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If you really want to know what’s wrong with America’s public education system, consider what happened recently in Dyersburg, Tenn. There, Kendra Turner, a student at Dyer County High School, was sent to the principal’s office and suspended for the rest of the class period for violating her teacher’s ban on the words, “bless you.” Honest.
Turner’s typing teacher, Eva Kindle, had posted on a board in the classroom a list of banned phrases, such as “bless you,” “dumb,” “stupid,” “my bad” and “hang out.” When Kendra’s first instinct was to say “bless you” to a student beside her who had sneezed, she was removed from class. Honest.
Turner said that when her teacher asked her why she used the phrase, she said it was a courtesy and that she had learned to be courteous from her pastor and her parents. She said that, when school administrators became involved “The assistant principal said if I didn’t want to respect my teacher’s rules then maybe my pastor should teach me because my freedom (of) speech and religion does not work at their school,” she wrote.
• On the other hand, if you want to know how liberals are resisting efforts to fix those problems, take a look at the latest developments on the Parent Trigger front. Parent Trigger is a state law allowing a school district’s parents to sign petitions to change their school. If a majority sign, they can replace the administration, change the school to a charter, or even close it.
But the Los Angeles Unified School District, and several others in the state, have decided to flout the law and ignore Parent Trigger. Shades of Barack Obama, who despite his oath of office pledging to enforce all laws and obey the Constitution, has been picking and choosing which laws to enforce.
The LAUSD’s actions have prompted an outcry of protest from a variety of observers, including RiShawn Biddle, who worked at Forbes Magazine and the Los Angeles Business Journal.
“Why,” Biddle asks, did the LAUSD “decide to oppose (the law) after having been willing to embrace it over the past few years? Because it “is doing the will of the district’s board and the American Federation of Teachers’ City of Angels affiliate in order to avoid another of the many battles ... in the next few months over the union’s demand for pay raises.”
He adds that LAUSD’s decision makes clear “how American public education — and the coterie of teachers’ union officials, school board players, and traditional district bureaucrats — have long done all they can to keep families from being the lead decision-makers in education policymaking as they should be.”
Or consider this from Daniel Henninger, who wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week, “(I)nner-city public education is totally partisan. Democratic politicians made a Faustian bargain with the teachers unions, and the souls carried away have been the black children in those doomed schools.”
And the LAUSD has just renewed that bargain.