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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Conservative teachers are quiet

Teachers who are on the political right "speak in whispers behind closed doors," says Daniel Buck in an interview with Rick Hess. "Picking political fights in the teachers’ lounge jeopardizes that professional peace."

However, he adds, "most teachers have many values that are traditionally associated with conservatism — local control, smaller bureaucracies, classically influenced curriculum, strict discipline structures — even if they don’t identify as conservatives per se."

Many teachers, online and in person, say they agree with him, says Buck.

They want to keep Shakespeare on the curriculum and dole out consequences to kids who misbehave. It’s administrators, professors, activists, and journalists with whom I have the most ideological clashes. When it comes to in-person conversations, such disagreement has proved tense but remains civil. Online, it’s hopeless.

Buck worries the most about the "progressive notion that discipline and consequences are oppressive," which "puts classrooms at risk for serious disruptive behavior. Schools in chaos cannot function" whatever the curriculum.

I'd guess that a lot of teachers who were willing to try "restorative justice" are having second thoughts.

In Sonoma County, California, students, parents and teachers say their high school's tolerance for fighting led to a fatal stabbing in an art class on March 1, reports the Press Democrat. "Teachers, ordered by school district leaders not to speak to reporters, privately decried what they described as longtime inaction by administrators in the face of warnings about campus violence."

In North Wasco County, Oregon, students and teachers "do not feel safe in our schools," said teacher Jodi Ketchum, a union leader. Karen Wilson, an elementary teacher, said disruptive and violent students return to her classroom quickly, then disrupt learning again. "Meanwhile, the rest of the class is constantly anxious and on high alert, waiting for certain students to blow up."

1 Comment

Richard Rider
Richard Rider
May 12, 2023

My retired high school teacher wife (a libertarian Republican) kept quiet while teaching in CA. She spoke out against the union on occasion but avoided voicing any other political opinions. After retiring, she joined 3 other retired English teachers to pay Scrabble regularly. They had been colleagues for decades. After starting the group, they were all surprised to find that all four of them were Republicans. No one knew the political views of the others while teaching.

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