Education: On Mutual Respect, Neutrality and Civility
Education: On Mutual Respect, Neutrality and Civility
From the world of education comes another tale of a school principal being allegedly fired for Conservative viewpoints. Certainly not the first time this has happened but scenarios such as these bear repeating.
Why? Because some of us have students in the (mostly liberal) public education system. The latest tale comes from Pennsylvania, where elementary school principal, Amy Sacks, was removed from her position for posting “offensive posts“.
What was so “offensive”? Just a sampling:
You need ID to buy alcohol, buy a house, open a bank account, get a job, buy cigarettes or buy a gun. So tell me again why voter ID is racist?”
From the official court docket:
Plaintiff, Dr. Amy Sacks was fired as a principal by her public school employer, and then severely demoted, because she compared Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s intellect to a potato and posted other right-of-center political memes opposing Democratic politicians, opposing riots, and supporting police.”-Francis Malofiy, Esquire
I, personally, would not argue with her opinion on Joe Biden’s intellect but do realize a heated conversation like this could get me into trouble in my workplace. What I post on social media outside of working hours is my business. Amy Sacks, it is worth noting, was posting on her personal Facebook page. Amy Sacks also is a 20-year veteran educator who attended her district schools as a student, and under her leadership her elementary school was ranked in the state’s top 15 schools.
Potato, po-tah-toe. Ranking in the top 15 when it comes to quality of education, test scores, enrollment and performance means absolutely nothing. Especially when a dreaded Conservative was at the helm of this high-ranking school. Ms. Sacks triggered her co-workers, who I am sure turned right around and threw her under the proverbial school bus. This is not the first time something like this happened. It happened here. And here. And here.
Mutual respect and civility. Granted only if your political views align with the popular set of political views. This concept is not exclusive to the education system. We have conversations about this every quarter (and certainly more frequently this year) about mutual respect, civility and neutrality at my workplace. This is all great if individuals of varying opinions on the political spectrum can understand the opposite point of view and offer that mutual respect, civility and neutrality. But often, this discourse is not encouraged in the workplace. Often, there are individuals in the workplace spouting off political opinions boldly, leaving the opposing group rolling their eyes behind the scenes, confiding in a few trusted colleagues and remaining largely silent. No one wants to get into a political altercation at the workplace. No one wants to be fired from their job for having the unpopular opinion. We can’t afford this right now, to be honest. This climate has left many Conservatives to fall into the shadows and remain silent whilst listening to Democratic liberals talk about how “stupid”, how “evil”, how “insensitive”, how “racist” (you fill in the other blanks) the other side is.
This dynamic in education bleeds over into the classroom which has been largely online for most of the year. Assignments on current events, from largely left-leaning publications, are dispersed to students to write opinion essays. Students are “afraid” of saying the wrong things and not only being criticized by their teachers but by their peers. Teachers posting anti-Conservative rants on their personal social media platforms go into their classrooms and spout off their political ideologies. This is especially dangerous with younger students who do not quite understand the nuances of political ideologies and leanings. Some of these students are barely learning how to socially interact with one another. Insert the unhinged teacher who tells the whole class “if Trump wins, there will be a nuclear war” into this equation.
The same argument can be made for the anti-liberal educator, I know, but those educators seem few and far between these days. Education should be about individuals having their own opinions and encouraging those who are learning to navigate through life to do the same. Oftentimes, the minority voice is suppressed by mob rule. The mob drowns them out by intimidation, causing individuals who don’t agree with the popular buzz words and opinions to keep their heads down, keep working and stay out of the fray. What is this teaching our children? If an education system can fire a school principal for posting their personal views on their personal social media platform because those views are deemed “too Conservative”, then school districts nationwide should practice what they preach when they speak of mutual respect, neutrality and civility. Something tells me, though, those teachers with the “8645” stickers on their vehicles and principals who virtue-signal with their “proper” pronouns in their signatures will be exempt from their next anti-Trump rant on Facebook because indoctrination…oops. I meant education. So much for what’s good for the goose being good for the gander. Following the Golden Rule went out the window with in-classroom learning a long time ago.
Photo Credit: Gail Frederick/FlickR/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)/Cropped