I’ve been trying to write this post for over two months. I struggle to find balance since I recognize that as an educator, as a “public figure” my words have some kind of influence, even if it’s minimal. I’ve started and stopped, written and re-written these words half a dozen times. I’m done re-writing. I’m just going to put them out there.
As a citizen, I struggle to find an appropriate outlet for my outrage and indignation. As an educator, in particular as a principal, I struggle even more in giving appropriate guidance to my high school social studies teachers who are responsible for teaching civics. Part of me wants to tell them to throw out the book, call the administration on the carpet and say flat out, “This is wrong. This is not what this country stands for.” Is that taking a political side? I don’t think so, any more than I think that pointing out that alternative facts are not facts, they are untruths, is not political. I recognize that alternative viewpoints on both the qualifications of the cabinet nominees as well as the executive orders exist. I just struggle to find a defensible position for the opposition. I struggle to find, in these executive orders, appointments, and proposed legislation anything that benefits the majority of Americans.
Our Level 4 social studies students (mostly sophomores) are currently studying the civil rights era. In class the other day they listened to 60’s protest songs that told the stories of Ruben “Hurricane” Carter, the boxer falsely accused of murder, CSNY’s “Ohio” about the Kent State shootings, and other songs about injustice, prejudice, and inequality. I was stunned, sitting in on the class, how profoundly they struck a cord with the students. There were tears and no lack of outrage. They recognized that in many ways, the struggle was being waged anew. They couldn’t understand how these battles had not ended long ago. I envy their idealism.
Teachers and teachers unions tend to support a progressive political agenda. The root word being “progress.” The opposite of progress is “regress.” That is my fear is an educator, as a parent, and as a citizen.
Cultural and meteorological observation: It’s finally snowed in Alaska! My first two winters I think the total accumulation of snow was less than Chicago got on Super Bowl Sunday, 2015 (how ironic that I’m writing this on Super Bowl Sunday 2017). As of today, however, the total accumulation of snow this winter is over 5 feet in Anchorage, a more average Alaska winter. Why then, do these people not know how to plow roads? Seriously. There are still patches and swaths of road that are trampled by cars but have never been plowed! This is Alaska! Maybe I need a side job with an F150 and a huge shovel.