Volume 94, Issue 7


Vicious politics fill young heads

Good tidings to all students

Chretien and Martin should keep their hands off our hard earned cash

A message about pudding

Frosh issue cover made parents cry

The future of garbage - how education can come of trash

Arnold bores into wooden conspiracy

Vicious politics fill young heads

By Colin Butler
Opinions Editor

This is the Opinions page, which throughout the year will be cluttered mostly with my own raving narrative.

When it isn't however, it will be a patchwork of letters, by the people, of the people and for the people. If you're looking for Sports, A&E or anything else, just keep moving – and if you're looking for Onions – just black out the "pi" in Opinions at the top left of the page and you'll be in heaven my friend.

Here in the wild, wild, world of Western you'll find this page can sometimes get a little heated. There are tens of thousands of readers out there and let's just say some people are pretty passionate about things and they can get pretty mean in print. Let me warn you now: One wrong word in a letter can land a big, fat shithammer square on your poor head. Needless to say that kind of thing can drag your name through the mud.

But let's get on with the business of stirring things up, shall we?

School has begun. No, this isn't some fiendish nightmare you've conjured up in your sleep, that can be easily shaken off with a couple of deep breaths. Although Western can be sheer hell at times, with reams of reading and essays piling up and professors who could actually be military researchers, perfecting new audio torture techniques with the cruelest lack of mercy. All this considered, we don't have it so bad.

What really scares me is what the high school kids are going through. I've been following the news lately and what I see is really alarming. I'm not going to start about drugs, graffiti, or violence at schools, that really doesn't scare me. What scares the bejesus out of me is this festering debate over what teachers do and don't do.

We all know they went on strike a while back. Then they were legislated back to work, like a child is casually shoved into a corner when it's time-out. Needless to say, much like that teary-eyed toddler, the teachers of Ontario were pretty mad.

They still are. It was a couple of weeks ago that Queen's Park said they would make supervising school related extra-curricular activities mandatory for teachers. The teachers, as a counter-measure, say that they refuse to do any extra-curricular activities. Which means, students of elementary and secondary schools, as a result of the government forcing their teachers to do extra work, are punished.

The worst part about it's that teachers are teaching the students that the reason they can't play sports after school is because of Mike Harris. My brother currently attends high school and from what he tells me it's a political war zone. Students are young, impressionable and easily brain washed. I can relate to what he was saying, I've been there too.

I was in my last year in high school when the teachers went on strike. Even though the teacher's union told reporters and pundits they'd keep politics out of the classrooms, they couldn't. They didn't. I saw posters throughout my high school, smeared all over the walls. Decked out with slanted questions and half-baked criticisms, these propaganda posters were all designed to whip us into a insatiable frenzy, so the teachers could let us loose like a pack of wild jackals on their political enemies.

I once made the mistake of questioning the objectivity of these posters. My math teacher ridiculed me in front of the entire class, like I was some ape fruitlessly trying to understand the subtle intricacies of a crude, stone hand axe. In retrospect, he was right – I should've known better than to question something in school.

One false move, one wrong word, could land you on a teacher's bad side for months. I remember my law teacher making numerous comparisons to Mike Harris' labour, education and health care policies to that of Nazi Germany in the 1930's, as if he truly believed that the Ontario Tories were heading down the same "slippery slope" as those God awful Nazis.

The next thing you know, the teachers are going to start teaching kids that Mike Harris is a scarred, twisted, hunch-backed ogre who drinks forty gallons of beer a day. That he killed Maurice Richard, causes bee stings, engineered sadness and is the reason people are starving in Africa – it wouldn't surprise me. It's about as logical as refusing to coach kids sports teams out of principle.

What I'm trying to say is that teachers don't know everything. They should yield to the will of their employers. Every working stiff knows they need to follow this credo, or else they'll find themselves without a job. Maybe you get out of touch when you stay in school all your life, I don't know. In the real world when you don't do what you're told, you lose your job.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000