bullying, particularly in our schools. If this is the kind of math and science teachers the President is wishing to add to our school systems then I will take a pass on his plan.
I don’t want our schools to become indoctrination centers for one political thought or another, as they are in many less free countries. Sure, I believe teachers can and should have political views, but they are not and should not be allowed to do what this teacher did, which is using their positions as a bully pulpit to advance their personal ideologies. What happened to Samantha Pawlucy should tick off anyone and everyone, even if you are a fan of the current President. If it doesn’t, then I guess it is just another example of You’re Free to Say What You Believe – So Long as it is What I Believe, and that my friends is not the America that I grew up in.
Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears. (Louis D. Brandeis)