Political Correctness

Public School Bans Pro-Diversity Posters to Avoid Offending Pro-Trump Snowflakes

Maryland school district insists "both sides" be heard on any political statement or none at all.

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Too hot for the classroom
Shepard Fairey

Political correctness frequently manifests itself when authority figures decide certain forms of expression are likely to offend delicate sensibilities and therefore must be curbed. That appears to be the spirit behind the Carroll County Public Schools' (Md.) decision to order the removal of posters depicting women of different ethnicities and religions from the classrooms of Westminster High School.

Some teachers had hung the posters in support of "diversity," but school administrators decided the posters amounted to political advocacy on behalf of the teachers, the Carroll County Times reports.

Carey Gaddis, a district spokesperson, told the Huffington Post that after receiving "at least one" complaint from a school staffer, teachers were asked to remove the posters "because they were being perceived as anti-Trump by the administration." Gaddis says the school district doesn't allow for political posters in the classroom unless "both sides" are represented.

At first blush, the posters don't scream partisan politics. There is no mention of President Donald Trump or any political entity anywhere on the posters, the only words read, "We the People-Defend Dignity."

However, the posters are political, at least according to their creator, Shepard Fairey—the street artist behind the iconic Barack Obama "Hope" image. Fairey told the Washington Post that thousands of prints of his "We the People" images were produced specifically to be used in protests against the Trump administration, and also told the Los Angeles Times, "It makes it easier for people who are afraid to express their point of view because they think they are out of step with the dominant ideology."

This creates an interesting conundrum. If a teacher had hung a poster reading "Support Our Troops," would that be a political act requiring a "No War" poster to ensure both sides are represented? Would the "We the People" posters be acceptable if they were placed beside a "Build the Wall" poster?

Some Westminster High students and alumni have found a clever way to get the message of the posters into their school without the approval of the administration, through a crowdfunding campaign to re-produce the posters' imagery on t-shirts.

Gaddis confirmed to the Carroll County Times that students will be permitted to wear the shirts to school and that teachers have the right to contribute to the campaign on their own time, but per district policy will not be allowed to wear the shirts in the classroom.

It's reasonable that to expect public school teachers to not explicitly stump for political candidates or causes in the classroom, but politics can be inferred in almost any social statement. If equal time is required for every viewpoint expressed on a poster (take environmentalism, for example), or if public schools must be made safe spaces from any form of expression with even a tangential political point of view, that could potentially create more problems than it solves.

NEXT: Deportation Squads Don't Come Cheap, French Women Flocking to Marine Le Pen, Fifth Circuit Affirms Right to Film Police: A.M. Links

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  1. I’m offended by the notion that there are [only] 2 sides to a question.
    Something something excluded middle.

    1. Can’t we have ass-sex AND guns?

      1. In the long term no your probally can’t.

  2. Eventually we might have policies of “Non-Expression” so our students can experience a sanitized environment where opinions cannot be expressed or implied.

  3. How are they being snowflakes if the posters are, in fact, explicitly intended to be anti-Trump commentary? It’s incredibly tiresome how people think they are being clever by throwing the snowflake insult back in the faces of people they don’t like when they point out actual biases in academia.

    In any case, I imagine the issue is that since this is commie Maryland the one staffer doesn’t want to out himself by putting up anything that can be construed as pro-Trump.

    1. This magazine is really shit now.

    2. This is a redder part of MD, but still.

    3. Yea the progs do a good job at baiting.

  4. I’m pretty sure that the Trump supporters aren’t the “snowflakes”….

  5. so the school district won’t react when students show up with t-shirts promoting [slightly increased] deportation?

    my ass they won’t.

  6. So, using public funds to advocate one political position is totes cool now? So, it’s OK to have a rural public school post Trump advertisements then?

    What a joke

  7. “However, the posters are political…”

    Of course they’re political. What else would they be? Economics? Religion? Kinda religion I suppose. But there is more to politics than R versus D games.

    The article says “teachers cannot take a political stand in the classroom”. There are two political sides in the argument about whether we should promote “diversity” as a positive goal or not. The posters take one side, hence violate the rules.

    1. I’d kinda like to see a ‘We The People – Defend Dignity’ with a picture of a hooded Klansman. Maybe an Nazi stormtrooper pointing through the 4th wall Uncle Same-style saying “Read your fucking history books, kid!” too.

