These days it seems like you can’t turn your head without hearing or seeing something political, but should it be coming from the classroom?
Vincent Ungro’s 11-year-old daughter recently came home with some interesting vocabulary homework. It was when she asked for help that Ungro realized two of the questions were not like the others.
“Donald Trump speaks in a very superior and manner,” the question begins. “He needs to be more so that the American people respect and admire him.”
The second question was similar in nature.
“Barack Obama set a when he became the first African American president.”
The blanks were supposed to be filled with the words “haughty,” “humble,” and “precedent,” but Ungro told his kid not to answer the questions, instead opting to send the teacher a message of his own.
“Please keep your political views to yourself and do not try to influence my children on them. Thank you.”
The teacher, Adria Zawatsky, marked the unanswered questions wrong, which Ungro says is absolutely wrong. In a statement to The New York Post on Thursday, he said his kid shouldn’t be forced to entertain this teacher’s political leanings.
“This woman is forcing my child to put words on a piece of paper describing our president in a disparaging manner,” Ungro told The Post Thursday. “Her political opinion should be left at home.”
The following Monday Ungro says he received an email from Zawatsky, but it wasn’t an apology or even an attempt at one.
“Firstly, I do not believe I was expressing a political view at all on my vocabulary sheet. My reference to President Trump was about his personality traits rather than his ability as a president,” the teacher wrote.
“The media is nonstop on very similar references. This is considered freedom of speech and I feel I have the same right as they do.”
I didn’t realize this needed to be said, but it is not a teacher’s job to cover politics. The media does that have responsibility. Teachers are supposed to teach children how to read, writes and do math, not bombard them with political opinions. When teachers are teaching economics and government history, they are “directed to maintain neutrality,” according to the Department of Education.
The teacher – who makes $102,000 annually – was “spoken to” by the Principal in a disciplinary letter, which has gone into her “file.” Basically, she got a finger wag and is going to go back to teaching without any real repercussions.