Thursday, December 09, 2004

Political Correctism Run Amok Files: Teacher Forbidden To Use Declaration Of Independence: Update III

Banned Author?
Fifth Grade Teacher Stephen J. Williams appeared last night on Fox's Hannity and Colmes show. As we have profiled most recently and first update and initially here, the teacher says that his principal, Patricia Vidmar, barred him from using documents written by the Founding Fathers because they refer to God.

According to The San Jose Mercury-News, there were about 3000 people on hand for the occasion.

I watched the live interview, and it was easily apparent that most of the people in the audience were sympathetic to Williams, who has a pending lawsuit against the Cupertino (California) Union School District. Williams acquitted himself well, but his position was somewhat undercut because the District did not send a representative to the interview. So the conversation was one-sided.

Alan Colmes managed to throw Williams a curve ball when he asked him the number of times parents had complained about his classroom references to the Deity. The entire interview lasted less than ten minutes, with Williams' lawyer obviously trying to keep Williams from saying anything that might damage his case.

The newspaper asked several parent their opinions about Williams. One parent told the paper, "Everyone has been very tolerant of him at school, but there are many complaints, he's got an agenda. He's overdoing it in trying to make a case for Christianity."

Defending Williams, parent Tom Forese, 30, remarked, "I support him, most elementary schools are requiring the teaching of Islam, and I agree with that. But it's equally important to teach the Christian view."

As a classroom teacher with several years of service in California public schools, I can validate that the teaching of Islam is mandated by the all-pervasive state curriculum standards.

And I can also validate that at my school, at least, the principal now requires that we have "winter classroom parties," the last day before winter Christmas vacation, have a "winter assembly," and, finally, watch as students run the "winter mile" race.

Once upon a time, all these activities used to have the prefix "Christmas." Later, the acceptable term was "holiday." This year, it is now "winter."

We here at the 'Wonks believe that soon the use of the term "winter" will be forbidden, as it could be offensive to Druids.

Update:(12/10) Joanne Jacobs has an opinion piece written by a staff reporter for the Mercury-News and an excellent column by a member of the Governing Board of Trustees for Santa Clara County.