Sunday, February 26, 2017

One NJ Teacher's Response to DeVos' Criticism That We Are Brainwashing Children


Dear former students, 

I would like to take this time to formally apologize for brainwashing all of you. I apologize for the teaching of Walt Whitman who said to "filter" from all what you have learned; I apologize for teaching Thoreau who believed in the majority of one; I apologize for Emerson and his belief in the interconnectedness of all life; I apologize for Ben Franklin and fellow skeptics. 

I apologize for the viewpoints of many women, Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, Emily Dickinson, Alice Walker. I apologize for understanding the plights of African Americans in such plays as Fences and Raisin in the Sun; for reading Cicero, Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Plato, Jefferson, and Paine - writers who dared to question authority. For this, I'm truly sorry. 

I apologize for allowing such works as The Great Gatsby to question the hallowed state of The American Dream. I apologize for teaching the true story of Pocahontas. I apologize for Hemingway's bottle, Faulkner's Emily, and Path's suicide. 

I apologize for assigning the essays and the poems and the stories and the recitals. I also want to apologize to my journalism students who sought out facts and the truth and the stories of the marginalized and voiceless while all the while winning awards and acting as the 4th Estate. What an idiot, I have been! 

I truly did not know what I was doing. Perhaps the new Education Secretary can provide for me a suitable curriculum. She can provide a can, and I can open the can to feed those poor in spirit. Until then, I'll ponder, in the words of Cicero, "Quo usque tandem aubutere, DeVos, patientia nostra?" I hope all of you can forgive my trespasses and moral lapse of judgment. 

Sincerely regretful, 

Walter Thomas Bowne

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