editorial: is presidential candidate bias being taught & rewarded in our schools?
By: Alex Templer
For your consideration and conclusions; your child is a 10th grade attendee of a public school in Iberville parish. The teen is tasked with a class exercise, whereby they must make a valid argument as to whom they would vote for in the upcoming presidential election--and why.. Surely an exercise like this would probably be considered quite the valuable lesson in teaching a student the strategies of debate and learning the issues of our elected officials. But, what conclusion could be drawn by someone witnessing this experiment when the price of choice brought either a very negative or positive outcome?
How would you, a parent, feel if your teen told you they received an "A" grade upon choosing candidate Romney during the exercise? Would you feel proud? Would you feel that this teen had a flair for the issues that concern us all? Or would you think your child's political comprehension was secure for the future? However, how would you feel if you learned that your child - actually any child involved in the same exercise - received a grade of "B" if they decided to vote for candidate Obama? Would it matter that grade remained the same despite the level of argument to the fact, or level of competency delivered by the student? Would it matter to you as a parent or adult in general? Should it? Of course it should, because it is happening and you're probably very unaware of it.
Just today, I was informed by a friend of this issue occurring in a very prestigious public high school in Iberville parish. The incident happened in a 10th grade Civics class to the occurrence recounted above. But, upon hearing what happened, I had to wonder what was happening within our seats of learning. Besides dealing in facts, school has to and must remain impartial regarding individual thoughts on public issues.
Where is the impartiality in the blatant reward of a student choosing one candidate over another in a class exercise? What gives a teacher the right to play mediator and judge over the specific choices of their student's personal beliefs and choices? Yes, the level or skill of the argument could be brought to under the teacher's criticism; but the child's ultimate choice? In America, we have the right to choose, but I guess it boarders at this high school.
Rest assured, this has and probably will be happening again. My friend asked that the name of the school not be mentioned. But the solution for this is simple: talk to your kids. Take an interest and be concerned with what our kids learn, how they're taught and most importantly--who's teaching them. Because if we as adults allow prejudiced and bias thoughts to be ingrained into our youths by others under the cloak of authority and under the guise of rewards, maybe we'll deserve the outcome of a honest future being cheated from them.
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