Teachers inject unnecessary politics into class discussion

editorial staff

This year’s heated presidential election has stirred up debates worldwide over everything from politics to moral issues––and it should. While it’s natural that these debates occur in a high-school setting among students whose views have not yet solidified, teachers need to stop putting their own biases into the classroom and influencing students’ beliefs.

 Many of us have experienced situations in classes where a teacher will blatantly share their political or moral views, and sometimes even argue for it. Teachers don’t realize how much they influence students, and we are tired of seeing teachers’ personal biases in a school environment. We’re in these classes to learn, not to be bombarded with a teacher’s biased views. 

Being young, we are very susceptible to new ideas and believing what we’re told. Many of us adopt our parents’ beliefs but what teachers don’t realize is that we adopt their beliefs as well, as we’ve been trained to trust teachers and consider what they say to be fact. If a teacher does bring his/her views into a discussion, it not only subtly influences students’ views, but it angers students and most won’t challenge the teacher in fear of offending him/her and getting on his/her bad side for grading.

 The simple fact is, a teacher’s political or moral views do not belong in the classroom, and political debates shouldn’t be brought up in any class other than a social studies course. In sharing their political views, teachers are crossing the line and abusing their power and they don’t have the right to influence our beliefs in the first place.

 In a social studies setting, it is beneficial to have a healthy debate between peers, but teachers must remain objective. If the students miss the mark on their facts or muddy up the discussion points, a teacher can step in to correct them. But throwing in opinions or snide side comments is out-of-bounds for a teacher. If they shape the debate instead of students, they are not only injecting their opinions into the equation, but they are also limiting students in formulating their own unique opinions. The teacher has an obligation to equip the students with the facts and allow discussion and questions to come, but teachers need to understand their influence on students and therefore, must not involve their views in a discussion. Outside of social studies, and especially in objective classes like Calculus or Physics, teachers must hold their influential powers back and allow the students to develop their opinions within the context of their own experiences.