Sunday, July 15, 2007

When the ignorant teach ignorance!

From Richmond News:
Graduates from Richmond's Binford Middle School get a diplomalike certificate, signed by the teacher and principal.

It is ringed by six graphic marks, including icons of a notebook, an apple, the school mascot and such. Then there is a picture of a man. And who is this icon of American education?

Not John Dewey or Horace Mann, both of whom were called fathers of American education. It's not Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin or George Washington, either.

Nor is it even James H. Binford, the first superintendent of Richmond Public Schools, for whom the school was named when it opened in 1915.

This picture looks a little like Albert Einstein, perhaps. Or maybe Frederick Douglass.
Wait a minute. . . .

It's Karl Marx!
Yep. A picture of Communism's fathers was used as the means of expressing accomplishments for the Middle School's kids. Granted, these kids probably don't even know who Karl Marx is. But, don't you think it is rather "telling" that a photo of one of Communism's greatest founders is now being used within the public school system on signed diplomas? Are they now coming out of the closet??

Well, there are a few excuses flying around that we need to examine. The first comes from the principal. Enjoy...
Binford Principal Juanita Nicholson said yesterday that she had not known the photo was of Marx or the reason for its use.

She agreed it was an odd choice.

Nicholson said one of the teachers on a committee apparently had done it. "I'm not sure . . . she even knew who it was."
So, she signs these diplomas and has no idea about what she is signing or its contents? Hmm. Note to teachers - time to request an increase in your class budget because your boss has no idea what she is willingly signing.

Next excuse comes from the school's spokesperson. (a school system has a spokesperson??)
Richmond schools spokeswoman Felicia Cosby called last night to explain: "She really thought she was capturing clip art representing Frederick Douglass. She did a search to pull up Frederick Douglass and this is what came up . . . with the beard and the hair."

Hold on. Wait a minute. One was a German philosopher, the other an African-American slave who became a leading abolitionist.
You see, Frederick Douglass was a black slave who later turned into an avid and effective abolitionist in his time. Karl Marx was a white man who wrote the "Communist Manifesto"! that led to the deaths of millions.

If they knew enough to do a search for Mr. Douglass, then they should have known enough what he looks like. Right?!? This is a school, right?!?!? And, I take it that the final version of the diploma was not sent for approval before anyone signed it?? Again, this comes to the principal who is the BOSS of the school and the teachers and was one of the person's signing the diplomas. Thus, she is ultimately the one responsible.
The teacher, the school and the school system "apologize profusely if this image offended parents and children alike," Cosby said. "But it was not intentional to put an image of Karl Marx up." It will be taken off in the future, she said.
"...IF this image offended"?!?!? How would they have worded that statement if they had put a picture of a KKK dude on there? Or how about Hitler's mug?? Would they still apologize if anyone was perhaps offended????? It may have not been intentional, but stating that as such makes me curious to think it might have been just that. I don't apologize by saying it was not intentional. I apologize by saying it was an accident.

"It will be taken off in the future..." Ummm.. how about taking it off now!?!? How about sending out replacement diplomas? Or, are you leaving us to believe that those offended should just live with their offense?

Ok.. just so you can rest assured.. here are some pics of Mr. Douglass

And here are some pics of the notorious Mr. Marx...

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