Teach your students well

Teach your students well

May 23rd, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

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.