A vast majority of teachers educate students on the standards they should master: reading, writing, mathematics, history, and science. When teachers pull garbage out of their own lives and press it upon their students, though, as is the case of one Delaware teacher, parents and administrators have every right to be upset.
In the Delaware example, the educator-community Teacher 2 Teacher shared a picture of an elementary classroom where the children weren’t learning math nor reading, but rather sexual orientation terminology and gender via a picture of a snowman—or snowperson. The teacher taught their class about the supposed difference between “sex” and “gender,” the different types of sexual attraction, and reduced sex to “pronouns assigned at birth.” Regardless of anyone’s opinions on the matter, teaching this lesson is not required or referenced in any educational standard from the Delaware Department of Education.
Worse, parents and guardians reserve the right to be notified with the possibility to opt-out when a teacher plans off-curriculum lessons. This teacher or any teacher that decided this is appropriate is usurping the rights of the parent to teach social, religious, and political ideas to their children in their own time and in their own home.
Teachers should and do have some liberty regarding their instructional style, curriculum, and pedagogical decisions in the classroom. Students may even benefit from diverse educational experiences. However, one teacher’s preference for Romeo and Juliet over young adult fiction or student versus teacher choice is inconsequential in a child’s life compared to the inculcation of highly controversial sexual values.
With Delaware’s lackluster status in reading and writing scores, perhaps this teacher should spend time reviewing material that could allow her students to master standards and be better suited to continue in their education. Instead, when educators spend time off-curriculum discussing these controversial topics, they waste taxpayer money and the time a student has to learn.
If I spent an hour in my biology class talking about the historical inaccuracies of Zinn’s portrayal of Christopher Columbus, you can bet I’d be in hot water, unable to justify my use of our school’s time like that.
My responsibility is to teach my students the biology standards of the State of Indiana—nothing more, nothing less. If I am interested in additional learning opportunities outside of my class, I can start after-school clubs and activities to discuss these with students, or work at a private school off of the public dime.
Educators may disagree on the purpose of education, the methodology of instruction, and the value of class time. This variety of approaches can even assist in the education of diverse student bodies, but it does not extend to wasting class time covering controversial subjects. It’s embarrassing to teachers and infuriating to parents everywhere when their students lose valuable time in class to the personal views and passions of a teacher.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.