Tainted Education

By [email protected]

Editor: Education at the High School level truly is far from perfect. This has stemmed mainly from “political ideology” which has become the new subject of required studies in High School. Casey Jacketta’s April 18 letter, “The Bill of Rights Applies to High Schools, Too” talked of how students are being silenced more and more when they speak out against the war and how that under the Bill of Rights, this shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I am writing to clarify that it truly is sad to see these students silenced, especially when it is by the very people who support free speech so fervently under the Bill of Rights. It was less than a year ago I myself was a high school student who was subject to this new form of teaching. While going to a fairly new high school in central California, I became increasingly aware of how teachers in high school centered the history and language arts courses on their own personal political ideology. With many of my new teachers arriving from UC Santa Cruz, a predominant breeding-ground for liberal activists, it was clearly evident that these teachers were not only making it incredibly uncomfortable for any type of right wing view to be expressed by a student, but also encouraged fellow classmates to verbally “gang up” on anyone who did dare to express a different, conservative viewpoint. An example of this political influence in teaching was directed towards myself in a few ways. A field trip to the San Francisco’s Museum of Tolerance was organized for sophomores at my school. When I informed my teacher I was not going to attend this trip, I was repeatedly questioned and frowned upon for not going–and more importantly, I was later criticized as being intolerant to other cultures for not attending this trip by students and teachers. A more shocking example of how political ideology had silenced my free speech was during a class discussion in a global issues class the day of the 9/11 attacks. In a conversation amongst the class, both the teacher and almost all of the students were proclaiming that the attacks on the twin towers were America’s fault in it’s Middle East diplomacy, and that we deserved what happened in New York. When I raised my hand in protest to the overwhelming majority, I was attacked and silenced into submission for challenging their viewpoint and supporting a military attack against the terrorists who attacked New York by both the teacher and the students. Later I was again verbally assaulted as an “opportunistic patriotic citizen” for having a flag on my car in remembrance of the citizens who died on 9/11. Certainly you could say that these were just extreme cases of violating my free speech–but you would be fooling yourself. It is time that many of these high school educators be exposed for the wrong they are doing to society by throwing political bias into curriculum. Furthermore, it is time for liberal high school teachers to practice what they preach, even if it means silencing their own crowd for the sake of the very minorities they say they are trying to protect. Taylor Finell Freshman,Biology