Ed Driscoll

Anarcho-Authoritarian Teacher Inadvertently Provides Teachable Moment

“Tea Partiers Stand Up for Tea Party-Crashing Teacher,” Mary Katharine Ham writes at the Weekly Standard:

This is a fantastic story about the Oregon Tea Partiers, and a statement on the power of good-humored, good-hearted messaging. Oregon teacher Jason Levin was put on administrative leave from his middle-school teaching position this week in connection with his work on the Crash the Tea Party movement, but Oregon Tea Partiers are asking that he keep his job.

Levin was the creator of the now-mostly-defunct Crash the Tea Party website, a publicly available site aimed at recruiting anti-Tea Party activists to infiltrate Tea Party protests on Tax Day with misspelled and racist signs and costumes. His desire was to “demolish” the group of “racists, homophobes, and morons.”

Tea Party activists got wind of the infiltration efforts, because they weren’t… secret, and countered the unsubtle attempts at sabotage with signs calling the infiltrators out.

Levin has been put on administrative leave from his teaching job to determine whether he used school time and supplies to build the Crash the Tea Party movement and “if his political activity was appropriate behavior for a teacher of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students.”

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A conservative teacher engaged in this kind of sabotage-style political activity on or off school time wouldn’t likely get any mercy from school officials, but Oregon Tea Partiers are hoping for clemency for Levin.

The Tea Partiers are taking the high road. Just because Oregon middle school teacher Jason Levin has publicly denounced them as a bunch of “racists, homophobes and morons,” they say that’s no reason for him to lose his job.

All Levin really needs, they say, is some sensitivity training and some anger management therapy.

I applaud the attitude of the Tea Party response, which is both kind and clever, and the appropriation of lefty ideas like “teachable moment” and “sensitivity training.”

“We don’t want to see Jason Levin fired, we want to see him helped,” said Oregon Tea Party founder Geoff Ludt. “We want to reach out to him and we want to use his actions to create a teachable moment.”

As MKH writes, “Tell me again which side of this dispute is reasonable and which side is a little loopy?”

Sadly, as New Jersey is finding out, there are other leftwing teachers equally frightened by the concept of change and intellectual diversity,  but whose rhetoric is even more extreme than Levin’s.