Are there any bans on Socialist teachers?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MWM958, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    I was just wondering, are there any laws (local, state, or otherwise) that ban Socialists, Communists, or Marxists, etc from becoming teachers? I would guess that many communities would not be happy about a Commie teaching in their school, but is it against any school policies or local laws?

    I say this, because I have an affinity for Socialism, and I'd like to be a Social Studies teacher. So I know I'm gonna get some crap if I am able to get a job as a teacher. But let's not make this thread a political debate.

    So if anyone knows an answer to my question, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Is this a serious question?
     
  4. physteach

    physteach Companion

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    As a socialist leaning teacher, I say teach away! I just don't really ever discuss politics and if I do, I preface with "this is what I believe".
     
  5. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    yes
     
  6. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Shouldn't be discussing your personal beliefs in a classroom anyway, ESP as a social studies teacher. Number 1 rule, IMO. My students don't know if I'm a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or anything else under the sun. So, none of your students would ever know anyway.
     
  7. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    right right, that's what I would do too.

    Phew, okay, I feel a little better now lol.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    In my district, there is a policy against stating personal political beliefs in the classroom. I teach everything in a very factual way, and let students draw their own conclusions. Students who know me well can usually guess my political leanings, but only those who are very observant, or who know me outside of school or something.
     
  9. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    No public school district has the right to know your political beliefs so this shouldn't be an issue. Also, as stated, your beliefs have no business being aired in the classroom.
     
  10. princessbloom

    princessbloom Comrade

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    Stay neutral.
    I am a strong Libertarian but wouldn't be opposed to you teaching my child as long as you didn't push your beliefs. At all. :)
     
  11. MWM958

    MWM958 Rookie

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    Right, I never planned to do any open air preaching in the classroom, as I think my students' intellectual development comes before anything else. And I of course do not believe I have the right to force anything upon them, nor do I think it is any of the school's business to know what I believe.

    Thanks for the help guys!
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    It should never come up.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I don't know of a state that requires that someone not be a communist or a socialist. However, you can bring the crap onto yourself easily if you interject your opinion or focus too much on what you believe to be the way things "should be".

    So, my question to you is, why exactly do you want to be a Social Studies teacher? At what grade? As long as the reason you want to be a Social Studies teacher is not that you want to impress your views upon the students then I say go for it. If that is your reason for wanting to teach Social Studies, you may find yourself in difficult situations because personal preference has no place in the classroom.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My 11th grade American History teacher was a vocal Socialist, especially vocal once we started discussing Sacco and Vanzetti's trial. Nobody batted an eye, and many of us took an optional extra year of Social Studies in 12th grade so we could study European History from his vantage point. He was wise, tolerant of other people's views, and one of the best teachers ever.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm SO SURE I've had socialist instructors. I've had grad class instructors who I have felt held hostage by due to their excessive 'sharing' of their political views.

    Keep it in your pocket.
     
  16. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I think I did see in edcode somewhere that no teacher should promote communism. As far as what you believe in, politically or spiritually should be your own business. That also means it should not be discussed in the classroom, in a way that you're biased.

    Your job, as a teacher, is educating the students about what is going on out there, explain the different point of views, but should not show favoritism for one.

    I grew up in a socialist country. When I taught Geography, we covered communism (Russia and China, but I stuck to what the text book said), and socialism came up. I told them of my experiences (I was young, but old enough to understand and remember), but I evened it out and told them it had the same advantages and disadvantages. I think I was very unbiased, but I'm not sure I would even go into that now. I'd check with my P just in case.
     
  17. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Just to clarify: does this mean no teacher should be espousing the benefits of capitalism in the classroom? If so, I think most teachers have at least inadvertently broken that rule.
     
  18. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Pretty sure that would be illegal in the United States. How is that different than saying, sorry no Muslim, Jews or Puerto Rican teachers. It shouldn't matter anyway.
     
  19. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I actually have a very different response to this question...

