Body cameras for teachers? Let educators do their jobs without censorship.

Jordan Reid is the founding editor of Ramshackle Glam.
Liberal Opinion

Jordan Reid

Author; Founding Editor, Ramshackle Glam
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We rely on doctors when we need medical attention. We count on plumbers to fix a leak. So why don’t we do the same for our teachers? They go to school for years to earn degrees in education. They study curriculum, child development, and teaching strategies. Yet, many people think they know better and are demanding control in the classroom.

Republican state lawmakers across the US are introducing bills that would require teachers to post all their materials online so that parents can review them. 

At the heart of these bills is the suggestion that something nefarious is happening, something that schools don’t want parents to see. And it’s rooted in a culture war that teachers should not be dragged into.  

Do you remember my segment on Critical Race Theory and how it’s not actually being taught in schools, but it’s being used as sort of a way for parents to grasp at any indicator that–gasp–the realities of systemic racism are being taught to our children? 

Well, posting every detail of a curriculum essentially invites parents to look for more things to complain about, and these bills even open up avenues for parents to sue schools if they don’t like what they see. 

Here’s what these bills are about. They’re about trying to get teachers to stop educating their students about matters of race and gender. They’re about trying to get teachers to present “impartial” opinions about things like the Holocaust, or slavery, or LGBTQ rights. It’s about censorship. That’s it. 

Oh, and of course it also adds to the workload of teachers who are already taxed beyond belief.

One lawmaker even supports a requirement for teachers to wear body cameras. The invasiveness of this is truly astonishing, and, were it to be implemented, would almost certainly lead to resignations. 

We need more teachers, not fewer, and the way to keep this most important of professions filled with the very best talent is to treat teachers with decency, respect, and autonomy.

You want your kids to hold a specific opinion that you yourself share? You should totally talk to them about it. It’s called parenting. Let the teachers teach.

One of my favorite websites to visit is symptomchecker.com. On that site, I can type in my “symptom” – say, I’m tired – and discover that either I need a cup of coffee, or I’m dying.

Diagnoses, it turns out, should not be made by Dr. Google. They should be made by doctors.

It’s the same with education. I mean I certainly care about my children’s education, I inform myself about what they’re learning, but I’m not shooting off emails to their teachers telling them what “I” think they should be doing in the classroom.

I mean I’m entitled to an opinion – and, of course, if something egregious happens it should be addressed – but I’d rather leave the educating to people who spent years and years training in education.

Seriously. Have you seen how the kids do long division these days? I am so happy that someone else is responsible for handling that. 

Some members of the GOP, alas, disagree with this approach. Republican state lawmakers across the US are introducing bills that would require teachers to post all their materials online so that parents can review them. 

Now, let’s not pretend that this is a simple case of “What? Parents deserve to know what’s going on!”

Of course, parents deserve to know what’s going on. Classroom materials aren’t like secrets that teachers are keeping. You want to know what’s in To Kill A Mockingbird? Go read it, and if something in the curriculum conflicts with your ideologies or personal belief structure, have a conversation with your child’s teacher. They’ll probably try to work with you. But again that is not what this is about. 

At the heart of these bills is the suggestion that something nefarious is happening, something that schools don’t want parents to see. And it’s rooted in a culture war that teachers should not be dragged into.  

Do you remember my segment on Critical Race Theory and how it’s not actually being taught in schools, but it’s being used as sort of a way for parents to grasp at any indicator that – gasp – the realities of systemic racism are being taught to our children? 

Well, posting every detail of a curriculum essentially invites parents to look for more things to complain about, and these bills even open up avenues for parents to sue schools if they don’t like what they see. 

Here’s what these bills are about. They’re about trying to get teachers to stop educating their students about matters of race and gender. They’re about trying to get teachers to present “impartial” about opinions things like the Holocaust, or slavery, or LGBTQ rights. It’s about censorship. That’s it. 

Oh, and of course it also adds to the workload of teachers who are already taxed beyond belief. 

 And also – quick product plug for my new book – deserve presents like The Big Activity Book for Teacher People, not disrespect. 

One lawmaker even supports a requirement for teachers to wear body cameras. The invasiveness of this is truly astonishing, and, were it to be implemented, would almost certainly lead to resignations. 

We need more teachers, not fewer, and the way to keep this most important of professions filled with the very best talent is to treat teachers with decency, respect, and autonomy.

You want your kids to hold a specific opinion that you yourself share? You should totally talk to them about it. It’s called parenting. Let the teachers teach.


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