Monday, June 15, 2009


It would seem that the PC movement has reached into the school system of Lawrence, Kansas. Teacher Tim Latham was apparently fired without just cause, or as school districts term it, he was non-renewed. Now let's get something straight. Letting a teacher go is serious business. Mostly, it happens when the teacher has crossed some line that is at the point of no return. Something criminal in nature is usually the cause. That most certainly is not the case here. He was released because he doesn't agree with the school board and their views. I have a McCain sticker on my truck. Fire me.

I showed the swearing-in on TV in my classroom, but skipped the inaugural speech. Our students miss enough school. They need to learn the curriculum in class. I told them to go home and watch the speech with their parents. I have a poster in my class that reads, "In God We Trust," the motto of the US. It also includes the Ohio motto which is "With God All Things are Possible." I don't shove religion down anyone's throat, I acknowledge God in the founding of our country. Fire me.

It appears that Mr. Latham was fired for his political views. That's surely interesting because teachers, like people in general, have views across the spectrum. Let's get this out of the way. There are many more liberal teachers than there are conservatives. That's just a fact of having a leftist union that heavily influences and brainwashes its members.

What made me take notice is that Mr. Latham is a conservative. So am I. I don't inflict my views on my students because that would be unprofessional. I give them the facts and let them make up their own minds. It's much more fun that way. The fact that this teacher was fired is hard to comprehend. I listened to the video of his students and I hope that's what my students would say about me. I don't want to brag here, but I got an award from the the class of 2009 as their favorite male teacher. I don't cut them any slack. My class is tough and demanding, but they understand that going in and they perform to the best of their ability. That's what I want to convey to them. Fight the good fight.

I think students respect discipline and toughness in school AS LONG AS IT'S FAIR. I give them my best and I ask their best in return. I would love to rail against the school board here, but that would miss the point. The point is that Mr. Latham seems to be what a teacher should be all about. Demand the best of your students and you will get their best. I will continue to do that and I hope the Lawrence, Kansas school board gets off their leftie pedestal and realizes that high standards are more important than ideology.

What the hell are these people thinking? Challenging students is the epitome of education. Indoctrination is not. This ought to scare the hell out of all of us.


Tapline said...

I just did a great response to your post and it got eaten. I evidently didn't sign in and when I completed the process it ate my comments..I think many times people get on schoolboards because they have axes to grind, perhaps this is the case?? perhaps they had a budget cut and it had to done barring that....The towns people should have been at the school board meeting and expressed their outrage if indeed there was some, If indeed they did express their opinion and received no satisfaction I would say vote out the whole bunch,,,That's the American way and it works....stay well....

KauaiMark said...

And the teachers' union said...???

I thought it took a capitol murder while killing puppies to get a teacher fired.

I guess voicing an unpopular opposing opinion is a close equivalent.

Carl Wicklander said...

It's downright disgraceful if it's true. If it is true, then it's indicative of what bureaucrats really think of public school: it's not to provide everyone with an education, it's to indoctrinate. Why else would anyone to the right of Obama be considered such a threat? It questions their worldview and they have the means to suppress the dissent, by firing someone.

Brooke said...

I guess the Obama administration has the same policy of allowing freedom of expression as he claimed Islam has.

Frankly, I'm surprised that this teacher wasn't stoned to death!

TRUTH 101 said...

For what it's worth LAOT, of the three best and favorite high school teachers I had, two were diehard conservatives and the other a diehard liberal.
Even the burnouts showed up and behaved in their classes. Well, the conservatives anyway.

If you think it would help I would be glad to write a letter to the editor or something on Mr. Latham's behalf as a former union committeeman and vice president.

If what you say is accurate, this is a load of you know what and Mr. Latham's union should be raising hell. This may or may not be a grievable action, but the mistreatment of any union member should be investigated and defended.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

My guess is that behavior has been going on for some time but in slightly less obvious ways. Promotions, demotions, ignoring excellence in the classroom -- either tow the Leftist line or you'll pay the price. And speaking out against the board would equate, I would suppose, to speaking out against your union. I would wager that, without the support of those students on their Facebook site, it would be tougher to keep him. It sounds as though, procedurally, the 912 District screwed the pooch royally.

Make no mistake, LOT, you are the EXCEPTION in school excellence, and not the rule.

Let me also assure you of something else: you can BET that you are in someone's ideological sights somewhere locally. They may not speak it to your face, but I'm sure you've felt some glares.


Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit. School boards were a good ideas whose time has passed. There has to be a better way. I think on it for a while.

Thanks for the visit. The teacher's union. Don't even get me started. I've been in unions my whole working life and I was a union president for 5 lovely years. The NEA ceased to be a union long ago. That's why I opted out.

Thanks for the visit. I think any teacher being fired for his politics is disgraceful. As long as a teacher doesn't inflict his opinion on students he/she shouldn't be forced to defend them to a school board.

As teachers this type of event should send shivers down our spine. I certainly don't want my politics held against me. Thanks for the visit.

Thanks for the visit. I appreciate your offer and it doesn't surprise me that you would take up for a union member regardless of political leanings. That is a testament to your fundamental fairness. As for the burnouts toeing the line in conservative's classes that too, is understandable.

As everyone knows conservatives all have guns, know how to use them and certainly we are looking for an excuse to pull the trigger. Some punk student would be a great target, eh?

Thanks for the visit. I don't want teachers, cops, or any other union members/workers toeing anybody's line. I seem to remember you being warned about your blog. I hope I'm not a target, but I'm too old and too cynical to be naive. I always watch my back. It's a military/cop thing. Be careful.

sue said...

L&OT - Sounds like we need more no nonsense teachers like you.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit. I truly believe students will respond to high expectations, provided we hold them to some standards. They like the challenge and I think they crave discipline as long as it fair. I too old to change and I believe this too strongly to give it up. Otherwise, I can sit on my front porch and collect my pension from my rocking chair.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

LOT: oh, I was FORCED to KILL my work blog last year when I pointed out how STUPID one of our own drove in front of my face, responding C3. The union president made a phone call, other phone calls were made, and I was told to -- ahem -- shut 'er down, with discipline resulting if I didn't.

I was truthful. DAMN me for being truthful.


sue said...

The teachers that I remember the most, the ones that I really learned from were the tough ones. I wasn't always fond of them at the time - but I remember them.

Average American said...

Every good teacher knows that a student won't generally give you more effort than you ask for/demand, piss poor teachers don't.

I served three years on our local school board, and I can't believe what I hear and see when it comes to personal politics. When a school board member, or the board as a whole, puts their politics ahead of what's best for the students, they suck and should be voted out! I don't care which end of the spectrum they are on, the left or the right, they do not belong in their position.

PRH....... said...

Being a husband and father of 2 Christian Conservative teachers, I know where you are coming from. Lucky for my wife, the districts around this part of Ohio are pretty Catholic/Christian and Conservative.

I also found it intereting that the Board Number in Kansas from where he taught was 9-1-2....hummm!

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit. Thankfully, there are still some good schools around. Not enough though.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit. School boards I guess are a good thought but politicizing education is fraught with problems.