Politics in the Classroom

By Elizabeth Rich — March 26, 2008 1 min read
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The heated Democratic presidential primary is apparently boiling over into the schoolhouse. To wit: A Delaware government commission is investigating a complaint from a ten-year-old student that her teacher alledgedly told her class that she would not vote for Barack Obama because he is a Muslim who “believes in different things and is scary,” according to Delaware’s News Journal. The alledged incident occurred before the February 5th Super Tuesday mock election at Lord Baltimore Elementary School in the Indian River School District.

On February 24th, the student’s older sisters, who describe themselves as American Muslims who “love our country,” wrote a a letter to the editor of the Cape Gazette charging that “This teacher is telling her class something that is dangerous and untrue. ... We feel that kids need to be taught the truth in school ... [instead of] hatred and fear of Muslims. Our sister was badly hurt by what was said in her classroom.”

However, the parent of one of the girl’s classmates claims that the teacher’s words were taken out of context and that in fact she has told her students that, though a Republican, she may vote for Sen. Obama in the general election.

To make matters more complicated, the Indian River District is not a stranger to diversity issues, having recently reached a settlement in a case in which it was charged with allowing Christian prayer at a graduation ceremony.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.