It amuses me every time I run across a story about a teacher, or even a whole school, which is even better, getting caught for doing something that I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t do if they knew they were going to get caught. They always apologize, of course, but why do they do stupid stuff in the first place? Because they don’t think they’ll get caught.
As luck would have it, I ran across one such story this morning. As reported by KTTH in Seattle, which has a conservative talk radio format, a 13-year-old student recorded one of his teachers trying to convince him to stop supporting Donald Trump.
Let me put that another way. Teacher Conner Seaman ranted at the eighth-grader, who attends Kopachuck Middle School in Gig Harbor, Washington, for ten minutes about Trump’s immigration policy being a failure and how “racist” Trump is, as well.
The festivities began after Seaman asked students to choose someone they consider to be a hero and explain to the class why. The student chose Trump, in part because of his immigration policies and commitment to building a border wall.
Oops. Seattle. I can already see this going south, you?
According to KTTH radio show host John Rantz, after the virtual class ended, Seaman asked the student to remain online for a discussion. What began as a discussion about proper sourcing quickly turned to Seaman criticizing Trump. Writing for KTTH, Rantz said:
“It’s the latest in a long string of incidents where teachers bring their political bias into the remote learning environment. Had it not been for the precocious 8th grader, this would not have come to light. But the district claims the teacher didn’t do much wrong.”
Again, Seattle. Hello?
As Ranch wrote:
When the student said he sourced the White House for facts on building a border wall, Seaman explained why this is problematic. But then he launched into a rebuke that attempted to discourage the student from thinking Trump has been successful.
“Like we kinda talked about the wall thing, so, like, I mostly know about this because of my own research,” Seaman explained. “There’s only, like, along the wall that’s been built, has mostly just been replacing old wall that was already there. I mean, it wasn’t really a wall. It was kind of like a fence, you know? But it’s still a barrier. The promise was to make a wall along the border, and only like, 100 miles, I think, is the number out of the 3,000 total miles has actual structures.”
Ironically, Seaman should check his own sources, as there’s been more than 100 miles built. But then Seaman cut to the chase: “Why is it heroic to make a wall to keep out immigrants?”
“That’s what this was really about,” Ranch said.
The student then tried to explain to Seaman that Trump is “trying to make the law better” — a reference to making it a crime to illegally enter the United States. Seaman then laughingly compared illegal immigration to jaywalking, but the student would have none of it, telling the teacher that illegal immigration is a more serious offense.
“Right. But why is that important though?” Seam asked — then answered his own question:
“So, like, for example, like, let’s say, because jaywalking is illegal, let’s say I were to do a task force that cost billions of dollars to stop jaywalking once and for all type thing. Is that, like, you see the kind of point I’m trying to get right here?”
Setting aside the teacher’s atrocious communication skills, no, I don’t see what point he was trying to make — and neither did the student. Seaman then shifted gears and tried another incongruent analogy.
“Um, what would be a bigger accomplishment: lowering murder rates or lowering illegal border crossing? “Because, like, that is a more adverse effect on people like, how does it affect you that someone is crossing the border illegally?”
The student still wasn’t buying.
This teacher might be terrible at coming up with reasonable analogies but he sure is a wizard at playing “whataboutism,” isn’t he? Anyway, getting nowhere, Seaman eventually got down to what he really thinks about Trump — never mind that what he thinks was not what the exercise was about.
“So […] you kind of have to back up with why [Trump is] heroic because there’s a lot of people who would argue that [his rhetoric] has been very racist.”
The student pushed back, asking what Trump has said that’s racist. Seaman referenced a 2015 speech in which Trump said rapists and murderers are being sent from Mexico into the United States. “It’s pretty racial language, so a lot of people would argue that it’s actually creating a lot of racist tensions by saying that,” Seaman said.
Back and forth that went before the student finally excused himself and got offline.
A school district spokesperson covered for Seaman — bigly — during a conversation about the incident, with Rantz on his radio show.
“The comment that the teacher tried to convince the student he was wrong for supporting President Trump’s immigration policy is not accurate. The student and teacher spoke about immigration policy in the context of providing evidence for why President Trump is a hero. The teacher’s intent was to encourage the student to use more than one source (whitehouse.gov) for his assignment.”
The spokesperson then gave an inch.
“When speaking with the parents, the principal shared that the teacher should have stuck more closely to the assignment objectives for using multiple sources and not as much on using immigration policy as an example.”
I’ve said it before. My kids are now young adults. I can only imagine trying to navigate the nonsense that occurs in public schools across the country, not to mention in cities like Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and the like. Kudos to parents and students who survive the nonsense.