Unintended civics lesson

Teacher exhibits frightening view of U.S. system of governance

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It was like something from a different country, a different political system. A frightening one.

It still is.

Remember a few years ago when a New Jersey grade school teacher taught her students to literally sing Barack Hussein Obama’s praises?

“Mmm, mmm, mmm – Barack Hussein Obama,” the kids chanted, between verses explaining all the wonderful things he would do – one of the verses seeming to parrot the song Jesus Loves The Little Children, but substituting Obama’s name.

It’s the kind of “Dear Leader” political indoctrination that
totalitarian regimes are infamous for.

Similarly, and more recently, a teacher in a North Carolina high school used her “fact of the day” to attack Republican presidential nominee-to-be Mitt Romney – and then shouted down students who dared to suggest equal scrutiny of Mr. Obama.

“You will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom!” she angrily scolded the students.

“I’ll say what I want,” one student protested.

“Not about him, you won’t,” the teacher insisted.

But lest you think she was defending the office of president – guess again. When reminded by students that President George W. Bush also was criticized roundly, the teacher said that Bush actually deserved it.

A family newspaper can’t repeat the language that was used in that exchange.

Worse yet, the teacher told the students that others had been arrested for speaking ill of Bush – a lie, of course, and a clear threat to anyone who might utter the least critique of her favorite president.

You might understand how someone who says such things might not know the Constitution.

The school district in question, Rowan-Salisbury, released a statement last week indicating it “expects all students and employees to be respectful in the school environment and for all teachers to maintain their professionalism in the classroom.” Yet, initial reports indicated the teacher would not be disciplined. Monday, however, after audio of the incident went viral on the Internet, the Salisbury Post reported the teacher, Tanya Dixon-Neely, was placed on suspension with pay pending an investigation.

There’s not much to investigate. How could a teacher so badly misconstrue our Constitution? How could a school district knowingly retain such an inappropriate, incompetent, ill-informed and blatantly partisan teacher?

The audio recording of the incident provides indisputable evidence that she was not only unprofessional but rude and nearly out of control in her defense of the president.

Nor is it even her place to defend the president, particularly in such a biased way. But if her defense of the president was out of line, it was also over the top: All the students did was suggest that Mr. Obama could be subject to the same scrutiny and criticism as Mr. Romney.

Bizarrely, the teacher
posited that a candidate could be criticized, but a sitting president could not be.

This is social studies?

In what country?

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Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/22/12 - 11:48 pm
5
15
Had to go all the way to

Had to go all the way to Jersey to find a looney, eh? Last week this AACOS(Anonymous Chronicle Opinion Staff) touted the competence of voters in West VA who voted for a convicted felon for President of the United States. Wow! There's editorial credibility for ya.

We doin' Arizona next week? Oh please, please, please.

Well, come to think of it you do share the loonies. Our local ones got their licks in this week too on these pages.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 05/23/12 - 04:37 am
15
3
Nothing to see here. Please

Nothing to see here. Please move along. Just an Obama supporting social studies teacher bullying students who challenged her fairness and knowledge of the 1st Ammendment. No big deal in an election year. Can't wait for the next wave of similar stories.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/23/12 - 05:45 am
5
11
Judging by the video, the

Judging by the video, the teacher's rude and out of line and the kid is a smart you-know-what and disrepectful. Neither deserve any awards or accolades

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/23/12 - 06:32 am
4
8
The teacher is gone now, and

The teacher is gone now, and the kid is not even in a little bit of hot water. So what's the problem? Isn't that how the system is suppose to work?

In North Carolina- the same place where this teacher was wrong, unprofessional, and just a terrible at her job (Seriously- challenge your students- but do not ever flip out like that teacher did.)- anyways, in NC a pastor is on video saying all homosexuals in the country need to be locked up behind a fence, separated (men in one concentration camp, women in the other) and left to die out.

And this guy had an audience, where no one tape is disagreeing.

But I can see why ACES wants to bring up one teacher who is Pro-Obama, who was put in her place by her own high school student and subsequently lost her job, while ignoring that pastor in the same state.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/23/12 - 06:36 am
12
1
"Neither deserve any awards

"Neither deserve any awards or accolades"

I disagree Techfan. I think that kid should be praised. He was knowledgeable and calm. He was not getting riled up when the adult in the room was. He stood his ground like a professional, and questioned things, instead of rolling over. Very well done on his part.

seenitB4
84282
Points
seenitB4 05/23/12 - 06:46 am
4
1
Seems impossible

Blind devotion on either side shouldn't be in the school system...

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 05/23/12 - 06:55 am
12
1
Techfan, Students had relayed

Techfan, Students had relayed that this teacher had a habit of letting her political views in the classroom. Tends to get on folks nerves after a while.

TParty, Government employee charged with teaching our kids using the classroom as a political pulpit doesn't make this meet your standard for being worthy of editorial when it happens more than once? Yes, community and church leaders do say the most bizarre things all the time, all across the country, and, at times, its bigoted, hateful and mean spirited. I agree they should be reported on and at some point an editorial may be approriate. Has the NC pastor repeated his messege or has it spread to other churches?

