published Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Teach your students well

A cult of personality long has surrounded President Barack Obama, and its adherents typically brook little criticism of the president.

Recently, a high school teacher in the Salisbury, N.C., area was caught on video telling students they could be jailed for speaking ill of Obama.

"Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?" the social studies teacher, Tanya Dixon-Neely, said of the former president -- apparently without providing any examples. "Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the president?"

In another portion of the video, she tells a student: "Listen, let me tell you something: You will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom."

In response, the student declares that he will say what he likes.

"Not about him you won't," the teacher fires back.

She has since been suspended -- with pay -- according to the Rowan-Salisbury school system.

No word on whether the constitutional guarantees of free speech will be covered during her paid down time. And it is as yet unclear whether someone will explain to her that criticism of the most powerful elected official in the United States is at the very summit of First Amendment protection.

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Easy123 said...

How does this make it into a newspaper? This seems like it should be on Yahoo News.

May 23, 2012 at 12:18 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Easy, it Easily makes into a newspaper because it is startling example of a teacher squelching free speech by her students. Her admiration for President Obama is no problem. Her stating he should be respected is no problem. The trouble came the second she allowed her passion to blur a simple question about whether or not Obama had bullied someone in school when one of her "Fact of the Day" statements pointed out that Romney was a bully from that reported incident which the family of the alleged victim does not remember. That's how it makes it into the newspaper.

May 23, 2012 at 9:47 a.m.
conservative said...

Thanks Free Press for another example of the intolerance and hypocrisy of the left on freedom of speech.

May 23, 2012 at 10:54 a.m.
Welcome_2 said...

Just because someone has the title of teacher in front of their name doesn't make them qualified to be in charge of America's most vulnerable and impressionable.

To conservative: These type of intolerance and hypocrisy acts were the norm under Bush, they just weren't worthy of any local editorial page. That's a part of right wing sneaky and sly manipulation. Playing the innocent victim.

May 23, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.

Yawn. You call this upsetting? A single teacher who can't manage the classroom?

My word, what to do, what to do. I know, let's close all the schools, that'll fix it.

Or you know, maybe just relax and not get upset over the one person who has no policy setting, who does nothing significant, and who just handled a situation poorly.

And here's something:

"Build a great, big, large fence -- 150 or 100 mile long -- put all the lesbians in there," Worley suggests in the clip, reportedly filmed on May 13.

He continues: "Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals and have that fence electrified so they can't get out...and you know what, in a few years, they'll die you know why? They can't reproduce!"

Why do I imagine we'll never see this side of the paper criticize that?

May 23, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

If the above is true, then she should be removed from the classroom without a doubt. Teachers have to be very careful and keep their political opinions out of the classroom. A discussion of the election, candidates, and claims is appropriate in a social studies class, but she (given the info above) went about it the wrong way. Such discussions should be met with clear ground rules (no disrespect, back up opinions with hard facts, no blanket statements, etc.) and all students should be allowed to share their thoughts without repercussion. There are a million resources to help guide these discussions and the teacher should have made use of them.

That being said, I think it's funny how she is being held up as some shining example of hypocrisy on the left by people who trip over themselves to point out any miscreant conservative as a lone individual solely responsible for their own poor behavior. How about some principles, guys?

May 23, 2012 at 12:16 p.m.
conservative said...

Welcome 2......

I strongly agree with you about unqualified teachers. Don't you wish the NEA and other teacher's unions didn't have so much power in protecting these unqualified teachers?

I also strongly agree with you that the norm of the left was just as intolerant and hypocritical about free speech when Bush was president as they are now under Obamination.

May 23, 2012 at 12:17 p.m.
Livn4life said...

She can say whatever she wants to in the classroom as long as it is part of the liberal drivel. Let a teacher stand up with anything mentioned as only opinion about his/her religion, not just Christianity and here goes the neighborhood. The double standard is ridiculous. Whom do we want our children learning under, those who will allow all sides to be expressed in respectful terms or one who will allow only one perspective and call any other approach disrespect and go postal on the students? I think I know which of these most of us desire.

May 23, 2012 at 1:19 p.m.
AlmostAmanda said...

How is it a double standard when she is being rightfully reprimanded (and facing further consequences pending an investigation) for her inappropriate behavior? Do you have an example of a teacher preventing or promoting specific religious belief and being held to a different standard in the same district? I agree with your point that reasonable people should only want those who allow respectful disagreement and discourse in our classrooms and that this teacher seems to have failed miserably. However, she has been publicly embarrassed, has been suspended, and may (hopefully) lose her job, so I'm not sure this is a great example of the bogus "Christian conservatives are persecuted while liberals get away with everything" line.

May 23, 2012 at 1:32 p.m.
jazzman said...

Livn4life re: it is startling example of a teacher squelching free speech by her students. '

does the proposed "don't say gay" legislation also come under the heading of 'squelching free speech by the government'?... or was 'startling example' OK?

May 24, 2012 at 3:01 a.m.
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