Packer Perspectives: Should WFHS faculty be able to speak without consequences

Anthony Peralta and Courtney Everson, Freelance Writers

West Fargo administration deserves to speak

by Anthony Peralta

       Now more than ever there seems to be a big stretch to ensure educators remain as inclusive and unbiased as possible while conversing with students. There is a social taboo on many topics whether they be religious, political or moral which prevent students from learning about different perspectives.

        It is unreasonable to be forced to conceal one’s own beliefs and ideas for the “safety” of the students here at West Fargo High School. There needs to be exposure to other points of view in order to emphasize to students that there is more than one way of looking at the world.

       The First Amendment grants the right for any person to say what they believe freely. Administration seems to lose some of this right, while their students roam freely saying whatever they desire. The West Fargo District employee speech policy states “Speech made as a school district employee is not constitutionally protected.” This statement invades the rights of the staff at West Fargo High School.

       Students come to school to be educated. If students are developing in an environment where everything is filtered and processed, they will assume the rest of the world is as well. This leads to uneducated minors, who will eventually grow up into uneducated adults.

       While political arguments in class can be potentially draining for a person, it teaches how to

debate in a respectable manner. More importantly it teaches students how to defend your arguments with facts. Without teachers educating their students on different perspectives, there is no way for students to develop into well rounded independent thinkers.

       With the administration censoring beliefs, students will only learn from their ill-educated peers. With the conclusion of this election, there should be more of an effort to prevent ignorance from prevailing and allow students to learn without administrative censors.

Students deserve an unbiased learning setting

by Courtney Everson

       Even though the presidential election has been over for months, tensions still ran high during last month’s inauguration. Many teachers either watched the ceremony, or led classroom discussions regarding it afterwards. While this has stimulated healthy debate among students, it has caused many teachers to put their political views into the classroom.

       With all the misleading and alternative political information out there, it would be impossible for teachers to only give opinions backed up by accurate information. Additionally, political opinions are not related to teacher “official responsibilities” in the slightest.

       Discussing political viewpoints in a classroom only distracts from the lesson plan and takes away from a student’s education. Even if a teacher makes a backhand comment or suggestion, it can spiral into classroom debates that take away from an already short class period.

       Once teachers are given the opportunity to express their views in class, an extremely vague line is drawn between what is and is not acceptable for school.  Viewpoints that might be slightly racist, sexist, homophobic or could be written off as debatable opinions.  

       Political subjects are just not a place for school and only further divide our school as a whole. West Fargo High teachers cannot preach community and safety while allowing teachers to politically influence their students.

       School is a place to learn, not a place to discuss politics or debate issues or create political enemies, except speech, debate and government, of course.  Every student should have the right of learning information from an unbiased, neutral instructor so they can form their own opinions about the world.