Tanya Dixon-Nealy, a social-studies teacher at North Rowan High School in North Carolina, has been suspended with pay. She was caught on tape berating a student, raising the possibility of arrest for the student’s suggestion that President Obama may have been a bully.
The dispute began during a classroom discussion about an article the Washington Post had published regarding a reported bullying incident that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was involved in as a teenager.
While discussing the Romney bullying allegations, a student raised the notion that Obama had also been a bully in high school.
The teacher was quick to dismiss the student’s comments, saying that “there is no comparison” between the incumbent President Obama and his challenger, Romney. The teacher also states that the two candidates are “not equal”, and informed her class that people have been arrested for slandering the president.
The argument further escalated when the student responded to her portrayal of Obama, saying “He’s just a man. Obama is no god.”
Upon hearing this, the teacher lost her temper and screamed “Let me tell you something….you will not disrespect the President of the United States in this classroom.” The entire incident lasts about nine minutes, audio of which can be heard on YouTube.
The student insisted he had only asked a question, to which the teacher replied “you’re not supposed to slander”
In addition to suspending Ms. Dixon with pay, school officials issued the following statement:
“The Rowan-Salisbury School System expects all students and employees to be respectful in the school environment and for all teachers to maintain their professionalism in the classroom. This incident should serve as an education for all teachers to stop and reflect on their interaction with students.”
The North Carolina School Report Cards site publishes data regarding the North Carolina ABC’s educational accountability program. The site includes information about public school statistics, including student achievement.
According to the most recent available report from 2010-2011, for Civics and Economics Studies, the percentage of North Rowan High School students that scored at or above grade level on the ABC’s end of course test was 64.5 percent, compared to a statewide average of 80 percent.
This incident demonstrates the extent to which some liberal teachers feel they are entitled to suppress free speech in order to suppress opposing views. With such a hostile attitude towards civil debate of politics, it is not surprising to see North Rowan below the state average in terms of student achievement in Civics and U.S. History.
This teacher seems to suggest that President Obama’s status as the President of the United States limits the extent to which we are allowed to question him. Instead of respectfully answering a question that was raised by a student, the teacher instead chose to ignorantly condemn the student for raising a view that she disagreed with.