20 November 2006

A Little Attitude Adjustment

Okay, I don't like to do this, but here is still more on the New Jersey history teacher recorded while preaching in class. This is a transcript of sorts from a section of the available recording. While I don't mean to defend this guy in any way, I'd like to point out that he probably did not say (as he has been quoted) "I phrase this very very diplomatically, but that's the generation that did not have terrorism did not have race aggression and all of that." At least what I hear is "a very very different attitude. But that’s also the generation that [inaudible] totalitarianism, communism, [inaudible] great depression and all of that." Note especially his belief that children should be taught homophobia, and that it's somehow wrong to present them with less bigoted views. Note also his hypothetical reaction to a child who doubts the existence of god--beat the hell out of him and drag him to church. What a real prince this guy is.

Teacher: I hope there are no—no thieves here, because I don’t always lock my doors.

Students: [indistinguishable remarks] Really?

Teacher: One day somebody may take advantage of me. [inaudible] not many places in the world left where you can do that. [inaudible] changed everything. Desperate people do desperate things. [inaudible] It really is not bad, even the schools. My problem—my problem with schools is not that I don’t think my kids are going to learn reading and writing and arithmetic or learn it well. [inaudible] The highest value in public education is tolerance, but tolerance of what? Deviant behavior? There are a lot of things I don't want my kids tolerating. Ethnic diversity, yes. Deviant sexual behavior, no. Uh, things like that. And that's all being taught right from—right from kindergarten up. I still believe in the concept of sin, man's fallen nature, all that stuff that is considered old-fashioned nowadays, and that’s how my kids are going to be raised. You know. When you think about those things, that’s what people that are concerned about education are for the most part concerned with. Down [inaudible] we had great schools as far as qualified teachers and stuff like that, but there’s a lot of disparity when it comes to world views. Public schools in general. Your family—let’s suppose you have a religious family. You send your kid—you surrender your kid to the state from preschool on up to twelfth grade. Mom and dad are trying to tell you that the Bible is God’s word and their lives are deeply rooted in faith. But yet the “smart” people—and I say that in quotations because they're not all really that smart—the teachers that you're exposed to from kindergarten to twelfth grade, never once will you see them crack open a Bible. Never once will you hear them quote it. And never once will you hear a prayer uttered from their lips. Over the course of twelve years, what's the transfer? Smart people don’t have faith. Don’t believe. That’s the transfer. [inaudible] Now my parents grew up, they went to public schools, but they went prior to 1962 so the teachers read the bible and the teacher prayed and it was part of the school day and, you know, a very very different attitude. But that’s also the generation that [inaudible] totalitarianism, communism, [inaudible] great depression and all of that.

Student (female): But then there’s also like you can’t [inaudible] exceptions to every rule, [inaudible] like my mom, and my dad, [inaudible] and like my grandparents—

Teacher: And that’s their prerogative.

Student: Yeah, and my—

Teacher: But should they impose that on the rest of the world?

Student: No no no no I know that, but like [inaudible] both my grandparents, and my grandpa especially, he goes to church every single day. Every day in the morning he gets up and goes to church, and … and like … I go to church every sunday … I go by myself, and, like, now I got a whole [inaudible] of friends I bring on church every sunday. And so like, if I’m always, you know—

Teacher: I realize there are exceptions; I don’t disagree with that. My only thing is that those are the exceptions. Like you said it’s the exceptions, not the rule. As a parent I want to create an environment that makes it more likely that my kid is going to have faith, not less likely, you know what I mean? That was one of my concerns. And now I think we’re sufficiently [inaudible]. [pause] It’s a battle.

Student: But then what would you do if one kid like [inaudible] “Thanks for teaching me all this but like I don’t agree. I don’t have faith.”

Teacher: Until you’re eighteen—

Student: Yeah?

Teacher: —you have to agree.

Student: Okay, but I’m saying, like, what if you’re eighteen—

Teacher: If you’re eighteen years old, and you made that decision I’ll still love you, but I don’t have to agree with you. I’d never abandon you regardless of what decision you made. [inaudible] God, the way he’s portrayed in the scriptures. People have done horrible things in the bible, but did he stop loving them? But in a relationship with them [inaudible] didn’t stop loving them. And that’s the example of how we should act as parents. But if my kid is age twelve and he’s telling me Dad, I appreciate your time and effort but I’ve decided in my twelve years of wisdom that I’m going to stop going to church, after I break his backside we’re going to have a little attitude adjustment on the subject, he’s going to get in the car with the rest of the family and go to church. You’re entitled to your own opinions, but you’re still going to do what your old man tells you to or suffer the consequences. [inaudible]

Student [male]: Isn’t the whole point of public school so that you can separate personal beliefs from teachers and administrators from non—non-religious, you know, non-religious teachings during school, like school prayer and all that?

Teacher: No. The purpose of public school is to provide free education to people that couldn’t afford education. Period. That’s the purpose of public school. What it’s become is social engineering. It’s supposed to reflect the values and belief-systems of the parents; that’s why we have school boards elected from the population. Now I gotta believe that most of people on the school board have faiths may be similar to mine but yet the state comes up with some weird perception of what education ought to be and they jump on the bandwagon.

Student: What—what would decide what should be—what religion should be taught in schools; what would decide that?

Teacher: No, it’s not about teaching—My point is that it’s not about teaching religion, and these issues will all come up when we get to the 1920s and things begin to get legislated and we’ll talk about them then. But the public school shouldn’t teach a religion, but the scriptures aren’t religion.

Student: They’re not?

Teacher: The scriptures are at the foundation of the world’s religions—of the world’s main religions, anyway. Religion is a set way of doing things. Like for example if you take Christian faith you have many varieties. You have Roman Catholicism, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Baptists. We differ on church government, things like that, but [inaudible] the book. The bible. We should be able to bring that into the classroom, read it, and shouldn’t be threatened [inaudible].

Student: What if some students don’t believe in the bible?

Another Student: I don’t either.

Teacher: That’s their prerogative. What if the student doesn’t believe in evolution? What if the student doesn’t believe in some, you know, other aspect of the educational curriculum?

Student: Well, evolution is scientific.

Teacher: Is it?

Student: I could get you a whole bunch of information on it.

Teacher: Yeah, I’m 38 years old; I’ve seen the information, but here’s the scientific method.

[At this point there is considerable confusion as members of the class try to figure out what the scientific method is according to what they can remember from science. The teacher suggests "experimentation" as one of the steps at one point, this being the only part of it he's interested in. For a further update on the situation check out The Lippard Blog.]

1 comment:

Arthur_Vandelay said...

But the public school shouldn’t teach a religion, but the scriptures aren’t religion.

The power of Christ can move goalposts.

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