Tuesday, April 08, 2008

History Lesion

I understand the reason for the buzz and the outrage over this story about a schoolgirl who says she was roughed up and harassed for a poster she made against illegal immigration. And it extends to the school's shabby handling of her situation.

But why was she making a protest poster in the first place? "It was an assignment."

It was an assignment for history class--to make a protest sign for or against an issue, and Melanie said she chose illegal immigration. Her sign read, "If you love our nation, stop illegal immigration." Somehow, Melanie said the sign got passed around lunch and angered a group of Latino students.

That's what passes for history homework nowadays. More like make-work. A random assignment just to give the teacher something to grade. I've seen the same thing in my son's high school.

Of course, she got a real history lesson out of it. But I suspect it was unintended.

UPDATE: The other part of the story, the alleged attack, now appears to be in doubt. The pointless history assignment, however, does not. Yet perhaps the unintended lesson in the history of protest movements is growing deeper here by the day.