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The W - Current Events & Politics - CA Principal forbids teaching of Declaration of Independence (Page 2)
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Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 177 days
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#21 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.97
All of the information that we have about the case comes from the mouth of the teacher's attorney. It seems that you're willing to take what he says at face value, while others think that he's probably only trying to present his case in the best possible light.

So if we assume that the lawyer would be passing on all of the info he could to bolster his case, wouldn't we be hearing more examples of how insanely PC the Principal is?

Of course, it might be I'm just being overly cynical. But taking a lawyer's word at face value could be considered being overly naive.

-Jag



"During his term in office, George Bush has relentlessly continued to be presidentdespite the clear benefits to America his absence would bring to the lives of citizens everywhere."

Here's to another four years...
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 3012 days
Last activity: 226 days
#22 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by SlipperyPete
    Excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. Exactly what more do you need to know? The document mentions God and it's been banned from the classroom.


Once more, with feeling:

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE HAS NOT BEEN BANNED FROM THE CLASSROOM.

An _excerpt_ from the Declaration of Independence _in a particular context_ in which a teacher wanted to use it has been banned from that particular teacher's classroom.

There is a big, big difference between those two statements.

(edited by vsp on 30.11.04 0547)

Dubya v2.0. We're ALL living in Bumfuck, Alabama now.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#23 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by vsp
      Originally posted by SlipperyPete
      Excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. Exactly what more do you need to know? The document mentions God and it's been banned from the classroom.


    Once more, with feeling:

    THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE HAS NOT BEEN BANNED FROM THE CLASSROOM.

    An _excerpt_ from the Declaration of Independence _in a particular context_ in which a teacher wanted to use it has been banned from that particular teacher's classroom.

    There is a big, big difference between those two statements.

    (edited by vsp on 30.11.04 0547)


Hey, that was my post.

Look, if the teacher is selectively grabbing quotes from "safe" documents, it probably needs to be looked at.

We never covered any of Penn's work in my 5th grade class in California, and I was an honors student. It sure seems fishy to me that this teacher thought that document was fundamental to teaching 5th grade history.

Again, we've only seen the defendants side of this, which is like reading a press release from a company - it's very one sided and paints the teacher as a victim. Well, I would hope it would - it is his lawsuit. If it didn't paint him as a victim, he wouldn't have a very good case.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
SlipperyPete
Bauerwurst








Since: 13.8.04

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#24 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.66
    Originally posted by vsp
    Once more, with feeling:
I'm sorry, maybe you missed the story?

Reuters:
Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School


Perhaps the abstract thinkers at Reuters were able to figure out that when you forbid the teacher from using the part of the Declaration of Independence that refers to God, also known as "the beginning", you've banned the Declaration of Independence.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 8 days
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#25 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
If you read the story instead of the sensationalistic headline, you will see that it is NOT the entire school, but one teacher who has been barred from using it in a specific context related to his lesson plans.

Get some context.


    California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.


It's right there in the first paragraph.

(edited by Guru Zim on 30.11.04 1026)

Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 23 days
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#26 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.17
Nah, there is not enough context there to say one way or the other. The story only refers to the one teacher because he is the one filing suit. For all we know, the other teachers may have tried to use the Declaration of Independence, and was told no, but didn't feel it was worth a lawsuit. Or other teachers simply don't use handouts of the Declaration of Independence. Or other teachers use Declaration of Independence handouts without incident. For all we know, this guy is the only history teacher in this place.

I would say it is likely that that this just hasn't come up before, and that the principal may or may not have done the same thing to any other teacher in the school (so this could be a de-facto ban on the school, possibly)

Of course, it is also unclear whether the document is the entire Declaration of Independence, with excerpts of that being banned (banning that would be wrong), or an excerpt of the Declaration of Independence with additional commentary (which could make banning right). I don't think any judgements can be made until more specific facts are revealed.




