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View Diary: Daily Kos diarist/teacher removed from classroom by police (186 comments)

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  •  I have been calling this system (0+ / 0-)

    "No Child Left Alive" for years and years, and I applaud you for daring to do for what sounds like some great work, and not least of all, incredible teaching.

    Rogue administrators is an excellent descriptor for one of the primary casts of characters in the tragically absurd drama that is driving our already broken educational system into the ground. No Child Left Alive and No Real Teacher Still Employed.

    Because this shit is happening everywhere--and not just at the k-12 level. Rogue administrators (often backed by corporate and school-corporatizing agendas, often with mega-bucks attached) are coming swooping in for the kill and eliminating any and all personnel that is actually committed to educating young people (not just in K-12, also in particular at community colleges which used to function as entry-level liberal arts institutions to prepare students for 4-yr degrees and beyond but are now becoming corporate conveyer belts to 'qualify' young people for the kind of shit jobs you used to be able to get with a GED [or less!]).

    It's not just teachers/profs, either--I am seeing it happen to EVERYONE who is actually committed to education (financial aid officers, HR personnel, high-level admin like deans and provosts).

    I'm so sorry it's happening to you. Maybe your case can draw national attention to this issue because it is literally happening everywhere.

    At the community college level, there is always the argument that when you keep it real in the classroom (and actually let students understand that, yeah, you know they're probably having sex and doing a whole bunch of other shit--like cussing?!) you are at least dealing with adults and they can't go after you on the "contributing to the delinquency"-trip.

    After they banned Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

    for some of its content on issues such as alcohol, poverty, bullying, references to masturbation and physical arousal, as well as for the tragic deaths of characters and the use of profanity.

    I started introducing it to my classes by asking everyone in the class (all adults):

    "Is there any person in this room who has never touched a penis?" (roar!)
    OK, is there anyone in this classroom who has never used the F-word?
    Now, is there anyone in this classroom who has never masturbated, as a teenager or as an adult?.....
    Then I propose my theory: it's not really the P-as-in-penis-word or the p-in-profanity: it's the p-in-poverty word.....

    Anyway, I'm sorry you're going through this, and hope you find some folks who can help you out!

    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I love Sherman Alexie and teach college students.

      But I would think twice about asking my class publicly if any if them have "never touched a penis."  What's the one kid in the class who hasn't going to say?  And presuming you're male, that could be construed easily as harassment of female students.

      Honestly, how many of you would be comfortable telling your teacher in class in front of all your fellow students about your masturbation habits.  As a teenager.

      You are asking for a complaint or a harassment suit.

      And the diarist, lest we forget, teaches middle school.. That's 11 to 13 year olds, not college students who are technically adults.

      As a parent of a middle school kid myself, imagining some slightly oddball male teacher urging that she read his sexually explicit book that he has made conveniently available for free download on a class website . . .   I am in the principal's office with a posse of other parents the next day asking for his job.  Sorry dude, that is what this looks like to me, and you haven't denied this is the underlying issue yet either, in spite of a bunch of some about which website was officially the lass website despite them all having class materials.

      Any of you parents?  There is definitely another side to this story we are not getting.

      Based on the data so far, I'm not comfortable taking the diarist's side without hearing the other side.

      “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

      by RocketJSquirrel on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:11:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh bullshit. If you're male and you've never (0+ / 0-)

        touched a penis, you've never taken a piss.

        The only case scenario I can imagine in an adult class is a lesbian woman who has never touched a penis. Even then, if the lesbian woman has a son? Well, then I assume even SHE has touched a penis, unless she can afford to hire a nanny to change her kid's diaper.

        But these are more rhetorical questions, and that is clear to my students--I think I stole the line about "everyone masturbates, and we all know it" straight from Alexie.

        I don't ask my students to actually answer the questions: the point is to make clear just how absurd the allegations against Alexie are.  Guess what? Human beings have sex. Human beings masturbate.  

        I would not present it the same way to a non-adult audience, and probably not to every college population. I teach at a community college with a substantial portion of "non-traditional" students, many of whom are parents. So, unless I've got a flock of mother Mary's in there.... um, 99.9% of my students have indeed touched a penis at some time in their lives.

        Works for my students: just got student evals from this semester, and--as with few, very few exceptions, they are consistent with every semester I have ever taught: awesome professor, awesome unconventional teaching style that actually relates curricular content to real world experience.

        •  Bullshit yourself (0+ / 0-)

          Obviously you don't mean "while urinating."

          Run that bit by your chair or dean and see what they say.  In plenty of American classrooms you'd be facing some heat for asking students to talk about their own sexual experiences publicly.  

          It's the unconventional yet popular teenagers who wind up in trouble over stuff like this, but I guess that's why you teach at a community college.

          “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

          by RocketJSquirrel on Sat May 04, 2013 at 08:25:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If I tailored my teaching practices (0+ / 0-)

            to what my chair or my dean would "approve" or not approve, I'd be doing my students a great disservice.

            Certainly, I have my reasons for teaching at community college--and those reasons have little to do with my CV, let's just put it that way.

            When I say "touch a penis" I mean just that: so, no, it's not "obvious" that I don't mean "while urinating".

            Heat? If you're a teacher in today's system and aren't facing some heat?

            I work for the students, not the administration. Always have, always will.

    •  Also what does this story have to do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with No Child Left Behind?

      I get it that we all hate that stupid act and its idiotic consequences.  Easy target for outrage.

      But what relevance does it have to the diarist's situation?  None that I can see, so it's a straw man distraction here.

      Who else has been fired in Joplin by these supposed "rogue" administrators?  (Diarist's own words.)

      If this is a pattern, surely there are other teachers facing unjust termination on trumped up charges, right?  I google the relevant terms and come up with nothing.

      “I wore black because ... it's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” -- Johnny Cash

      by RocketJSquirrel on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:31:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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