- I am a former middle and high school science teacher pursuing a doctorate in Science Ed. at George Mason University, with a concentration in cognitive science and the evolution of cognition and learning. Postings on this blog represent my own views, not those of my employer or school. All writing displayed on this page is original work unless otherwise noted, and thus copyrighted.
15 February 2010
Why I Shouldn't Post This...
As I was about to write this post, which I fully intend to write, I noted this lovely article in the N&O
: A Middle school teacher in my district was suspended for comments posted to her Facebook page. This isn't unusual in and of itself, it's been done elsewhere before this. The difference is that she posted comments related to students leaving a Bible on her desk (from her surname she is certainly of Middle Eastern descent and ostensibly Muslim?) and that the parents of her students were "bigoted, stupid, and uncaring." She also mentioned that she was "able to shame her students". Now, investigation of that final comment is the only thing that seems to be a legal reason for suspension, since the others amount to her right to free speech and/or her being persecuted, not the other way around. I don't doubt that Wake Co. has a legitimate excuse for her suspension, but I seriously doubt their motives.
Now to the meat of the post: I attended a January graduation ceremony because a number of my former students were graduating. For the most part, they were graduating early, not a semester late. The part of this that stuck in my head, however, was that there was a graduation speech delivered, not by a member of the faculty or graduating class, but by a pastor at a local church of which our principal is a member. Yes, that's right, a member of the clergy was asked to give a "message", for which he chose the life of David, complete with passages and Biblical references. While I'm not sure where else he would have found information on him, since most of what we know of him is from that fictional source. The speech included some decent worldly advice, but also some outright Christian messages, as well as direct reading of a Psalm. From what I remember, that pretty well matches what a sermon is.... how is this legal? Our public schools should not be a recruiting ground for local churches.
UPDATE PZ Myers of Pharyngula has picked up the first part of my post... although not due in any way to me: here