A ridiculous “debate” between a High School Social Studies teacher and students trying to discuss current events in politics turned into a bully pulpit moment as the students ended up educating the teacher in a chaotic shouting match. The fireworks go off at 1m20s into the video.
When the student tells the teacher that Obama admitted to bullying a girl in school, the teacher goes on the defensive.
“Stop, no, because there is no comparison,” she says. Romney, she says, is “running for president. Obama is the president.”
When the student says they’re both “just men,” the teacher continues to argue that Romney, as a candidate for president, is not to be afforded the same respect as the president.
The teacher tells the class Obama is “due the respect that every other president is due.”
“Listen, let me tell you something, you will not disrespect the president of the United States in this classroom,” she says.
The student replies that he’ll say what he wants.
“Not about him you won’t,” the teacher says.
Later in the conversation, the teacher tells the class it’s criminal to slander a president.
“Do you realize that people were arrested for saying things bad about Bush?” she says of former President Bush. “Do you realize you are not supposed to slander the president?”
The student responds by saying being arrested for talking badly about the president would violate the right to free speech.
“You would have to say some pretty f’d up crap about him to be arrested,” he says. “They cannot take away your right to have your opinion. … They can’t take that away unless you threaten the president.”
Threatening a student with arrest for saying bad things about Obama: stay classy North Rowan High School social studies department.
The article goes on:
Principal Darrel McDowell referred questions about the video to Foil.
Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College and a widely known political analyst, weighed in on the video.
“I think what this broke down to was a perceived personal slight by an instructor against someone she sees in a positive view, and things just went out of control from there,” Bitzer said in an email to the Post.
Bitzer said he thinks the teacher did go a “bit overboard in being rude towards the student.”
“I think the student was also trying to pick a fight, honestly,” he said.
Bitzer said it appears the teacher’s attempt to make a point about showing respect for the office of the president gets overshadowed by her personal feelings for Obama.
The teacher is not being identified by the papers but has been pinpointed by the Internets to be Tanya Dixon-Neely, who clearly has some confrontational attitudes when it comes to teaching.
The principal at the school has stated they will not take any sort of punitive action against the teacher, so I’m hoping she has the sense to search her own name to see the outpourings of support for these students (who are clearly able to hold their own against what is arguably a verbally abusive and emotionally charged teaching style).
UPDATE: Tanya Dixon-Neely has been sent on paid vacation while the school officials wait to see if this story will go away.
“Effective today, Tanya Dixon-Neely has been suspended with pay while a thorough investigation is being conducted,” school officials told WBTV when asked about Dixon-Neely’s status.