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Old 04-21-2005, 11:17 AM   #1
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Political Correctness defeating Common Sense

My wife is an ESL (English as a Second Language) facilitator for Wayne County in Michigan (Detroit Metro area, basically). She works for two public elementary schools in Lincoln Park, MI. A few months ago, one of her schools had a severe fire in the gym and outer hallways, forcing the school to shut down and relocate their classes to a nearby Lutheran Church that had once been a private Lutheran school. That Lutheran school had shut down a few years ago due to lack of attendance, thus having open facilities, and everything worked out.

Since my wife is a facilitator for the county and not an "official teacher," she doesn't get her own classroom. In the former building, she had a small room that was always open when she needed it. In the Lutheran school, she shares a similar room with the speech therapist and special needs teacher. Obviously, with this many people trying to use this type of room, space is at a premium. For the past few weeks she's been forced to teach her students on the stage of the gym/cafeteria/auditorium. As you can imagine, that’s not the ideal teaching environment. Imagine holding class while students are ducking from dodge balls.

She’s made several complaints to the school about her situation, but has been repeatedly told that there simply isn’t any more room. A few days ago, she was talking with the special needs teacher about the situation, and this teacher told her that there are actually several rooms available, not being used at all. Further investigation proved this correct. But upon approaching the school officials about it, they told her the rooms could not be used for any school purposes. The reason? They have a cross on the wall. Not Bible quotes, not hymns, not Lutheran doctrine, just a cross. And because of this, she’ll have to continue teaching on the stage.

Now, in normal circumstances, this would be understandable. You obviously can’t have large religious icons placed on the walls of a public school building. The mess over taking down the Ten Commandments and such, I get it. Not appropriate. But at what point does this policy interfere with common sense? Students with special needs that require special attention, i.e. learning English as a second language, are already at a great deficit in their education. And now we must force them to learn in a poor environment simply because there’s a cross on the wall?

When does a policy become mute when it costs children the quality of their education? Their building almost burned down. Things are a mess. Can’t we make some concessions? This seems to be one of the scariest things when it comes to our search for “political correctness.” The zeal for “equality” can come at a cost no one would logically be willing to pay. Don’t get me wrong, many great and wonderful things have come from this awareness, but can’t we recognize when it’s gone too far?
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:24 AM   #2
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Is this cross painted on a wall? Or is it a cross that is hung on the wall?

If the latter is true, can they temporarily take it down?
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:33 AM   #3
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Perhaps if a drape was put in front of it that would make it acceptable. It worked for all those nudie statues in the capitol.
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:34 AM   #4
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^^My thoughts exactly. But, apparently, neither the church nor the school board is comfortable with those options.
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:35 AM   #5
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It seems pretty retarded that they can't remove the cross temporarily, or, if it is painted, to put something over it.

That's common sense.

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Old 04-21-2005, 12:56 PM   #6
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I can't believe the crosses are an issue at all.

What are they worried about? That some kid will spontaneously convert?

How about, "Hey kids. We temporarily lost use of some school rooms. We are using rooms at this school. They decorate differently."

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Old 04-21-2005, 01:35 PM   #7
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That's silly. For goodness' sakes, use the room. It sure beats the alternative. Drape a cloth over the cross if you must, but use it.
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Old 04-21-2005, 02:20 PM   #8
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Yes, that seems like PC gone too far. It's much better that the kids have to learn in a gym than exposure to, horror of horrors, a cross.
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Old 04-21-2005, 02:28 PM   #9
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while i'm more concerned with patriotic correctness than political correctness, this does seem a little silly.
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Old 04-21-2005, 02:55 PM   #10
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I just don't get it. Who cares if there's a cross on the wall? Just teach in the bloody room - use it for the purpose it was made for. Whatever was wrong with a cross on the wall? It's not as if it's pictures of hardcore porn.

Even under normal circumstances I don't see the problem posed by a cross.
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:05 PM   #11
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Apparently some find a cross to be demonic. It's really not that big of a deal.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:10 PM   #12
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Leave the cross and put up the Star of David, the Chakra, the Tomoe, the Star & Crescent, the Ankh, and the hundreds of others. Then everyone's religion is included. Oh but make sure all symbols are the same size and color!

Geez! Not being able to cover the cross and use the room is ridiculous. If you have a strong PTA, get them to fight for the room during the next school board meeting.

I work for a public school system and space is ALWAYS a challenge. I was advising kids in the janitor's closet last year - I would have loved to use a stage!
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