Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rio Rancho Schools

Well, the Rio Rancho School District may take away from APD the prize for being the most inept organization at handling public relations.  It appears they backed a loved teacher into a corner because one of her students wrote something that Christian Fundamentalists don't like.  They forced her to resign.  The School district will hem and haw that it wasn't the reason, but certainly it was.  I imagine if one were to look over the school board up there that there would be a few fundamentalists in those seats.  The Albuquerque Journal wrote a great story on this today.  I hope they will follow up.

Apparently, the students at the High School really like this teacher.  She teaches them to think and write.  Apparently not a good thing up there.  If I were the students at that institution I might call for a walk out because of the attacks on their inability to keep good teachers from being fired for bad reasons.


Anonymous said...

My daughter is a freshman at Cleveland. I did not even know this happened. Right now I am not real happy and believe some answers are need from the Cleveland administration. This lady sounds like exactly the kind of educator that I want my daughter to be taught by. Very dissappointing.

New Mexican said...

I just read the article. I am not sure it is a Christian fundamentalist that is complaining. Personally, I would have objected to it on the grounds that free speech at a high school level not go into the use and distribution of illegal drugs, by Jesus Christ or any other person. Would you defend the free speech rights of someone who slapped their wife or someone condoning drunken driving in a similar essay? I would like to know.

The teacher may be creative but she was not too smart. She was the adult there and should have anticipated a goofy response by a student.

Reminds me of a kid who went to school with my son in Idaho who when the governor came to school to address the lower grades told them they were free to be whatever they wanted to be. He asked who wanted to be what and the class clown raised his hand and was picked, he said he wanted to be a grizzly bear. He got punished for making a fool of the governor and the school.

The governor, like this teacher, did not think there would be an idiot in the crowd, but there always is.

Anonymous said...

You why the USA is falling behind the world in educated people? Because we allow parents who believe the world is flat to dictate to the school what they will teach. We need to keep Jesus and Mohammed out of our schools and make sure Einstein and Shakespeare are taught. If it upsets a parent that their children are being taught to be independent thinkers then let them pull them out of school and home teach. Religion is ruining our public school system


Michelle Meaders said...

Students should be able to use their imaginations in creative writing. That's what it's for.

Besides, who knows what the laws on Marijuana were in Jesus' time and place?

Bubba Muntzer said...

Good point Michelle. In fact many people think parts of the Bible were written by stoners and acid heads. Read Revelation with that in mind with all the man-eating penguins and exploding boobs.

That Rio Rancho story though is the kind of incident that could bring down a firestorm of national outcry. You never know though. Up in Colorado this fall a lot of students were protesting a school board's decision to turn the curriculum into a sort of tea party indoctrination system, but that has kind of faded from view.

Another thing that bothers me about that story: How did a school come to be named after a sitting Superintendent? That's unsettling on several levels.

Incidentally, at many of the school boards I covered, the superintendent ran the board, not the other way around. Board members made their decisions based entirely on a packet of information the administration sent them prior to each meeting.

On the one hand the administration sifted through a lot of info to give them what they needed to make decisions. On the other the administration censored what they knew about things, as may have happened in Rio Rancho.

It sounds very depressing, looking back on it. It's not like with the congress of the US or NM where the representatives have their own staffs to do that. They got it all from the executive.

Many reporters also rely on Superintendents for all their facts. I went to board members if for nothing else than to make it clear who was really accountable. In the Rio Rancho case it's all Superintendent, but she's also shielding the board from the consequences of their decision. Because surely this went before the board at some point and if not it should have.

Anonymous said...

The student’s story, if the reports are correct (“…one of Guarascio’s students refashioned the biblical story in which Jesus gives loaves of bread and fish to the poor – except in the student’s story, Jesus gave marijuana to the sick.”), draws upon the issue of today’s discussion of medical marijuana. I’d say that linking a “classic tale” to a matter of contemporary dialogue is a sign of intelligence and creativity. While we cannot judge it as a piece of creative writing without reading it, the story should not in any way be condemned because of its subject, nor the teacher fired for allowing it to be read. To condone this kind of knee-jerk uninformed response is simply to stand on the side of ignorance and, once again, our schools, teachers, and students are the victims of such ignorance. I would hope that the teacher wins a case in court on this one.
If you’re interested, Google the subject; these are just a couple of examples.