Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Teacher Trash Talk?

Came across this link at Fausta's blog. It supposedly shows Asheville NC teacher Diantha Harris proselytizing for Obama and browbeating a student for supporting McCain. The incident is part of a Swedish documentary, so I can't vouch for it. There is one video portion embedded which shows the "teacher" coyly maintaining the right to different points of view, even as she tells a poor little girl that her father could be in the military for one hundred years. Watch it and see what you think. We can look on the bright side. At least she didn't ask the children to close their eyes and ask, f, oh, Obama for candy.


KGS said...

Hi, I'm the person who initially blogged about the incident in question. I came across it during an evening watching Finnish TV. I blogged on it the following day.

This is actual footage taken from a Swedish documentary that aired on a Swedish langauge TV channel earier this week on Finnish TV.

I took only that small 3 min portion from the 45 min. documentary titled in Swedish "From Clinton to Obama", which showed the exchange of between the teacher and the students.

What is also of interest, is the fact that the woman, Diantha Harris, entertained George HW Bush and his wife Barbara at their home in 1992. That is the reason why her family was included into the documentary which can be viewed in its entirety here: http://svt.se/svt/road/Classic/shared/mediacenter/index.jsp?&

Though it's in Swedish, much of the discourse is in english so you can follow it with no problem, start at 13:00 minutes for the background on her family's story, and 19:00 -22.00 minutes for the portion I uploaded to Youtube.


Anonymous said...

Diatha Harris is not a teacher in Asheville, NC. She has not been for 4 years. And the film's producer misspelled her first name.
That's what I love about bloggers and the “new media.” They are so damn accurate.
Thanks a bunch KGS.

rsnlk said...

Since you did not leave your name, I have no way of knowing the source of your info. Fine, I'm not sure, however, what the implication is here. The documentary was obviously not completed four years ago, as in the nominees were not named. I can only surmise that you meant to communicate that she did not work for the Asheville schools at the time in question. Fair enough. That she worked somewhere is a pretty good bet, unless we are to believe the whole thing was a stage set, something belied by Diatha's CYA job in the interview.

As to your dig at the accuracy of the new media and bloggers. It is in some measure earned. However, such errors merely reflect the laxity that has crept into our culture, exacerbated by the necessity to earn a living, since those who get paid mighty well to inform the public abnegated that responsibility during this whole election season. It is the "new" assortment of media with all of its warts- including the guy blogging in undershorts in the basement- that presented information the American Public should have known. Are there excesses, inaccuracies? You betcha! You'll find them in both old and new these days.

It would, of course, have been better if the name and the venue had been properly documented. What you miss in quibbling about which school system and what spelling is the gist of the documentary excerpt and the post, namely that a teacher was using her position of power in the classroom to point her charges in the direction of her own political leanings. You may take exception to the messenger, but the message would seem to be accurate.

Thank you for the clarification. Thank you, kgs for the intial post.

Anonymous said...

anonymous strives for accuracy but he can't deny the video. And, for accuracy, why does he not tell us where Diatha Harris does work? I'd like to know what school permits this.

Anonymous said...

Mary McArthur Elementary in Fayetteville, NC:


Anonymous said...

She teaches 5th grade in Fayetteville, not Asheville.

Mary McArthur A+ Elementary School

Cumberland County Schools

...Doug from Upland