High School Tries President

Aquarian Weekly 3/22/06 REALITY CHECK

PRESIDENT ON TRIAL AT LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL Batten Down The Hatches, The Kids Are Taking Over

To be filed under the increasingly over-crowded Asinine Over-Hyped Paranoia heading this week, we have the case of a Parsippany High School 12th grade politics and government class under fire. The students, and their 37-year-old teacher, Joseph Kyle, are being vilified in the press, and the fast dwindling rah-rah home team Bush apologists for conducting a “hearing” on the “war crimes” of the president. Okay. So? What the hell is the problem here? People who defend Bush are offended? Descent American outraged? The very foundation of our democracy challenged?

This is a goddamn High School. If the Daily Record, a Morris County newspaper here in NJ, didn’t run the story, and the always-banal Drudge Report didn’t post it on the Internet, who would care? It’s an academic exercise, nothing more. No one is actually putting the president on trial for anything, and if they did – still a distinct possibility – it is unlikely to be run by teenagers.


Liberal bias among faculties of both college and high school run amok!

That’s the hue and cry from heavy breathers like Joe Scarborough, who has a Herculean enough effort filling 42 minutes of air time with his limited broadcasting skills, mawkish interviewing acumen, and overall grappling with articulation daily on MSNBC. This makes his desperate attempt at a personal crusade against using taxpayer money to brainwash children with liberal agendas understandable. It’s just not plausible.

The same teacher, into his ninth, and heretofore-uneventful year, at the school had a similar trial against Bill Clinton during his impeachment hearings at Montclair High School. Scarborough might remember Big Bill. He was president when the now talk show host was a member of the Gingrich Revolution. He might still be up on Capitol Hill wasting taxpayer money himself if he wasn’t such a dipshit.

So as Scarborough’s “guests” went haywire in the usual talking-head spurious clap-trap raid on sanity about how a high school is no place for this kind of anti-American blah, blah, blah, we decided to investigate further. Imagine that? Actually researching a subject before babbling like incontinent hyenas. I think I’m onto something here.

Upon further review, Kyle’s class is an advanced placement elective, wherein the general lesson plan is “to explore current events and foreign policy in an interactive way”. So it’s precisely the place for this type of progressive inquiry into the deeds and results of authority and government. The only item these nimrods on the Scarborough goober-fest can protest to is the class is not a propagandized blur-machine of patriotic nonsense. They have a point there. Other than that, they’re idiots.

The other rant that has permeated the outrage of this innocuous event, is that our taxes pay for this. Yes, and if you had any idea the utter wasteland that is the education system in this country, especially at the high school level, there could be trouble. But there isn’t much trouble, because you have no idea. And that’s good. Lord knows we do not need any violent uprisings now. The economy is fragile enough.

The least of our problems is that we pay for children to expand their minds on controversial subject matter, and, once again, I maintain that the damning of a president’s actions during war is not all that controversial. I defy you to name a president from Lincoln on down that did not commit some form of war crime. Then you might have a story. But you can’t, so don’t try. The bigger problems with our tax money being dumped into an education netherworld are a subject for another column. It does not belong here, other than to point out the absurdity of this counter-argument about school kids play-acting.

Enter the gutless hierarchy, as is the custom in media outcries. This week’s reactionary coward will be played by Parsippany-Troy Hills School District, interim superintendent, James Dwyer. Poor guy is interim. Talk about unlucky. Dwyer decided, logically, that playtime would continue, but a verdict by a “five teacher international court of justice” will not be rendered. Whatever the hell that is. In other words, let’s protect the system from goofy lawsuits or continued bashing by keeping the faculty out of it.

Well, that is a rousing endorsement for enlightened thinking, and standing by your principles, or principal, whatever the case may be. An excellent lesson for all young people: First sign of trouble make with the lip service. Every student should aspire to this kind of hedge betting. It’s the kind of gamble that lands the high rollers on the discount bus from Atlantic City, but does not engender faith of any kind in our educators.

Although I vaguely recall similar gutless weasels in high positions when I roamed the hallowed halls of state schooling. It brings back sweet memories. Mediocrity for all and all for mediocrity!

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