Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bonkers in Yonkers?

The assault on academic freedom of expression is nothing new, but this campaign has now reached new levels of absurdity. A seventh-grade anatomy teacher in Yonkers, New York has been removed from his health classes for asking students in this co-educational middle school "to volunteer to come to the board to draw the male anatomy." (AP) What's more, the school superintendent, Bernard Pierorazio, is working overtime to get the poor fellow fired.

Jerilynne Fierstein, a spokesperson for the school, said that his lesson plan was not "appropriate" for students in the seventh grade, and added: "There was no way we were going to let him be in front of children." What is going on in Yonkers? Have they gone bonkers? Most of his students probably know more about male genitalia than this middle school teacher does. Too bad I had to learn about male anatomy in the school of hard knocks.

It's a lucky thing for us that Michelangelo didn't study anatomy in this middle school in Yonkers, or western civilization would be minus one "David."
So far, reportedly, one parent has gone vocalized his defense of the classroom teacher who has now been banished to main office duties. What kind of message does it send to teenagers about genitalia that it's not permissible, in an anatomy class, no less, to depict them on the chalkboard? Are we going back to the days when sex was considered "dirty," and is this where this administration's absurd notions of abstinence as a deterrent to the spread of HIV/AIDS leads?

Shame on the school district, the superintendent, and all those parents who don't speak out, here and now, and demand that this teacher be reinstated. It's not like he was trying to teach evolution over creationism, or anything!