Friday, February 26, 2010

The Pledge in Montgomery

A middle school student who was escorted out by two police officers after she refused to say the pledge is likely to receive an apology from the teacher and school, for, you know, flagrantly violating her constitutional rights.

Germantown, Maryland is located on the other end of Montgomery County, where I grew up. My history with the Pledge in school is slightly different, but if one could call any part of Montgomery County "conservative", that might be it (though it's all relative).


Superdestroyer said...

Roberto Clemente Middle Schools is only 30% white. Not exactly a sign that the school is a conservative neighborhood.

PG said...

2000 Census results on Germantown: The racial makeup of the area was 62.20% White, 19.13% African American, 0.34% Native American, 9.84% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 4.22% from other races, and 4.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.21% of the population.

The median income for a household in the area was $71,226, and the median income for a family was $81,461 as of a 2007 estimate.

What does seem plausible in this context (mostly-minority middle school in a majority-white, well-off area) is that the teacher wanted to enforce on the students what she considers to be proper bourgeois norms, one of which includes standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Failing to stand is considered not so much a political statement as a sign of laziness, disrespect and general shiftlessness that it is the teacher's duty to root out of the student.

This was definitely the attitude taken toward any deviation from the norm in my public schooling experience: students were just being defiant or rebellious and therefore should be punished for it. The notion of a political stance never crossed anyone's mind. If anything, the desire to maintain a particular concept of "discipline" was stronger among African American teachers toward minority students, so Superdestroyer's racial assumptions are about as imbecilic as usual. There are different kinds of conservatism, and one can vote Democrat while hewing to a very rigid set of ideas about how to deal with young people.

(My senior English teacher was a hardcore yellow-dog Democrat, while my government teacher worshiped Reagan and taught us the doctrines thereof in the guise of the curriculum. When one of my friends fell asleep during the AP government exam, the government teacher ignored it. When that same friend once fell asleep during the English teacher's class, the teacher thumped him on the head, embarrassed him in front of the rest of us and sent him to stand outside in the hall for the remainder of the class. "Conservative" as a cultural matter is a lot more complicated than some people understand, particularly if they want to put it in racial terms. This is one of the things you quickly pick up in the South, particularly if you actually have encounters with real people of color.)

Superdestroyer said...


Montgomery County is so deeply blue I doubt if you could find a single teacher who voted for John McCAin in the last election.

And no Germantown is not well-off but would be considered a working class neighborhood in Montgomery County. A family income of $81,000 marks it as a poor neighborhood.

However, you are probably right in that it involves a teacher not wanting to put up with an obnoxious students. It also shows the difference between private schools and public schools. An obnovious student at Holton Arms or the Landon school is quickly shown the poor. An obnoxious student in the middle class, deep blue school is rewarded.

And if you want to claim that blacks really care about discipline, you may want to view the HBO documentary on Douglas High School in Baltimore. No discipline and no interesting in actual learning.

And I see you are falling into the trap of claiming that blacks are conservative even though they vote for the most liberal Democrats. In reality, blacks are the most liberal group in the U.S. The are just not good at being as hypocritical as progressive whites.

David Schraub said...

I had a Republican geometry teacher in my MCPS high school. But the most prominent Republican on faculty was the AP Chemistry teacher. The Black AP Chemistry teacher.

As to the rest, you're still an idiot. And if I accept your "plural of anecdote is data" style of argumentation, you show me that White people are idiots too.

Fortunately for the White race, I'm not an idiot, so I don't make such sweeping generalizations based on stereotypes and (for the love of God) HBO movies.