Monday, September 22, 2014
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If you haven't been following the story about the Missoula Public Schools voting against a teacher's use of a film called "The Story of Stuff" here's all the background you need -- from a really good story from Michael Moore of the Missoulian. What I wanted to highlight today, however, is this letter from a Hellgate High School student, posted at 4&20 Blackbirds blog. The most impressive part: “If my generation is the ‘future’, censorship is only setting us up to fail. We are nearly adults and we need to be treated as such. We want our right to a well-rounded education, including exposure to controversial materials and the opportunity to discuss them and form our OWN, INDEPENDENT opinions. Please, I encourage you to overturn this decision.”

Censorship in Missoula’s Schools and Hope for the Future

If you haven’t been following the story about the Missoula Public Schools voting against a teacher’s use of a film called “The Story of Stuff” here’s all the background you need — from a really good story from Michael Moore of the Missoulian.

What I wanted to highlight today, however, is this letter from a Hellgate High School student, posted at 4&20 Blackbirds blog. The most impressive part:

“If my generation is the ‘future’, censorship is only setting us up to fail. We are nearly adults and we need to be treated as such. We want our right to a well-rounded education, including exposure to controversial materials and the opportunity to discuss them and form our OWN, INDEPENDENT opinions. Please, I encourage you to overturn this decision.”

About Courtney Lowery

Comments

  1. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    “It’s the government’s job to take care of us”. Dave, is that INDUSTRY talking???? It must be, right? Cause that’s an industry slogan! Subsidized oil and gas. 1872 mining law. Subsidized logging. What industry ISN’T subsidized by the American people?? It’s called corporate rape/welfare, Dave. And you know it. There isn’t a logging outfit in this country that could make a profit without government handouts! BTW, Dave, just WHERE did the timber industry get their trees? A full ONE SIXTEENTH of Montana was given to the Railroads, remember? You see, Dave, you’re whizzin’ against the tide any more. The American people have HAD it with gettin’ ripped off. There will be no more free rides for a loooong time to come. BTW, did you catch those no good bastard bankers on the TV news tonight? They smirked through their entire testimony before the senate. And then, to top it off, when confronted with the fact that they misspent the money for the bailout, they had the balls to say that “hey, we didn’t ASK for the money”! I nearly shot the TV in lieu of a banker’s ass! The American people are in open revolt. And that’s a good thing.

  2. jedediah Redman says:

    There is propaganda that dave approves of and then there is propaganda that dave does not approve of.
    It all depends on perspective; and, having accepted that, how can anybody–evenl dave–be in favor of any kind of censorship?

  3. Jim Greer says:

    The real issue here is not censorship, it’s teachers using a captive audience to ram their personal political beliefs down others throats. I have two children in high school, and I can tell you first hand, this nonsense is tolerated far too often.

    There ARE proper venues for these kinds of discussions, but they should be in the proper context for the subject matter of the class such as a history or govt class.

    For all the folks that are so “outraged” over this horrible “censorship”, try and be honest and ask yourself this one simple question. Would you be so equally outraged if this had been a math teacher showing an “intelligent design” video?

  4. Dave Skinner says:

    Jim, to answer your question, heck yeah I’d be in a lather. Civics, maybe, history maybe, but its a question of venue and context and yes, the “captivity” of the audience.
    Never mind that Annie has been jet setting around on her crusade, pumping the atmosphere full of useless hydrocarbon waste when she COULD have used the ecotopian social network to have “local indigenous investigators” do her on the ground work. They’d get the money for THEIR economies blah blah. Pretty hypocritical idealism if you ask me. She’s killed more dinosaurs than I ever will.
    And Larry, if you are looking for an example of corporate rape, you should be looking at things like the Montana Legacy Project. I’m aware that lots of lands were stolen fair and square from the American people, but I’d also temper that with consideration of the reality that federal management isn’t exactly the best framework either. So buying this ground back at a grossly-inflated price is merely aiding and abetting more theft.

  5. Pete Talbot says:

    Jim, I’d be concerned if a math teacher showed a video on “intelligent design.” I suppose if it was shown in a science class along with an evolution curriculum, it would be OK (even though the consensus in the scientific community is that intelligent design is not science).

    It’s funny, though, how creationists push their “intelligent design” agenda on school boards across the country and then get all up in arms when a teacher presents a video on consumerism, the environment, global warming …

    It should be noted the film “The Story of Stuff” deals with how consumerism affects the planet (including life on this planet, such as wildlife). The film was shown in a wildlife biology class, which seems apropos.

    My question is this: at what point does a teacher have to offer balance against truth?

  6. Wolf Barger says:

    I am pleased that it has stirred some debate, I became aware of it and showed it to the kids. Yes there was some bias, but what I noticed its that it expanded the horizon of thought and augmented a process of critical thinking. This is what I stress in shaping young minds in our family….critical thinking! at some point they will need to make some decisions on their own and make them based on information, some great some bad. The Story of stuff is hardly anything to get worried about! (unless you are Walmart)