Sanford Speaks Out is the latest blog sensation written, edited and produced by Sanford D. Horn, a writer and educator. Sanford will write about issues of the day covering a myriad subjects: politics, education, culture, sports, religion and even food.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Thou Shalt not Speak Ill of the President
Thou Shalt not Speak Ill of the President Commentary by Sanford D. Horn May 22, 2012
Obama defense hysteria continues to grow
disproportionately out of control to the point that this plague is infecting
the young minds in the public schools.
Tanya Dixon-Neely, a social studies teacher at North
Rowan High School in Spencer, NC, threatened students in her class that they
could be arrested for “speaking ill of the president.” The comment was recorded
by a classmate of junior Hunter Rogers, the student with whom Dixon-Neely had
an exchange about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each having a past history
involving an incident of bullying.
Romney’s alleged bullying has been front page news,
splashed across the pages of The
Washington Post ad nauseum, while Obama admitted to his bullying within the
confines of one of his penned books, Dreams
from My Father, where he tells of shoving a girl to the ground. When Hunter
mentioned this incident, first Dixon-Neely claimed to have no knowledge of
Obama’s indiscretion, but knew of Romney’s, then reminded Hunter of how it is
wrong to disrespect the president.
“As a teacher, I am not supposed to allow you to
disrespect the president,” Dixon-Neely said in the recorded exchange.
“I was shocked by this kind of behavior in the school,”
said Hunter’s mother Gina Rogers during the Fox & Friends interview, adding
she didn’t know it was “this extreme…. She is not teaching factual information
Rogers said of Dixon-Neely.
Congratulations to Hunter for standing his ground, and
doing so with sourced facts – a vital skill all students need.
While not released by the Rowan-Salisbury School
District, Dixon-Neely’s name had been discerned by Breitbart News. And also,
while not initially reprimanded for her actions, Dixon-Neely has been suspended
Hunter told the Fox News morning broadcast Fox &
Friends on Tuesday, May 22 that there are typically “open discussions” in Dixon-Neely’s
class, yet, further said, “she doesn’t want to hear anything but what she believes
in.” This, of course, runs counter to the generous notion of open discussions.
Instead of stifling free speech, the teacher should
encourage a “fair and balanced” exchange, to borrow a slogan.
“If you disagree, you get berated and put down,” said
Hunter, adding “I just decided to get some proof…. “I’ve been taught that no
one can take your opinion… or your freedom of speech.”
Hunter’s unnamed friend’s recording of the class
proceedings a week ago clearly depict a teacher who, aside from having a poor
command of the English language, is also deeply in the tank for Obama,
defending him at every turn.
Dixon-Neely also demonstrates a lack of subject matter
knowledge, particularly history and the Constitution, by telling the class they
could be arrested for “speaking ill of the president,” yet, hypocritically, was
called to the carpet by Hunter regarding Dixon-Neely’s foul-mouthed epithet
about former President George W. Bush.
Hunter said on the recorded exchange that everybody
talked shit about Bush, to which Dixon-Neely responded that Bush was shitty.
Yet nothing was said of the language used in Dixon-Neely’s classroom, which is
wholly unacceptable by both student and teacher, but the teacher should know
better and her usage of the vulgarity is akin to a tacit acceptance by her
Having taught grades six through college, opining on
political issues is both volatile and frowned upon by administrations at times
with stern repercussions. That it took days for the Rowan-Salisbury School
District to suspend Dixon-Neely is disturbing – that should have been a
no-brainer. That she should be given a vacation – her suspension is with pay –
Dixon-Neely should not only lose her job, but be stripped
of any tenure she may have accumulated. No doubt the teachers union will be
defending Dixon-Neely at every turn, demonstrating that the union is there for
the weak and ineffective teachers, not the good and effective educators, in a
system that only continues to fail the children in the public schools.
Clearly this is a social studies teacher who lacks basic
knowledge of law, history and the United States Constitution – three of the tenets
of the subject that she allegedly is an expert, let alone in which she is
instructing others. Ironically, a fortune find in a cookie just last night
read: “to teach is to learn twice.” Did Dixon-Neely even learn once?
A message must be sent that the classrooms are not for
political propaganda or for mesmerizing students into becoming drones and
Sanford D. Horn is
a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.