Carroll County Times
Carroll County Times Opinion

Letters: Teachers not infallible when it comes to sharing political beliefs; the contributions of 'flower-power kids'

Teachers are not infallible when it comes to sharing political beliefs

I read Terry Greenberg’s letter regarding political agendas, public schools and Richard Rothschild twice. I must admit to not having a child in the Maryland public school system since around 1991, so my knowledge on current affairs in schools is incomplete. That said, Greenberg’s letter left several impressions.

First, Greenberg exhibited a distinct political animus toward Rothschild. That fact makes it difficult to buy that Greenberg’s subsequent defense of school systems is not, of itself, political. Secondly, both readings left me with the feeling that Greenberg’s portrayal of school systems was a bit Polyannaish. Greenberg says that “the classroom isn’t the appropriate setting for … promoting any political agenda.” Agreed. Then it’s implied that “formal training and mandatory refresher courses regarding professional ethics and their responsibilities” will prevent “proselytizing personal beliefs.” Not necessarily so. Greenberg makes brief mention of the possibilities with the statement “for the isolated cases where a teacher’s actions” stray from accepted practices. I will agree that most teachers are not problematic, but inappropriate relationships and the sharing or infliction of a teacher’s personal political views is all too common across the country. We’ve seen and heard some of them in videos and audio recordings — others remain unknown.


Teachers, like the rest of us, are human and therefore fallible. It has been shown time and again that teachers, like religious leaders, are not immune to bad judgment. Doctors and coaches are not immune.

Greenberg’s message seemed to be for everyone to relax. All is well in the school systems. No political or religious indoctrination going on. Nowhere did Greenberg recommend that the public be watchful — to check in from time to time. Just stay home and trust all the teachers — would that we could.


Again, the teachers are subject to the same frailties and problems the rest of us endure.

I debated this subject with an experienced, retired teacher a few years back. He adamantly denied that any untoward political conversations by teachers happened in classrooms. I challenged by asking how many other classrooms he visited. He admitted to none and dropped his argument.

To give the schools the broad-brush approval and make no mention that parents should be monitoring is short-sighted. No system is perfect. That includes schools. Parents and students should be vigilant. That’s only prudent. Don’t be lulled into a possible false sense of security. Every barrel has a few.

Rick Blatchford

Mount Airy

‘Flower-power kids’ offered plenty of important contributions

I write in response to Joe Vigliotti’s column of Dec. 7. In his attempt to criticize Democrats for alleged “ageism,” he manages to insult an entire segment of baby boomers. He dismissively refers to many of my friends as “counter cultural” and “flower children.” He says that our efforts to make our country better actually made it worse. I offer just a few examples of our contributions.

First, we brought an end to the Vietnam War and endeavored to take control away from the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower had tried to warn us about. Without the backdoor machinations of Richard Nixon, the war would have ended sooner.

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While it is still a work in progress, the ’60s and ’70s brought unprecedented gains in equality for women, minorities and our gay brothers and sisters. For the first time, much was written about the inhumane treatment that our forefathers heaped upon Native Americans. While too little, too late, efforts were made to compensate them.


We were the first generation to strenuously call for a balance between business profits and protecting our Earth for generations to come. Without us flower- power kids, I suggest that there would be no solar or wind energy. Cars would still be steel hulks that got 12 mpg and rusted out after 3 years. We would not be recycling and our landscape would still be littered with trash.

Has Mr. Vigliotti forgotten that it was counter-culture kids that brought the world home computers and cell phones?

I could continue, but I will simply point out that Mr. Vigliotti has inadvertently proven his point that younger people should respect the contributions that their elders have given our nation. Our country is great because of the efforts of every generation. American greatness did not somehow skip the baby boomers only to be resurrected by the Reagan revolution. We are a complicated democracy. Power tends to transfer every few years, most often, but not always determined by the economy.

I will conclude by pointing out that President Obama’s pleas to young Americans are what we refer to as marketing. If you are trying to encourage young people to vote, you tailor your message to appeal to their interests and capture their attention. Mr. Obama’s reference to Coachella concerts is no different that Mr. Trump crafting his nationalist, lower tax message to appeal to his MAGA supporters.

Corynne B. Courpas