Thursday, March 30, 2006

Another Scary Teacher story - Here's your yellow star

I haven't posted about scary teachers for awhile. There's no shortage, it is just that I've been busy.

Kimberly Swygert, at Number 2 Pencil, has posted up a storm recently. One of her posts is about how teachers at Apopka Memorial Middle School , Florida Middle school, handed out yellow stars to children with last names from L to Z. A local TV station reports that the stated goal was so some of the children would learn what it was like to be a Jew during the Holocaust.

The parents weren't asked ahead of time, or even told. All day long the children with yellow stars were harassed. Scary! There are many problems here. One is the school probably is doing a poor job of teaching the basics, like reading, writing, and arithmetic. Another problem is the parents weren't asked. The school clearly stepped over the line.

And if I were I betting man, I would take even odds that those in the public school who initiated this won't really suffer. Their hands might get slapped, but they won't be fired.

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Robert M. Lindsey said...

When I was in elementary school there was something like this only it had to do with eye color. (not at my school, but we heard about it, and at college we saw a film about it) I remember thinking it was pretty cruel, even as a little kid. That was the 70s, so this has been around for a long time.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I was going to post about the same thing Robert Lindsey mentioned. It was a school somewhere in the South, and the teacher decided they needed to learn about prejudice. So she spent several days telling them that children with one eye color (blue or brown) were dumb, couldn't do anything right, taking their papers last, being unfair when she could and sanctioning mockery and teasing. Then she reversed and did the other eye color.
She didn't clear it with anybody first, and she had a news crew come in and film it all.

I read a book about it in the mid-eighties. I remember talking about it with my neighbor, who was no conservative, but still a very smart lady, and she said she just couldn't believe how much social engineering and experimentation teachers thought they could do in schools without giving any long term consequences much thought.

I've wondered how those kids did. Wish I could remember the name of the book.