Political Preferences: When teachers over-share

by epi on November 7, 2011

Q: My daughter’s history teacher often shares her views on the election with the class.  Should I ask her not to express her beliefs to her students or be thankful my daughter is learning the importance of elections?

A: Although it’s great for an educator to discuss voting and the candidates, it’s wrong for her to promote her views in the classroom.  Her role is to teach about voters’ freedom to choose; it’s not to steer kids to the choice she thinks is best.  Say, “I’m glad you’re talking to the kids about the election, but I’m not comfortable with your sharing your political preferences.”  If she persists, alert the principal.  And after you speak with the teacher, you should be thankful your daughter is learning how important elections are and give her more perspective by explaining other views to her too.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara November 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

What a tough situation! In the 10th grade, I was in a similar situation with a teacher who kept not only talking about her political preferences during the election (which would have been uncomfortable enough) but actively telling us that anybody who voted otherwise was unpatriotic! I finally stood up to her in class (and I had not told my parents first, so kudos to your daughter!), and asked her simply if we could bring the lecture back to the topic at hand. She was very upset and stopped the lecture and called me out in the hall to talk to me individually and basically told me I was not allowed to disrespect her by sharing my opinion, if she couldn’t share hers. When I did tell my parents this, they were wonderfully supportive and spoke to the principal and teacher, and I was very glad to have their support, even though the class remained somewhat awkward the rest of the year.


Elizabeth November 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Good for you, Sara. I had a “health” teacher when I was in 9th grade who explained during the sex-education portion of the class that he found homosexuality to be unnatural, and I wish I (or someone else) would have had the awareness to make a stink about it back then.


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