Thursday, November 4, 2010

4 - statusq Does Not Stand Up for Freedom of Speech

Get a call from one of the school owners. Want me to come down to the head office. To talk about something. No explanation why.

This kinda makes me nervous. I meet up w/ the owner. He eventually discloses that an unidentified parent sent him word that a said Mr Wang was reportedly talking about Tibet in class.

Which i was.

Canadian Eng textbook: "Research an incident where a minority group in Canada was discriminated against."

So they did. Replaced "Canada" with "China" in an effort to stay relevant. Possible topics: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Falun Gong, and Tibet.

And apparently (after all presentations were a fait accompli), some anonymous parent contacted the school.

The owner was notably shaken. I felt bad for him. i agreed in fact that i could have paid more sensitivity to the country i'm residing in, and agreed to drop said topics in the future. (insert frowny face).

Next day, i informed 2 students that they will no longer be researching the Dalai Lama or Liu Xiaobo for the Heroes project. "Why? It's ok, we don't mind." "Sorry, it's not my decision. But if yr interested you should learn about it on yr own time." i had given students a bit of advice about hopping the China Firewall.

Staff members were surprised to hear my news, since they all expected Craig to get the call. He's the guy who had every single gr 12 student researching Liu Xiaobo and China viewpoints, and rating him as a patriot or not.

His take is that for Social Studies, he would take the complaint to the BC Ministry of Education, believing that nothing less than Freedom of Speech is at stake.

i take his point, and he concurs that my position and situation is not worth "the good fight" per say...

But if he is asked to self-censor, i'm sure the fall out will be interesting indeed.

1 comment:

Shiraz said...

that's some serious action status q. sweetness and god bless you 100x.

slow and steady i like the way you're influencing. eventually on your way out, if you don't plan to return, kick it up a notch. don't ya say? the respectful rebellion, that's how china needs it ain't it?

much love, and btw, thanks awesome sauce for the post card which i've so been meaning to write back some deep friendship bro-loving way back action for like, since i got it.

ashland is kicking butt. but my wife is trying to sleep beside me with my ratatat key typing.

much respect, keep them blogs going, writer.