I have heard from a number of teachers that the Principal of Vallivue High School, Richard Brulotte, sent an e-mail to all faculty telling them that they will not be allowed to show President Obama’s national address to students on the importance of taking responsibility for their success in school.
Even though previous Presidents, including Reagan and Bush, have delivered similar addresses, the right wing crazies see this as an attempt by President Obama to indoctrinate innocent high school students into his Godless, Communist ideology.
I am sure Brulotte got a few phone calls from patrons spewing the same sort of pathetic drivel spread by one Werner Strausser in the comments to this article in the Idaho Press Tribune.
According to Strausser, the President’s address must be “kept out of our classrooms” in order to
…prevent the preaching of Marxist-Communist-Socialist religions in general and in particular to prevent the seed of the “Obama Youth (Hitler Jugend)”from taking root.
Sociologists who study schooling make a distinction between the taught curriculum and the “hidden curriculum.” For students, the “lessons” learned from the hidden curriculum are generally the more powerful. By folding to the pressure of a small minority of vocal patrons and refusing to allow students the opportunity to hear and discuss the President’s address, Brulotte makes a mockery of the values of free speech, critical thinking and civil discourse that are undoubtedly central themes in his “taught” social studies curriculum. Instead, students are subjected to the hypocrisy of “do as I say, not as I do.”
Every time I hear another example of an administrator making a decision like Brulotte’s, I am reminded of an old, but still relevant, cartoon by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons.