Friday, November 25, 2005

This type of thing just turns my stomach

Michelle links to this Boston Globe article about a teacher who used questions on his tests to get across his hatred of President Bush.

A sample question from one of his English tests:
"I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes,"
or this one:
"It is frightening the way the extreme right has (balled, arrogated) aspects of the Constitution and warped them for their own agenda."
Personally, I think this shows such a sign of bad judgment that as a principle, I don't think I would want this type of teacher working in my school. I have no problem with an open debate or discussion on pretty much any subject during class time, but as a teacher, while you may espouse particular views, you have to make sure pupils are given the room to disagree. Obviously, in this case, this particular teacher made sure that every student knew that he thought that Republicans, and apparently conservatives in general, were essentially simple minded folk out to force their opinions on everyone. The irony of the situation totally lost on him.

Tell me how would you feel if you were a student with conservative views in Mr. Chenkin's class.

And just in case you think I'm just standing up for Bush, in the case of the first question, you could have easily made it more comical, and therefore much less offensive, by just leaving off the second half. "I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech." could be defended as merely making fun of the Presidents speaking style, something that many comics do on a regular basis. But once you add the "below-average mind" part in reference to Republicans, an odd addition to the sentence in any case, you have stepped across the line from humor to intentional insult.

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