Breaking classroom rules with Donald Trump
As we already know, Donald Trump has rewritten the rules of presidential politics, at least for this season, although maybe not forever. An educator in California, meanwhile, is trying to make sure that Trump doesn’t end up rewriting the rules of how you are supposed to teach American government and civics to fifth-graders. But she is having to break one of her own rules to do that.
Like other government teachers, Kyle Redford, as she explains in the Education Week blog post linked below, has always worked very hard to keep her own political opinions out of her lessons, even to the point of removing a bumper sticker from her car. She wants her students to develop their own critical thinking skills as she guides them through discussions of our political system, how it is supposed to work and the differences between the two major political parties.
Then along came Donald Trump, the frontrunner (so far) for a major party’s presidential nomination, who started breaking the rules, not only the rules of political engagement but also the rules that fifth-graders are supposed to obey in the classroom. Rules like no racist remarks, no threats against people who disagree with you, no name-calling and no bullying.
So, this teacher has started calling out Trump’s ill-behavior in class.
“Simply put, I broke my rule because Trump’s behavior transcends party politics,” Redford writes. “His hateful words have distinguished him as a topic for class discussion because our discussions are not about who should win the presidency, but how presidential candidates should comport themselves on the campaign trail.”
In short, I would add, Trump is an example of detestable behavior — for a White House candidate and for school kids.
Were Trump merely the playground bully that he so closely resembles, he would soon move on. Instead, he is one big “Oops” away from being president of the United States.