HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Politics 2014 (Forum) » Son's assignment on the e...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:00 PM

 

Son's assignment on the election

My grade school age old son goes to a catholic school. They have to write a journal assignment a few times a week. His assignment this week was to write about the election and whether he was happy with the outcome or not. I have stressed to him not to talk about politics with people (one of the things not to be brought up in polite society unless you know the person). People are crazy about politics nowadays. We had someone at the university get their car keyed and a tire slashed because they had Obama stickers on their car. The perp left a note calling them a traitor, and so on.

My son has mentioned the janitor at his school wears a Romney hat and that several teachers said "Obama wants to shut down catholic schools" (of course I let him know how ridiculous that was). I am fairly certain that if he says he is happy the democrats won (which he has said) it could cause problems for him. If the teacher is part of this hardcore anti-Obama group of catholics my son could get 'in trouble' more often or have assignments sent back to redo. Not saying this would happen, but the possibility is there considering the comments he said he has heard.

He said he would feel uncomfortable saying who he supported in the journal. I told him to write something along the lines of, the election being hard fought by both candidates and there were a lot of ads and yard signs. I told him he could write that who he supported is a private matter and he doesnt want to share that.

My wife said I was being silly and he should express his opinion because no one should tell him his opinion was wrong or bad. I said while that technically is true, you need to pick and choose your battles and people take politics very personally and its better to avoid any possible problems. If nothing else I thought I was teaching him a good life lesson on self-preservation and avoiding hostile situations.

Am I right in telling him to keep it private? My wife thinks im ridiculous.

16 replies, 1389 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:03 PM

1. The key is in his own response:

"He said he would feel uncomfortable saying who he supported in the journal."

That's a subject he could write about - that regardless of which person won the election, he's found himself in a situation where he feels unsafe telling some groups of people who he supports, and that's an outcome he's not happy about.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:04 PM

2. It's better to keep his opinion private

if nothing else it's more fun to keep others guessing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:07 PM

3. Whatever you decide to tell him

will influence him regarding how he looks at the world and
more importantly, how he will remember you and the principles
you would want him to follow.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:19 PM

4. If he's not comfortable with doing it, he can sidestep.

Find out the percentage of people who voted in this election in your state versus nationally or some other election 2012 stat for him to write about. There are plenty of interesting demographic breakdowns that might interest him. Ta-da, he still does the assignment but doesn't share something he'd rather not discuss.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:20 PM

5. Ask to see where this is mentioned in the curriculum of studies

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:04 PM

6. I'm thinking the teacher gave the assignment

because he/she was being nosy. The church likely told them to do this so they could see who needs to be taught the "right" lessons. I'd see this as a chance to let the church know they are being nosy and out of bounds by not saying anything at all about who won or lost or who he liked. Be like a reporter is supposed to be. Informative without personal input.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 07:53 PM

7. He could write that he is just beginning to study how elections work...

As part of a democracy..

And he could see that each side had some good ideas.

And he feels priveleged to live in a democracy where he will be able to vote some day.

That should get the curious teacher off his back and preserve his privacy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:15 PM

8. How about writing something generic?

Something that doesn't take sides but is more of an observation of the process. Like"last week America voted. Millions stood in line and cast their ballots. We are fortunate to live in a country where we have a voice. Some are happy at the outcome; some are sad. The outcomes of elections seldome please everyone but we all should be thankful that we have a voice." Yada, yada, yada.

Do the assignment, reveal nothing personal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:16 PM

9. My personal opinion? You are teaching

Your son to keep quiet and not defend his principles. We live in a free society and that is the beauty of our country. He should not feel uncomfortable by saying what his thoughts are and who ge supports. But, that's my opinion and since you asked I am sharing it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LukeFL (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:29 PM

12. +1,000,000 Tired of democrats having to hide who we are. it has to stop. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:22 PM

10. Teach him to box.

Then it won't matter.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 08:29 PM

11. I hate this. I hate that it's the Democrats that have had to HIDE who they are since 2000.

It's wrong. We are the only ones who seem to be living in fear of people harassing our kids, keying our cars, firing us, or shunning us.

I would have a conversation with him, and discuss why he'd feel uncomfortable saying who he prefers. If he says it's because people will be upset with him or harass him, that is a great time to discuss having a conviction about something, and how people in the Civil Rights movement fought because people wanted them to be quiet.. and sit at the back of the bus. Obviously that school is NOT teaching that stuff, but parents can.

My concern is that he doesn't want to say anything ,because he fears retaliation. So even if he chooses not to reveal his preference, the conversation must happen with him either way. I don't understand teachers putting kids in this position in grade school. They only parrot what they hear at home at that age, anyway.. and what teachers or church staff tells them. Tell any kid that someone is a "baby killer" that want's to "kill off Grandma" and that kid will be against that person.

Please don't miss a teachable moment, and the chance for Democrats to stop living in fear of bullies.

Okay... I've got to ask.. WHY is your son in that school?? You pay money for that kind of narrow minded bullshit??? I'd rank them out so fast and put my kid in public school (which is where all of my kids went and were quite happy and successful.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 09:59 PM

13. Is this really the sort of education you want for your child?

He goes to a school where he needs to hide his opinions out of fear. Do you want him to stay in fear? What happens if the next issue is a bit more personally important to him?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:00 PM

14. It's a good opportunity to talk about authoritarianism and surveillance.

We instituted secret ballots for a reason - to prevent vote buying and to prevent voter intimidation. A child in a classroom lacks power the same way that employees lacked power in the days of the public ballot. The fact that the teacher is asking for this sort of journal entry may be innocent (writing about current events is a way to get otherwise writing adverse kids to write) but it could also be for surveillance. now might be a good time to talk about WHY people might ask the questions they ask, and how information can be both used and abused.

If you're Catholic, this might also be a good time to talk about the saints and martyrs who fought authoritarianism - Thomas More, Edith Stein, and the Liberation theologians in South America since the 60s, off the top of my head.

And it's okay for him to decide that his opinion is private - making that decision and learning to articulate that is an important part of growing up, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 10:10 PM

15. Yes you're right

and they have no business asking him if he's happy with the results.

All he should say is that he's happy with the election in general, that there was no widespread cheating, and the loser graciously congratulated the winner - a great thing to happen when so many countries in the world have so much trouble with elections, and that freedom to vote in this country is a great thing no matter who one voted for.

They have no business probing into "family" matters, because when kids vote, they usually support their parents' candidates.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebirds01 (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 02:00 PM

16. If he doesn't come out and say he supported Romney...

then writing anything else still makes it look like he supported Obama.

I think he should write what HE feels, and you should support his decision. If he decides to say that he doesn't feel safe stating his opinion, then maybe the teacher will get the point.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread