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posted: 6/3/2013 4:40 AM

Batavia teacher right to protect students

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Batavia teacher right to protect students

These are very difficult economic times. People are struggling with maintaining employment, suffering emotional challenges and restraining from "making waves" in order to hold onto job and benefit security. Every now and then, someone stands up and says, "Whoa" or makes an attempt to help others without taking steps for anonymity or self preservation.

The May 29 Daily Herald article about Batavia High School teacher John Dryden presents such a situation. The article states that the teachers were not advised of the content for presenting a survey, which appears to have been mandatory. Teachers must not march to the lyrics of Pink Floyd, processing mindlessly their students into robotized nonhuman, non-thinking adults. Our country was formed by courageous individuals who sacrificed greatly for the rights placed in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.

I hope the board rethinks the processing of any such future survey. Review and discussion of content and intent should include all the teachers and parents. Good intentions are not an excuse for a bad scenario. Dryden was correct to take the last minute stand to protect his students and their rights.

It appears he was not given option to do otherwise. This was an opportunity for a teacher to give real life lessons to his young adults, preparing them for real life. Dryden taught his students more that day than he could have imagined.

Standing up against a wrong or defending those who cannot defend themselves is what we all hope to witness or personally do. The Batavia School Board and its committee for this survey took a short cut right through logic, privacy and personal security in the name of a good intention. John Dryden stands tall. We are lucky to have our "first responders" wherever and whenever they move into action.

Linda J. Stuart

St. Charles

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