Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Social Studies teacher needs a lesson in the Constitution

North Rowan High School (North Carolina) Social Studies teacher Tanya Dixon-Neely was caught red-handed (via sound clip recorded on a student's cell phone) not knowing much about the subject she teaches. In a discussion about politics (and presumably things the candidates have done in their past), one of the students brings up the fact that President Obama openly admitted in his autobiography that he bullied a girl in school.

Dixon-Neely replies, "Stop, no, because there is no comparison. Romney is running for President, Obama is the president."

When the student tries to reason with her she insists that a candidate for President does not deserve the same respect as the President.  She says, "Listen, let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the President of the United States in this classroom."

When the student replies he will say whatever he wants, she replies, "Not about him you won't" and then she goes on to tell the class that it is a criminal offense to slander the President. She reminds them people were arrested for saying bad things about former President Bush and she asks, "Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the President?"

And we wonder why kids have a warped view of how the world works?

The teacher is clearly an Obama supporter and that's fine but when teaching a class about politics, she has a responsibility to be fair and balanced. She has the responsibility of teaching her students all sides of the issues and not just her own. If she is intent on bringing her political opinion into the classroom, then she has to allow everyone else to do the same.

I am neither a Democrat nor Republican but what do you suppose would have happened if the tables were turned and the teacher were a die-hard Conservative Republican defending a Republican President?  Just a thought.

Dixon-Neely is a social studies teacher teaching students that expressing their first amendment right is illegal and can get them arrested. The student in question, regardless of his motives (he could have been baiting her but she shouldn't have taken the bait), made a point--President Obama said in his book that he bullied a girl in school. That is not up for debate, it is a fact. I'm not here to pass judgment on the President, I'm here to question Dixon-Neely's effectiveness as a teacher. If she got this one wrong, what else has she gotten wrong? What else have her students mislearned?

One more thing...this brings up the question surrounding Obama's admission. He said he bullied a girl in school but the teacher downplays it by saying that we have no right to question the President. So really, what we have to ask ourselves here is...

...does truth really matter? I'm beginning to wonder.

1 comment:

  1. Good blog, Jessica. It's almost hard to believe that a teacher would be that blatant with her students. Sounds like they are more educated than she is! Who is she kidding with the comment about it being 'illegal' to diss the president, no matter who he is?? Most teens know better than that. Wonder how much respect her students have for her?