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11:44 AM on 12/13/2011
You can express your views but others have the right to disagree and express their disagreement with your views. We all have the responsibility to be in command of the facts when we take a position.
11:36 AM on 12/13/2011
The point of education, I think, is to expose students to lines of thought that are not mainstream. For example, in the medical ethics class I teach at university, my students walk in thinking that there is just nothing wrong with someone like Dr. 90210, who uses his medical expertise to make enormous profits off surgeries that address no significant medical need. Of course, the students' views reflect the conservative ideal that one deserves to profit if one can provide services that meet extant consumer demands. I try to get them to think seriously about the less mainstream view that perhaps consumer demand is not in itself a reason to supply a service or to create a product; perhaps there are further ethical constraints on our behavior that a free market system cannot recognize. The point of education is to expose students to non-mainstream points of view, so that they at least have the opportunity to ensure that their acceptance of mainstream points of view has resulted from their own critical reflection rather than from societal indoctrination.

Now, the controversial claim I will make, and that I know conservatives will reject, is that we live in an OVERWHELMINGLY conservative society. In a society that glorifies individuality, consumption, and profit taking, young minds need to consider what can be said in favor of other "left-leaning" values such as community, sustainability, and wealth spreading.
03:15 PM on 12/14/2011
"we live in an OVERWHELMI­NGLY conservati­ve society".
I'd revise that to say that US society is very fiscally conservative but more socially liberal. I don't even think the right-wing religious conservatives, as vocal as they are, outnumber the more moderate, open-minded churchgoers.
11:35 AM on 12/13/2011
You should also be asking why only "Liberals" care enough about your education to become low paid teachers.
11:20 AM on 12/13/2011
I don't necessarily agree with all of this kid's political views, but I do think it's sad that he feels forced to "sit down and shut up" in his public school class, which is supposed to be an open forum for discussion, and a safe place where students can share their ideas grow in their knowledge and sophistication of ideas.
11:18 AM on 12/13/2011
Sounds pretty whiny to me. You are a high school student. It will come as a surprise to you, but you really don't know as much as you think you do. You're not coping with anything that most every other high school student hasn't had to deal with: limits on your self-righteousness. Deal with it and use it as a lesson for what life is going to be throwing at you.
11:15 AM on 12/13/2011
I think it's a problem that teachers are pushing politics in the classroom. Teaching different points of view and the value of different points of view is the teacher's job, not indoctrinating kids with liberal ideology. Or conservative ideology. How about teaching facts and letting people decide for themselves what political tack they want to take. The classroom is not a place for debating politics, it's for learning.
No wonder our educational system is so bad. When I went to school they still believed classrooms were for learning, not a place to share my adolescent views and disrupt the process.
11:56 AM on 12/13/2011
tell this kid that it's a fact that 3.4 trillion in retirement savings was disappeared by bankers, and he'll tell you how scary protesters are.
And the truth shall set us ALL free
01:19 PM on 12/13/2011
“I think it's a problem that teachers are pushing politics in the classroom. Teaching different points of view and the value of different points of view is the teacher's job, not indoctrina¬ting kids with liberal ideology.”

Teachers are OBLIGATED to teach the facts. Right wing ideology is often devoid of them. Science, real history, and sociology are often vilified by Right wingers for this reason.
Vote third party.
10:54 AM on 12/13/2011
Politics, like religion, is becoming increasingly dogmatic. And while school should be a place to air multiple points of view, you (a) go to a public school in which classes are taught by people who believe in the power of unions for collective bargaining, (b) live in a very liberal part of the country, and (c) are stirring the pot not to create an effective dialogue, but simply to score points.

If you really want your conservative viewpoints aired in a constructive manner, join the debating team. Antagonizing your teachers and classmates with stunts and antics just because you can only causes the other side to stop listening what you have to say.
Fed up with the lot of them
10:53 AM on 12/13/2011
You say that you "have gotten into trouble" over expressing your political views and hint that teachers threaten you with grades because of your views. But you only cite examples of teachers challenging you on those views and asking you to defend them. If you write an article in a newspaper (school, NYT, or Huffpo) you invite that challenge. As a person who seems proud of your world view, I would think that you would welcome the opportunity to debate those views. However, you seem to equate that challenge with "getting in trouble". Similarly wearing politically provocative clothing is rightfully viewed as a challenge by those who disagree with you. You present yourself as politically aware and opinionated, so it is rather unfair to complain that people challenge you as if by doing so they are violating some right. So the question I have after reading this is is this because of your youth? As you get older and gain confidence will you welcome, or at least not run from these challenges? Or is it basically the Fox News - Rush Limbaugh model of avoiding debate? Rush loves to accuse those who disagree with him as trying to silence him simply because they disagree with him, and Fox News has an entire network devoted to smearing opponents of their viewpoints without giving them the opportunity to debate. Just wondering.
Guardian Weasel
"Fact vs. Opinion" is not a debate.
10:49 AM on 12/13/2011
I see where you're going with this, and I do remember how it felt to be young and strident. But try and assess your own provocations honestly... if you wear a Reagan or Palin shirt to school, don't be surprised if people have something to say about it.

