Baracking the classroom vote

Virginia teachers should celebrate “Obama Blue Day” on Tuesday by wearing blue to school, their union told them.

“There are people out there not yet registered. You teach some of them,” the Sept. 25 e-mail reads. “Others, including our members, remain on the fence! Its time for us to come together, voice our unity, because we make a difference!”

“Let’s make Obama Blue Day a day of Action!” the e-mail continues. “Barack the vote!”

Virginia Education Association President Kitty Boitnott told Fox News the e-mail was not intended to “encourage teachers to use their classrooms for partisan political purposes.”

“The e-mail did not encourage teachers to talk with students about voting for any specific candidate, although it did suggest that teachers can encourage eligible students to register to vote.”

Perhaps the use of the words “Barack” and “Obama” gave teachers the idea that the union wanted a “day of Action” for Barack Obama.

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Comments

  1. Homeschooling Granny says:

    I wonder whether union president Kitty Boitnott is hurt and uncomprehending when she finds large segments of the public suspicious and antagonistic toward teachers and the public schools, fearful that their children are being more indoctrinated than educated.

  2. I won’t go as far to say “most teachers” because I don’t know them. However, it’s safe to say that most teachers at the local Middle and High School need very little encouragement to bring their political beliefs into the classroom.

    This is more than a “littel encouragement”, although not unexpected.

  3. You can’t force people to wear red if they don’t want to. And if people want to wear blue, and wear blue, well that’s the fact and you just have to deal with it.

  4. We need to teach our students how to think. Not what to think.
    Encourage them to be politically active. Teach them how to understand the positions of candidates. Teach them how to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the candidacies of Obama and McCaine.

    Teachers who cannot conceal their own political beliefs should give extra credit to students willing and able to intelligently disagree with them…

  5. How ’bout we teach them to read and let them decide whether they want to be politically active and on which side?

    Part of the fallout of an education system in which education is unimportant is that every, petty conceit takes on undeserved importance.

  6. What about teachers who happen to not support Obama?
    Or teachers who believe that politicking has no place in the school?

    Are they going to be penalized or shunned by their peers?
    Is the next step going to be to require people to report how they voted?

    I hate the whole “Dress in X way to support Y” attitude. Even with stuff that I supported. I never participated in ANY of those things…not “wear jeans to support National Coming Out Day,” not “wear pink to support Breast Cancer Research,” nothing.

    Maybe some of us prefer not to wear our beating hearts out on our sleeves for everyone to see, thanks.

  7. Encourage them to be politically active.

    That’s really not the purpose or responsibility of the school and certainly has no place outside of civics class. Educate – not indoctrinate.

  8. Another reason why I don’t belong to a union…..

  9. Allen said, “Part of the fallout of an education system in which education is unimportant is that every, petty conceit takes on undeserved importance.”

    Perfect response, Allen. One reason that students don’t demonstrate self-discipline is that teachers fail to exercise self-discipline. No one, especially students, should know anything about a teacher’s political beliefs. As a professor, it is my job to facilitate a discussion that acknowledges both sides of an issue. Once a student knows my position on an issue, then everything that I say about that issue is filtered through that lens.

  10. Can we have that again, please?

    One reason that students don’t demonstrate self-discipline is that teachers fail to exercise self-discipline. No one, especially students, should know anything about a teacher’s political beliefs. As a professor, it is my job to facilitate a discussion that acknowledges both sides of an issue. Once a student knows my position on an issue, then everything that I say about that issue is filtered through that lens.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  11. Is the next step going to be to require people to report how they voted?

    Considering that the union leaders of the world are agitating to use the power of the federal government to do something close to this, I would urge you not to give them any ideas.

  12. Bandit, regarding my suggestion that students ought to be encouraged to be politically active, you said:

    That’s really not the purpose or responsibility of the school and certainly has no place outside of civics class. Educate – not indoctrinate.

    I certainly agree with educating and not indoctrinating — which should be clear from my comment.

    As for the responsibilities of education, shouldn’t we teach children their role in a democracy? And isn’t that role to vote as informed citizens? I suppose one can teach about that role without encouraging students to actually live up to the expectation.

    Is that what you mean?

    As for “no place outside of civics class,” a fair enough point. But how about the study of rhetoric in a language class? Whether analyzing the words of a Republican President trying to convince the country to go to war or a Democrat mayor trying to convince his constituents to let him take over the school system, examining those words is an authentic way to improve reading comprehension, the understanding of how to write, and the critical eye essential to being an informed citizen.

  13. anonymous says:

    I find it interesting that wearing blue translates into liberal indoctrination. Apparently, students are attuned to special color-based subliminal messages that make them prefer Obama when they see blue. Excellent work, you paranoid right-wing nuts! God forbid my children ever wind up in any of YOUR classrooms.

  14. Dick Eagleson says:

    I find it interesting that wearing blue translates into liberal indoctrination.

    Maybe in Virginia. Here in L.A. it means you’re a Crip and can make you a target in certain neighborhoods.

    Apparently, students are attuned to special color-based subliminal messages

    Color-based messages, oh yeah. Subliminal? Not so much.

  15. “I find it interesting that wearing blue translates into liberal indoctrination.”

    When the color is associated with a specific liberal political candidate, yes, it does. If it was simply “Election Blue Day” we would not have this post to comment on.

  16. Mrs. Lopez says:

    Apparently our courageous Anonymous poster doesn’t realize that wearing *something* to support *someone* would be pointless if no one else knew what it represented.

    Every kid in the school would know what was going on by the end of the day.

  17. As for the responsibilities of education, shouldn’t we teach children their role in a democracy?

    Who’s we – the parents? Except for 18 yr olds – school kids don’t have the right to vote – and it’s really none of the teachers business whether they vote or not –

    But how about the study of rhetoric in a language class? Whether analyzing the words of a Republican President trying to convince the country to go to war or a Democrat mayor trying to convince his constituents to let him take over blah, blah, blah

    Again – since on way too many occasions teachers have proven themselves totally incapable of using judgement and discretion I’ll stick with the educate and not indoctrinate.