(edited by ges7184 on 30.11.04 1257)


The Bored are already here. Idle hands are the devil's workshop. And no... we won't kill dolphins. But koalas are fair game.
rockstar
Salami








Since: 2.1.02
From: East TN

Since last post: 3547 days
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#27 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.24
(I apologize for this third post and I'm out of the thread until the handouts are made public.)

The lawsuit CLEARLY states that the teacher filing suit is the ONLY teacher subject to the restrictions on using handouts that make references to God. This is his claim. That is the context.

The list of exhibits (which I'd kill a cat to see at this point) references nine handouts, two of which stand out: "What Great Leaders Have Said About the Bible" and "Fact Sheet: Currency and Coins - History of 'In God We Trust.'" When I see handouts with titles like that in relation to a lesson on the role of religion in the founding of our country, combined with what I do know about how our founders felt about religion as well as the history of the slogan on money, my bullshit detector hits Critical Maximum, cracks the casing, catches fire and jumps out the damned window. Anyone with half a brain ought to be able to put two and two together and come close enough to four to realize that these are not going to be remotely informative or educational in any way, shape or form as it relates to anything that needs to be taught to FIFTH GRADERS. When I first saw this story on Wednesday (via Drudge) my first thought was "fuckin' Californians making the rest of us Liberals look like nutcakes again" until I read the lawsuit, which is when I realized that this teacher is full of shit. Unless the handouts are magically filled with mind-blowing explanations of the founders beliefs, this asshat is wasting time and taxpayers' money in an attempt to give Conservatives uninterested in reading and thinking another strawman to whack while we blindly ignore the real problems of our educational system and society as a whole.



FactCheck.org's Whoppers of the 2004 Presidential Election
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 3012 days
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#28 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by SlipperyPete
    I'm sorry, maybe you missed the story?

    Originally posted by The Story
    Among the materials she has rejected, according to Williams, are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence,


No, that would be you.

    Originally posted by SlipperyPete
    Perhaps the abstract thinkers at Reuters were able to figure out that when you forbid the teacher from using the part of the Declaration of Independence that refers to God, also known as "the beginning", you've banned the Declaration of Independence.


No, you have not.

The Declaration of Independence is not _about_ religion; it's about, well, declaring independence from King George's rule. There are single references to "Nature's God" and to "rights endowed by their Creator" at the beginning, somewhat tangentially, and that's it for religious content. It's quite odd to view the DoI as a religious document.

The teacher, _according to his own lawsuit_ (point 41), wished to use the handouts in question to "explain the role of religion at the nation's founding and the religious references in several founding documents, including the DoI." Among the other handouts cited was one called "What Great Leaders Have Said About The Bible."

Why?

What relevance could that possibly have to a fifth-grade-level discussion of the Founders and the Declaration of Independence?

So the teacher is told "no," and runs to Rev. James Dobson's law firm to file a religious-discrimination suit. That doesn't pass the sniff test for me.

What _I_ think (not know, _think_) we have here is a teacher who wants to teach history from a "This Is A Christian Nation" perspective, is not being allowed to do so, and is filing a grudge lawsuit in response. The publicity will pretty much punch his ticket as far as his getting another job anywhere in the California public school system, but if he's intent on teaching history from a particularly Christian perspective, maybe that's not where he belongs.

But that's just me.




Dubya v2.0. We're ALL living in Bumfuck, Alabama now.
SlipperyPete
Bauerwurst








Since: 13.8.04

Since last post: 3579 days
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#29 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.30
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    If you read the story instead of the sensationalistic headline, you will see that it is NOT the entire school
The fact that a school has forbidden the use of the Declaration of Independence AT ALL because it mentions God is pathetic. The argument that at least it isn't the whole school being forbidden to use it, just the Christian history teacher, is equally so.

    Originally posted by vsp
    The teacher, _according to his own lawsuit_ (point 41), wished to use the handouts in question to "explain the role of religion at the nation's founding and the religious references in several founding documents, including the DoI." Why?
Because......... learning about the country's religious origins is part of the state's education curriculum? It is, you know.