      1. Uncle-Same?

        Fecking edit button.

      2. How about

        Defend Free Speech
        Even When You Don’t Like It

        Under that picture of a klansman.

  8. In my day there was no political speech advocated by the schools. The posters lining the walls of our school rooms were exclusively anti-communist in nature and we students were all better for it.

  9. Oh fuck off, Reason.

  10. Well at least they are being consistent whereas with progs usually it is a one way street. That said i don’t really agree with getting rid of them. Though i don’t understand the constant need to be political or make statements.

    Anyway this street artist….the logic of the people annoy the heck out of me. Like they live in this fairy-tale world of grievances….they are projecting issues of grievance onto Trump that really only exist in their own minds.

  11. How about the schools not engage in politics at all and spend their time and efforts doing something else? I don’t know, maybe the schools could spend some time teaching students math, science, reading, civics and things like that instead of talking about politics? It is an idea that is just so crazy it might work.

    1. Well that’s just crazy talk. Between OSHA, EOE, and these diversity posters, there’s no room on the wall for a molecular diagram or table of elements.

    2. Dude. Math is raciss. English 2.
      http://cnnmon.ie/2canuA5
      http://dailycaller.com/2017/02…..structure/

  12. “Gaddis says the school district doesn’t allow for political posters in the classroom unless ‘both sides’ are represented.”

    Got it. We’ll put up posters presenting the Libertarian position and the Anarcho-Capitalist position.

    1. Country and Western.

    2. They’ve commissioned a statue of Louis Farrakhan kissing David Duke.
      Everyone agrees it is money well spent.

    3. I always vote the straight Anarcho-capitalist ticket.

  13. Snowflakery aggregates exist on a flimsy-skinned timid continuum creature that lumbers through timescapes fastidiously nitpicking all ideologies.

    The fucking anti-periphery inherent to belief is what leads to the turtling of perspective.

    Hyper-sensitivity with all its brutal trappings definitely stands more muscular at given shifting moments under an evolution of banner logos.

    Hell, goddamn rock-n-roll and pornstars were triggering late 80’s Christian politicians and Jesus leaders, years later crop tops and under-butts are triggering fucking mealy-mouthed Marxists- today it’s more of the same except that anything belonging to a large-enough group of living organisms has decided backbones and logic are useless junk drawer batteries; chargeless and forgettable.

    1. “Crop Tops and Under-Butts” — The Butthole Surfers album that never was.

      1. ….a delightful band of breathless heathens.

  14. Most public schools aren’t going to have support the troops signs in them but let’s at least be honest in our hypotheticals. The converse of support the troops is not No War it’s support ISIS or fuck the troops. I can’t imagine these slogans would receive more than 5 and 40 percent respectively among even libertarians.

    1. Local school here is offering a raffle draw of 50 bucks to middle/high-schoolers who sign sexual-responsibility (to not rape and sexually assault others, in essence) pledges during lunch. Drug-sniffing dogs checking all lockers and the total erasure of personal privacy and individual rights on school campuses beginning in first-grade… wall posters should probably be rated near the bottom of the concern barrel that is the mind-blowing retrograde of modern American public education.

    2. “Support the troops” is in itself a dishonest attempt to stifle criticism of military action.

      1. “Support the troops” is in itself a dishonest attempt to stifle criticism of military action.

        I agree with you here, Titor.

        When President Bush announced plans to attack Iraq a coworker of ours pointed out that Iraq hadn’t attacked the United States and wasn’t linked to the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Another coworker, a young man whom I knew to be quite intelligent, said “That’s not supporting the troops”. The first time he said it I thought he was being sarcastic and mocking television announcers and the many retired military men who seemed to be ubiquitous around that time, but he wasn’t.

        As she was making her points he quietly repeated “That’s not supporting the troops” and “You’re not supporting the troops”. It was almost like a chant and quite a surreal experience for me.

  15. We also have to take down any pictures of the pristine wilderness since Republicans hate the environment. Same with any posters depicting women, children, or love. Those are all anti-Republican. Is that the game? Look kids we have to take down pictures depicting other races because your president is a racist.

