Meet Conor Seaman, a language arts teacher at a middle school in Gig Harbor, Washington. Yesterday a video of him with one of his 8th-grade students went viral on social media. Seaman assigned the class a project in which they explain who their favorite hero is, using sources, and why. The unnamed thirteen-year-old chose President Donald Trump because he admired the President’s policies on immigration and securing our nation’s borders. Seaman held said student after his virtual class to have a chat that turned into implying that his student was racist for picking the President as his hero.
So if you’re going to introduce bullet points, you kind of have to back up with why that’s heroic, because there’s a lot of people who would argue that it’s not heroic and it’s actually — a lot of the rhetoric that has been said has been very racist…
Once the student’s parents caught wind of the situation, they demanded a response from the principal, hoping that Seaman would be chewed out for unprecedented verbal threats.
Jason Rantz, the man who initially raised concerns over this video, Peninsula School District spokeswoman Aimee Gordon reached out gave the following statement:
“The comment that the teacher tried to convince the student he was wrong for supporting President Trump’s immigration policy is not accurate. The student and teacher spoke about immigration policy in the context of providing evidence for why President Trump is a hero. The teacher’s intent was to encourage the student to use more than one source (whitehouse.gov) for his assignment”
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Obviously, the school administration sought to protect the teacher over the student as Gordon added to her statement by saying:
“The principal mentioned to the parents that recording a person without their knowledge is illegal, but did not say anything about not sharing the recording…Students are taught digital citizenship and that [they] must ask someone’s permission before recording someone.”
Of course, the parents of the student had been fed up and argued that because the class was on zoom, thus it was being recorded, Seaman’s right to “privacy” was not infringed upon. In the end, Seaman received no punishment from the administration, essentially rewarding him because he spat out anti-Trump rhetoric.