May 07, 2003

"I Don't Call That Failure"

Porphyrogenitus has already sewn up today's award for raising my blood pressure to dangerous heights. He passes along articles from the Washington Post and the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus about an incident in Barre, VT, where "[a] uniformed police officer persuaded a custodian to open a school in the middle of the night so he could photograph class projects he found objectionable as an American and as a military veteran."

While Officer Mott certainly has the right "as a resident and a voter and a taxpayer of this community" to take these photographs - this is after all a public place - the fact that he did this under cover of law - that is to say, while wearing his uniform and in fact on duty - makes his action iffy. He will likely (and should) get a reprimand, and possibly some remedial training.

This was apparently sparked by parent complaints:

Mott said he took the photographs less than 48 hours after attending a school board meeting at which several residents complained about what they claimed was an attempt to “indoctrinate” not “educate” students.

School officials have rejected that notion, defending Treece as a “thought-provoking” teacher who provides students in his public issues class with resources from the full spectrum of political perspectives.

This is balance???

DoortoClass.jpg

SurpressDissent.jpg

I think that what bothers me most is that school officials, who have to see this after all, as they move around the school, didn't find it objectionable - not the viewpoints, but the fact that a teacher was obviously politically indoctrinating the students. I wonder if they would have been so sanguine if a teacher had put up an American flag as a sign of respect, rather than stuffed into a combat boot, or maybe a bumper sticker saying "Charlton Heston is my President."

By the way, the significance of the title quote is here.

Posted by Jeff at May 7, 2003 11:28 AM | Link Cosmos
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