The headline reads “Rhett Felix, Illinois Teacher, Suspended For Showing Jon Stewart'Daily Show'Clips In Class.” Yes, you read it correctly, a school district in the great state of Illinois has actually suspended a teacher for showing clips of a comedy show to a bunch of sophomores in high school.Parents of some of the students in the class expressed their concerns about the content of the clips, which apparently included obscenities, sexual content and a liberal bias.
While showing The Daily Show in a political science class can hardly be justified as a learning tool, the outrage about its content is laughable. What's more, the assertion that these clips had more of an effect on the students than any other film shown in class is absurd.
Sure, I could understand if it was a couple of George Carlin sketches, but this is The Daily Show we are talking about. My grandmother watches The Daily Show. Any real obscenities are censored by Uncle Sam.
Also, you have to consider that these are sophomores in high school we are talking about. Try to think all the way back to when you were a sophomore in high school. Compile a list of the most common words you heard out of your peers.
I am willing to bet many of those words were a lot harsher than those you might hear even on an uncensored episode of The Daily Show and occurred with a much higher frequency. As for the issue of sexual innuendo, I will refer you to the same list you just compiled.
My point is that high school students already know all eight of the words you are not allowed to say on television and have made so many “that’s what she said” jokes that they can make just about any sentence into a double entendre.
The Daily Show clearly has a liberal bias. I will give the disgruntled parents that. However, if their offspring have even two brain cells to rub together (which is debatable, given the reactions of their parents and the fact that said children told them in the first place), they can smell the political orientation of their political science teachers a mile away.
It is nearly impossible to report political events and history without letting one’s own political affiliation affect how those events are re-told. That is what The Daily Show is making fun of. My guess is that even more political science teachers show clips from MSNBC and Fox News, which feature their own obvious biases.
If these parents want their children to grow up without any conflicting information given to them, even in an educational setting, they are breeding the next generation of ignorant fools. If they want their children to grow up without ever hearing a dirty joke, we can expect America to remain a prudish state.
While it may well have been a poor decision for this teacher to show The Daily Show in class, the reaction of a few parents and the overreaction of the school district is a glimpse of what is wrong with American politics and education.