Political editorial to students from principal; Is this ethical?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by BRX, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. BRX

    BRX Rookie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jan 13, 2018

    After Trump's reported comments on Haiti, a lengthy letter went out to students and staff from the school principal stating that the Trump administration was continuously attacking immigrants of color, and that the school does not support the agenda of this administration. It was an emotionally driven anti-Trump piece that denounced everything that he represents. I was kind of taken by surprise, as this administrator was essentially venting to students and presenting his opinion as fact. While I agree with his position (I am no fan of Trump -not that it matters), I do question if it is ethical to send these types of messages to children and staff, without challenging them to come to their own conclusions about what is going on in the world. I'd love to hear some thoughts on this.
     
    a2z likes this.
  2.  
  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    677

    Jan 13, 2018

    The lack of common sense astonishes me. Does this principal really not have enough to deal with that he has to create more problems for himself by becoming unnecessarily involved in political discourse? If that's what he's interested in, he should quit his job and become a politician. It really is mind-numbingly stupid to me that someone would do something like that.
     
  4. BRX

    BRX Rookie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4

    Jan 13, 2018

    I feel the same way. This isn't the first time this type of thing has happened. The school has taken many political stances and expressed them openly to students and staff. It is public charter school, so I am not sure if this type of thing is permitted. It just doesn't sit right with me at all.
     
    Backroads, a2z and futuremathsprof like this.
  5. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    677

    Jan 13, 2018

    And another thing...it's easy to come out against Trump. But imagine the backlash if a principal had come out similarly against Obama, or even against George Bush? It's a bit of a double-standard.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    2,953
    Likes Received:
    1,004

    Jan 13, 2018

    The superintendent in my district and our school board have put out statements regarding hate, social justice, and politics over the past year. At first, I was a bit surprised by it, but it really doesn't seem out of character for my school district. The community, for the most part, is supportive of the stance the district takes, so it has not been an issue. I think it probably depends on your community and the beliefs of the school board. In some communities, this would definitely not go over well, but, for some small communities, it probably is in line with the mission and values of the school district.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,440
    Likes Received:
    2,438

    Jan 13, 2018

    I think that more people should be using their voices to object to what's happening in our government right now. People with power, like school and community leaders, have loud voices, and they need to be louder. I actually believe that it's more unethical to stay quiet in the face of racism and oppression.
     
    anon55, christie and dgpiaffeteach like this.
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    298

    Jan 13, 2018

    To specifically name a current political leader such as Trump, Obama, Bush etc. and to denounce this person as a principal is clearly wrong. This is coming from someone who is not a Trump supporter but has been taught right from wrong in school law classes and PDs.
     
  9. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    298

    Jan 13, 2018

    Stand against racism, prejudice, and oppression--yes. Though to specifically denounce a president crosses a line as a principal--even though I can understand the temptation.
     
    a2z likes this.
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,440
    Likes Received:
    2,438

    Jan 13, 2018

    I disagree very strongly. In the "shithole" situation (I won't censor my words here), the president was objectively wrong. It is okay to say that he was wrong. None of this is okay, and people need to stop acting like it is.
     
    anon55 and stephenpe like this.
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,200
    Likes Received:
    1,182

    Jan 13, 2018

    Anything you didn't hear directly (in person or unedited video) and in context is hearsay. So, no administrator should be addressing this with the students. I'm not saying that what is being reported is not what he said, but there are too many things reported in the media with bias or just false.
     
  12. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    298

    Jan 13, 2018

    In this specific situation, I agree with you. A principal or leader can call something a president does as wrong. This is different than the original poster that said " that the school does not support the agenda of this administration". Making a general denouncement of Trump is political and fine as individuals, but not as a principal who is the leader of the school. Stating a fact, Trump said this and that is against the values we have as a school is much different from a legal perspective.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,440
    Likes Received:
    2,438

    Jan 13, 2018

    Which part of that is the legal issue? The school must, as in has a legal obligation to, adhere to the government's abject racist and oppressive agenda? Or the school can't, as in is legally prohibited from, saying that it won't adhere to such an agenda? Or the school simply stating that it does not support the agenda? What is the specific law that is being referenced here?
     
