November 13 2008
One News Now: Teacher 'berates' student for supporting John McCain
A spokeswoman for the Independent Women's Forum says a YouTube video has surfaced that highlights the problem of political indoctrination in U.S. schools.
A recently published YouTube video shows an Asheville, North Carolina, teacher discussing the presidential election in her classroom of young students. At one point the teacher asked the students to raise their hands and state who they were voting for in the school's mock presidential election.
Student 1: "Obama."
Teacher: "You're pulling for Obama. Who are you pulling for? And if you're pulling for John McCain, that's fine; say him as well."
Student 2: "Barack."
Student 3: "John McCain."
Teacher: "John...oh Lord, John McCain."
Student 4: "John McCain."
Teacher: "Oh, Jesus. John McCain, okay."
Amy Watson, a spokeswoman with the Independent Women's Forum is surprised at how this teacher conducted her classroom under the circumstances.
"Yeah, this woman knew she was being videotaped, and this is how she acted," she says. "Can you imagine what's going on in classrooms where, particularly when they are talking about something as sensitive as what party affiliation or what candidate you'd select, can you imagine how the teachers are behaving when they are not being videotaped?"
Watson notes the teacher went on to further berate one of the students for supporting McCain.
Teacher: "What do you all know about that war in Iraq? Talk to me because your daddy's in the military; talk. It's a senseless war. And by the way, Kathy, the person that you are picking for president said that our troops could stay in Iraq for another hundred years if they need to. So that means that your daddy could stay in the military for another hundred years."
Watson believes the teacher was being unfair to the student who probably has enough stress in her life without dealing with the teacher's harassment. She also encourages parents to be aware of these types of political indoctrination attempts.
The entire video can be seen at http://www.onenewsnow.com/Blog/Default.aspx?id=315228.
The superintendent of Cumberland County Schools has responded to the teacher's actions, stating that he was "disturbed" to see the "uncomfortable position" in which the students were placed due to the "inappropriate" actions of the teacher. "Most disconcerting was the military slant that made its way into this discussion," says Dr. William Harrison. The superintendent says he has launched an investigation into the matter and that he will take appropriate action upon its completion.