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posted: 6/2/2013 5:00 AM

Keep teachers' own views out of classroom

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It's that time of year when I think about my own graduation from college many years ago. It was a time I learned that to survive in academia as a student, you had to become a political chameleon. This was particularly true if you were a conservative because the overwhelming population of teachers tended to be liberal.

But one needs to spend only an hour or two listening to the monologues in random classrooms to provide their own individual evidence or question their children as to what the teacher inserted about a particular candidate or current event while discussing totally unrelated classes in physics, chemistry or math. So for survival in this politically biased wasteland that was advertised as "education," I learned to metaphorically become a chameleon. I became adept at transforming myself from a defender of the Great Society in history class to an advocate of limited entitlements in speech class. Truly there were a few teachers who would actually grade a paper or subjective answer based on the merits and logic of the reasoned arguments. But they were an endangered species in a world of universal thought, even if the content was the antithesis of their personal views.

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From the experiences of my seven children I can say that little has changed during the past 30 years. Many children live under the constant threat of intimidation and potential academic recrimination if they dare challenge the teachers' beliefs. This is simply an abuse of power leveraged by grades and group pressure. It should first be recognized as a form of teacher bullying and remedied by addressing the inherent injustice of using taxpayer money to support any political view. Keep propaganda out of the classroom or leave the megaphone behind and find a new career.

Gerald Wester

Mount Prospect

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