The article on the middle school student wearing the “build the wall” shirt to school (TCH, Jan. 28) was interesting and disconcerting on many levels. There is no doubt that the teacher dealt with the situation in an unprofessional way. With all the professional development time built into the school year, there was no excuse for that.
But more alarming to me was the behavior of the student’s mother. Children by their nature are not political, so when a child promotes a political agenda, that child is promoting an adult’s agenda, and that is exploitative. To exploit her own child is unconscionable. She no doubt would say he wanted to wear the shirt, but the truth would be that he wanted to please his mother.
I call that a form of bullying, not unlike the “political bullying” she accused the teacher of. And then she took it to the level of public humiliation via Facebook, which was mean-spirited and self-righteous.
While the comparison of the phrase “build the wall” to a swastika is extreme, the intent of both are from a place of exclusion that can create fear in those excluded. So why would a mother encourage her son to be insensitive to that fact in a public setting?
Newsworthy? Or tabloid fodder?
KeKe Dwyer, Kennewick