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To think it's not appropriate for a teacher to express their political views to the class they teach?

(82 Posts)
lottieandmia Wed 17-Apr-13 16:33:12

Dd, aged 9 has come home from school saying that her teacher used their Geography lesson to lecture the children on how wonderful Thatcher was and how nearly everyone in the UK thought she was doing the right thing. hmm

I think it is wrong for a teacher to express their political opinions to a class they teach, and particularly to misrepresent the truth about someone who divided opinion so much in the Uk, and make her out to be some kind of saviour.

This teacher has always seemed great to me in the past - what was she thinking??

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 17-Apr-13 16:35:12


LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 17-Apr-13 16:35:41

Well, what she was doing, if you're accurate/your DD is accurate, isn't expressing a political view, it's stating an opinion as if it were fact. She shouldn't do that. If she wants to say she was really keen on Thatcher and supported here, fair enough.

ApocalypseThen Wed 17-Apr-13 16:35:48

Why shouldn't teachers give their views? You didn't give any reason?

Rosesforrosie Wed 17-Apr-13 16:36:15

Yanbu. With the caveat that it's possible your DD has the wrong end of the stick.

Rosesforrosie Wed 17-Apr-13 16:36:49

Oh yes, and what LRD said.

Midlifecrisisarefun Wed 17-Apr-13 16:38:30

It was normal when I was at school...the music teacher played the death march on the piano as we trouped into assembly the morning after MT was elected in 1979! grin

ParmaViolette Wed 17-Apr-13 16:38:38

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad Wed 17-Apr-13 16:39:14

Why shouldn't the teacher give her views? Children have to learn that there are many sides to politics. I'm sure she hears your views at home. Can't you use this as an opportunity to explain why not everyone agrees about Thatcher's policies?

lottieandmia Wed 17-Apr-13 16:41:37

Well, obviously it's in the news. But if she was going to mention it she should have given a more balanced view.

I thought it was pretty standard in any profession to keep your mouth shut about your political views?

littleducks Wed 17-Apr-13 16:42:13

I don't think they should but when I had a thread at the time if the teachers strike (dd was in reception and her teacher said 'the government were stealing teachers money') I was slated so its a less common view.

INeedALieIn Wed 17-Apr-13 16:42:45

Similar to not everybody agrees about religion, but some teachers will display their religion in their clothing.

ApocalypseThen Wed 17-Apr-13 16:42:48

Well, she doesn't have to, Parma, but it would certainly help in deciding whether it was a reasonable point of view.

Personally, I think it's fully within the remit of teachers to comment on social, cultural and political events because a full and rounded education includes exposure to different opinions and views.

valiumredhead Wed 17-Apr-13 16:42:55

YANBU I would be FUMING!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 17-Apr-13 16:43:00

I think it's fine, as long as she presented her view as her view and not fact, and explained why others disagree. If she was balanced in what she said, it doesn't matter if she tells them what side of the debate her views fall on.

Naysa Wed 17-Apr-13 16:43:12

At 9 I don't think it's okay, however when I was at 6th form our literature teacher would also teach us abot politics and the political stances of newspapers and things like that. At 16-19 you are old enough to decipher whether something is fact or opinion, not so much at 9.

If the teacher was only goving their own opinion then YANBU however if they were doing pros and cons of a political figure, which it doesn't sound like they we're hen YABU

MTSgroupie Wed 17-Apr-13 16:43:25

I thought that the reason was obvious.

I personally thought that Thatcher was good for the country BUT I be pissed off if a teacher were to try to convince my DCs of that.

MissyMooandherBeaverofSteel Wed 17-Apr-13 16:44:00

I don't think that its wrong for a teacher to express their personal opinion as long as long as they give accurate information about all sides of the argument.

If she had said she thought MT was great because of X,Y and Z reasons but then countered that by saying but a lot of people didn't like her for 1,2 and 3 reasons that would be fine.

It doesn't sound like she did that though, and, really there was no need to be talking about it in Geography that I can think of.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 17-Apr-13 16:44:09

If the teacher only said that then she was a numpty but really why would a teacher teaching Geography say that - it would have to have a context.

I don't agree with the teachers views (at all!) however I'm quite happy for her to give them as part of a properly planned lesson.

Goblinchild Wed 17-Apr-13 16:45:05

I'm a teacher, and I agree with the OP.
It's one thing to say 'Every adult has the vote, and I voted for Thatcher because...' and then give reasons why others wanted a Labour government and lead into a discussion.
But do you really want an activist like me using my position of power to turn your children vegetarian and anti-aircraft use and anti nuclear power and...grin

It's not a suitable platform to air your political viewpoints, and it's morally unsound IMO.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 17-Apr-13 16:45:54

I don't think you can really judge whether the teacher was right or wrong based on the account you were given by a nine year old. Even the most sensible and honest of 9 year olds could easily miss out bits of what was said.

Goblinchild Wed 17-Apr-13 16:46:41

Or convert them all to be acolytes of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
It's so easy to indoctrinate the very young.

Startail Wed 17-Apr-13 16:46:48

Nine is perhaps a bit young, but teachers have always discussed politics with their pupils.

Our CND supporting very left wing history master certainly did. He used to refuse to let poppies be sold in his lessons. I always made sure mine was in full view.

Grammaticus Wed 17-Apr-13 16:48:21

You can't know whether a balanced view was given or not based on the retelling of a nine year old.

lottieandmia Wed 17-Apr-13 16:49:13

'I don't think you can really judge whether the teacher was right or wrong based on the account you were given by a nine year old. Even the most sensible and honest of 9 year olds could easily miss out bits of what was said.'

Well yes, I was not there so I can't know for sure. But for her to tell them that MT was a really good person when many would disagree....I don't think dd would have made that up.

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