On the heels of the Arizona high school teacher who let a lone student stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and the Masschusetts elementary school that tried to get rid of the words “God” and “bless” from Lee Greenwood’s song “God Bless the U.S.A.,” comes another teacher caught behaving badly.
Colin Powell Elementary School on primary election day
Kalyn McMackin reports for The Daily Caller, April 5, 2012, that a Virginia elementary school teacher told her 6th grade class that “Republicans are stupid” and “they don’t care about anyone but wealthy people and businesses.” Kristin Martin said this as Republican voters were filing into the halls of Colin L. Powell Elementary School in Fairfax County to vote on Super Tuesday.
One student told The Daily Caller: “It all started when this disabled kid came in and named all the Republicans candidates for Super Tuesday. She [Martin] said to him, ‘I don’t like them, I think that they are stupid.’”
Martin told the classroom that she had voted for Obama and that “Democrats do more for the community and schools.”
A mother, who said she is a Republican and asked not to be named to protect her daughter from retaliation, said Martin’s statements were “brainwashing” students. “I felt like the teacher was brainwashing naive, young children to believe people like me, my family and, to a certain extent, my daughter, were stupid,” she told TheDC via email.
When she heard about the teacher’s remarks, the frustrated mother immediately contacted Linda Clifford, the school principal. Clifford responded with an apology via email:
“I am so sorry that Miss Martin used such very poor judgment. I will certainly address it with her tomorrow. I share your assessment of the situation that there is no room for that kind of comment in a school setting. Thank you so much for bringing this serious situation to my attention.”
One student said many students were stunned that their teacher would voice such strong political opinions. “My reactions were shocked. I think her political views should not be shared with 11 and 12 year olds,” she said. “It was hard for me to understand. I was still in so much shock.”
The student told TheDC that Martin apologized the next day, saying: “I am sorry about what I said about the different parties. I am deeply sorry if I offended you in any way. I realized what I said about Republicans was wrong and I shouldn’t have shared that with you guys.”
John Torre, a spokesman for the Fairfax County School System, said that the school board did look into the matter but was unable to reach a conclusion. “The district has looked into the alleged statements and could not reach any conclusive findings. There was an informal discussion about politics between the teacher and students that was not a part of any classroom lesson. There are differing accounts of what may or may not have been said by the participants.”
The county school superintendent’s office later sent all principals a reminder about policies “that regulate employee political activities and the presentation of controversial issues in the classroom.” The principals distributed that information to their teachers.
Martin did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.
The school is named after General Colin Powell who, though a RINO, is a registered Republican. So, according to teacher Kristin Martin, Colin Powell is stupid.
Here’s contact info for Colin L. Powell Elementary School:
- Address: 13340 Leland Road, Centreville, VA 20120
This is the e-mail I wrote Superintendent Jack Dale (feel free to copy & paste as your own):
Dear Mr. Dale:
As the Superintendent of Fairfax County Schools, you should know that one of your teachers — Kristin Martin of Colin C. Powell Elementary School — improperly injected politics into her teaching.
She declared that she had voted for Barack Obama, that Democrats are more “caring,” and proclaimed Republicans to be “stupid.”
In so doing, Ms. Martin is misusing her power and authority as teacher to influence and brainwash her students. By calling Republicans “stupid,” Ms. Martin is also calling General Colin Powell — for whom the school is named — stupid.
Her behavior deserves more than a mere verbal slap on her wrist. She should be given disciplinary sanction, if not dismissed altogether.
Your silence in this matter might be mistaken for your partisanship and your approval of Ms. Martin’s conduct.
UPDATE (April 8):
I got a terse response to my e-mail from Jack Dale. Although I had addressed him as “Dear Mr. Dale,” he chose not to address me at all — not by my name, nor by my title (Dr. or Professor). This is his e-mail:
“The story is not accurate and the reporter, when given the facts, chose to not report the facts. Disappointing.”
So I wrote back in his style and brevity:
“So what are the facts? The reporter may have ‘chosen not to report the facts,’ but I know a blogger who will.”
I won’t be holding my breath for a response.