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Teacher Suspended, With Pay: North Carolina Incident is Perfect Storm of Educational Indoctrination, Media Malpractice

Parent: "I am outraged that she can conduct herself in such an unprofessional manner and receive no disciplinary action."

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

May 21, 2012 - 11:59 am

Four years ago, in a different North Carolina school, teacher Diawatha Harris browbeat a school kid for supporting John McCain instead of Barack Obama for president.

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Harris is by no means alone among educators supporting Barack Obama. That isn’t the problem. The problem is, she also isn’t alone in abusing her authority to indoctrinate school kids.

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The mainstream does its part to indoctrinate our young.

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And so we arrive at the North Rowan High School in North Carolina, May 2012. Teacher Tanya Dixon-Neely loses control of a political discussion in her classroom. As we and everyone else have reported, she lost her cool in a political argument with a student regarding Mitt Romney and President Obama. Dixon-Neely had accused Romney of being a bully, and the student, a junior, brought up the fact that Obama has admitted to pushing a girl when he was in grade school himself.

Dixon-Neely wasn’t up on her facts, and denied what the student said, but the student was right, and tragicomedy ensued.

“Stop, no, because there is no comparison,” she says. Romney, she says, is “running for president. Obama is the president.”

When the student says they’re both “just men,” the teacher continues to argue that Romney, as a candidate for president, is not to be afforded the same respect as the president.

The teacher tells the class Obama is “due the respect that every other president is due.”

“Listen, let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom,” she says.

The student replies that he’ll say what he wants.

“Not about him you won’t,” the teacher says.

Later in the conversation, the teacher tells the class it’s criminal to slander a president.

“Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?” she says of former President Bush. “Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the president?”

How did we get here, the greatest nation on earth, arguing over which presidential candidate was a bully during school?

We got here in large part because the mainstream media is full of biased hacks and jokers, and our educational establishment cares more about preserving union power and money than about educating our young. Dixon-Neely would have had no Romney bullying story to bring up, if the Washington Post had not published that story that made the allegation. The Post story ought to become a case study in the malpractice of journalism. It quoted a dead man who, being dead, was unavailable for comment, and suggested that a bullying incident when he was a lad killed him some 46 years later. One of the witnesses quoted later admitted that he only learned of the tale when the Post itself told him about it. But the Post quoted him as having been “long troubled” by the incident. The family of the alleged victim disputed the story, calling it “factually inaccurate.” Romney himself doesn’t even remember it. When he tried laughing the ridiculous story off, partisans in the Democrat media fifth column — I’m looking at you, Kirsten Powers — tried making Romney’s reaction the story. That was because the story itself rapidly fell apart.

Any teacher with basic reading comprehension and any knowledge of how sourcing is supposed to work would never have fallen for that story. Teachers are supposed to know things. They are supposed to be capable of thinking and persuading. But if you’re an incurious teacher who only visits the mainstream media and watches MSNBC and the big three networks, the Post story never fell apart at all. Dixon-Neely was evidently completely unaware that it had, and when challenged by her student who probably spends half his life on the Internet, she tried appealing to Obama’s authority. The ill-informed teacher committed a logical fallacy in that, and if her education was worth the papers her degrees are printed on, she would have known better.

That she did not know better is among the indictments that this incident levels at our media and our educational establishment. The teacher, caught in a corner, first dove for a fallacy, then wrote her own Constitution, one which does not include freedom of speech. The student called her on that, too. This was the second time someone with an actual education would have known better, but Dixon-Neely did not.

The third was when she uttered a profanity in the classroom.

The fourth and final indictment should be levied at the school itself. The argument makes it abundantly clear that Tanya Dixon-Neely is far less informed than her student. It’s clear that she doesn’t even understand the First Amendment. It’s also clear that resorts to bullying — the charge she levied against Mitt Romney, ironically enough — when backed into a corner. In the face of all of this, the school confirms that Dixon-Neely is still employed, has been suspended with pay, and responds:

The Rowan-Salisbury School System expects all students and employees to be respectful in the school environment and for all teachers to maintain their professionalism in the classroom. This incident should serve as an education for all teachers to stop and reflect on their interaction with students. Due to personnel and student confidentiality, we cannot discuss the matter publicly.

She failed on every point. She is incompetent. She ought to be fired. If she gets put back in the classroom once the story blows over, North Rowan High School is failing its students.

But at least all isn’t lost. The student is developing the ability to sort and sift facts, and is getting a sound education from somewhere in spite of his ignorant teacher and weak, probably horribly overpaid, school administrators. If the author of this comment is who he purports to be, the student is getting his real education outside the school:

Timothy Rogers, Salisbury, NC

I’m the father of this student. My son and two other students in this class have been attacked daily from this teacher, and the rest of the class, for their conservative political views since the beginning of this semester. I told him to stay out of the political conversations, but she said that if he didn’t participate he would receive a bad grade. This teacher is politically ignorant! I teach my sons to respect other peoples political opinion, but she has no right shoving her opinions down his throat! Since this day I have had to remove him from North Rowan High School and am going to enroll him at RCCC to finish his education. I am outraged that she can conduct herself in such an unprofessional manner and receive no disciplinary action. THIS IS NOT OVER! I will attempt to contact Rush Limbaugh this week.

It’s a shame the student is leaving the school, and the teacher may stay. The student did nothing wrong, and if she keeps her job the teacher will remain in the classroom to bully and indoctrinate future students. This story is a wake-up call to parents, students and the millions of good teachers who are out there. We have to pay attention to what’s being said in the media, and we have to be aware of what is happening in our kids’ classrooms every day. Just as we have to have blogs to challenge and deconstruct the mainstream media’s rampant malpractice, we cannot leave education to the so-called professionals.

Update: To answer Allah’s question, the teacher is a lefty hack who is also ignorant. The two are not mutually exclusive. She started the fracas with her classroom “fact of the day,” which was “Mitt Romney is a bully.” She based that on the idiotic WaPo haircut story, not realizing that it had been picked apart, and therefore totally unaware that any student might have anything to hit back with. Kid hits back, knows his stuff, exposes teacher for the ignorant lefty hack that she is.

And as one of our commenters pointed out, her “punishment” is paid leave. A vacation without it having to count against her vacation days, or the three months of downtime she’s about to get for the summer. That’s punishment? She’s a lefty hack and the school is run by lefty hacks. It’s looking like the student’s parents were wise to move him out of there.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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