Let the Teachers Teach


Sabrina Bahrun

Students in Ms. Manahan’s math class raise their hands to ask questions.

Jared Kim, Staff Writer

*The opinions expressed within the content are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the website or its affiliates.*

The pandemic silenced the opinions of both students and teachers alike. Barred from engaging in person with other people, our opinions were confined as we lacked a platform for social engagement. Politically powerless, we were forced to watch as uncontrollable political shenanigans unfolded before our eyes. We had so much to say, yet no place to express it. Our homes, once comforting sanctuaries from school and the outside world, became prison cells. Now is the time for this to change. With the return to a relative normal, schools must act as a platform for opinionated expression. 

While UHS has returned to an academic environment similar to what it was pre-pandemic, the effects of the pandemic still linger. We had a simple need to discuss our quarantine experiences, and schools were the perfect platform for the opinionated discourse. Yet even now, we still witness the same oppression of opinions seen during the pandemic because of fears over the power of teacher influence. There are extreme pressures to be unbiased and politically correct, as teachers try to tread the line between indoctrination and education. However, it is more important to encourage a respectful discourse than to silence it all together for fear of swaying student opinion. Teachers require the ability to openly discuss a topic to teach it best, so the question must be asked: When are we going to allow the teachers to do their job and educate? 

Using the classroom as a place for sharing differing opinions and views is essential; however, someone must first begin the conversation. A ship cannot sail without its captain. The teacher should take on this role, invoking deeper conversations about the world. However, this is not possible without being honest and submerged in the conversation, and the only way to achieve that is through teachers stating their views. 

“There are just subjects that are taught better if those issues are discussed about in an honest way, and one of the reasons our society is so divided is because we don’t have open forums for discussing things,” English teacher James Garcia said.

 Most teachers are overwhelmed by the socio-political pressure to teach without bias and avoid having open discussions in their classrooms. Expressing an opinion is not relevant, especially if your job is potentially on the line. However, if nothing is expressed, then nothing is questioned and nothing can be done. Societal progression is impossible without this open discourse.

Recuperating from COVID-19 has been one of the greatest hurdles faced by students and educators alike. Having been set under a new standard of interacting less with other people, it can be difficult to return to having an engaging dialogue with others. However, while the pandemic has silenced opinions, we do not need to perpetuate this attack on our verbal expression. Now is the time, more than ever, to come together as parents, legislators, students and teachers to create an education system that fosters the next generation of people to be more engaged in trying to better society. Suppressing ourselves can only lead to ignorance and harm and it is time that we put an end to it. If we want to have a society that peacefully solves our problems, then we need to allow teachers to express their own opinions without the worry of being silenced.