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/23/12 - 06:57 am
10
1
Tparty...the teacher was not
Unpublished

Tparty...the teacher was not just Pro Obama, she was telling bald faced lies to promote him. Not ONE person was arrested for saying bad things about Bush as she tried to convince the child. It is NOT illegal to criticize the President as she tried to convince him. To compare this to a pastor at a church is like apples and oranges. If you don't agree with your pastor, you can change churches. If a teacher is trying to brainwash your child with lies, like this teacher is, what is your recourse?

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/23/12 - 07:03 am
4
4
Goodness knows, I don't care

Goodness knows, I don't care for Obama's presidency and also admit the teacher was wrong, but the kid knew it was all being taped. Although she came back at him hard there appeared to be an interesting bit of give and take in that classroom. To me it was like she was saying she was an Obama supporter and didn't want to hear anything negative, but she was doing it as more of a personal thing. She allowed the kid to come back at her.

So what I'm saying is I hope she is counseled, but not fired. She generated a lot of interest in politics in that classroom.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/23/12 - 07:12 am
2
8
They were both trying to

They were both trying to overtalk the other. They were both yelling at each other. When I was coming along, it wouldn't have mattered what the teacher said if we backtalked the teacher, much less yelled at them and cursed, we dreaded getting home. Judging by posts on his dad's Facebook page, ie. "blacksheep", anti Obama posts (with a graph on the economy that is false), nice little posts that have, " If Karma doesn't get you I, ....... will", "Your status makes me want to punch you in the face.", Ultimate Fighting Championships, and of course a right wing radio station (Rush Radio, home of Rush, Beck, Hannity, and an all anti Obama birther page) i can see how the kid might have learned to be a bit confrontational

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/23/12 - 07:23 am
11
2
I guess it doesn't matter
Unpublished

I guess it doesn't matter that the the substance of what the student was talking about was correct and the teacher was incorrect? We'll just look at his family's Facebook pages and attack that when we can't refute this fact.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/23/12 - 07:27 am
4
6
"If a teacher is trying to

"If a teacher is trying to brainwash your child with lies, like this teacher is, what is your recourse?"

In this instance the teacher lost her job. I know how much the fringe right hates education, I'm just happy this teacher wasn't trying to teach evolution or some sort of science. More brainwashing.

And she is a public employee, not a government one.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 05/23/12 - 07:28 am
13
2
Regardless of her political

Regardless of her political views, no social studies teacher should be teaching kids in this country if she doesn't know the First Amendment.

This isn't a story about an Obama supporter. This is a story about a dumb teacher.

And, yes, she should be arrested for what she said.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 05/23/12 - 07:36 am
3
3
I don't think she was fired,

I don't think she was fired, but only suspended. I know if Mr. Jarvis in highschool had told me to worship Mao, I'd have probably gotten up and showed a Thoughts of Mao little red book or something.

Some teachers don't allow any back talk and you don't dare confront them. I actually think this teacher allowed the kid to argue with her although she said he couldn't criticize Obama. She kind of liked the spirited debate. That's why I would only counsel her and not fire her.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/23/12 - 07:50 am
6
0
It's 'ridiculous'. To

It's 'ridiculous'.

To JohnBrown- if she was just trying to get a discussion going, by taking an extreme stance and seeing how her students will work it out- that's one thing. But she lost her cool. The kid brought up similarities to Romney and Obama, and she was unsure most of the time of what reality was (That those two guys are very similar people).

She would allow truthful things, and probably even lies to be discussed if it was aimed at the right, but she refused to even acknowledge un-Saint like things that Obama did in the past, because he is the President now.

Clearly she is unqualified for her job. She'll lose it. She's suspended now, but you have to let the system work.

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/23/12 - 07:57 am
6
1
I agree, Tparty.
Unpublished

I agree, Tparty. I do, however, doubt she will lose her job due to union rules on tenure. She will most likely just be transferred.

Little Lamb
44910
Points
Little Lamb 05/23/12 - 07:57 am
8
0
When?

Maybe the teacher had it all planned out. She gets into a shouting match with a student. The school system suspends her with pay. That way, she does not have to grade final exams and calculate and submit course grades for the final term. Somebody else will do it for her because she is suspended.

It's irresponsible, but ya gotta admit it's a pretty good strategy for playing hookey.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 05/23/12 - 07:59 am
3
6
Shea: Do you even read the

Shea: Do you even read the posts? I said they were both wrong. The dad's FB page shows that the kid was raised where it was ok to curse, which the kid did, and had numerous posts that were very confrontational, which the kid was. They were both yelling at each other. Are you trying to say that kids don't pick up behavior from the environment in which they're raised? I don't think the political views have a hill of beans to do with this. It's a behavior issue, and the behavior of both of them was unacceptable. The teacher was the adult and should have put a stop to it on both ends.

mikesaul
1020
Points
mikesaul 05/23/12 - 08:05 am
8
0
Since when...