  16. I don’t get the “snowflakes” reference. Some staffers raised concerns that the posters were political in nature, and there’s no mention of students getting upset over them.

    1. It’s simple libertarians took their ability to oscillate between the Republican and Democratic parties in search of influence for granted. The alt-right arose and said no screw that let’s kick the libertarians out of the Republican Party and start winning elections. Now the libertarians are butt hurt and spend all their time trying to insult the alt right.

      1. The alt-right

        *Adds to list of terms Sam Haysom doesn’t actually know the meaning of*

      2. The alt-right arose and said no screw that let’s kick the libertarians out of the Republican Party and start winning elections.

        You are saved from the title “most-wrongheaded political analysis this season” only because half the left has gone full retard and people still publish Robert Reich and Paul Krugman.

        Nobody kicked any libertarians out of the Republican Party, your raging anti-libertarian fantasies notwithstanding.

    2. You have to jiggle your cognitive detector to ‘Cato vein’. The blip will ‘pop’ once it locks on.

    3. I took the ‘snowflakes’ reference to be in reference to hypothetical fragile, suggestive children.

      Not that children melt when they come across a modestly disagreeable political poster or that they crystallize when in the presence of a poster that reinforces their value system, but that some people believe they function that way. I mean, we are talking about public servants in charge of education, after all.

      1. I see, so you took it as the sarcasm being directed at the people who think the students are snowflakes, not the “snowflakes” themselves. Makes sense.

    4. I think it was coming from the idea that anyone whose individual feelings’ protection is valued over everyone’s free speech is a special snowflake… since the posters seemed to be promoting the idea that all Trump supporters are hateful and villains to be overcome. Since the complaint was that the posters “were Anti-Trump”, I would assume that someone pro-Trump was offended by having posters insinuating they were evil… hence the snowflake reference. Not sure I agree, but that’s what I make of it.

  17. if public schools must be made safe spaces from any form of expression with even a tangential political point of view

    That sounds fine. Put some Thomas Kinkade pictures up if you need something on the walls.

  18. “It makes it easier for people who are afraid to express their point of view because they think they are out of step with the dominant ideology.”

    Oh, I’m sure my expressly anti-progressive opinion would be welcomed on campus. No, wait, they make me a target for harassment by activist teachers and other students. Which is why I keep my mouth shut on touchy subjects, because I just want to wring my degree away from these charlatan propagandists and get out with my scalp attached.

  19. They need to just leave politics out of schools altogether? but since this will never happen, I really feel like it’s the parents’ responsibility, not the school’s, to foster critical thinking. Children need to be taught how to analyze information objectively and challenge assertions, and this is best taught on a one-on-one basis, not in a classroom environment where a student might fall behind, groupthink might be encouraged, etc. Even though I think the posters promote the idea that any/all Trump supporters are hateful – which is wrong – they shouldn’t have been removed, since it’s ultimately up to the parents to help the kids dissect and evaluate these claims. Probably wishful thinking, but there are always some casualties when true freedom and liberty are observed.

  20. Public School Bans Pro-Diversity Posters to Avoid Offending Pro-Trump Snowflakes
    Maryland school district insists “both sides” be heard on any political statement or none at all.

    So now you can’t even push back against government propaganda without ostensible libertarians ridiculing you as a delicate snowflake. I guess if too many of these posters are taken down, someone’s grandma will die.

  21. Snowflakes? Clearly, these posters echo the Obama work of Fairey and do have a political meaning. Do you mean promote diversity by having proponents for diversity also condemning cultural appropriation? Do you mean promote diversity by forcing tax payers to educate people in their native languages? Do you mean promote diversity by displaying an authoritarian figure’s version of politics in a classroom? Do you mean teaching children that agreeing with that authoritarian figure will get them more than diverse treatment?

    It is a dangerous path we tread when we allow teachers (authoritarian figures who hold discipline, grades, and social status over the heads of children) to foist their political bent on impressionable minds.

    1. No, yes, yes, yes.

  22. “Carey Gaddis, a district spokesperson, told the Huffington Post that after receiving “at least one” complaint from a school staffer”

    So, this is the example provided to show that we also have “conservative” snowflakes?