When dealing with teachers, I'd say your smartest approach would be not so much "Sit Down and Shut Up" so much as "Remain Silent Until Provoked". I agree that it's generally inappropriate for high school teachers to preach their politics to their students... with few exceptions, high school is rarely an "open forum" for debate. College lectures are generally a bit more open ended... even though your views will not likely be welcomed with open arms, you are likelier to have more appropriate occasions to defend your views.
10:49 AM on 12/13/2011
I see nothing in your post that explains why you have conservative views, or even what your conservative views are. Seems to me you just like being different and like the feeling of being persecuted. You do fit in with the modern conservative crowd!
He who digs a hole for another may fall in himself
12:56 PM on 12/13/2011
"I see nothing in your post that explains why you have conservati­ve views..."

I was thinking the same thing. Also what came to mind was perhaps your teachers aren't becoming more liberal, perhaps you've gone further right in your world view. Many ex-conservatives like myself have seen the country yanked to a place I cannot go.

For example, disparaging a group of people that are hurting so badly financially that they are "occupying" downtown public places just because FOX and hate radio tell you to feel that way is not a conservative value. I hope you find a way to be yourself at some point without feeding on that type of media parroting, I'd hate to believe there are a lot of young people so obsessed with being angry & frightened that they will buy what cable television tells them to and call it conservatisim. Kind of makes me sad really.
10:45 AM on 12/13/2011
Zero substance. What was the point of this, other than to whine? You feel like you are being silenced simply because your teachers do not share your views? Get over yourself. No one will tell you to sit down and shut up if you share your views in a respectful manner.
10:39 AM on 12/13/2011
Are you serious?

Dude, your example of being afraid of the OWS protestors, while having not checked them out, prooves the point that your opinions are based on rumour and conjecture, smoke and mirrors.
12:50 PM on 12/13/2011
Getting good grades is only part of getting an education. Informing yourself is another. You could have gone to Occupy Wall Street, discovered that the people weren't scary, and have learned several important things from the experience.

If you're interested in conservatism, head to the library and check out Cicero, Edmund Burke and other conservatives from history who were informed and thought things through.

Save debate for the debate team, practice critical thought with your teachers ("Hmm, I'm being taught about union history by a union member, maybe I should try to get a contrasting point of view out of the library"). With critical thought as your friend and mentor, you have access to information sources that were science fiction in my lifetime.

Compare Nixon's health care proposal to Obama's. Look up who created the Environmental Protection Agency.

Learn to distinguish good teachers from bad ones. Good ones will challenge you, push you to back up your opinions, and point you to places to learn more. The good teachers are a treasure you should make maximum use of while you still can.

Read people you disagree with. Look for ones who present you with facts and eschew rhetorical fallacies (and read up on those!). Read "How to Lie With Statistics". See how many propaganda techniques (read up on them) you can see around you.

Please, for everyone's sake, inform yourself! If you wind up as an informed conservative, you'll be a good voter and help us avoid disastrous leadership.
My micro-bio is still empty
10:28 AM on 12/13/2011
Well, yes, things certainly will be different once you get out of high school. However, I fail to see exactly how you've been repressed thus far. It sounds like you have been able to plainly state your political views while in high school. Are you saying teachers shouldn't be able to express differing viewpoints, or that they could punish you by lowering your grade because you are conservative in yours? I don't think so. You're very young, and as you get older and experience more life, I think you'll find your views might soften a bit, or at least allow some shades of gray. Or perhaps not. You're entitled to a political stance, but it's not about having the winning one. Just make sure you understand what your belief system is built on, and try not to see the other side as the enemy, OK?
Animal Lover
10:25 AM on 12/13/2011
On the flip side, many, many years ago in high school, I must have had a conservative teacher -- I remember being asked to write a piece on taxes -- you had to choose pro- or anti-taxes. I decided that I was pro taxes, much to the dismay of my teacher (who ended up arguing w/me) -- but that was part of the exercise & I got an A. I don't think that you need to control your political views at all.
10:06 AM on 12/13/2011
This might have been more interesting if you had written about conservative issues you were well-informed about. However, trying to justify not going to Zucotti Park with the ad hominem attack "those people are scary" reeks of blissful ignorance. The world is not two simple shades of black and white if you take the time to learn and constructively comment.
10:35 AM on 12/13/2011
How many liberal tea-party bashers actually ever attended a tea party rally, rather than simply take their talking points from liberal websites or cable network talking heads? Given the actual news reports of hundreds of criminal acts and various assaults which occurred at the OWS protests, I would say that 'scary' is a pretty accurate term. You never heard of such things at any of the conservative protests - and yet they were portrayed as violent extremists.
Still alive and breathing...
11:18 AM on 12/13/2011
12:16 PM on 12/13/2011
I have.

And I think you watch too much Fox News as you are also taking their talking points.