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Political opinions and viewpoints should be encouraged in all schools.
Our society needs to continue to become more open and transparent.
I am a college student/Ed major. I'm 46 years old.
Regardless of what the district you work in tells you,
you have a Constitutional Right to express your thoughts, ideas,
viewpoint, and opinions on a variety of subjects including religion
in a conversational manner with your students, other teachers and staff, or with parents.
It's called Freedom of Speech.
As teachers, you should be attending school board meetings and voicing your opinion every month from curriculum to wages and benefits....
In the repressive environment created in the last 8 years of the Bush Administration, we have seen the Patriot Act erode our civil rights and for what ?
I am against the Iraq war and if you listen to most Republicans, that makes me un-American and un-patriotic, as well as a non-supporter of our troops.....
If we allow our school districts, counties, cities, states, and federal government to tell us how to think, when to speak, what to say, and everything else to be under their control and dominance, we will no longer have life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We will become mindless drones, wage slaves, and that does not sound like the pursuit of happiness to me.
We had mock voting and mock debates on our college campus. We should encourage our elementary, middle, and high school students to talk about politics, religion, sex, war, eithics, values, morals and anything else they want to talk about. As teachers, we should be the facilitators of those conversations. Of course, those should all be age appropriate.....
The exchange of ideas is the foundation of education and learning.
In answer to your question, the US Military is not allowed to express political beliefs publically. I think teachers should not express political beliefs, just as we are asked not to express religous beliefs. To express one, but not the other is inconsistent, unfair, and possibly unconstitutional.
I would like to know who says that teachers are supposed to be a-political? What other profession leaves their leave their Constitutional Rights at home? What other rights should teachers give up?
I try and present all sides of issues. I will occassionally give my own view couched in a heavy emphasis that it is my opinion, but usually I don't go there at all. We try and study the issues of the day from many points of view using the concept of ethical dilemmas, where there are no clear right or wrong answers, just an opportunities to deepen understanding of the difficulties of weighing different points of view to come up with workable compromise solutions.
I believe until the election is finished you should not let your students know who you are voting for. I think before the election you should take the time to discuss the election process and to explore the pros and cons of each candidate and why they would make a good elected official. After the election I feel it is ok to let the students know who you voted for because this could also lead to good discussions and learning moments. But to use your classroom or school to garner support for your candidate is wrong let the students research the candidates and make their own informed decisions on who they like or don’t like.
A quality teacher gets the students to think critically about any subject. My students don't know what my believes are. In fact, what I believe is irrelevant. I want the students to know an issue, be able to talk correctly about the subject and then draw their own conclusions based on the evidence and what they believe.
I can't imagine telling my students that Obama is better, abortion is wrong, college is stupid or pineapple are pink. That's for them to decide. I just give them the tools to make educated decisions and researched opinions.