Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Tale Of Two Cities - Both Ridiculous

Two different cities, two different parts of the country, but both with school districts utterly lacking in common sense.

Massachusetts Principal Takes Aim at Fall Holidays, Says They're Insensitive
Anne Foley, the principal at Kennedy School in Somerville, Mass., sent an email to teachers warning them about celebrating Thanksgiving, the Boston Herald reported.

"When we were young we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples," Kennedy School Principal Anne Foley wrote.

We can no longer do so. For many of us and our students celebrating this particular person is an insult and a slight to the people he annihilated. On the same lines, we need to be careful around the Thanksgiving Day time as well."
I may be wrong, but I don't recall Columbus committing atrocities or annihilating large numbers of 'indigenous peoples.' On the other hand, he did open up the New World to others who arguably did so, but blaming him for that is like blaming Henry Ford for drunk driving deaths today.
Teachers have already been told not to let students dress up for Halloween.

Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi told The Herald that Halloween is “problematic” because of connections to witchcraft.
And we all remember what they do with witches up there in Massachusetts, don't we.

Of course, Halloween today is about scoring as much candy as a young child can carry, not about witches grouped around a bubbling cauldron.
Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, who has three kids at Kennedy, also weighed in.

“I’m the son of Italian immigrations, so I take Columbus Day very near and dear, and I’m proud that he discovered America and that America’s named after another Italian,” Curtatone said. “If we ignore and we don’t want to talk about it, if we want to stifle debate, then we’re ignoring history.”

He also added that he was planning on being in full costume at Somerville’s annual Halloween parade, which residents said is one of the largest in the greater Boston area.
Good for Joe.
The situation even caught the attention of U.S. senator for Massachusetts, Scott Brown.

“Let’s not take political correctness to the extreme. Let the kids in Somerville enjoy Halloween,” Brown tweeted Friday.
I never thought I'd be praising a couple of politicians for having their heads on straight, but in this case Mayor Curtatone and Senator Brown have earned some well-deserved kudos.

Contrast the Somerville school district's stifling of long-standing cultural and historical traditions with the following, in which a foreign culture is stuffed down the students' throats.

TX High School Students Made to Recite Mexican National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance
Students in a Texas public high school were made to stand up and recite the Mexican national anthem and Mexican pledge of allegiance as part of a Spanish class assignment, but the school district maintains there was nothing wrong with the lesson.

It happened last month in an intermediate Spanish class at Achieve Early College High School in McAllen, Texas — a city located about 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Wearing red, white and green, students had to memorize the Mexican anthem and pledge and stand up and recite them in individually in front of the class.
I get the whole 'learn about the culture as you learn the language' thing, but I do think the school could have found a more appropriate way to do so. I wonder how many Mexican schools teach the American pledge of allegiance and the words to the Star Spangled Banner as part of English classes.

Whatever happened to just teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic?

If you really want to get depressed, go to where I got the above image from and read the related post.

We are failing our kids...


JT said...

They don't even teach American kids the national anthem anymore. I wish I could live on a military base again, where they play the national anthem before movies at the theater.

I watched a school janitor take down the American flag yesterday. She wadded it up and stuffed it under her arm as she walked away. (My Boy Scout is going to rectify that situation today).

CenTexTim said...

Good for your Boy Scout and you!