Do you remember Erica Goldson? She gave a hard hitting valedictorian speech in 2010 to her graduating class at Coxsackie-Athens High School, New York. The speech drew wild applause from students, and scorn from teachers and staff. It earned her considerable publicity, including an interview on Free Talk Live, and a personal call from John Taylor Gatto, the author who inspired her speech.
This week a similar sentiment comes from Jeff Bliss at Duncanville High School, Texas. Jeff Bliss decided he’d had enough with his teacher’s lack-luster attitude and gave her a very frank piece of his mind. Another student caught the Bliss Rant on video with a cell phone and it has gone viral, garnering him similar attention from news media.
The video really speaks for itself. It kind of starts in the middle of the exchange, but such is citizen journalism. I think he gives plenty of context in the rant itself, as in “You gotta take this job serious. This is the future of this nation. And when you come in here like you did last time and make a statement about ‘oh, this is my paycheck,’ indeed it is, but this is my country’s future and my education.”
I personally could do without all the nationalism. I guess we know the schools still teach something effectively. The Duncanville school district reportedly did not punish Bliss but the teacher on paid leave while it conducts an investigation. That’s at least something.
Check out this woman’s desk? She’s essentially built a cubical around herself, completely with a personal microwave and what looks like a mini fridge.
Bliss was interviewed by the local ABC affiliate and said he learned the value of education by dropping out for a year.
What’s especially interesting to me about these two, Bliss and Goldson, is that the occupy opposite ends of the student body bell curve. Goldson was the head of her class, the perfect student, valedictorian, and when she came to the end she looked back was frightened to find she had learned practically nothing. Bliss is from the back of the class, literally from the looks of the video. He dropped out, regretted his decision when he learned how difficult the working world is without an education, and went back to school eager to learn. But he discovered that despite his enthusiasm he was unable to learn in the public school setting.
Maybe this isn’t a fluke.
Goldson’s is the more radical of the two. Bliss said he was standing up for the change he’d like to see in the school system, apparently believing education was actually the goal of public school. In her speech Goldson quoted H. L. Mencken who wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that:
“The aim of public education is not to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. … Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim … is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States.”
Still, Goldson was sharing what she discovered with her class after a long Odyssey educating herself. Bliss was speaking out of passion and frustration at the beginning of his Odyssey. The point is, thanks to viral media, more young people are questioning their instruction and waking up.
Find out where you can see Silver Circle by checking our theater and special screening schedule on our event page.
- Justine Betti catches gym teacher stealing from backpacks on
- 8th grader arrested over pro-gun t-shirt
- Entrapment: Autistic Child Tricked into Pot Deal in School…
- Students wrestle revolver from gunman in “gun-free…
- Student Faces Felony Weapons Charge After Science Experiment