I just heard on Fox News that a California student has won a lawsuit against one of his teachers for violating the students First Amendment rights. This is a court decision about which I have mixed feelings.
I am a great believer in freedom of speech, thought, and expression, as the founders of our nation obviously were - that's why they made it the First Amendment! I don't know that there's anything in the First Amendment that could be interpreted to mean that one would never have to hear opinions with which they disagreed. However, as an individual, the teacher supposedly has the same First Amendment protections guaranteeing freedom of speech, thought, and expression.
In this case though, the teacher, in his official work capacity, is an authority figure representing the school district in which he teaches. The school district generally establishes curricula, and they normally require lesson plans to reflect those educational goals. I don't believe that our primary and secondary educational institutions are the proper venue for teachers to express their personal opinions, unless they preface their remarks with a statement similar to, "This is my personal opinion, and...", and then encourage discussion during and/or after they present their point of view. They must be ready to logically defend their position without ridiculing their students opinions.
The purpose of a lesson plan is to ensure, as best we can, that information is imparted to the student in a consistent manner within the state educational system. Without strict guidelines, the learning (or indoctrination) process would be even more chaotic than it is currently! The expression of the authority figure's (the teacher) personal viewpoint, without inviting ridicule-free discussion, is where the unauthorized indoctrination takes place (as opposed to the officially sanctioned indoctrination).
I don't believe in bashing anybody's Judeo-Christian belief system, as it has a history of over 2,000 years of world wide support. And, the last place to attack any individual's belief system - or even their choice not to believe - is in the public school classrooms! Our tax dollars are ostensibly spent for education, not indoctrination!
On the other hand, whose freedom of speech is guaranteed more... the student or the teacher? As I see things, neither is more guaranteed or more protected under the First Amendment, but one is more appropriate. So, my question to those few intrepids who actually read my blog is this, "Which one, and why?" Think about it.
You never know, I could be entirely wrong about this... and Obama could ocassionally publicly acknowledge that equal part of him which is white. The odds of either of these being realistic possibilities are about the same.................