Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Today's Argument Against Tenure for Public School Teachers

The New York Post reports that a soldier serving in Korea received hate mail from students at a Brooklyn middle school, apparently at the encouragement of their social studies teacher:
February 21, 2005 -- An American soldier overseas is fuming over letters he received from Brooklyn middle-school children accusing GIs of destroying mosques and killing civilians in Iraq.

One Muslim boy wrote: "Even thoe [sic] you are risking your life for our country, have you seen how many civilians you or some other soldier killed?"

His letter, which was stamped with a smiley face, went on: "I know your [sic] trying to save our country and kill the terrorists but you are also destroying holy places like Mosques."

Most of the 21 letters Jacobs provided to The Post mentioned some support for the armed forces, if not the Iraq war, and thanked him for his service. But nine of the students made clear their distaste for the president or the war.

The JHS 51 teacher, Alex Kunhardt, did not return phone calls, but the school principal, Xavier Costello, responded with a statement:

"While we would never censor anything that our children write, we sincerely apologize for forwarding letters that were in any way inappropriate to Pfc. Jacobs. This assignment was not intended to be insensitive, but to be supportive of the men and women in service to our nation."
Indeed Xavier, how about if one of your students happens to write that you and teacher Kunhardt are "ignorant sacks of shit with the reasoning power of erect penises" - would you censor that?

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler

Update: NYC Department of Education to send letter of apology to GI. From The New York Post
February 22, 2005 -- The city Department of Education, red-faced over Brooklyn sixth-graders who slammed a GI with demoralizing anti-Iraq-war letters as part of a school assignment, will send the 20-year-old private a letter of apology today.
That's a start. Now if they follow up by firing the idiot teacher who created the mess we can call it a day.