Please, though, feel free to continue your time in Fantasyland, where this case is some sort of isolated incident and public schools finding a way to outlaw the word "God" isn't becoming an almost daily occurance.

(edited by SlipperyPete on 30.11.04 1551)
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 8 days
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#30 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Don't troll the admins.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
Roy.
Pepperoni








Since: 25.2.04
From: Keystone State

Since last post: 2336 days
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#31 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
    Originally posted by SlipperyPete
    Because......... learning about the country's religious origins is part of the state's education curriculum? It is, you know.


One part. One sentence. Have you read the curriculum for 5th grade in California?

Click Here (cde.ca.gov)

    Originally posted by Page 23 of the .pdf document

    Students learn about the colonial government founded on Judeo-Christian principles, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-government.


That's the only mention of a government based on religion. One sentence. And I don't have any problem with that sentence. The Founding Fathers based our government on Judeo-Christian principles, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-government. That one sentance warrents worksheets on what the Founding Fathers said about religion?

Hold on, you say, there's more about religion in the 5th grade social studies curriculum?

    Originally posted by page 25 of the .pdf document

    3. Describe the religious aspects of the earliest colonies (e.g., Puritanism in Massachusetts,
    Anglicanism in Virginia, Catholicism in Maryland, Quakerism in Pennsylvania).
    4. Identify the significance and leaders of the First Great Awakening, which marked a shift in religious ideas, practices, and allegiances in the colonial period, the growth of religious toleration, and free exercise of religion.


It looks like they can teach about Christianity, even. In fact, I'd say it's important to know about the Quaker heritage of Pennsylvania (but it's my state so I'm biased).

So we have a controversy arise here. 4 pages of 5th grade History standards. 43 individual statements of the standards. Two statements mention religion (and those two are under the same header). And Mr. Williams is making a stink about them? What about the other 41 history standards? And I see nothing about the history of "In God We Trust". It didn't hit currency until the 1900s, and it looks like 5th grade is supposed to stop at 1850. Why go all the way to 1908 to discuss "In God We Trust"? What's the connection between that and the pre-Civil War era? (Is there a connection? I'm not a history major.)

Nobody's seen the documents in question. I'll try (it's hard) to reserve my judgement until I see them, and if it's ridiculous, I'll stand up and say that the principal was wrong. But I've been studying to be a teacher for a while now. I've been in a dozen classrooms. My father taught for 40 years, my sister's been teaching since 1995, three uncles and an aunt taught for 25+ years. I've learned that a principal or administrator doesn't do something like this because of spite or some sort of "liberal agenda". They do it because something funny is going on in the classroom.
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#32 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.02
Curiously, I can't find any reference to this story on the San Jose Mercury News website. (Cupertino is actually a Silicon Valley suburb, Reuters' characterisation notwithstanding.) I asked Google News for some help finding non-wire copy and came up with a whopping one link:

http://www.insidebayarea.com/timesstar/ci_2474161 (Alameda Times-Star)

KPIX picked up the story today:

http://cbs5.com/news/local/2004/11/30/South_Bay_Teacher_Sues_Over_God_in_Classroom.html

I see Rush Limbaugh has a hold of it now (oh, THAT'S where Grimis gets his material!) so I'm sure the issue won't die any time soon...much like this thread.



CRZ
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1248 days
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#33 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by CRZ
    I see Rush Limbaugh has a hold of it now (oh, THAT'S where Grimis gets his material!)
Oh c'mon. I can't stand listening to Rush...



BigSteve
Pepperoni








Since: 23.7.04
From: Baltimore, MD

Since last post: 2820 days
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#34 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.01
My take on this is do not, under any circumstances, for any reason, censor/ban/avoid anything in the Declaration of Independence in a history class. Nor the Constitution, nor the Articles of Confederation, nor any other similar historical document. If a teacher acted improperly, let's have the principal deal with him in a manner that hinders his ability to have a job, not his students' ability to learn US History. And please, please, let's not cry "INDOCTRINATION" every time "God" is mentioned in a public place. :)
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