Friday, June 19, 2015
The curious case of Devan Solanki
This local-ish news story got my interest, from northern New Jersey, Lodi, a town I've been to: School wouldn't #LetDevanSpeak, now valedictorian can't walk at graduation.
The media seem to cheer for young Mr. Solanki; it makes a good story. I wasn't there. He may well be arrogant and rude; the school, like real life, has authority. The universe is hierarchical. (Yes, patriarchy. God is a father, for example.) In other words, of course I'm not saying it's OK to sass a teacher in principle. (You'd have been bumped as valedictorian in 1960, probably rightly so.) Still, as a conservative, in this story I see more of the same modern nonsense from teachers, suspending kids for drawing guns, etc. Teaching these days is a very liberal profession. I forget where I read it and the particulars, but there's a kind of bullying mastered by people raised in self-righteous, "nonviolent" households such as whites in or aspiring to a certain class on up, the PBS-watching, NPR-listening culture of teachers. (Update: probably passive aggression, goading the other guy to make him make the first threat or throw the first punch. Like we did to Japan at the beginning of World War II.) This school's treatment of Devan reminds me of that. "That's a threat! You're suspended." Right, an ethnic Indian with a 4.3+ GPA is going to get violent. It's pettiness: these adults just plain don't like this kid. "Made him undergo a psychiatric evaluation." How Soviet, but that's not surprising from these people. You know they want to do this to any conservative Christians who use their schools out of necessity. Back when American Catholics had the nerve, they said no to such do-gooder Protestants by setting up their own schools (by the way, famous for not taking backtalk from their charges, actually not much different in that from public schools of that time), now watered down with government funding and Vatican II. The speech, as he's representing it, is innocuous. Another theory: education majors tend not to be the brightest ("those who can, do; those who can't..."); these teachers may well fear a kid smarter than they.
The universe is hierarchical but a great thing about earning adulthood in a free society is being able to tell off such petty tyrants. "I'm your age or older, First Name, and the money the government taxes from me pays you, so back off." P.S. Never apologize to such people. Our Christian culture conditions us to, but don't. It's like shark chum to them.