[quote=“windchime”]Messages on t-shirts, military, Pepsi ads on a drink machine. Public school is full of “political messaging”. The superintendent is just choosing what she prefers right now. I don’t like it because it doesn’t reflect the values of this community, I maintain.
If you disagree with unions and if the kids ever did hear a pro-union talk in school, then you can talk to your kids like we gave ours the anti-military talk. I’m saying sometimes we look for balance and it isn’t there. That is the compromise of public education. I disagree with the superintendent on this issue. You can’t make education politics- free, just like there isn’t such a thing as objective journalism. This shouldn’t have even been a story.[/quote]
You still don’t get it. Pepsi ads are not political ads. A visit from the Canadian Forces is not a political message.
Here is a parallel situation;
Let’s say the schools were run by the Fraser Institute and their approved teachers. The school board is left leaning. During the build up to the war in Iraq the board has an issue with a teacher wearing a George Bush t-shirt, so they ban the wearing of attire with political messages. In organized defiance, the teachers all wear black t-shirts with the slogan “UN Resolution 1441.”
Is this acceptable?[/quote]
So it is politics that concerns you not the messaging. And I guess we have to draw a line somewhere that would define politics. Personally, I would rather a tshirt in the school that advertised the charter of rights on the back than an ad for a soft drink. But that’s just me. And I have no problem with the Armed Forces or union reps or small business people or most any other organization coming into the school to explain issues.
But to answer your question. I would say that the wearing of a shirt with Resolution 1441 on it would be OK. I would expect discussion of the Resolution would take place in certain classes like Social Studies.
If the wearing of those shirts over a long period of time became a distraction, if it began to interfere with the learning situation, then that’s different and that’s where civil discussion would have to take place between the board and its teachers to find a solution. A one day protest is not a big deal.
What happened here is slightly different from your example. The Charter of Rights does not bring on highly emotional responses as would say Resolution 1441 or a button in the US that said “I support the 2nd Amendment”.
I will agree with you that individual teachers should not be using the classroom as a soapbox or bringing into the classroom material that promotes a personal agenda. But a union on a single day using a very subtle (here is a list of section 2 of the charter of rights and freedoms) protest is not a big deal. As well, the protest that may be considered a teacher thing is actually dealing with the gutting of the contract that has made it more difficult to help kids especially needy kids in the classroom. It is a protest that may not be universally supported but it would be supported by many parents and board members.
That’s why I believe it would have been better to have let the day pass without incident instead of escalating it. The response to the wearing of the shirts is a larger story than the actual wearing of them