Earlier today I published a biting critique of John White and Bobby Jindal, who are doing their best to privatize public education in Louisiana. I happen to think the pair have turned the state of Louisiana into an international laughing stock and put the future of a generation of children at risk.
The writer, who lives in Louisiana, called them vandals, said that John White is a hack, and referred to White’s staff as “the TFA Goon Squad.”
Two people wrote to say how shocked they were that I would permit such language to be used. They said I called for civility and had violated my own pledge.
I am reminded that when I used to tweet, I would find myself at the receiving end of really nasty, vituperative insults. I never responded in kind. But if I dared to show that I was offended, I could count on several reformer-types to jump in and tell me I was out of line. I have heard the same complaints in the past. These guys want a double standard; they want to be able to hurl insults and then step back and say, “you promised to be civil.”
Well, my friends, this is my blog, my living room, and I make the rules. Here they are, if you didn’t get them the first time around.
I watch my own language and tone. But there is very little that other people write that I censor.
I am not going to silence someone who cries out in righteous rage when their profession and their livelihood and their integrity are attacked by so-called reformers. I am not going to defer to those who have no respect for the men and women who teach our children every day.
I am not going to censor a writer who writes in the style of H.L. Mencken and uses colorful language.
Public officials who betray their sacred trust are fair game, and I won’t tell anyone to treat them gingerly. If they don’t like the heat, they can stay out of the kitchen, as Harry S Truman once said.
This is a site to discuss better education for all. If you want to join the discussion, welcome. But don’t expect me to silence or censor voices you don’t want to hear. If you don’t like what you are reading, don’t read it.