This is a guest post from someone who is obviously distressed by the news this morning that a BC teacher was fired for expressing the personal opinion that he doesn’t agree with abortion. Expressing this view was intended to highlight how our personal morality may differ from the law–a concept, needless to say, with which all pro-lifers are intimately familiar. Now he doesn’t have a job anymore. If someone were pro-choice and fired under similar circumstances I would stand up for them. I’m still hoping a major pro-choice spokesperson would come out and say this is obscene.
Anyway, here’s the anonymous guest post now:
By 6 am this morning, I had been emailed this story twice: B.C. teacher fired for having the wrong opinion by Christie Blatchford. Her piece tells a sickening story of how a private school teacher was fired for noting during a grade 12 law class that he was opposed to abortion.
“In other words, he said, in a pluralistic democracy, there’s often “a difference between people’s private morality and the law.
“I find abortion to be wrong,” he said, as another illustration of this gap, “but the law is often different from our personal opinions.”
That was it, the teacher said. “It was just a quick exemplar, nothing more. And we moved on.”
A little later, the class had a five-minute break, and when it resumed, several students didn’t return, among them a popular young woman who had gone to an administrator to complain that what the teacher said had “triggered” her such that she felt “unsafe” and that, in any case, he had no right to an opinion on the subject of abortion because he was a man.
The school, for the record, is a witheringly progressive one.”
The administrators should reconsider how they do their jobs, and the parents should have a hard look at how they are parenting their daughter. I know that’s a loaded statement, but walk with me through this.
First, the student in question is likely 16 or 17 years old. She is being taught, that even at her age, she needs to be sheltered from other people’s opinions. She is going to be voting soon. She could join the military and be on the front lines. And her school and parents are reinforcing this ridiculous notion. Their delicate snowflake can’t handle differences of opinion. How the heck are they preparing her for the real world?
Further, she is being taught that if her feelings are hurt, all she has to do is run to some authority figure and have the other person humiliated. Fired. Have their opinion corrected so it lines up with hers. You know what? That’s awfully paternalistic and condescending. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to the daughter, the administrator, or the parents. Is this truly the progressive, empowering, feminist environment they want for her daughter?
– Mr./Mrs. Administrator, I don’t feel safe. My teacher said he had a different opinion than mine on abortion.
– (Figurative pat on the head.) There, there, it’s okay. I’m here for you. We’ll require him to apologize to you in front of his peers and his students, humiliating him, undermining his authority in the classroom and under threat of losing his job. Will that make you feel safe? Yes? Oh good. That’s what we want.
If my kids attended this school, I’d pull them out, tell every parent and donor I know what happened and find a school for my kids that offered opportunities for them to grow into responsible, engaged and productive adults. I want my kids to become adults who cannot only survive in the real world, but thrive. In the real world. Where a whole lot of people will disagree with them. And where they have a realistic understanding of what is safe and unsafe.
Alternate universe scenario: The student explains her feelings to the administrator. The administrator hears her out. Asks thoughtful questions. Ascertains whether or not there is any threat to the student and if the teacher acted improperly. Asks the teacher for his perspective, obviously without the student present.
Calls the student back in and explains that the teacher simply has a different opinion on this matter. Explains that their school, which so values diversity, welcomes people with different opinions to share them in respectful manners. Did she perhaps want to have a chat with the teacher and the administrator about the issue? Maybe she could learn a little bit about the teacher’s perspective and she could share her own? Perhaps they could go over ways that one could positively act on their beliefs? Have discussions and debates? Join and support charities that advance causes x, y, z?
I can’t believe her parents are paying $30,000 a year for her daughter to be taught her expectations and the school’s reaction is normal. Even appropriate. What a waste.