NC Teacher Criticizes McCain To 5th Graders

School officials are investigating a North Carolina teacher who last spring told a fifth-grade student her soldier-father could be in the military for a hundred years if John McCain were elected president.

A Scandinavian film crew captured McArthur Elementary School teacher Diatha Harris talking to her class about the Republican and Democrat Barack Obama. Many of the area's students have parents stationed at nearby Fort Bragg, and the video is posted online.

Cumberland County Schools Superintendent William Harrison said Friday neutral discussion of politics is appropriate, but teachers shouldn't push their views.

A school spokeswoman Wanda McPhaul said officials talked to the girl and her parents, who weren't upset about the classroom exchange.


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  • by OK Location: NC on Feb 15, 2009 at 10:49 PM
    Wanda, maybe she was telling the truth. My problem is that children are easily influenced. I believe she was wrong for not using more tact. Teachers should give our children the information they need to make decisions on their own. I believe in letting my kids decide for themselves what party they identify with. I don't want one of his teachers undermining me. This teacher may have been sharing her opinion based on the facts but my son's teacher wasn't. I think it best to just teach the facts and let the kids decide for themselves.
  • by Wanda Location: Kenansville on Feb 11, 2009 at 11:20 AM
    Ok location, was it bad judgment or was she telling the truth about McCain. What happened to freedom of speech? Sometimes, the truth just hurt!
  • by OK Location: NC on Nov 18, 2008 at 01:11 AM
    My son's white teacher told her class that she couldn't vote for Obama because he was Muslim. Should she be fired? Should we lose one more good teachers because she used bad judgement.
  • by MIKE Location: Rocky Mount on Nov 13, 2008 at 02:08 AM
    WOW! A 100 years? I don't know how old her father was but that would make him 120 years old or older if he stayed in. How dare she talk about the elderly like that. I'm glad this is all we have to worry about in the schools these days. Sure does make it alot easier not to have to worry about drugs and violence. What a relief. Come on people, let's get our priorities in order.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Nov 11, 2008 at 12:32 PM
    Politics of this nature to very young children should be fired, period. The Obama supporters that take things this far have lost touch with impressionable kids. In fact, if they don't fire her, they should sue her for damages to their children. Well ACLU, where are you or whos pocket are you in right now? I am guessing Obamas Democratic party.
  • by ? Location: NJ on Nov 11, 2008 at 11:54 AM
    So yeah let's keep the teacher who is clearly promoting discrimination, and fire the teacher that's using her Freedom of Speech.
  • by ? Location: NJ on Nov 11, 2008 at 11:52 AM
    I guess you guys would rather have teachers having intimate relationships with their students rather than a woman who gave her own opinion at the wrong time. If that's the case then yes, she deserves to be fired. Get over yourselves people, I'm sure none of you are perfect you all have done some type of unethical thing at work. You wouldn't like it if you got fired for expressing your opinions would you? I guess it's the people brainwashed by the Bush Admin because they obviously believe in Freedom of Speech to the certain extinct. But when it comes down to self it should be different. You all are hypocrites. Oh yeah, did you guys hear about the white teacher at a catholic school that told a five year old Obama is muslim so that makes him a terrorist??? Exactly you haven't know why because it wasn't made into a big issue because she wasn't black. So for all of the people saying if she was white she would have been canned. uh-uh the teacher still has her job.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 11, 2008 at 11:35 AM
    All of with the negative comments, take a look at this article and see what the child's parents think about this. http://fayobserver.com/article?id=310020
  • by Dwayne Location: Greenville on Nov 11, 2008 at 07:52 AM
    I was unaware that they were teaching Civics/Politics in the 5th grade. Again, using fear/intimidation tactics on a child borders on criminal behavior. That child is more concerned about recess and a good peanut butter sandwich. There is alot of reverse discrimination that goes unchecked. The teacher should be held accountable, but with the teacher shortage it is not going to happen. I'm sure she is aware of this.
  • by Ted Location: Greenville on Nov 11, 2008 at 07:40 AM
    In my humble opinion schools and teachers should stick to teaching facts and leave there personal opinions at home. That said, I've seen the video, heard explanations from the Teacher, the student and her father, personally I think this is being made into a bigger issue than it really is. The biggest problem I have is when she told the student that according to McCain her daddy would have to stay in the military for another hundred years when in fact it was Obama who said we would stay in Iraq for another one hundred years if that's what it took to get the job done.
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