Schools and the Forces of Anti-Democracy and Bigotry

From Upworthy:

“A Teacher Asked a Great Question About Superintendent Pay. Then, All Hell Broke Loose.”

I’ve copied and pasted a few of my Facebook and Twitter posts about this particular issue, which is followed by some additional commentary.

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Teachers have joined all of the other minority groups in the absolute lower tier of the hierarchy. School Board power is out of control. Look at the semiotic (symbolic) arrangement of the room with the school board elevated and behind a huge barrier, and at a large distance away from the audience. And, then the police, as is far too often the case, act with over-the-top aggression and inappropriate power and control.

The cop should be fired, along with the entire school board including the superintendent.

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Teachers have joined all of the other minority groups in the absolute lower tier of the hierarchy. School Board power is out of control. Look at the semiotic (symbolic) arrangement of the room with the school board elevated and behind a huge barrier, and at a large distance away from the audience. And, then the police, as is far too often the case, act with over-the-top aggression and inappropriate power and control.

The cop should be fired immediately, along with the entire school board and superintendent. This is a clear symptom of the complete dysfunction of our society and of the institution of schooling. We must stop this disgraceful, anti-democratic, uncivilized behavior.

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Anthony Fontana (the school board president involved in this fiasco) is just another bigot who shouldn’t be involved in education. He needs to resign or be removed. Shame on him for blaming female teacher who was asserting her right to present an argument. Fire police officer and remove entire school board, too.

Of course, schools “should be” the seat of democratic values, equity, openness, compassion, and intellectual and artistic inquiry. But, with very few exceptions, they are not.

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Today, when we really need schools to be a exemplars of democracy and related aspects (as mentioned in the previous paragraph), we have the vast majority of schools acting as purveyors of corporate and anti-democratic values and behaviors. They are sweatshops run by ignorant and bigoted people. School boards and many of the upper administrators have no background or are failed educators who have moved up the ladder… kind of like the old “Peter Principle.”

Teachers are underpaid and also are subjected to the anti-democratic and corporate forces along with children. And, they get blamed for everything. But, the vast majority of teachers are competent and hard-working, but they fear for their careers and meager livelihoods, so they often do not speak up or teach the way they really want to teach. They are forced to conform and submit. This is the corporate model that drives much of our society, which is especially exemplified by the political structures and dynamics in the United States and elsewhere.

Parents and even non-parents should be concerned for the lives and welfare of children. Parents are in the majority. They outnumber politicians, power-brokers, school board members, and superintendents. They have the power, if they want it. All parents should be in an uproar. They must join forces and take action to save their children, their teachers, and the fabric of our what-was a democratic society. There is no savior, no one person or group who is going to swoop down like a super-hero and save the day. We all must join forces, despite our differences, and work for change. We can do it!

About Jeff Bloom

I'm a Researcher with and am on the Advisory Board of the International Bateson Institute and am a professor emeritus with the Department of Teaching & Learning, College of Education, Northern Arizona University.
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