There Goes the Ruddy Two-shoes

“Anti-Americanism” Gets You Fired

Posted by ruddytwoshoes on June 21, 2008

Good Saturday afternoon, world.

Boy, that sleep was refreshing.  I am ready to jet for a solid Saturday workout at the gym, but first…

I was browsing through important news and blogs and found this on Feministe. It appears that Karen Salazar, a high school teacher in Los Angeles, was fired a few days ago:

I am being fired because I am trying to ensure that my curriculum is relevant to my students’ daily lived experiences, and in the process, create a space for them to be critical of Eurocentric society and curricula that only serve to reinforce their dehumanization, subjugation, and oppression …

I have been observed in the classroom and evaluated by administration over a dozen times (almost twice a month) this school year, whereas in comparison, most teachers are observed and evaluated 1-3 times per school year. The evaluations claim that I am creating “militancy” within students, promoting my personal political beliefs, and presenting a biased view of the curriculum. It has also been implied that I have been teaching students “how to protest.”

Three weeks ago, things began escalating when I was again observed, and in his evaluation, the administrator accused me of “brainwashing” my students and “forcing extremist views” on them. The class had been reading a 3-page excerpt of the Autobiography of Malcolm X (an LAUSD-approved text, of which we have several class sets in our school bookroom), in which Malcolm describes the first time he conked his hair…My contract is being terminated because according to the principal, I am “indoctrinating students with anti-Semitism and Afrocentrism.” The anti-Semitism accusation comes solely from the fact that I have an Intifada poster hanging in my classroom (a symbol of support for a free Palestine), and the Afrocentrism accusation comes from the fact my culturally-relevant curriculum reflects the demographics of my students, though I am surprised I am not being accused of Raza-centrism as well.

Not a one-and-only case, too. Per Democracy Now!, Jay Bennish, a high school teacher in Colorado, was penalized for being “anti-American” (of course, we all know what the term means nowadays) in one of his lectures in 2006, and Deborah Mayer, who teaches in Indiana, was fired for saying “I honk for peace” in 2003, right before the Iraq war commenced.

For a country that claims to be so overly protective of “free” speech, this is baffling. But then again, do we not everyday get acquainted with the idea that speech is “free” only if it complements the hoopla emanating from those on top of the food chain?

This is tragic.


One Response to ““Anti-Americanism” Gets You Fired”

  1. Lady said

    I was almost accused of this about 1 year ago. The Tope management thinks that I am too into the agents side not considering the sentiments of the management including my direct boss.

    My direct superior understands me well but was too coward to stand behind me because it took him a long way to reach where he was. Anyway.. I’m in class and I’m uber bored of managerial shit!!! Ayoko na!!! kaya binabasa ko nalang mga blog niyo ni John boy!! buwahaahah.. It really sounds funny.. Ingat! 😛

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