Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by Wade8813, May 6, 2009.
Judge: Teacher violated kids' rights by calling creationism 'nonsense' - USATODAY.com
Does anyone else see the irony in this all. I understand the need for teachers to be held accountable, but the teacher violated the student's freedom of speach by expressing their opinion/belief. Why the irony in it all, kills me.
Agreed, it's not right for the teacher to do that but there are no rights being infringed here.
The judge ruled that the teacher violated the establishment clause, not freedom of speech, by saying creationism is nonsense. It has been held that a government employee making derogatory remarks against religion is a violation of the establishment clause.
I disagree with it, I don't think it is a violation of the clause, but then again, I don't think a prayer before a high school football game is either. Not that I like a prayer before a football game, only that it doesn't violate the First Amendment.
I could see the breech of the clause but it would be my belief that should be lifted in a school environment ( I suppose it would depend on what grade this is). Its always been my experience that schools should be places that encourage free speech and discussion of ideas.
Of course if the teacher was jumping up and down yelling religion is a lie that wouldn't be good for anything, but if this was part of a healthy and productive debate then I don't see the problem here.
This isn't really even a matter of freedom of speech; a high school teacher is in a position of power, and using that power to push forward an ideological agenda (atheist, religious; I don't care) is wrong. Basically, saying "religion is superstitious nonsense" translates to "I don't respect you or your beliefs."
It may be your opinion, but there is no reason to be rude about it, or attempt to embarrass students that disagree with you; especially when you're expected to act in a secular manner (atheism is non-secular, btw).
I remember my philosophy prof. as quite atheist, and one of the other students as quite religious --> The debates that arose were informed, and everyone was respectful; if only out of sheer professionalism.
All that aside, I've never understood the need to antagonize people into seeing the entirety of your opinion as absolute truth. Bullying people into agreeing with you does not make you correct; only a bully.
I think it's only natural for teachers to share their opinion with the class. It makes it all a little more worthwhile and entertaining.
Would be different if he made all the creationist students wear a stupid hat..
I had some teachers as well who had an opinion about religion or politics, or youth culture and music and stuff, never bothered me, nor anybody else. Classroom shouldn't be a place where people have to be aware of what they say all the time.. it's a shame the court feels obliged to extend its powers into a room ment for the exchange of ideas.
Do the US really need these 'sensitivities' to form an integrated society? Would it be complete anarchy otherwise, or is that just an irrational fear?
There's a difference Bjarki between sharing ideas and calling someone else's ideas "superstitious nonsense". This is more about delivery if you ask me. Otherwise, it's political correctness striking again.
You know, I probably wouldn't ordinarily even care...
...But it irks me that had this been a case of the inverse, with a teacher exclaiming that atheism "is just kids a bunch of arrogant kids trying to justify their lack of morals," the outrage in this thread would have been paramount. :-/
Exactly, it was an extremely poor choice of how to handle it by the teacher, but unfortunately, we're seeing this more and more in our educational system. Teachers and professors intolerant morons who can't respect the opinions of others. And I completely agree with what you said later, had the teacher said the same thing about atheism, for example, there would be so many more people upset by this.
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