Stop and really ponder that. How often have you let something pass because you just didn't want to get involved. It wasn't your place. You didn't want to make a scene. Especially when it's something for which you will possibly be going against the accepted "grain".
I am in the midst of such a moment. It hasn't played completely out as of yet, but the wheels are set in motion.
A couple weeks ago, my oldest daughter let it slip in conversation that her college prep writing teacher at the high school had viewed in class the unrated version of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video. I simply cannot post it here, but I'll wait while you do a google search. It's out there for ANYONE to see. (Whether or not it should be is a topic for another discussion). According to my daughter, they were dissecting the lyrics and the teacher thought it might be of some educational value. (as if the lyrics aren't explicit enough). At any rate, I mulled it over for a while and I realized the my silence was eating at my gut and decided that it was time to shove back.
I chose not to approach the teacher on this because frankly, she had already made this autonomous decision and all that viewed the video cannot unview it. I'm sure she rationalized why her decision was a good one and nothing I can say or do at this point would change her mind as to the appropriateness of her decision. Instead, I wrote to the school principal, explaining the situation, giving HER a link to the video, and asking HER if she felt that this was appropriate material for children to be viewing in a high school situation. I also expressed concern that my daughter would be subjected to criticism (which happened last year to a friend) for having informed me of the teacher's transgression (and make no mistake about it...I consider this complete lapse of judgement a transgression) and harsher evaluation especially when dealing with a subjective topic as writing. OH, because I sometimes become, let's call it overly passionate, I ran the email past my husband to make sure that I kept the focus where it should be. He approved and I THOUGHT I sent it.
This happened homecoming weekend and I figured that the principal would have her hands full with the game and dance so I didn't expect an immediate response. After a week went by, I checked to see exactly what time I had sent the email and lo and behold, it was still in draft form. So, I sent it a week later than I expected. But I sent it. (Friday)
The first response from the principal came this past Monday. She said she would talk with the teacher. M...okay. My question wasn't addressed to the teacher, but if the principal felt she needed to "get her side", then that's fine, but my expectation was that the principal respond to my question: Yes or no...this video was/was not appropriate viewing material for high school students without their parent's knowledge or consent. Today, I received an invitation from the principal to meet with the teacher, with my daughter and possibly the principal, to discuss this situation.
Full stop. DEEEEPPPPP BREATH.
So, there is an explanation for showing a pornographic video in a high school classroom setting? As a friend brought up to me, if a MALE teacher had viewed this video in class, would it have been as calmly accepted as it appears to have been with the female teacher? Or would all holy hell be breaking loose? I do not believe that there is ANY reason why this video should have been viewed in class, I don't care if it was a male or female. Not this. NOT EVER.
After speaking with my daughter, who didn't want to me to say ANYTHING about this to begin with, she said she most definitely did not want to meet with the teacher and frankly, neither do I. I do not want to hear a teacher's rationalization why she though this would be of educational value. Of all the "educational valuable" material out there, I'm guessing this would rank right down there with the in depth study of toe jam/navel lint.
She (my daughter) is also (still) concerned about the repercussions that will fall upon her IF the teacher learns of her identity. At this point, I am holding out hope, since I expressed concern of the possibility of harsh criticism of my daughter by the teacher in my initial email, that the principal would show some discretion when speaking to the teacher...ie "a student and their parent have emailed me with concerns regarding a video that was shown in class", but I have no idea if she did. Simply put, it does not matter. The video was inappropriate. EVERY student should have told their parents and their parents should have responded in a like manner.
So, no. We have no intention of meeting with the teacher. And sadly for my daughter, I have no intention of dropping this if the principal fails to respond and actually answers my question (IS THIS APPROPRIATE? If not, own it, fix it and make sure it never happens again). My next stop will be the school board, although I suspect the reason I haven't yet heard back from the principal is because they are frantically looking for a way to deflect the situation. From there, the news and blog world will be the next stop and then all possibility of anonymity (if it even existed) goes down the toilet.
I don't care about it for myself, but I am concerned for my daughter. She is having a stellar year this her senior year and I would really hate to see that derailed because *I* had to prove a point. And that point is, when did pornography become part of the high school curriculum? Is it possible that class time could be better used than by showing titillating videos in class to adolescents? When and more importantly WHY does education need to sink to this level of perversion? Back to Burke, is this evil? No. But it is morally and ethically wrong and to do nothing is giving implicit acceptance.
Do I wait until the schools are bringing in actual people to have sex on desks to object (yes, this was college, just one short year away from where my daughter is now)? Or is there educational value in that as well?
Seriously. If not me, who? If not now, when?