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 Post subject: Teacher's political rant
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 33
Although DS school remained open last Wednesday (strike day) many of the teachers did take industrial action and were not in school that day. The following day DS class (year 8 ) asked one teacher how he felt the strike had gone.
This teacher then launched into a political tirade on the wrongs of this coalition government and the lies that were being peddled about the pension problem. Apparently this political lecture lasted about 30 mins and took up most of the science lesson. DS came home that evening practically begging me to show active support for any future strike and told me how he absolutely supported the public sector strikes and that he couldn't believe how he hadn't realised the gravity of the situation up till this point.

I am furious that this teacher has taken it upon himself to posture his views upon a class of impressionable children.
Whilst I have absolutely no problem with political views being discussed, I truly believe that both opposing points of view should be given and a balanced, fair argument be aired.

I really feel like writing a complaint letter to the school but am worried that I may just be making a mountain out of a molehill and that I may be just stirring up trouble unnecessarily.
What does everyone else think?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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If this happened as you say it did, then I would complain. The only tiny caution is that you only have your son's version of events - 'launched into a political tirade' and 'lies being peddled' sound pretty grown up language - how old is your son? I only ask because teenagers don't always pick up the most nuanced remarks and perhaps they only focussed on one side of what was being said. And equally if your son is in the sixth form, one might wonder if there was the intention of engaging the students in debate.

But if indeed you are confident it was a one-sided 'rant' and your son is under about 17, then complain to the Chair of Governors - not the Head or indeed the teacher. It is not something a professional teacher should be doing.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:47 pm
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Location: Essex
I don't think it's worth complaining about. If a year 8 DC asks that sort of question in class, they are very likely to get an answer. It's also likely that the answer will be a subjective one. If the topic was being discussed as part of a planned lesson then I think it's reasonable to expect both points of view to be discussed but if one DC asks a teacher for their own take on things then that's what they'll get. It probably wasn't anywhere near 30 minutes' worth of discussion, although I appreciate it may have seemed like it! :lol: It may be a shame that your DCs lesson wasn't exactly science as timetabled but at least he was intellectually engaged and given food for thought. I'd discuss the wider issues at home and let it pass.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:00 am
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I would absolutely bring this up with the school - no teacher should be allowed to let their political opinions enter the classroom - whilst they were asked the question in the first place, there are ways of answering a child's question so to ensure that a satisfactory answer is given and the response not given as if standing on a soap box.

As a previous poster has identified, it may difficult to prove this though.


Last edited by Sportsmum on Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:36 pm 
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.


Last edited by Belinda on Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:21 pm 
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I suppose the question is, if he ranted on about another subject - say, the nazis and how they were good, and the world was lying about them - and you felt your son to be 'brainwashed' (which is what I think you're sort of getting at here) would you complain about it?

It's not about the subject (ie: teachers' pensions/political views) which is under the microscope, but whether or not the impressionable youngsters should have the teacher's own POV shoved down their throats, especially in a lesson which is in no way connected with the subject.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
I had to explain to 4 year olds what a strike was..luckily they had lost interest halfway through my explanation as there was a fly in the room!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:04 pm 
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After reading the op, I felt that the teacher was justified in explaining why she/he had strikes ( or not), especially as it was such a hot topic last week, and the teacher had been specifically asked about it However, a half-an hour rant, through a science lesson was slightly out of order. Just a short explanation of his views should have sufficed.

I'm not sure if it is worth contacting the school or not. I guessing it's a one- off, then maybe not, but if it is repeated, then maybe.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:00 pm
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yoyo123 wrote:
I had to explain to 4 year olds what a strike was..luckily they had lost interest halfway through my explanation as there was a fly in the room!


:lol: :lol:
My class are still like that at year 5, but it has to be at least a wasp.

Can't get into this argument or I will get cross, better go back to "Hamster vs Gerbil" where I still think rat is the solution.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:37 pm 
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yoyo123 wrote:
I had to explain to 4 year olds what a strike was..luckily they had lost interest halfway through my explanation as there was a fly in the room!

What a wonderful picture I have in my head of your 4 year old students, how funny they are at that age and how easily they are distracted. :D

moosh, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If it were a regular occurrence then I would be a little concerned, but if it was a one off I would forget about it. There was a lot of tension surrounding the strikes last week and this may have sparked an unusual reaction to your DC's question. I don't think it is a bad thing for children to be exposed to various different political views, and I am sure you will be able to temper any extreme reactions your DC has with regard to them. It could lead to a very interesting family discussion regarding the present political climate. My eldest DS is studying Government and Politics and History as two of his A levels, it gets rather heated in his lessons sometimes and he loves it. However, he is 17.


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