Students Are Not Allowed Opinions Anymore

As a teacher, it isn’t uncommon to confront opinionated students.  Of course, many of their opinions I don’t personally agree with (some of which are a reflection of their immaturity).  That being the case, I still feel that it is much healthier for a child to have too many opinions that to have none at all.  As our job description includes nurturing each childs’ critical thinking skills, you would have thought that the canvassing of opinions is vital to a functioning classroom.

But you would be wrong.  More than ever before, the powers that be have been stifling debate, silencing contrasting views and imposing a mantra of political correctness.  Take the case of Dakota Ary:

The mother of a Fort Worth student said she unhappy her son was given in-school suspension for making a comment in class about homosexuality and Christianity.

During a discussion in his German class at Western hills High School on Tuesday, freshman Dakota Ary said he commented to a friend that his religious beliefs say homosexuality is wrong.

“I said, ‘I’m Christian and, to me, being homosexual is wrong,'” Ary said. “And then he (the teacher) got mad, wrote me an infraction and sent me to the office.”

It is my view that you don’t change a person’s viewpoint by silencing or suspending them.  Whether I agree or disagree with my students is immaterial, they are still entitled to share their views with the class.  Usually views materialise from only considering one side of the argument.  A healthy classroom discussion often features a range of insights and perspectives.  This healthy discussion often leads kids to change or alter their views and accept differences of opinions.

Unfortunately, in the age of political correctness opinions are becoming a thing of the past.

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4 Responses to “Students Are Not Allowed Opinions Anymore”

  1. patientwolf Says:

    Was he asked to express his opinion?

    I am all for freedom of expression but it is wise to know when to keep quiet, especially when dealing with a controversial topic.

    This situation is not like an academic discussion. It would be a different matter if a student disagrees with his/her teacher regarding a concept or idea such as evolution or whether neutrinos did travel at Warp velocities in a recent experiment by CERN.

  2. patientwolf Says:

    Exactly why?

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