Teachers, Keep your Views out of it.

Dorothy Finney, DIY Page Editor

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Politics, especially today, is a seriously influential topic. It seems that one’s apparent character is directly related to their political party, with of course exceptions. Without knowing every fact when it comes to voting or deciding which political party to join, the opinions of others can sway one’s own beliefs incredibly easily.  

Teachers are extremely important members of society. Students tend to respect and listen to what they have to say. When a teacher openly expresses their point of view on controversial topics (the election of 2016 for example) it tends to make an impact on their students. Say a student’s favorite teacher openly states that they support the Second Amendment and only talks biasedly toward that topic, should that be the reason why said student choses to support that Amendment as well?

The First Amendment Of The Bill Of Rights protects an individual’s right to state their opinion. By supporting the claim that education should be objective is not a direct shot against this Amendment. One should absolutely have the right to say whatever they want, yet there is a time and place for everything. For a teacher to state their political views openly to a student they are tampering with the student’s choice to decide for themselves. Some individuals know their standpoint on topics and can decide for themselves what they believe. Others are persuaded easily by important figures in their lives and have a hard time distinguishing between what they believe and what other people want them to believe, “When teachers tell me their opinions on political standpoints I tend to change my own beliefs to match theirs, usually subconsciously” stated Lucas Triantis, a junior at Warwick Valley High School . The new generation of kids will soon be the adults and leaders of the world.

There are two major factors that shape the opinions of a child’s political views. One being how one is brought up in their household, the other is the opinions of important figures and peers. Mr.Mita, a Social Studies teacher at Warwick Valley High School, shared his opinion on the matter “We (as teachers) hold a very influential position, especially in the Social Studies scheme of things. I think we [teachers] should try and be unbiased and let students make up their own mind.” Anna Costa, shared the same opinion as Mr. Mita stating, “I think that politics should definitely be discussed in school but you have to be careful with what you say. Teens are usually listening to what is around them not what they really think and hearing what a teacher or an adult says could cause them to just repeat and think what the adult thinks. People need the chance to think for themselves. Teachers should be able to have a civil conversation with their students about what is happening in politics objectively so that they can learn. That’s what they are here for.”

Politics and tears go hand in hand. The Democrats and Republicans have been fighting it out for years. Politics can be the source of many individuals anger and stress when passionate about a controversial topic. Bringing a negative vibe into the classroom is never a good thing and can cause a loss of concentration and tension. For example, a student who considers themselves conservative walks into a classroom with the teacher who is a die hard liberal and said teacher focuses their class on only liberal views with no objectivity at all. The conservative student may develop resentment toward their teacher which can lead to the lack of drive to participate in the class or altogether put the student in a sour mood “I hate when teachers convey their political views in class, it makes me extremely uncomfortable and generally angry” said junior, Demaris Eckerson. Politics are a touchy subject and emotions can be easily sparked in a negative way.

All in all, it may be better for the students if teachers keep their opinions to themselves. School is a place for young minds to develop and learn unbiasedly, unless one goes to a religious school of some kind. Politics should be addressed in school informatively and objectively. Whatever one’s political standpoint may be, one should never feel the pressure to think another way. A biased education can be dangerous and has to potential to be destructive.

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Teachers, Keep your Views out of it.