Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Does This Merit Firing, Or Punishment Of Any Kind?

From the Boston Globe:

A North Georgia teacher is on administrative leave and could lose her job after she allowed four students to don mock Ku Klux Klan outfits for a final project in a high school class Thursday, administrators said.

The sight of people in Klan-like outfits upset some black students at the school and led at least one parent to complain.

Catherine Ariemma, who teaches the advanced placement course combining U.S. history with film education, could face punishment ranging from suspension to termination, Lumpkin County School Superintendent Dewey Moye said Monday. Ariemma has spent nearly six years teaching in the rural county about 75 miles north of Atlanta...

The incident happened at Lumpkin County High School. Ariemma said her students spend the year viewing films and later create their own films to watch in class. She said the students brainstorm and pick topics to cover. This particular class decided to trace the history of racism in America.

She said the class has 15 students of multiple races, but no blacks.

A group of five students took on the subject, which included covering the history of the notorious white supremacist group which had large chapters in Stone Mountain, Ga. and Tuscaloosa, Ala. One student filmed and did not wear sheets, she said.

"The kids brought the sheets in, they had SpongeBob party hats underneath to make it shaped like a cone," Ariemma said. "They cut out the eyes so they could see."

Ariemma said she led the students through a cafeteria to another location where they shot the scene. Later, she said another teacher approached her.

"That's when I heard there were a couple of students who were upset," she said.

Good Lord, are we really raising such a generation of pansies that the mere sight of someone in a sheet--for a school film project, escorted by a teacher--generates fear and fits of apoplexy?

I think I have a solution to this. Don't teach the kids anything controversial. Don't hold class discussions, because someone might say something that "hurts" another student. Don't have projects. Don't try to teach kids anything about the real world.

Give them worksheets. Let them write essays--no one else can see these unless the student him/herself shows someone else. Cover only facts. No instruction but lecturing. Screw critical thinking.

I get tired of stories like this.

2 comments:

Ellen K said...

In the meantime in the past year I have had to redirect, correct and admonish more students for specifically anti-Jewish statements than ever before. While many like to think that this would come from redneck Southern Baptists, in reality it is my African American and Muslim students who seem the most immersed in this activity. And it's vile stuff such as I have never heard. I am not Jewish. I am not a liberal. But I have never indulged in such rhetoric or allowed any of my children to do so. Children repeat what they hear at home. So what are these parents telling their kids? And where are these parents getting it from? Yet if I tried to bring this up, there would be silence......

Pomoprophet said...

My guess is that those who were offended are in remedial classes... but its just a guess...