    1. I think that’s why that specific wording was chosen. I think they ran too many articles criticizing liberal snowflakes and now are furiously trying to backpedal to prove level-headed objectiveness or something.

  23. While part of me says it’s about time someone noticed diversity of thought and opinion, another part says what the fuck? And what the fuck to you, too, Reason. Who are these Trumpian snowflakes of whom you speak? My lord, the capacity of the church of the aggrieved and offended to find new congregants is staggering.

  24. Offending Pro-Trump Snowflakes

    Fisher is upset that he didn’t make it into the top three beloved writers on HnR: Shikha, Robby and Suderman.

    1. Took Chapman’s spot>

  25. For years the position has been either ‘get political advocacy out of the classroom’ or ‘allow for advocacy from all sides’–but when a school actually does this Reason suddenly leaps to defending leftists right to propagandize without interference?

    And this stupidity–

    This creates an interesting conundrum. If a teacher had hung a poster reading “Support Our Troops,” would that be a political act requiring a “No War” poster to ensure both sides are represented? Would the “We the People” posters be acceptable if they were placed beside a “Build the Wall” poster?

    ‘Support Our Troops’ posters aren’t allowed.–and a ‘Build the wall’ poster? THAT kinda thing will get you fired. That’s now, everywhere, in nearly every school–and it happens without comment.

    And these other posters? They’re propagandizing kids all over the country, again without comment, because they only come into the news when someone’s trying to stop them.

  26. Avoid Offending Pro-Trump Snowflakes

    There is, of course, no other reason for wanting to neutralize political advocacy in public school.

    Oh wait, there is, and the author has decided to mention within the meat of the article, but went for the inaccurate, provocative headline anyway.

    It’s almost like this site is becoming hacky clickbait or something.

    1. they are definitely doing their best to chase off all the glibertarians.

  27. In the 20th century, for the Left, it was all about “class”. In the 21st century, for the Left, it is all about “race”. This has led to the effective simplification of every major political conflict into “Is this pro-White, or pro-minority? Anti-White or anti-minority?” The Alt-Right has seemingly arisen to take the “other side” of that moronic dialectic. So here we are. #sad

    1. The joy of dialectical thinking, assuming that each issue has precisely two opposing positions!

  28. So a “pro-Trump” poster would look like, what? A mural of KKK members lynching a black? An ICE agent deporting a Mexican? Some orange-colored geriatric man grabbing a p***y? Would those posters fulfill the school’s mandate for equal representation?

  29. Public School Bans Pro-Diversity Posters to Avoid Offending Pro-Trump Snowflakes
    Maryland school district insists “both sides” be heard on any political statement or none at all.

    Excellent. Jam a little bit more of this stuff down people’s throats, and the PC culture just might go away.

  30. “At first blush, the posters don’t scream partisan politics. There is no mention of President Donald Trump or any political entity anywhere on the posters, the only words read, “We the People-Defend Dignity.”

    Hey how about a poster with the totally-fine-at-first-blush words: “All Lives Matter”?

    Many great options for a totally-not-political picture to accompany it. Perhaps a picture of a cop?

  31. You know who else only put up posters with one viewpoint?

    1. The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division?

  32. This is an excellent reason to be against public education. When the government provides something, it’s pretty much impossible to keep it from being politicized in some sense.

    I’ll bet if you pursued this line of thinking you could come up with a way of thinking about things that lies completely outside the conventional left-right spectrum.

    1. “outside the left right spectrum”

      Music to my ears. But we ALL (the community of human beings) reflect values somewhere along the “left right spectrum.” My dad used to call those rare politicians who could be effective over the entire spectrum “statesmen.”

  33. I want a poster that says “I’m against Nazis”. Then they’d have to have a poster supporting Nazis.

    I love logical inconsistencies. They’re great fun in a world gone mad.

  34. Seems the school reached a reasonable result. How uncommon.

  35. Would the “We the People” posters be acceptable if they were placed beside a “Build the Wall” poster?

    No, it has to be next to a “We the Animals” poster. Or maybe “4 Legs Good….”

  36. Gaddis says the school district doesn’t allow for political posters in the classroom unless “both sides” are represented.

    The right answer is vouchers so parents are free to pick the propaganda they want for their children.

    If they aren’t free, the right answer is *no propaganda*.
    This is really not complicated.

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