A video of a California high school teacher surfaced on Jan. 19, in which he speaks in front of his class about the military. In the video, the teacher refers to military members as the “lowest of lows” and “not intellectual people” or “high-level thinkers.”
Although many veterans attending Kennesaw State preferred not to comment on the matter, some felt the need to speak out.
“I am a bit sad that this professor sees the need to bring such language and treatment of a student into a classroom, stifling one child’s freedom of expression and forcing his opinions supreme,” said Ricardo Roldan, a senior history major. “In general, he made very naive comments, and he did not act the way a professional in his field should.”
The army staff sergeant who has served with the 82nd Airborne Division also added that the teacher seems to know nothing about American military history and why it considers itself the best and most premier fighting force in the world.
“Clearly, he has some shame going on with his statement,” Roldan said.
“For what I had to do in the military, I had to be a very high-level thinker. I had to problem solve and troubleshoot on the fly,” said Jeremy Davis, a navy petty officer second class with eight years of service. “Obviously, he’s not very educated on the subject matter he’s speaking on.”
Davis said he eventually wants to become a history teacher and expressed contempt that this may one day be his colleague.
“He says on his Facebook not to worry, he’s fine and respects the right to free speech,” Davis said. “I would just like to ask him, as a history teacher, does he know how that right came to be?”
Brigit Clark, an army sergeant with four years of service and graduate student, added that the teacher’s statements are clearly not based on data and it’s his “off-the-cuff” opinion.
“He really sounds like an aspiring intellectual that desperately wants to be in some sort of exclusive sphere of the elite. Then again, these deep-rooted feelings also sound like they could stem from rejection,” Clark said. “Perhaps he attempted to enter the military and didn’t get a nice shiny ASVAB score.”
On the contrary, Matthew Tarleton, a former marine corporal with four years of service and two combat tours, said he wasn’t phased by the situation.
“I’m not gonna be angry or think about it at all today because some dude said some things,” Tarleton said. “He is entitled to his opinion. However, I don’t believe that a high school classroom was the place for it.”
Tarleton, an anthropology major, said that it’s great that the teacher is exercising his right to freedom of speech, however, during his class, he was tasked to speak about government since that was his teaching material.
All of these veterans agreed that there is a time and place for such opinions to be expressed, but he should have kept his professionalism in the classroom and not expressed his views to children who were just attending his class as a required course.