    I was trained as a Middle Grades Social Studies teacher in 2011-12. Part of my training was understanding that a social studies teacher's responsibility is to teach (train) kids how to become participatory citizens in our country's economy and political systems. Thus, it is the social studies teacher's responsibility to train students on being CITIZENS of the United States, educated to the point of them being able to participate effectively in our existing political (republicanism) and economic (Capitalist) systems. We should not be telling them which ideologies to follow in their personal lives and we should encourage them to come to their own conclusions on any and all issues---but they must be able to function in a capitalist society, not socialist. So can you discuss this openly without interjecting your feelings? I, for example, am passionately pro-life--I could NOT teach a "hypothetical" (because it shouldn't happen in a classroom) unit on Roe v. Wade objectively, so I would never teach a course that required me to discuss it.

    In answer to your question, no-- you should not be discriminated against because you *lean* socialist. HOWEVER you MUST be very careful with this situation. The question is "how emotionally charged is this issue" for you?

    The United States is governmentally a republic. It is a teacher's responsibility to train students who to effectively participate in our political and governmental system: a republic.

    The United States is economically capitalist. Our job is to train them how to function in a capitalist country.

    Can you do that objectively?
    The question is: how emotionally charged of an issue is this for you? It is important enough to you to create a thread on it--so I am assuming it is pretty darn important to you.
     
  20. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Hey a different pic!
    I didn't recognize you at first!!!

    When I read the question, I started laughing--and I don't mean this in an ugly way to the OP because there are many different brands of socialism, but my first thought was "no, it's okay to have different ideologies in the US--this isn't the iron curtain...".
     
  21. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Seriously. The only countries that would be allowed to have policies like this regarding teachers would most likely be communist countries anyway.
     
  22. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I beg to differ: there's a long and colorful tradition in the US of dealing with political deviance - especially but not only that of teachers and students - through intimidation, silencing, imposition of "loyalty" oaths, and insistence on construing and prosecuting those oaths with excessive enthusiasm.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  23. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I think if every teacher was completely open with their admin. about all of their political views and opinions, we'd have a lot of "fired" teachers or teachers not having their contracts renewed for whatever reasons admin can make up.

    A smart teacher keeps their mouth shut on their political opinions regardless of what they are.
     
  24. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I'm pretty sure I did not say that we HAVE NEVER in the history of the United States ever persecuted someone of a differing political persuasion. Please show me where I did, and how it warranted this response.

    I am not referencing the US in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. I'm pretty sure that was clear by the use of present tense. I am operating under the assumption we all live in the year 2013. There are laws and advocacy groups that will not allow (upon knowledge of these events) such discrimination to take place TODAY, in 2013. Hence there is not government-sponsored sanction against socialism and the OP can freely participate in socialist activities and not legitimately be subject to persecution.

    I also could've said, "this isn't Robespierrean France," or "Hitler's Germany."

    But as Russia is my area of expertise, my mind went to a Russian-centered example.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    There are lots of ways to fire somebody in a non-union state without giving the real reason.
     
  26. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Well that's true enough. Point taken. That's why I included (Knowledge of these events) in that particular sentence.

    Right along the same vein of not hiring someone because of a disability and then giving some other lame excuse as the reason why.

    Or refusing to rent property to someone of a particular race, and coming up with some ridiculous, but believable reason why they were refused.

    That's true of all discrimination laws. They prevent open persecution, it doesn't stop individuals from being creeps deep down inside. So if they hide the real reason really really good...they can get away with discrimination. They just better hope they never spill the beans lest it get the ACLU's attention...
     
  27. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    No, no, no.... it absolutely is different from saying no Muslim, Jew, or Puerto Rican teachers. Those are protected classes due to a history of persecution and disadvantaged status. Communists/socialists are NOT protected classes.

    Technically -- and this is very technically -- it wouldn't even be actually illegal to espouse/support a political view in a classroom. It would be a very bad idea, and would probably get you fired without much in the way of recourse, but it wouldn't actually be illegal the way espousing a religion would be, or the way racist statements would (arguably, more likely depending on state discrimination statutes) be.
     

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