Since when is a government employee NOT a public employee? Teachers in public school ARE government employees...

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 05/23/12 - 08:05 am
9
1
Yes, Tech.....you did,
Unpublished

Yes, Tech.....you did, however it was quite obvious that you were doing anything you could to point out fault in the child. I didn't see any effort to research into the teacher's background. You may have found the same thing, but you didn't make that effort.

That's all I was saying.

avidreader
3069
Points
avidreader 05/23/12 - 08:18 am
5
0
Student Debate

In my classroom, I am extremely careful in guiding (or shutting down) any conversation concerning Mr. Obama. These are tough waters to navigate in a mixed-race environment. Issues tend to develop around entitlements and race more than the diverse policies of governing a country. Even my older teens mostly spew the convictions of their parents or pastors. Very few have opinions about anything other than nationalized medicine or taxing the rich.

MANY of my students will say, "Well, why doesn't the government just print more money?" I just smile and move on to another topic. I'll let the Econ teacher explain this one.

A teacher friend of mine was confronted by an irate parent simply because she mentioned that her students were going to be the ones who have to repay our fifteen-trillion dollar debt. The mother thought the comment was a slam on Obama personally, and that our students should be told that we should trust Mr. Obama's principles of governing.

I learned quickly to avoid any mention of politics in the classroom. God bless America.

nofanofobama
6801
Points
nofanofobama 05/23/12 - 08:33 am
9
3
the teacher ought to be

the teacher ought to be fired..injecting her own political views and so blantantly in a class is beyond being just plain bias... avireader why cant we discuss our prez in classroom or the press .i will tell you why the left is racist ...everything to them is racist and gender bias...not the merits...obumler is the worst prez i have witnessed.. im 57 ...yet when we talk policy we are demonized. the libs cant stand facts or reason they have none...

Bizkit
30352
Points
Bizkit 05/23/12 - 09:09 am
5
0
At least the kid was

At least the kid was attempting to use his brain. Critical thinking skills are virtually non-existent in the average high school or college kid nowadays. You get beyond a second order question and they are lost. The more I study the Flynn effect I think it must be an artifact or they are really smart just lazy beyond belief-which is probably the later. The teacher should be teaching them how to debate, and make them take different antithetical views so they learn you can come up with arguments with merit about anything.

allhans
23471
Points
allhans 05/23/12 - 10:25 am
2
0
According to reports, the

According to reports, the teacher was suspended WITH PAY!.

Sorry. I missed the fact this had already been said.

Bizkit
30352
Points
Bizkit 05/23/12 - 10:21 am
3
0
A teacher professes and gets

A teacher professes and gets reprimanded but many college educators profess and teach their ideology all the time and get paid handsomely. The majority now graduate as progressive (oops they have nothing to do with liberalism)-which is sad when America loses diversity and becomes clones.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 05/23/12 - 11:04 am
1
0
So tech admits that you are
Unpublished

So tech admits that you are influenced heavily by what you hear growing up....hmmmm says alot about Obama's politics.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 05/23/12 - 12:23 pm
7
0
Public employee versus

Public employee versus government worker? Good grief. All public employees and civil service employees are by definition employed by the or a government. Teachers are both, and to quibble about it is about as silly as members of the Senate getting riled up for being called a member of Congress.

howcanweknow
2306
Points
howcanweknow 05/23/12 - 01:03 pm
6
0
not stupid

The Plan: Indoctrinate the children of today, and you'll control the minds and attitudes of the adults tomorrow.

It's easy to see where all this "progressivism" in educators is leading, and why private school enrollment and home-schooling continues to grow. All the while, the state of public education in this country continues to fall further and further behind that of other nations.

Conservative Man
5353
Points
Conservative Man 05/23/12 - 03:15 pm
3
0
When I first heard the audio,

When I first heard the audio, I was astounded at this teachers' lack of objectivity AND her ignorance. She was the one who posed the "fact"of the day for discussion which was, "Mitt Romney is an admitted bully". The kid was rightfully trying to point out that "Our Dear Leader" admitted shoving a girl in high school, in his book so that made him a bully too...
This government school teacher would have none of it. Which tells me she did not want a discussion, but a recitation of why Romney is bad, and Obama is good....And it sounded like the kid knew more about civics and history than SHE did.
She shouldn't be fired but hopefully she'll be shamed enough after this to think twice before interjecting personal political dogma in a class of students who are smarter than she is....

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 05/23/12 - 03:24 pm
4
0
Asking for opinons

You can't force people to agree with you to like the same people you like or to accept the things you accept. I think the student was right for standing his ground and giving his opinion. Someone tell me if this is fair, here is the scenario. You are at work and they are having a going away party for someone you don't care for, a person who ticked alot of people off. Is it fair that they make the luncheon mandatory and tell you if you are not there you will be counseled? In my opinion it isn't fair no more fair than this teacher trying to force President Obama down her students throats.

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