Comment Of The Day: “Update: This Is The Student’s Controversial Essay Emulating The Satire Of Swift’s ‘A Modest Proposal'”

Grading

The indefatigable Charles Green delivered a tough critique of Connor Poole’s essay fulfilling the requirement of an assignment asking  high school students to emulate the satire in Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” and similarly propose an outrageous solution to a contemporary social problem. There are really two issues here, and Charles only deals with one: I believe Connor’s paper was an excellent attempt at Swiftian satire, especially for a high school student, and this is Charles counterpoint to that position. He does not, as far as I can perceive, try to justify the school, North County High School, turning the essay into a controversy and Connor into a pariah.

Good. That, which is the primary ethics issue, is beyond rational dispute. What the school and community are doing to Connor is the equivalent of ordering a kid to juggle flaming torches, and then attacking him when something gets scorched.

Here is Charles’ Comment of the Day on the post, Update: This Is The Student’s Controversial Essay Emulating The Satire Of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”.

I’ll be back at the end.

Here is what I think Poole’s teacher should have written to him in response to his essay:

Connor, I’m giving you a grade of C+ on this paper. Here’s why.

Continue reading

Update: This Is The Student’s Controversial Essay Emulating The Satire Of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”

Now THIS, arguably, is taking satire too far...

Now THIS, arguably, is taking satire too far…

Here, thanks to some links provided to Ethics Alarms by students at North County High School, is the essay that was written in response to a teacher’s directive to write a satirical solution to a current societal problem in the style and spirit of  Jonathan Swift’s famous essay advocating the conversion of excess Irish children to foodstuffs.

Student’s name: Connor Poole

Verdict: Pure satire, bold and for a writer so young, brilliantly executed.

Grade: A+

Here is the paper that  prompted administrators to try to turn Connor into a pariah, so precisely delivering what was assigned that it has exposed mass incompetence and cowardice at North County High School:

Modest proposal

Wow. Continue reading

Why Public Schools Are Too Incompetent To Be Trusted To Teach: The Swift Assignment

Now, if those children were black, this would really be offensive...

Now, if those children were black, this would really be offensive. Luckily, they are Irish…

My head hasn’t exploded over this one yet, but I am in extreme pain.

A teacher at North County High School in Maryland assigned her students to write essays that would embody a contemporary  satirical solution to a societal problem, emulating satirist Jonathan Swift’s famous 18th century essay, “A Modest Proposal,” in which the author  proposed, tongue firmly in cheek, that poor Irish folk sell their children as food, thus solving both a population glut and a food shortage.

One student fully embraced the spirit of Swift by suggesting that America should consider deporting African-Americans to the Sahara Desert to address U.S. racism.

A perfect execution of the assignment, wouldn’t you say? The “proposal” is outrageous and offensive; it would indeed address the problem, and, as with some in Swift’s time, literal-minded reflex hysterics won’t understand that the suggestion is satire! Give that student an A!

Or, in the alternative, make him a pariah who wishes he was dead, and may be at risk to be so soon. For other students were offended and complained, and instead of using the incident as a lesson in political satire, the school system turned on the student who had done exactly what was assigned, and sided with the Political Correctness Mob, with Bob Mosier, speaking for Anne Arundel County Schools saying,

“The student chose a subject matter that was clearly insensitive and struck a nerve with students here and staff members here. And so, they have been meetings today where the staff has tried to allow students to express their opinions and say why they’re hurt, why they’re angered.

Oh, he chose a subject matter that was insensitive, unlike, say, selling and eating children, it that the school’s official position? Continue reading