Around the country the vast majority of students are learning from home and having virtual classes as at least part of their education. This means for the first time ever that fellow students and teachers are able to see into each student’s home environment. We have discussed this before on the show. This has lead to disruptions, distractions, and over reactions where students end up suffering. The latest in this line of “distractions” is students displaying Trump flags in their bedrooms and thus in the classrooms.
First, what the hell is wrong with today’s kids where they are displaying politicians on their walls? I’m not one to rail against today’s kids but I am going to be a bit out of character here. In my day it was rock bands on our walls. The generation before me had the iconic Farrah Fawcett poster. Your contribution to wall art is Trump 2020? Yuck. Forget about what I personally think about him. In the past teens decorated their walls with things that spoke to their hormones. Rage and lust. Now you are going with a 74 year old man? Well he is full of rage and his desire for lust has made him a serial adulterer but still. Can’t we compromise and you at least put up a picture if Ivanka or Melania?
Ok back on point. The reality is the schools did not think ahead when it came to policing a student’s bedroom for a classroom environment. I don’t blame the schools as this type of learning is unprecedented and they had more things to consider like safety and technology so wall art didn’t make the initial list. However, the school year has started and now it is time for each school district to provide guidelines of what can be seen on a student’s wall. This ad hoc decision making is not working for the students, parents, or schools. We need some guidance and then when there is an issue we can at least say it is or is not a violation of the rules.
So what should be allowed or not allowed? First you must understand students do not have free speech rights in school. The school dictates what is allowable. Is the virtual classroom school? It is probably easiest to just say yes so at least someone has control of the situation. In terms of Donald Trump one must understand we have not seen a politician like this in our lifetime. He is all encompassing. He is in every aspect of our lives and that is by his design. He has taken over. He is also very polarizing and has risen to cult like status. Again by design. What he stands for is extremely offensive to many people in this country. I am not going to get what those things are specifically now. He causes a guttural feeling whether you love him or hate him.
So let’s say we ban Trump signs in virtual class rooms. That means for fairness we need to ban Biden signs. That probably means we need to ban Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter since those are now political as well. Ok this seems feasible. Let’s take it a step further. What happens if one student hunts and has a deer head on their wall? Is that going to upset a student who loves animals? Very possibly yes. So no animal heads? Possibly. What about if a student is a weed enthusiast? You can’t smoke in school but their collection of bongs or hemp posters are showing. Do those need to come down? What happens if there is a picture of a model in a bikini on a wall? You can see how some might complain the poster objectifies women. Does that poster need to come down? You see where I am going with this right? Once we start dictating what can be on a student’s wall in a virtual classroom we could be setting ourselves up for constant issues.
Still we do need some decorum in the class room. If I was being asked to make the rules here is what I would come up with. You can have a politicians name on your wall. You can’t have anything that is derisive to a politician or a group. So you can have Trump 2020 but you can’t have Biden sucks for instance. You can keep your BLM and your Blue Lives Matter. You can’t have Fuck the Police. It’s an expletive and it ruins decorum in a classroom environment. You can keep your models, your weed, and even your legally owned hunting rifle. Are they ideal for a class room? No but this is not ideal circumstances and it is just easier to allow it than to police it.
We need schools to set parameters and we need to teach that sometimes you are going to see things you don’t like. That’s ok. You can still co-exist…even in a class room.
We will discuss this further on Tuesday at 6:30 PM Est. We invite you to join the discussion and co-exist with us.