An e-mail distributed by a Virginia teachers union encouraged members to bring politics into the classroom by wearing blue in support of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and simultaneously suggested that the union's voter registration efforts include those "you teach."Admittedly, it's hardly news that education bureaucrats and teachers' unions are slaves to socialist group-think. And public school teachers are exempt from "Hatch Act" prohibitions on electioneering by government employees (see 5 U.S.C. §§ 1501(4)(B), 1502(a)), so pro-Obama gushing on Boitnott's blog is legal. Further, it's true that very few public school students are old enough to vote.
The Virginia Education Association (VEA) e-mail drew strong criticism Wednesday from elected Republican officials and some residents after the state Republican Party obtained a copy. The author of the e-mail conceded Wednesday that the e-mail should have been worded differently.
The VEA is an affiliate of the National Education Association, the country's largest teachers union. . .
The e-mail said teachers should wear blue Tuesday for "Obama Blue Day" and to "register two voters or talk to two people who may be on the fence/or a McCain supporter and sway them to become a Obama supporter."
The e-mail also states: "There are people out there not yet registered. You teach some of them." . . .
VEA President Kitty Boitnott said the charges are baseless and that the e-mail does not suggest teachers rally support for Mr. Obama, Illinois Democrat, from students.
"It's a ridiculous statement," said Mrs. Boitnott, a librarian at Chamberlayne Elementary School in Henrico County.
Still, consider the logic: most public school teachers, and most of their media cheerleaders, love performing in loco parentis, for example, supporting a sex-education curriculum and attacking conservatives perceived as hostile. As Sigmund, Carl and Alfred says, "Teachers make their living influencing the direction of children"--and typically tout their credentials as role models. Yet here, the state union President denies any connection between a teacher's conduct and the lesson transmitted to captive students.
From the CBS affiliate in Denver:
Metro State College is investigating a professor who asked students to write an essay critical of Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin. One student said the instructor singled out Republican students in the class and allowed others to ridicule them.(via Right Wing News, normblog)
The adjunct professor, Andrew Hallam, stayed silent Thursday as he took his class on a field trip to an art museum. Hallam said he would issue a statement Thursday, but none came.
The college said Hallam will continue working during the investigation.
"I was shocked, I was holy cow, this is just an open door for him to discuss politics with us," Jana Barber first told CBS4 Wednesday, a student in the class.
Barber shared the class' first assignment with CBS4 Wednesday. Hallam asked students to write an essay to contradict what he called the 'fairy tale image of Palin' presented at the Republican National Convention.