It’s OK for teachers to share political beliefs

Staff Editorial, Editor

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With the 2016 elections coming later this year, almost everyone is talking about who they want to vote for as the next president of the United States. It’s not uncommon for teachers to share their political opinions and discuss who they want to vote for with their students.

Some argue that teachers need to refrain from sharing any political opinions during school to avoid influencing students’ views.

But The Californian supports the idea of political discussion with teachers at school in classes such as government and history, where political issues are taught for credit, if both sides of the argument are presented.

Inevitably, political topics are going to come up during conversations at school. Teachers should be allowed to utilize their First Amendment rights and state their opinions about these issues.

For example, math teachers should be allowed to make comment about with which political party their beliefs align.

What is not acceptable, however, is for teachers to present school curriculum in a biased way slanted toward their own political beliefs.

An example of this would be an economics teacher informing students about fiscal policy in an extremely biased way and not presenting the opposing view.

This does not allow students to fully comprehend both sides of an issue.

Teachers in classes relating to government, economics and history need to refrain from teaching students solely their own point of view because students need to learn about policy in an objective manner.

But as long as teachers share their opinions in a way that does not conflict with school curriculum,  political discussion should be not only tolerated but celebrated.

Healthy debate is an important skill  for all students to have and it should be encouraged in a classroom setting.

If schools want to encourage teenagers to become diligent and knowledgeable citizens, they shouldn’t ban teachers from discussing it.

Furthermore, it is unfair to completely ban teachers from sharing their opinions because it may influence students’  beliefs.

In reality, by the time students reach high school, most have formed their own ideologies and will not change their opinions based on a comment or two  made by one of their teachers.

Hearing a variety of opinions from teachers with various ideologies will allow students to gain more knowledge on events and policies.

Teachers can help students form opinions in a safe environment and prepare them to be informed on the issues and active voters in the political realm later on in life.