Anorak News | Children failed by bigoted teachers and poor education

Children failed by bigoted teachers and poor education

by | 6th, March 2018

Does a teacher have the right to a life outside school? A Florida middle school teacher has been suspended from class for working nights as a white nationalist podcast host. The Huffington Post claims Dayanna Volitich, who teaches – get this – social studies at Crystal River Middle School, was also ‘Tiana Dalichov’, host of far-Right podcast show Unapologetic. The HuffPost alleges Volitich “suggests Muslims be eradicated from the earth and believes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories”. Part of the show reportedly features the following exchange on far-Right educators getting into schools:

GUEST: “They don’t have to be vocal about their views, but get in there! Be more covert and just start taking over those places.”

VOLITICH: “Right. I’m absolutely one of them.”

Its reminiscent of the Trojan Horse story in Britain. In 2014 Birmingham City Council was investigating a number of schools in the city after “receiving a copy of an anonymous letter referring to Operation Trojan Horse – a plot by some Muslim groups to install governors at schools. It claims responsibility for ousting four head teachers.”

Volitich’s school has issued a statement on Facebook:

On Friday, March 2, 2018 the Citrus County School District was made aware of a concerning podcast by a Huffington Post reporter. The reporter indicated they believed one of the persons participating in the podcast was a teacher at Crystal River Middle School. The Human Resources department was notified and an investigation was initiated immediately. The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing. Pursuant to Florida Statute an open investigation and materials related to it are exempt from public record and cannot be discussed until the investigation is complete.

If true, perhaps an anti-intellectualist like Volitich could find work as a home schooler?

David Allen Turpin and Louise Turpin home schooled their 13 children. Mr Turpin was registered in the state of California as the headmaster of Sandcastle Day School. In the school’s final year of business, the Turpins’ six school-age children were the only enrolled pupils. The Turpins are accused of abusing their children. Rachel Coleman, of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, tells the Los Angeles Times: “Current law provides nothing to stop families like the Turpins from using home schooling to isolate and imprison their children.”

Why bother to get your weird, bigoted and agenda-driven views into an existing school when you can just set up your own?

You might ask what is the purpose of school? Is it to indoctrinate children with a monocular curriculum or to educate them through access to knowledge of the world and the dead?

In the UK, over 350 unregistered schools serving more than 33,000 children operate, according to Ofsted, the education regulator. “I have huge concerns about unregistered schools and the lack of regulation and inspection,” Robert Halfon, head of the Commons education committee, told The Times. “Any school of any kind shouldn’t be unregistered. There shouldn’t be room for grey areas. Even if they have less than five pupils and are open less than 18 hours they should be inspected and registered.”

The Times obtained five extremist books relating to Islam, including Dos and Do Nots of Islam and The Islam Way of Life. One was by Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, a Jamaican-born extremist Muslim preacher who has been banned from Britain. Concerns have also been raised about illegal Christian and Jewish schools.

The Times then lists “Lessons for children”, but is unclear about the source of what follows. Another article in the paper says “Take home schooling out of the shadows”. So much for the thousands of parents who surely teach home-schooled children to be curious, doubtful, challenged and well-rounded – around 1.8millions children in the US are home-schooled. We don’t see many examples of the good. But we do see the alleged “lessons”, which are not exactly enlightened and progressive:

“It is lawful to give slight punishment to the wife for her adverse behaviour but it is not permissible to beat her black and blue.”

“If a sweet thing is left uncovered, swarms of dirty creatures are liable to prey upon it and corrupt it. Similar is the case of a woman. The current wave of rape incidents in regions where public exposure of women prevails, strengthens this argument beyond doubt.”

“Celibacy is an unlawful criminal indulgence in sinful violations involving sex. Socially it is a disruptive and destructive act amounting to disobedience to Allah.”

“Homosexuality is not only an abomination but also unbecoming to human dignity.”

Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has gone on the record, claiming “segregated, isolated communities, unregulated education and home schooling are a breeding ground for extremists and future terrorists”. Time to make the British method more appealing then – less arbitrary in its authoritarianism that erodes freedoms hard won in the name of fighting the War on Terror and keeping us all ‘safe’.

Of course, if you’re rich, things can be different:

Emma Thompson and her husband, Greg Wise… withdrew Gaia, their 16-year-old daughter, from her private school in north London in the run-up to her GCSEs. “She loves learning and she’s terribly focused and hard-working,” Wise has explained, “but she didn’t like the sausage factory of formal education. I’ve no argument with that.” She is now taught by top tutors in a shed in their garden.

There’s more than one way to teach children. And if school is to be valuable and valued, we should be asking why adults can’t do more in the service of educating children, who should be equipped with the tools to judge a lesson or an opinion for themselves.

Posted: 6th, March 2018 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink