Teachers sharing their political opinions


Mac Harden

Mrs. Nasser talks to her students about an upcoming quiz on the novel they are reading.

Mady Christian, Writer

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s natural to begin to feel the dread family gatherings. There is always that one family member all too eager to insert their unwarranted political or religious opinions at the dining table.  Though the assertion of political opinions is all too common with family gatherings, teachers sharing their political opinions within the classroom is becoming quite the trend.

High school is a time for many students to form their perspective of politics and religion. However, the issue of high school teachers asserting their political opinions in the classroom environment causes a larger-than-average separation between the student and their own opinions, as they trust their teachers to educate them about the “right” information.

In high school, teachers become increasingly more invested in opening students up to the “real world.” The pattern shows the older the student is, the more teachers feel the need to educate them on political matters, whether or not they pertain to classroom subject at hand.

Political discussion can provide students and teachers with the ability to argue their own opinion, while also becoming subjected to opinions of others; therefore gaining more knowledge of the world outside of the classroom. However, the line between healthy argumentation and aggressive assertion of opinions is one that can be easily crossed, causing a student to possibly feel offended and less confident in expressing their own ideas.  This blocks  comfortable student-teacher relationship and prevents students from developing their own perspectives.

It’s easy to throw around the “free speech” excuse, claiming that teachers have the constitutional right to speak of all political and religious opinions they believe in. And yes, they do have this right, and they can speak as freely as they please, no matter how offensive and degrading their opinions may be to their students. However, teachers should have both the moral obligation and the understanding that their job is to deliver unbiased information that will allow students to grow at their own rate. Teachers also must understand that however “old” the teenage students they teach are, they’re exactly that: teenagers. And as teenagers, they are extremely reactive to everything they learn and hear, especially from teachers.

With or without free speech, teachers need to become more adept to the idea that they have a large influence over the students and their opinions, and make the decision to make a positive impact on the students’ educational experience by delivering them unbiased information.