Freedom of speech is a right our country was founded on, whether it’s on the streets, at home, or even in school. But, just as children learn from a young age, just because you have the right to say something, does not always mean you should say it. Recently, students are more likely to be exposed to teachers political views. Of course teachers have the same rights as everyone else and have freedom to speak their minds, but when a teacher shows bias in the classroom, it can create an environment where students with different views feel alienated.
When a teacher discusses their own political affiliations in class, it can influence students to think in similar ways or even make them fearful of speaking their mind and using their own right to freedom of speech. Although some students have no problem standing up for what they believe in, others do not have the confidence to disagree with a teacher and often times the majority of the class. A student speaking up with a different opinion than others in the class, can cause an argument, disrupting and distracting the class.
Teachers have the right to freedom of speech, as do students, but students also have the right to construct their own opinion based on unbiased information. Teachers refrain from influencing religious beliefs or talking badly of a different religion than their own. Why is it any different for political stances?
The first amendment right of freedom of religion is also a freedom of belief, which applies to political beliefs, so both rights should be treated exactly the same. In global connections, students learn about religions and other cultures beliefs. Social studies teachers at our school do not insult the beliefs of different religions, they teach the acceptance of other religions and what they stand for, giving students the opportunity to come to conclusions on their own.
A students political beliefs should be respected, not torn down by faculty or other students. Politics should not even be discussed in school outside of social studies classes where it is necessary to discuss current events because of the consequences it may have on students. When it is necessary to talk about politics, instead of talking negatively about one thing or another, teachers should show the positives and negatives of both sides regardless of their beliefs and make efforts to be unbiased.