December 4, 2012

Please Explain …?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 4:08 pm

According to the Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper article this morning, about 25 students from Coeur d’Alene High School were standing on a street corner, waving signs, and protesting because, “… their AP Government class was requiring them to participate in eight hours of a government-related activity.”

One of the students was quoted saying, ” This is more fun than going to a school board meeting.”

What does standing on a street corner waving signs teach students about government?


  1. If you notice the world news……………its the way the third world practices their politics. Its the strong armed tactics of the masses. The hell with civil discourse and decorum.

    Comment by Ancientemplar — December 4, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

  2. Ancientemplar,

    That was my impression, too.

    Comment by Bill — December 4, 2012 @ 5:27 pm

  3. I guess I am confused, again. Is the point that standing on a street corner or in a parking lot with sign’s in protest of a governmental action is a strong arm tactic of the masses and not civil discourse and decorum? Is it being implied that Ghandi or the civil rights movement fall in the category of strong arm tactics and non-civil discourse and decorum? Were signs waived in support, and against, the recall campaign? How about the persons carrying signs opposing the proposed Kootenai County P & Z ordinance? I don’t think students standing with signs protesting something, anything, is inappropriate. I think the students understand exactly what it takes for their voice and views to be heard by government today. They didn’t learn how to do it in school. They learned how, and why, it is done from observing what takes place in their own city.

    Comment by up river — December 4, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  4. up river,

    I agree that students standing with signs protesting something can be appropriate. My question was what does that action teach students about government. Do these same students understand that they, not our elected officials, are the government? The elected officials are the hired help. Are these same students being taught to believe that standing on a street corner yelling is preferable to understanding how the laws are made and trying to get those laws changed through legislative persuasion? We don’t know, because the local skewspaper, the Coeur d’Alene Press, is a Powder River newspaper — shallow, real shallow.

    Protesting may not be inappropriate, but I would prefer the more appropriate methods were being taught. For example, I wonder how many of these little darlings yelling and screaming on the street corner attended any of the election contest lawsuit hearings and trial. I wonder why their AP Government class instructor didn’t direct them to attend the hearings, read the briefs and the law and understand both. I think that was answered in the article by the “student” who said, “This is more fun than going to a school board meeting.” If this is what passes for Advanced Placement teachers and students, God help us as a city, county, state, and nation. It’s not about being informed and offering informed opinions; it’s all about standing on a street corner and having fun. Who knows? Maybe these little darlings in the AP program at Coeur d’Alene High School are hoping for their big break — being interviewed by Eye Half-Wit News Television out of Spokane!

    If these little darlings from the Coeur d’Alene High School AP Government class wanted to make a meaningful statement, maybe they should have committed acts of civil disobedience and been arrested. That’s one distinction between commitment and “…more fun than going to a school board meeting.”

    Comment by ,Bill — December 4, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

  5. Bill, you have cleared some of the fog. I am in basic agree with what you state, so I will first note what I don’t agree with–elected officials are the hired help. In principle and theory…yep. In practice and reality…nope. I agree, in particular, regarding legislative persuasion and the local skewpaper. Also your point regarding the hearings/trial (any) is right on point. However I believe that their failing to attend such important local events points a finger at the Advanced Placement teacher, who didn’t grant them time to attend the hearings/trial (or any of the many public issue court proceedings we have seen recently. Apparently the AP teacher felt that it was more important for the students to sit in class and watch a movie instead. ‘Advanced Placement’ is apparently synonymous with joke, at the school district. I was just glad to see that, at least for a moment, some high school students did something, anything, proactive. Yes the teacher directed them, but sometime in the future their experience might cause a ‘light’ to turn on because about all that happens when the teacher puts a movie on is that any possible light goes out when the lights do.

    Comment by up river — December 4, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  6. up river

    People did NOT just go out and start protesting the previous/current city government and it’s selfish decisions. There were many a time the people on this site, along with others, have spoken cordially to city council. In return, they have been treated with disdain on many occasion by those that are sworn is as “civil servants”. The recall was a LAST resort despite your effort to paint it otherwise.

    These students are taking the wrong path to achieve their goal. FIRST would be for them to address their city council, as did many on this site with the city of CdA, before resorting to the childish act of “more fun than….”. This is NOT about “FUN”. It is about community and what is right or what is wrong, period.

    Comment by concerned citizen — December 4, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

  7. So their AP Government class required 8 hours of government activity. Would not it have been more productive for the teacher to design an 8 hour activity that would have had some actual learning as a goal? I’m thinking that planning a street corner protest involved the least amount of effort and the most amount of intellectual laziness.

    Comment by Gary Ingram — December 4, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  8. concerned citizen. I agree mostly with what you state, but as I said, a finger should not be pointed at the students. It should be pointed at their teachers…and dare I say…their parents. As far as your assertion that I am ‘painting [the recall effort] otherwise’ …well lets put it this way…is incorrect.

    Comment by up river — December 4, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

  9. There is a real lesson to be taught and learned, but I doubt if this will occur. Clearly the lesson plan became an exercise in free speech in the guise of a public protest. It could have been any issue. The lesson is a very contemporary lesson. If student public protesters adopted the identity of an ‘occupy event’ the press would deem their event laudable and have sympathy for their perspectives. If the same students protested the same issue, in the same manner, but identified with the ‘tea party’ they’d be vilified as fringe element bible thumping lunatics and their perspectives considered radically backwards.

    Comment by Wallypog — December 5, 2012 @ 5:56 am

  10. I keep returning to my original question: What does standing on a street corner waving signs teach students about government?

    It would have helped if the (alleged) newspaper reporter had asked that question of both the teacher and the students and then accurately and completely reported the teacher’s answers. When the teacher wrote his or her lesson plan, what was the stated objective of this particular exercise? How did the teacher intend to measure whether that objective was met or not? What did the teacher want the students to take away from yelling and sign-waving as the lesson learned? Why was yelling and sign-waving the teaching method of choice?

    The student whom the article quoted saying, “This is more fun than going to a school board meeting,” appears to have come away with the concept that it’s more important to have fun than to grasp the principals of governance.

    Comment by Bill — December 5, 2012 @ 6:53 am

  11. Perhaps an approach would be for a diverse group of persons, who have participated in successful and unsuccessful efforts to petition governmental entities, to contact the School District and offer to have members of the group discuss their respective efforts in that regard one day a month for a portion of the school year.

    Comment by up river — December 5, 2012 @ 9:34 am

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