Part 3 of this continuing story describes my conversation with the superintendent of schools for a high school where one of the teachers preaches conspiracy theory bilge and Leftist drivel in a course of U.S. History II.
This is the third installment of the continuing story of a complaint that a high school teacher who teaches conspiracy theory and Leftist bilge when he is supposed to be teaching U.S. History II.
In Part 1, Failing A Teacher, I described the elements of the complaint based on a student's report of what transpired during the school year in a classroom where U.S. History II was supposed to be being taught.
Part 2, Failing A Teacher described a phone conversation I had with the retiring principal of the high school where this problem exists. In that conversation, I was assured that the principal would get back to me within a few days and let me know what further investigation produced. His initial investigation involved asking the teacher if he had committed the list of actions which are the subject of the complaint (see Part 1). I never heard back from the principal. Clearly, his objective was to stall for time and simply let the clock run out. What other conclusion can possibly be reached after two weeks of silence as the school year ends?
As a result of the failure of the principal to honor his statements to me, I contacted his supervisor, the superintendent of schools. What follows is a redacted copy of my follow-up letter to the superintendent. This letter summarizes our conversation and includes some new information I've learned about the subject teacher.
Thank you for speaking with me the other day to discuss my complaint concerning the teaching practices of Mr. R. As you may recall, I was very concerned that the Principal, Mr. D, was apparently trying to “run out the clock” and not perform a satisfactory investigation of the complaint. This belief was rooted in the fact that Mr. D had promised to get back to me within a “few days” of the end of May and I had still not heard from him as the school year was drawing to a close nearly two weeks later. Were Mr. D not retiring at the end of this year, I would have serious questions regarding his suitability to continue in his position as Principal of the [redacted] High School.
My understanding of your course of action is outlined below:
You assured me you would personally take charge of a proper investigation of Mr. R’s teaching practices.
I further understand that you will conduct interviews with Mr. R’s students of U.S. History II.
After suitable time to conduct your investigation, you will report your findings to Superintendent [redacted] of the [redacted] School System. You will also report your findings to me.
You will keep in strict confidence the identity of the complaining student that I provided you on your request.
If I have neglected anything, please correct me.
Since our conversation, I have had the opportunity to speak with parents of both a former student and a current student (a junior) of Mr. R’s. The parent of the former student informed me that her son would be glad to provide a statement describing his experience with similar classroom activities of Mr. R. The parent of the current student (his stepfather) revealed to me that his stepson has come home this year with all kinds of conspiracy theory and anti-government ideas as a result of being in Mr. R’s classroom. I suggest this is a good example of a student who does not have the maturity to reject the nonsense being offered by Mr. R and is, therefore, influenced by such drivel.
Clearly, there are two very serious adverse consequences to Mr. R’s classroom practices. First, he is robbing mature students of the opportunity to receive a proper education in U.S. History II as expected by parents and paid for by taxpayers. Second, he is dangerously propagandizing the less mature students who may be seriously damaged for years by actually believing the utter nonsense to which they have been subjected.
Clearly, the evidence has gotten stronger that Mr. R is unsuitable to continue in his position as teacher in the [redacted] Public School System. In failing to teach a proper course of instruction to students, he has robbed them of their right to a decent education in history. In attempting to politically bias his students and propagandize them with material of highly dubious origin that is clearly not suitable for any legitimate educational purpose, Mr. R has committed an unpardonable breach of conduct for a teacher. The students, parents, and taxpayers must be respected by our school system. It is simply not right to further expose students to the kind of quackery promoted by Mr. R in the name of education.
I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
Bob Webster, a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.
A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.