Phil Berger is attempting to suggest that teachers who participate in a "walk-in" protest in North Carolina do not care about their students and are willing to sacrifice their education to make a political point. He wants to paint the teachers, who work long hours and weekends teaching our youth for some of the absolute WORST pay in the country for a job requiring a college degree, as the villains here. He refuses to recognize the lack of viable options for protest that our teachers have to work with and continues to shovel half-hearted apologies at the heroes of our public school system while North Carolina's government confirms its abandonment of its school by beginning a program to help pay students' tuition to private schools.
This is an interesting statement considering the amount of political propaganda I see on a daily basis walking throughout the UNC Chapel Hill campus. Many students make the effort to act politically and engage the rest of campus in their respective policies. Communist literature is handed out on the same corner as the famous Pit Preacher's weekly sermon (which, for those who aren't familiar, highly resembles the teachings of the Westboro Baptist Church).
As a student, I am not at all bothered by the idea that our schools are venue for political action and debate. The idea of schooling is to introduce students to a wide array of information and perhaps provide a framework to interpret their opinions and beliefs. I appreciate hearing the ideas of politically minded people, however radical or unorthodox, with respect for the pursuit of knowledge. I also believe that schools are the most appropriate place to discuss politics, especially compared to the media. American democracy is built upon political discussion; though I respect Phil Berger's opinion, I believe that the schooling experience, especially higher education, is the time and place for political discourse.
I disagree with Berger. School is the primary place to encounter politics. From elementary to university students, schools serve to inform students about the world around them and a large portion of that is politics. What better way for students to learn about civil disobedience and their role as citizens than to witness teachers standing up for their rights and integrity? I think the real disappointment here is that education has become such a politicized issue. We all agree that teachers are invaluable to our future success, it’s time we start putting this truth into actions.
Berger is incorrect. School is where people learn the most about politics and there for it is difficult, if not impossible to seperate them. Berger believes that teachers who participate in protests of this kind do not care about the "negative" affect it has, or will have, on the students. When in fact it shows the students that it is okay to stand up for what you believe in. It is okay to fight for a better world. While Berger is entitled to his opinion, it is a little misguided, seeing as how school is the biggest influence, outside of family, on a person's political views.
I disagree. School is THE place for politics. It is better to learn in a controlled environment from well-educated people rather than from world propaganda, isn't it? I wish I had been more exposed to politics in my time in the NC public school system. I also believe teachers had every right to protest in this way. Not only is it their first amendment right, but it shows how passionate they are about something, and I think that sets a good example for students anyway.
The teachers who protested are not being used as pawns, they are protested because they feel that teachers are being used as pawns and/or being ignored by the government. Just like students, if teachers are not receiving encouragement and support to do their jobs well, then they are placed in an insecure position. Public schools who are supposed to be supported by the government are the place for politics. If teachers do not protest this type of treatment, then there will be less teachers in the nation; because who would want to be a teacher when the costs outweigh the benefits in this nation?
Although I agree that students should not be used as political pawns in any situation, I don't believe that was ever a concern here. Teachers should feel free to contribute their political opinions, especially if it gives them the opportunity to stand up for their personal rights. This also provides students with to chance to learn about the power of individuals in the government, and how it is important for them to have a say. What better way is there for a student to be exposed to and learn about these opportunities than from their teachers?