To the Editor:
If the article concerning a teacher/student conflict at Lake Region Union High School as written in the February 20th issue of The Caledonian-Record is accurate and complete, the mutiny and apparent walkout started with a student asking the teacher a simple question to which the teacher responded with a simple answer. The question paraphrased -- how do you, the teacher, feel about gay men serving as Scoutmasters? The answer -- the teacher said he didn't feel it would be right. The use of the word 'feel' is seeking an opinion, and an opinion was given. Because of the ensuing verbal barrage described as a mutiny and eventual walkout by some students, it is suggested that the opinion was not 'politically correct', at least not at LRUHS.
It is indeed a sad day in America when a person, a teacher in this instance, cannot state an opinion without being verbally attacked by his students and, tragically in this case, fired as a teacher at LRUHS and hung out to dry by that good old teacher's union. A friend once explained to me why it is so important for a teacher to be in the union and that is for protection from frivolous accusations that arise from time to time. Well, we've learned an important lesson and exception to that rule, and it is to find out what politically correct crusade one's union is in bed with before looking for a life line.
So, here are some corrective actions for LURHS. As a believer in always giving a second chance for any and all unacceptable physical acts, statements, displays, etc of lawful and non violent nature committed by people, I would suggest that Lake Region allow the students involved to remain as members of the student body without prejudice with the provision that participation in any similar acts in the future would result in expulsion. Further, the school should determine the supervisors that made the decision to fire Mr. Goldstein and enter a statement in their record folders making it clear that their resignations will be sought if there is another unprofessional decision rendered in the future. To be fair, a ten-year sunset and cleansing of their record should be allowed.
Somewhere along the line, an apology to Mr. Goldstein would certainly be appropriate and appreciated.
As a taxpayer, I would like to think that a public high school in this country is more interested in turning out potential geologists, doctors, plumbers, etc that can serve one's fellow man to some degree rather than promoting a new body of community organizers, union rabble rousers, and Occupy Wall Street protesters. When a school acts as LRUHS did in this case, they are promoting anarchy, disrespect for the rule of law, and disrespect for the staff.
In closing, I believe America lags much of the rest of the world in education while we spend the most or certainly close to it to achieve the 47th place ranking. I wonder if it's because we are more interested in political correctness and superfluous diversions as opposed to the three Rs.