To all of my colleagues, I received this email today from a history teacher in Missouri who is about to be fired because he uses some of our material, and because the history that the LVMI has produced does not square with the ideological beliefs of this teacher’s principal. I will let his email speak for itself:
I’ve written you in the past but, considering the number of people you meet and talk with, I wouldn’t expect you to remember. I graduated from Frostburg State way back in 1978 with a degree in history and later a degree in education and a Masters in history. I am in my 21st year as a public high school teacher. I used to teach U.S. Government and advanced studies until I was demoted for being too “conservative.” Last year the principal “wrote me up,” the process for firing tenured teachers. My crime? I was divisive and used too many free market sources in the endnotes of articles I used in class. I used articles you authored, including “The Progressives 100 Year War,” and “Bully In the Pulpit.” My colleagues teach Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle as fact. When asked by a colleague my opinion, I explained the book was a novel, fiction, and its purpose by Sinclair was to generate support for socialism through the erection of a governmental regulatory apparatus. I added that for Progressives, it was a vehicle used by them to continue the transformation of the U.S. from a federal to a national government. She forwarded my views, in response to her solicitation, to the principal. He went ballistic, told me I should consider finding another job, if I taught such a view he couldn’t support me teaching the course, and then he wrote me up pointing out it was step one in a three step process to terminate a tenured teacher. There is more but all along the same lines, One cannot question the statist orthodoxy of the curriculum.
My question, can you refer me to other sources relative to your articles I cited. I am required to turn into the principal copies of every assignment, quiz, test, and so forth for review and censoring. As an historian, I can’t in good conscience teach what I know to be false. The principal believes my views on Sinclair and the Progressives, especially The Jungle, are shared by no one else in the history or similar fields. I want to build a data base to demonstrate this is not true if and when I am confronted with Step Two. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
I would like for anyone who can help to contact me. This is not going to stand.