Robert D. Shepherd comments on the story this morning about the teacher in Missouri who was suspended after writing an article on the Huffington Post about the abuses heaped on teachers:

“Teaching is a unique profession. Teachers are responsible for cultural transmission–for passing on to a new generation the best of what the culture has created–and it’s extremely important–it goes to the very heart of what it is to be a pluralistic democracy–that students be exposed to a variety of viewpoints presented by teachers who are opinionated scholars. In the past, we didn’t give tenure to teachers right away because we recognized that people had to earn the right, but we also recognized the importance of that right–of intellectual freedom. If someone wants to have an official single view enforced by a top-down, absolutist authority, then a very good place to start is with the killing of due process and tenure. The attack on tenure in the U.S. is not a free market reform. It’s Orwellian.”