Outrageous Inquirer Poll Asks, ‘Should a teacher make fun of a child?’

by Christopher Paslay

The Inquirer’s latest poll on the “Romney T-shirt” incident shows just how pathetic the response from the Philadelphia liberal establishment has been.    

Today the Inquirer asked it readers: “Should a teacher make fun of a child wearing a T-shirt supporting a political candidate?”  The poll is so warped and mindboggling that I won’t even bother to list the four possible responses.  Anyone in their right mind knows the answer to this ludicrous question, and the answer is no, a teacher shouldn’t make fun of a child.  The fact that the Inquirer asked it reveals a lot about the newspaper, its readers, and the hypocritical culture of Philadelphia’s liberal establishment. 

The reason the Inquirer is posing the question, of course, is to downplay the seriousness of the Romney T-shirt incident.  It’s a way to equate intolerance with “making fun” or “making jokes.”  Should teachers be able to joke around with their students about political things? they are saying. What do you think?  Is it really such a big deal?

It’s clear the Inquirer’s editorial board isn’t convinced that what happened to little Sam Pawlucy is an absolute, unquestionable injustice.  If what happened to Pawlucy were an unquestionable injustice (like, say, the unquestionable injustice of violating gay rights), the Inquirer wouldn’t still be grappling with public opinion on the issue.

For example, you would never see an Inquirer poll asking the question: “Should a teacher make fun of a child for wearing a LGBT rainbow T-shirt?”  They wouldn’t ask it because when it comes to such issues, there is zero tolerance.  In other words, you don’t make fun gays, period.  You don’t even joke about it.  Especially, and most importantly, teachers.

Likewise, the Inquirer would never run a poll asking: “Should a teacher make fun of a child for wearing a Muslim Taqiyah cap?” They would never run a poll asking: “Should a teacher make fun of a child for wearing a Travon Martin memorial shirt?”  Again, these are issues apart of the liberal sacred untouchable cannon, so the Inquirer would never ask such questions.

But when it comes to making fun of Republicans or comparing a Romney/Ryan T-shirt to the KKK, the Inky runs a poll.  Should teachers be allowed to do it, what do you think?

Interestingly, the local media—the Inquirer, Daily News, and their columnists and editorial boards—have yet to publically reprimand Samantha’s geometry teacher for the egregious transgression of stereotyping Republicans as the KKK (both papers have focused on the issue of freedom of speech, and only Christine Flowers had the guts to bring up bullying).  No one has come out and righted this wrong by setting the record straight.  No one has said, It was unconscionable of this teacher to compare a Romney Ryan T-shirt to the KKK.  Most Republicans are not racially insensitive, and it was wrong for this teacher to stereotype this group in front of her students.      

Imagine if a teacher (jokingly) made a Muslim student take off his Taqiyah cap because she said (jokingly) that this cap represented terrorism.  After the teacher was crucified, sued, chewed-up by the ACLU and spit out, and ultimately fired, there would be a series of editorials and commentaries chastising this teacher for being intolerant, and the record would be set straight immediately: It is wrong to stereotype Muslims as terrorists, because most are tolerant, peaceful people

Smear a Republican in a heavily Democratic town such as Philadelphia and you get ill-defined “teachable moments.”  Equate a Republican T-shirt with the KKK and the remedy is a vague, feel good lesson on “political differences.”  Sure, a teacher stereotyped an entire group of people with a symbol of hate, but can’t we all just get along?  Can’t we just get back to our normal routines?  She did say she was joking, after all.

Suddenly, amazingly, the unbending hyper-vigilant politically correct left has a sense of humor! 

Actually, I don’t buy for a second that they have a sense of humor.  The reality of the Romney T-shirt incident is that newspapers like the Inquirer and the Daily News don’t want to debunk the Republican = KKK stereotype because they benefit too greatly from it politically.  In fact, newspapers like the Inquirer and the Daily News promote such stereotypes (Republican Voter ID = Jim Crow is just one example that comes to mind).

So as it stands in Philadelphia, Republicans are indeed 21st century Klansmen, you just can’t say so out loud in class if you are a teacher and your student happens to be wearing a GOP T-shirt.

6 thoughts on “Outrageous Inquirer Poll Asks, ‘Should a teacher make fun of a child?’

  1. It seems to me your complaints should be directed to the PSD and in particular the school where this incident happened. Since most if not all PSD school require uniforms I am assuming most do not have dress code rules for dress down days. Seems to me this is the source of this problem.

    I think many HS’s, where students do not wear uniforms, do limit shirts with words or pictures to prevent this very thing from happening. If I was the principal of this school where the incident occurred I would write dress code rules to prevent future problems for dress down days or do not have any dress down days.

    I personally think this teacher should be fired. If there are no grounds to pursue that she should be required to attend some type of sensitivity training and be moved to a new school. Do you remember the teacher in Bucks County who blogged about the behavior of her students? As far as I remember she is no longer working in that district. This teacher’s behavior in our district is inexcusable and very troubling. I have not seen much in the paper about the consequences of her actions other than she was required to make a public apology to the student. I cannot think of any reason, even for a joke, a teacher would do such a thing. Lumping her in with all the so called liberal teachers and making broad statements about the press and the city etc. is of no help in solving this problem. This is one teacher in one school that failed to write rules to prevent this type of problem and now are suffering because of it. Problems in schools, in my opinion, are often the result of weak enforcement of existing rules or a lack of rules to prevent problems. Your outrage should be about this issue. You cannot fix the newspapers or politicians in the city. I do think both columnists you complained about are doing their jobs as columnists- expressing personal opinions just like you. I do not think what they say represents the paper or the city or my profession. I read them for what they are- columnists – just like I read the editorial page in the paper and your columns. Some I agree with and some I don’t.


  2. Hey Kathy,

    In my experience, there’s a culture of intolerance for Republicans in this city, and it borders on hate. Just today I took a poll in my last period class and asked, “How many of you think Republicans are racist?” A little less than half raised their hands. They are getting this from somewhere. These are the facts.


  3. You could ask a group of Republicans the question- who thinks Obama is a Muslim or born in Kenya and get the same kind of incorrect reaction. So what does this prove? To me it proves that people are not informed of the facts. That is how all conspiracy theories survive. I think you might be surprised at how many do not read the paper, do not watch any news and do not read any news online. I talked to a woman the other day who had no idea there was a debate or that Obama did not do well.


  4. Political stance is rarely informed. It doesn’t enter into the issue at all. What happened to Samantha has nothing to do with liberals having no sense of humour and conservatives being hard done by. Rather, it has everything to do with a teacher making a mockery of her duty to protect her students and putting Samantha in danger. Arguing about politics won’t ensure Samantha’s safety, which is the most important thing to consider.

  5. I agree with Louise that politics is not the issue. I would place the teacher’s actions under the category of bullying. She intimidated her student. Period. It does not even matter what the reason. She pulled this child out of class and made comments about her clothing. It could have been about anything. But it was reported that the child was scared. That is what bullies do, scare their victims. If there is no rule in the school about clothing the teacher is in the wrong because of her actions. She was a bully and this is the issue the PSD needs to address.


  6. And if the SDP does not address this issue I think that teachers who have witnessed this on students or themselves faced cruel treatment by Administrators or the SDP for more minor incidents than this, which I think should be classified as major…need to protest, speak up to the SRC, and the media. How dare them not reprimand the teacher. Whose relative, friend is she???

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