Friday, November 07, 2008

Diatha Harris, Leftist Teacher Browbeats Soldier's Child

This is the connection between Senator Barack Obama and William Ayers that should have been made by the McCain campaign. William Ayers is a professor of education in Chicago, has written several books on elementary school eduction and social justice.

In his book, Teaching toward Freedom, "William Ayers illuminates the hope as well as the conflict that characterizes the craft of education: how it can be used in authoritarian ways at the service of the state, the church, or a restrictive existing social order-or, as he envisions it, as a way for students to become more fully human, more engaged, more participatory, more free."

One of the "authoritarian ways" is demonstrated by Diatha D. Harris in a Swedish television documentary. The fifth grade teacher, Ms. Harris, asks the class who they support for President, Obama or McCain. One young girl has a parent in the military supporting McCain, she tell the teacher, so she, too, supports McCain. Ms. Harris then proceeds browbeat the little girl almost to tears. Stunned, the fifth grader just sits and stares in bewilderment at what has just happened to her.

The ONLY media outlet for this story has been the original source, The Fayetteville Observer, numerous blogs, and talk radio. So far, the story has been ignored by networks and syndicates.

Published on Friday, November 07, 2008

Teacher's comments about McCain, war stir anger
By Francis X. Gilpin
Staff writer

A Cumberland County school teacher is defending her comments to a fifth-grade pupil who expressed support for John McCain in her class last spring.

The exchange at Mary McArthur Elementary School was captured by a Swedish television documentary crew, and the video is making the rounds on the Internet including YouTube.

In the video, which reportedly aired in Scandinavia earlier this week, teacher Diatha D. Harris calls the Iraq War “senseless” and tells one student whose father is a soldier that McCain would keep troops there for 100 years. She said in an interview that her comments were doctored.

Superintendent Bill Harrison called that student’s father today and apologized, a spokeswoman said. He also issued a statement saying he was “shocked” by the video and “particularly disturbed” by how the teacher’s “inappropriate actions” made the children uncomfortable.

The videotaped discussion begins with Harris asking the class who they support for president. When two students say McCain, she responds with “Oh Lord” and “Oh Jesus.”

She asks them why they are you pulling for McCain or Obama. One student says she supports Obama because “he is making good changes” like “not having a fight between Iraq, and having soldiers killed.”

“So in other words,” Harris says, “Barack is going to end that war in Iraq.”

One girls says she supports McCain. When asked why, she tells her teacher, “I think it’s because of my parents are going for him, too.’’

Harris points out that the girl’s father is in the military, then says to the class that Iraq is a “senseless war.”

“And by the way,” Harris tells the girl, “the person that you’re picking for president said that our troops could stay in Iraq for another hundred years if they need to. So that means that your daddy could stay in the military for another hundred years.”

The girl appears to be embarrassed and doesn’t respond.

Harris said three children in the class had parents in the military.

In an interview late Thursday, Harris, 53, said somebody edited the video to make it appear she was an Obama partisan imposing her views on a child. In fact, Harris said, she made gestures after pupils voiced support for Obama.

“It has been doctored,” Harris said. “They didn’t show anything about Obama.”

In another sequence on the video, however, Harris sports an Obama button during a pep rally at the school.

Harrison, the superintendent, said in the statement that neutral discussion of the political process is appropriate. But, he added, “at no time, particularly with elementary students, should a teacher infuse his/her political views into the discussion. Most disconcerting was the military slant that made its way into this discussion. We are a military community, serving over 15,000 military students and their families. We value the sacrifices, not only of the military parents but also those of their families.”

The statement, posted on the school system’s Web site, assured the public that “the actions exhibited in this video are not consistent with the vision” of the school system.

“Once the video was brought to my attention, I immediately launched an investigation. ... I can assure you that upon completion of the investigation, I will take appropriate action.”

Wanda McPhaul, a spokeswoman for Cumberland schools, said school leaders were deluged with protest calls today. She said state law prohibits them from revealing what, if any, personnel action would be taken against Harris. The personnel records that officials did release show Harris has taught school for 27 years, the last four in county schools.

McPhaul said the father of the girl in the video is active-duty military and didn’t know about the video until Harrison called him today.

One of the first Web sites to report the video was a blog called Tundra Tabloid.

Initially, bloggers said Harris was a teacher in Asheville. She used to be a teacher in western North Carolina, but moved to Fayetteville within the past couple years.
Dr. William Harrison, Superintendent of Schools issued the following statement and a video response on the district website --

CCS Headline News - Superintendent's Response to YouTube

I was shocked when I saw the clip of an interaction between a Cumberland County Schools teacher and her students as posted on YouTube. While neutral discussion of the political process is appropriate, at no time, particularly with elementary students, should a teacher infuse his/her political views into the discussion. Most disconcerting was the military slant that made its way into this discussion. We are a military community, serving over 15,000 military students and their families. We value the sacrifices, not only of the military parents but also those of their families.

We believe that military children are our children, military spouses are many of our employees, and military service men and women are our heroes. We proudly serve our military children and have received national awards for our support of military families.

I was particularly disturbed to see the uncomfortable position in which our children were placed due to the inappropriate actions of one of our teachers. Please be assured that the actions exhibited in this video are not consistent with the vision of the CCS. Moreover, the actions of one teacher do not represent the 7000 employees in our organization.

Once the video was brought to my attention, I immediately launched an investigation. Personnel laws prevent me from releasing information regarding individual employees and personnel action taken. I can assure you that upon completion of the investigation, I will take appropriate action.

