Colorado Teacher Fracas
If this is what the guy did all day, every day, instead of teaching the standards he was hired to teach, fire him. He's probably got tenure, but fire him anyway. If the bulk of instruction consists of inflammatory comments designed to provoke reactions and embryonic critical thought, he's not doing his job.
On the other hand, if this was relatively isolated, or within the context of a broader, worthwhile aim, everyone should all calm down. The man teaches a class that could be called "where everything be at," and if some time is taken out of such a rigorous course offering to analyze current events, sheppard critical interpretations, or even provide an alternate viewpoint, well and good. Can we say with any certainty that these kids' lives, futures, and educational prospects in the field of world geography were damaged by this?
Of course, we don't really know the story. What I do know, what I've already started to hear, and what I'm sure I'll hear more of, is this outrage at an attempt by an educator to "indoctrinate." I've already heard two commentators warn of the danger of "indoctrination" in the educational process, how it has already infected our colleges and universities, and threatens to take over our high schools.
Please. [makes mouth-smacking noise so common to urban youth so as to indicate disdain]
I attended American public schools my entire life and I was heavily indoctrinated. I was indoctrinated to believe that Columbus was a visionary hero who had the courage to do what everyone doubted, making positive contributions to the lives of indigenous people in the "New World." (They got the horse! Yes!) I was indoctrinated to believe that America was provoked by both Mexico and Spain, and that the subsequent armed territorial acquisitions had nothing to do with placating an aggressive people's need for manifest destiny. I was indoctrinated to believe that Lincoln freed the slaves with a nifty speech, and they all lived pretty good on their forty acres until a bunch of rabble-rousing dudes named Martin and Malcolm had to go and make all kinds of trouble 100 years later. I was indoctrinated to believe the Cold War was a noble fight for survival against an insidious enemy whose alien views of wealth concentration would result in my the loss of my very life if they were applied on anything resembling a broad scale. I was indoctrinated to believe that American society is a meritocracy where every citizen has an equal opportunity for socioeconomic advancement and political expression.
I was indoctrinated to believe much about this nation and its place in the world that doesn't stand up to the analytic might of an above-average high school senior. And so were you.