Sooo, the other day a teacher got in some mild trouble for burning crosses on his students’ arms. Just another day in the American public school system.
No, but really, this happened. Apparently, a science teacher in Ohio had a high frequency generator, which he used to burn the image of a cross into the arms of several students.
The article (and the other articles I’ve read on the topic) goes on to say that this teacher failed to comply with various separation of church and state things; for instance, he taught creationism, and according to another article, he displayed the Ten Commandments and gave out free bibles.
And all that sucks and is ridiculous, but, um, more importantly, HE BURNED HIS STUDENTS! Is anyone else finding that very odd? The article says the burn mark (which happened to be a cross, but, frankly, I don’t even know if that matters) lasted for three to four weeks. That’s some burn, man. Shouldn’t this man be booked for assault?
Which is not to say the violation of separation of church and state isn’t totally creepy. I have a lesser story of my own in that vein:
When I was a senior in my Long Island, New York public school (which is to say, at least relatively liberal), I had an overbearingly religious AP English teacher. One day, he told us that we all had to read the New Testament to understand anything. This turned into a huge debate that I, as the only Jew in the room (and one of maybe 6 in the school) decided to actively stay out of, although many of my classmates kept trying to drag me in. One of my friends was so upset that she stormed out to the Vice Principal’s office. Next thing I know, I’m getting called to his office and he says he heard about the problem and was I, as a Jew, offended?
I’ll tell you what I was offended by: being singled out as the minority. That incident has stuck in my mind all these years as a reminder that the majority is always secretly aware of those not within its ranks and that, ultimately, the US is a Christian nation. Which is fine. But it really should not be made apparent in public schools. It was an unfortunate incident.
But, um, yeah. No one was burned.
Someone arrest this jerk and keep him from burning any more of his students.
[Image courtesy of CNN]