Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Liberty High students respond (updated)

(Updated): I went over to Van Helsing's site at Moonbattery to see the responses there. (He has more traffic than I do). One student, "QRS" has been forthright enough to shed a little more light on the Spanish V curriculum:

Nigel-I appreciate your efforts towards being fair about this project. You requested information regarding the other artists studied, because it seems the media has portrayed the spanish classrooms at OLHS very differently then they are in reality.

First, the teacher stated that she does not place everything on her weblog, because that is there for the parents to get updated on what is going on currently in the class. However, a more detailed syllabus is given out at the beginning of the year with all of the content/curriculum for the students and parents. So that might help explain why the other artists were not listed on the weblog.

Here is a list of some, but not all, of the other artists that were studied to provide the students with a better sense of spanish culture:

Pablo Picasso- a short documentary was watched

Joan MiroSalvador Dali- parts of a short film produced by Dali were watched

Frida Kahlo- I would like to point out here that the "racy" scenes of the movie watched were fastforwarded through, and the television screen was covered, so students did NOT watch much of the innappropriate content that people have been concerned about

Diego Rivera- Included in the movie with Frida Kahlo

Diego Velazquez Goya- parts of a film were studied

El Greco- film from spain was watched to explain the art

Fernando Bolero

My response:

I still hold firm on my position that making Frida Kahlo the main subject of a Spanish Art project each and every year is inappropriate material for high school kids. As Chef in South Park always tells the kids...there's a time and a place for everything...and it's called college.

Since Liberty High School is taxpayer funded, it is highly inappropriate for tax dollars to be spent studying a woman glorified not only for her art, but her deviant lifestyle. Right now you high school students may not understand, but in the future all of you will be having families of your own and paying taxes...and many of you will THEN
understand. I maintain that it's not necessary for Frida Kahlo to be cut out of any art study, but rather have the focus of Spanish Art shifted each year to a different artist. To repeat the curriculum each year to focus on her is either indoctrinating or lazy.

The students from Oletangy Liberty High are responding. I'm just wondering if this is another of Ms. Vierya's "class projects":

(Comments edited for brevity, see posts here and here for full comments)

In English you learn about how to speak and grammer structure but you also learn about themes. Spanish is the same way, meaning you learn about the language, themes and culture. Do you know that there is some 15 billion dollars illegals pay into social security and never see a dime? Do you know that their are millions of illegal immigrants here right now?

No. Get your facts straight, you might learn something.

Ahem. Rolling up my sleeves to respond...

I don't think you need to try to "school me" on illegal immigration. I live in San Diego, California. Did you know that there are more than 200,000 illegal aliens living in my county alone? Did you know that there are at least 2.5 million living in Southern California?

So yes, my teenage friend, I am very aware of the numbers of illegals who live here. I am also aware of the social cost. Actually the amount they pay into social security is closer to $7 billion a year. But before you go decrying about what illegal aliens don't get, let's look at what they do get.

First, how does an illegal alien pay into social security in the first place? That's right...they steal someone else's social security number! Example:

Identify theft by illegal aliens has created many problems for Americans. Sometimes those problems involve the Internal Revenue Service.

For example, Audra has been a stay-at-home mom since 2000. Over the last 3 years, the IRS has accused her of owing $1 million in back taxes. This is a picture of the first letter she received from the IRS saying she owed back taxes. Since that first letter, she has received many more.

Her story is clear. She has not worked in 6 years. Yet the IRS says she owes taxes for working the last three years. What she first thought was a mistake, later became clear. It was a case of identity theft. Her social security number was being used by at least 218 illegal immigrants, mostly in Texas, to obtain jobs.

Did Ms. Vierya have you discuss the cost of identity theft? How it ruins an American citizen's credit, can cost them their job, can get them in trouble with the IRS?

And...did you know that illegal immigration costs American taxpayers over $20 billion a year? I know your math teacher can help you with this...perhaps they pay $7 billion in social security, but they cost taxpayers over $20 billion...that would be a loss of $13 billion now wouldn't it?

OK, let's move on to another one, shall we?:

We watch films in order to gain a more developed sense of Spanish culture and to help us become more educated on the world today.

So in A Day without a Mexican, you learned...what? Did you watch "Border" as well to counter-balance the propaganda put forth by A Day...?

i watched the frida movie last year with a different teacher and it is part of the spanish art curriculum. so 1. if you have a problem with that movie (which is most definitly not a lesbian or communist themed movie) you should speak of not just profe vieyra but all of the spanish teachers in the entire liberty foreign language department...

Great point. If Frida is part of the curriculum campus-wide, then I do have a problem. That right there is proof of liberal bias. Why?

There are so many greater Spanish artists to learn about. How about Salvador Dali? Or Francisco Goya? Or Veronica Luis de Velasco? A balanced curriculum would introduce you to more Spanish art than Frida Kahlo. In fact Frida Kahlo's art is less critically acclaimed than the lifestyle that inspired it:

A delicately beautiful woman who smoked and drank "like a mariachi" and enjoyed her own sexual freedom even as she suffered the infidelities of her adored husband Diego Rivera, Kahlo painted ferociously honest visions of her private world. In this first volume of the Bantam-Barnard Biography series, Drucker graphically recounts the artist's devastating accident and tortured physical life with a fearlessness to match Kahlo's own. No apologies are made for Kahlo's many love affairs with both men and women or for her unabashed support of Communism ...

Is this appropriate learning material for children (and yes, despite what you may think, y'all are still just kids), funded by taxpayers?

Kahlo's work is as much a part of Mexican culture as Picasso is to Spanish (and by the way, he held communist beliefs as well, though I doubt if he were the artist in question there would be this contrevorsy.)...An OLHS alum

Hey, no problem with studying Picasso as well. In fact, you should have a class in Spanish Art...and introduce more than Frida Kahlo. And don't use "R" rated movies as learning material when there are documentaries available on the subject.

All of the information that we collected during this project was done by us, we were never indoctrinated or slightly persuaded into believing that illegal immigration is okay...What you must remember is that we went throught both the LEGAL and illegal processes, it was not just a project about illegal immigration.

Actually you were classically indoctrinated. The article states that your teacher stamped everyone's immigration application as denied. Every single one. Now that right there is a fallacy. My business partner was born in Mexico City. Her entire family came here legally...they went through all of the paperwork, paid all of the proper fees, had all the proper medical screenings and background checks. The process took 7 years.

Could that be speeded up? Absolutely. But your teacher "denied" every single application. That is not what happens. And nearly all illegal aliens in this country never even apply for proper residency. Why? Because they broke the law to get here.'s the kicker. Your teacher defended the curriculum as teaching "empathy". Empathy for who? Illegal aliens or those who have been harmed by illegal immigration? You kids are in a Spanish class. Learn Spanish...leave the empathy teaching for your parents.

Until now I have let all of the comments signed "Anonymous" through because I believe them to be from the students at Liberty High. I will now reject any further "anonymous" comments (because I am beginning to get some screwball comments)...any further commenters, please use a psuedonym or initials so I know who to address in comments).

Let me be clear...I am not trying to be unfair to the students. I can understand why they would defend their teacher. But they are receiving a classically indoctrinated and unbalanced education, using clearly questionable materials. Were Liberty a private school, there would be no beef. But since Liberty is a tax-payer funded school, there should probably be a little oversight into the materials and subject matter that is being taught here.

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