Take a quick look at this video to see some horrific behavior by a public school teacher in North Carolina, namely Diantha Harris. She teaches 5th grade at Mary McArthur A+ school, 3809 Village Drive Fayetteville, NC 28304 Phone:(910) 424-2206 Fax: (910) 424-3451. Mary McArthur school is under the Cumberland County Schools School board, their website is here : http://www.ccs.k12.nc.us/
It is nice to note that the school board has already responded with a video of their own which can be viewed here : http://www.ccs.k12.nc.us/MediaFiles/Sequence%2001_wmv.wmv
Here is a transcript of the first video in case your machine is too slow to watch it online :
Diantha Harris: We want to talk about the presidential election. Ok, what I want to ask you, who are you pulling for? Raise your hands.
(Kids seen dutifully raising their hands one states ‘Obama’)
Diantha Harris: You’re pulling for Obama
Diantha Harris: (Speaking to another student) Who you’re pulling for? And if you’re pulling for John McCain, that’s fine say him as well. Who are you pulling for?
Student’s answer: Obama.
Another student: John McCain
Diantha Harris: Oh Lord John McCain!
Another student: John McCain
Diantha Harris: Oh Jesus, John McCain! Ok, Now I want to ask you something. (to the girl who is ‘pulling’ for McCain) Why are you pulling for John McCain. Now it’s ok! But why are you pulling for John McCain?
Student: I think it’s because of my parents are going for him too.
Diantha Harris: Ok, your parents are going for him. (Now to another student) Why are you pulling for Barack? (pronounces it differently) Or Barack?
Student: Because I just want a black president sometime.
Diantha Harris: Ok, you want a black president. Addresses another student.
Student: The reason I want to pick Barack Obama is because he is making good changes, in the good country and stuff like that.
Diantha Harris: So he’s making good changes for our country. (Shaking her head affirmatively) Ok, now can you tell me just a little bit more like, like what type of changes?
Same student: Like, …..not having um, a fight between Iraq, and having soldiers killed.
Diantha Harris: Shaking head up and down) So in other words, B-a-r-a-c-k is going to end that war (shaking head up and down) in Iraq. (Speaking to the classroom) What do you all know about that war in Iraq? Now talk to me, because your dad is in the military!
(Same female student who supports McCain shown noticeably biting lips)
Diantha Harris: Talk!
(Female student shown again but doesn’t speak)
Diantha Harris: It’s a senseless war! (shown staring at her) And by the way Kathy (the girl’s name), the person that you’re picking for president said, (Harris seen shaking head) that our troops could stay in Iraq for another hundred years if they need to! (emphasis added),
(Kathy shown biting lips and looking nervously in silence, while kids stare at her smiling, laughing and smirking)
Diantha Harris: So that means that your daddy could stay in the military for another hundred years!
During an interview later:
Diantha Harris: Now I can support whomever I want to support, as long as I don’t browbeat another person for the candidate that they supported. Like I have some students that support John McCain, and when they told me that, I said ah … “that’s good’ and I just moved on. So, I think that everybody is entitled to their own personal opinion. And we have something in our school system that called ‘Kids Voting’, and in my class….Barack Obama won. (Smiling).
A summary of the school boards’ response is here :
CS Headline News – Superintendent’s Response to YouTube
I was shocked when I saw the clip of an interaction between a Cumberland County Schools teacher and her students as posted on YouTube. While neutral discussion of the political process is appropriate, at no time, particularly with elementary students, should a teacher infuse his/her political views into the discussion. Most disconcerting was the military slant that made its way into this discussion. We are a military community, serving over 15,000 military students and their families. We value the sacrifices, not only of the military parents but also those of their families.
We believe that military children are our children, military spouses are many of our employees, and military service men and women are our heroes. We proudly serve our military children and have received national awards for our support of military families.
I was particularly disturbed to see the uncomfortable position in which our children were placed due to the inappropriate actions of one of our teachers. Please be assured that the actions exhibited in this video are not consistent with the vision of the CCS. Moreover, the actions of one teacher do not represent the 7000 employees in our organization.
Once the video was brought to my attention, I immediately launched an investigation. Personnel laws prevent me from releasing information regarding individual employees and personnel action taken. I can assure you that upon completion of the investigation, I will take appropriate action.