Friday, May 14, 2010

Dear Knox County "Republicans", grow up!

The Republican State Convention was held at the Portland Expo, on Park Avenue, near the King Middle School, last weekend. Party members from Knox County caucused in a classroom used by eighth-grade social studies teacher Paul Clifford. On Monday morning, when Clifford returned to his classroom, he found that a favorite poster about the U.S. labor movement had been taken and replaced with a bumper sticker that read, "Working People Vote Republican." A little while later, Clifford found out that his classroom had been searched. Republicans who had attended the convention called Principal Mike McCarthy to complain about "anti-American" things they saw there, including a closed box containing copies of the U.S. Constitution that were published by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't I be in trouble for not only removing, but stealing this teachers poster? Wouldn't I also be in trouble for rifling through the teachers belongings? Tell me why we aren't penalizing these "adults" for committing these stupid acts?! Take politics out of the equation, the fact that they are politicians isn't the point, the point is that these individuals took it upon themselves to remove or replace items in the classroom because they didn't agree with them. I don't care what you believe in, you are in a classroom, where a teacher is enriching the minds of our future, where Clifford is responsible for following an Expeditionary Learning curriculum, which encourages students to investigate subjects in depth and from all angles.

I think another problem here is that the Knox County Republicans called the school to complain that Clifford had "anti American" propaganda in the classroom. Can somebody please tell me when the U.S. Constitution became anti American? Maybe I am missing something here?! These same politicians were upset, saying that Clifford was "brainwashing the kids" because they didn't approve of some of the things they saw. So they took things down and put up stickers that were pro-Republican. To me, that goes further towards convincing kids to think a certain way. If I'm taught to see two different views, I'm more likely to form an open opinion, allowing both sides to make a point before I come to a conclusion. If I see someone deface property and act like an idiot, I'm more likely to sway to the opposite side of the knucklehead. So, at the end of the day, these fools probably did themselves far more harm than good. I'm just saying...