Dr. William Harrison
CCS' Superintendent
I believe Dr. Harrison when he says the views of Diatha Harris do not reflect the views of the Districts many teachers and other employees. But, her views are also not unique in our schools and haven't been for many years. The dozens of blogs that have already reported this story are replete with personal anecdotes from commenters who have had similar experiences themselves or through their children. All of them write that they did nothing because they thought their experience was an isolated event.

The Left is in control of our educational system, the textbooks written and used, and curricula from daycare to pre-school, from kindergarten to university. It take a bare 15 years to indoctrinate an entire generation and the Leftist have had 30+ years to do their damage. The student protesters of the 1960s are the retiring and senior Master Teachers of today and their third generation of Marxists are in elementary schools now.

Regaining control of our country depends on regaining control of the schools. Every event like the one shown here must be confronted and exposed. Contact the Principal, the District Superintendent, the local School Board, the local press, the PTA, tell other parents, shout it from every hill and mountain top. Do not let this continue.

In this case, contact Principal Lola B. Williams at Mary MacArthur Elementary School, 3809 Village Drive Fayetteville, NC 28304, (910)424-2206, and School Superintendent William C. Harrison at (910)678-2300, Fax: 910-678-2339, 2465 Gillespie Street Fayetteville, NC 28306. Very politely, but firmly, let them know what you think should be done with teachers who are more interested in indoctrination over teaching.





The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

11 comments:

Bob said...

Diatha D. Harris should be dismissed and her teaching credentials and/or license revoked. No teacher in a public school has the right to impose her political views on a student and embarrass a student like she did. She even lied by taking McCain's statement out of context to make her point. Is this how public school teacher's teach our young people these days. She should have to make a public apology before she's fired. And I'd even hope to see Obama personally call the young girl in the video and explain what the teacher said was wrong and has no place in a public school setting.

Mike H. said...

I had a similar incident happen to me in 1963. I eventually dropped out of high school and got my GED the same year that I left. I was able to pass the GED on the first try because of my parents, who always believed that education wasn't only a 'school' thing.

Anonymous said...

SHE OWNS TO GET FIED ON THE SPOT.
SHE IS NOT THERE TO DISQUESS POLITICS ,BUT WE PAY HER TO TECAH.
IF WHITE WOMAN WAS MADE THAT COMMENT ,SHELL WILL GET FIRED ON THE SPOT BECAUSE THE NACP WOULD GIVE A REST.WHY???????????????
THE SAME THING GOES ON ON THE NORHAMPTON SCHOOLS THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION TOLD ME THAT BLACK PEPLOE WERE SITTING ON THE BACK OF THE BUSS ,I TOLD HER JOB WAS NOT TO PREACH POLITICS ,IT WAS FOR THE EDUCATION WICH SHE WAS PAY FOR.
I TOLD HER IF SHE CAN NOT DO HER JOB QIT!!!
ALSO BRING IN JESSIE JACKSON THE BIGGEST RACIST IN THE WHOLE U S A,AND REV ALL SAMPTON.
FIRE ALL THE RASITS FROM OUR SCHOOL ,BRING BACK THE PAST IT WILL NOT DO ANY GOOD,FOR THE SAKE OF OUR KIDS ,FIRE THAT BITCH.

Bob said...

It isn't a matter of black or white. It has to do with the fact that this is a public school not a political forum for the teacher. Diatha Harris had no right to treat this little girl the way she did or say the things she said. Her response to the other two students who said they were for McCain *Oh Lord" and "Oh Jesus" were just as appalling and apprehensible. She should be encouraging the students to learn what the candidates stand for and let them make up their own minds as to who would make the better President. No matter what her reasons, Diatha D. Harris deserves to be fired for her actions.

Anonymous said...

She did not berate any child, and every word she said to them was true.

Indigo Red said...

Anonymous 10:27 is an idiot.

Bob said...

anonymous - Telling half truths is the same as lying. McCain said that troops might have to stay 100 years the same way our troops have been in Japan, North Korea and Europe for more than 50 years. He said as long as they weren't in harms way he had no problem with it. Diatha Harris left that out when she responded to the young girl and furthermore insinuated that the girl's father might be there for 100 years. If that wasn't meant to intimate the young girl and make her feel bad I don't know what is. Diatha Harris should be ashamed of herself. If a teacher had done that to my child I would have made sure she never taught another child. And it's not her place to demean a child's beliefs or the child's parent's beliefs. And Indigo Red shouldn't have called you an idiot. You're just misinformed like so many of the electorate. I feel sorry for you.

Indigo Red said...

Bob, I truly appreciate your views as they are well organized and thought through. Most importantly, I agree with you.

However, "idiot" was and is as correct a characterization as your saying Anonymous 10:27 is "misinformed".

idiot
Noun
1. a foolish or senseless person


Anyone who watches the video and then can say Harris "did not berate any child, and every word she said to them was true" is an idiot. When added to that your correction that the troops would be in Iraq for 100 years much as our troops have been in Germany and Japan for nearly 100 years only adds to the correctness of the 'idiot' identification.

Bob said...

Indigo red - I stand corrected.

Indigo Red said...

However, Bob is right in implying that the use of 'idiot' was uncouth.

dcat said...

SHE SHOULD LOSE HER FUCKING JOB!!!

I would sue her ass if my kid was harassed by thug teacher!!!

YOU can't FUCKING PRAY IN SCHOOL SO SHE HAD NO RIGHT TO VOICE HER DUMB ASS OPINION!!!