  14. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    298

    Jan 13, 2018

    From my knowledge of school law (which isn't perfect), a school can't advocate or denounce a political candidate or politician. It can comment on specific true events. For example, a principal could say that as a school we stand against prejudice and vulgar language and denounce any action Trump or anyone else does who does that. A principal isn't to paint such a wide brush to say that all of Trump's agenda or all of Obama's agenda etc. is wrong. The first part is criticizing a specific behavior and the second is criticizing an entire person.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,440
    Likes Received:
    2,438

    Jan 13, 2018

    Trump isn't a political candidate.

    I guess I need to see the letter in question to see exactly what was said. I also need to know which law is being referenced.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,858
    Likes Received:
    298

    Jan 13, 2018

    Point taken. My post should say politician or political candidate. I will make that correction.
     
  17. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Devotee

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    677

    Jan 13, 2018

    Say it was an issue other than immigration, such as abortion. Some might say that abortion is morally wrong, and the killing of innocent babies. Some might say that prohibiting abortion is oppressing women's right to choose. Either way, public school leadership should not be publishing opinion pieces on that matter, as it is sure to create some unnecessary enemies. Students should be encouraged to form their own opinions on these matters after much critical thought, and to voice these opinions as they see fit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  18. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    71

    Jan 13, 2018

    I have been alive during many administrations that I have strongly disagreed with. This is the FIRST time that I find myself constantly reminding my students that the behavior of this person who is supposed to be the leader of our country is not the behavior of leaders. If my students were speaking or acting in a manner like this we would have a problem and I tell them so. These behaviors are not behaviors that will be tolerated in my classroom at all. This is not about personal opinion, this is about tolerance, leadership, and human dignity (among many things) and our students are looking for how to respond. We must help them with that. Hmmmm, I sound preachy - sorry. But I do feel that when I disagree with a politician on a topic or issue I have, in the past, been able to separate the person from the issue. This time I feel that it is not just the issues, it is the language being used. I don't just mean cursing. The loaded language being used by this administration is not something I am aware of any administration doing to this degree in my adult life. How we as districts, schools, teachers, should respond is a really good question. It's the first time I am being very honest with my high school students about my views. I tell them they are allowed to disagree with each other's positions on issues, but they must hear each other's views, and they must remain respectful of each other's disagreements. Does our president do any of these things? No. But I hold my students to a higher standard. 45's parents would have already been called in for a meeting. And the question of what do we as a country do when we can't call his parents is a real question that we need to start really dialoguing about in this country - what do we do??? And schools speaking up might be one answer.
     
    MissCeliaB and readingrules12 like this.
  19. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    52

    Jan 13, 2018

    I think it is an easy answer that this is not ethical. I understand that some posters are saying that it is part of a teacher's job to model moral behavior for students. However, I can easily do this without sharing my political beliefs with students. Students always leave my classroom without knowing my political beliefs because it is none of their business. I am fortunate because I work in a place where many feel the same way. I have heard of some teachers who see a captive audience of students and use the time to try to indoctrinate those students into sharing their views on politics. These teachers, and the principal in your story, cross a line of morality. Good job BRX at being able to look past your personal opinions, and question your role or the school's role in this.
     
    czacza likes this.
  20. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    54

    Jan 13, 2018

    On a side note, it's mentioned in the new book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, that Trump didn't actually want to win the election and that he was very upset when he found out that he did win that night. I don't know how much truthfulness there is in this book, but some say that this could explain some of his antics- in that he may be acting in this manner because he is trying to get impeached. It's mentioned in the book that he ran because it would "make him the most famous man in the world" and because if he lost it would "afford his family more opportunities in the future".
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-donald-trump.html
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/t...fer-untold-opportunities-book/article/2644849
    :)
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,440
    Likes Received:
    2,438

    Jan 14, 2018

    But this is not about political leanings like whether you support big government or would prefer tax cuts. This is blatant and overt sexism and racism. Your students should know your feelings on the nazis and whether it’s okay to use your fame to sexually assault women.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Missy,
  2. Ajay Ahlawat
Total: 374 (members: 2, guests: 279, robots: 93)
test