“Neutral”

Yesterday, after a morning of incitement from President Trump, his family members, and his personal lawyer, his Republican supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol and forced the evacuation of Congress as Presidential electoral votes were being certified. People died, tear gas was deployed, and the Capitol was looted. The scenes from yesterday will live as one of the most disgraceful, infamous events in American history.

Today I am hearing that school administrators are telling their educators to remain “neutral” as they discuss yesterday’s events. I respectfully ask these administrators, “What is ‘the other side?’ What does ‘neutral’ mean to you in this situation?” 

Your educators await your answer.

4 Responses to ““Neutral””

  1. Hi Scott,

    Neutral is not the right word. I would hope teachers, however, have open discussions and use these events as an opportunity to discuss critical thinking and source-bias. There will be students who will be Trump-supporters and may or may-not listen to teachers who try to help them understand the ramifications of yesterday’s events. But a sermon, will not change anyone’s mind. I am personally disgusted with Trump (and have been for a long time), but I’ve always said our job in education is to create thinkers, not believers. Hard to do seeing such egregious actions, but I we can’t preach either.

    Doug

    • Hi Doug,

      Thanks for chiming in. I agree with everything you say here.

      I’m also conscious that truth is not the same thing as ‘bias.’ And naming an insurrection as such is not ‘preaching.’ Some controversy-averse administrators will see it that way, though.

  2. I think that part of the point of the admin is that many times, when it comes to issues these days especially as it relates to the President even before this is that there is much one-sidedness in our media. Nearly every issue has been politicized and made divisive by media, social media and leadership. When most of our everyday lives ought not be.

    So many times, there have been news reports that are full of adjectives describing the situation that had no place in what was supposed to be an objective reporting of the facts. Many times we start adding adjectives we have moved from fact to opinion, which has its place just not when it is supposed to just report.

    I think it is possible there are ways to address both sides, but it would be a tricky thing. Thankfully, I work with 3rd graders and don’t need to discuss these things as much.

    I have also heard that students ought not know our own political leanings. I thnk that is important in our effort to be a neutral reporter of the facts that we know (not just what any one side media tells us). Because at some point or another, we would not want the teacher to be dismissive or overly supportive of other views with controversial subjects if our own kids were in the class.

    • Thanks for adding to the conversation here, Derrick. I wonder a couple of things:

      1. What might be some ‘adjectives’ that would cause you (or an administrator) concern?

      2. Is everything relative? Or are there some absolutes that we can agree on? If the latter, what might be some of those for this incident?

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