Schwarzenegger: negative influence on young kids?

As a fourth-grade teacher, I am supposed to teach my students about California history and politics. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to approach the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a way that would be appropriate for my students.
In the last couple of years, sexual harassment has become a serious problem in my classes. There are nine-year-old boys who bother, follow, threaten, touch and kiss nine-year-old girls, and sometimes girls do it to boys too. I don’t know why this is becoming so prevalent, but it makes me cringe to even think of mentioning Schwarzenegger’s name in my class.
Of course I could try to “sanitize” the story of this latest election, but there are guaranteed to be many students who have heard all the gory details on the TV news – in fact, if they remember anything at all from the news, it will probably be that. I hate the idea of sheltering my students from the truth, but I am very much afraid that some students will get the message that if they touch someone uninvited, the worst punishment that could happen to them would be being elected governor of California.
I do not know how to teach this lesson. I refuse to teach this lesson.

Where have I heard this before? It was quite a few years back. Some president, I don’t know.

Use it as a lesson. Charges of sexual impropriety might not have prevented Clinton from being elected president (twice!), but they certainly dogged him his entire administration. I don’t know how history will judge his achievements as a president, but I feel quite sure that his inability to keep his pants zipped will be well remembered.

Arnold potentially faces the same problem. These charges may not have prevented him from being elected governor, but they have to potential to keep him on the defensive for years to come, and prevent him from achieving anything.

So the lesson is: you may think you’re getting away with it, but it’ll come back to bite you.

I might be crazy, but except threats and actual physical assult*, isn’t this more or less normal behavior for nine-year olds? I remember following Natilie around the playground in forth grade and a girl named Rhonda punched me in the arm once. (She kinda liked me, I figure)

Switch to “PC-Lite”.

Oops! Forgot to clarify the asterick.

  • For assult, I’m talking about physical injury, beatings or penetration and not necessarily the “legal” defination.

As long as I have to post again to correct my incompetance, I’ll add more:

Discuss Arnie the same way you would discuss Clinton or Kennedy or Ty Cobb. Seperate the man from the office or the achievments. If you could only teach or talk about perfect people, your history lesson would consist soley of a detailed analysis of the Truman presidency. Except maybe that bomb thingy.

She told me she loved me like a brother. She was from Arkansas, hence the Joy!

Uh, no, it’s not considered normal, nor is it acceptable.

It is not normal or acceptable for a boy to threaten to touch girls’ private parts.

It is not normal or acceptable for a boy to forcibly kiss a girl on the mouth. (No, she did not like him and he was not invited.)

It is not normal or acceptable for a boy to freak a girl out by following her home from school every day.

It is not normal or acceptable for a little girl to pass a note to a little boy asking him if he wants to have sex. (Nine-year-olds!)

It is not normal or acceptable for a different little boy to pass a note to a different little girl saying, “I’m going to put my dick all the way up your pussy.”

(Of course, that last particular incident was years ago, but at the time it was shockingly rare. Now it is shocking but not so rare anymore. There has been a steep increase in things of this nature, I’d say in the last three years.)

If I see any goddamn kid doing any of those things, they are suspended at the very least. Just like I would have suspended your little butt if I’d seen you doing the same things when you were a kid.

That’s not PC or PC-lite. That’s me doing my job.

And that’s just the stuff I know about. I still get parents complaining that I’m not “protecting” their children; invariably it turns out that their kids never told me they were having problems. But it’s still somehow my fault, because it happened in my class and I’m supposed to notice everything, even when I’m at lunch.

I really shudder to think of what you consider “normal”. Your “boys will be boys” attitude reminds me of parents who shrug off or deny their kids’ aggressive behavior. That’s how kids grow up to be criminals. Or governors. ;

If Arnold ever visits my school, I’m not inviting him in my classroom and I’m not shaking his hand. It’s not so much that I don’t know where that hand has been; it’s more like, I’m pissed because he left me a hell of a problem with explaining courtesy and respect to my students.

I’m usually not one to complain about violence in movies damaging society (though I hate violent movies in general), but I think the idea of Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about teaching kids not to be violent is pretty rich.

tclouie, what is the consequence of some of these actions which you’ve described? Are the boys suspended? Expelled? Arrested? At the school where my wife works these kids would probably be expelled at the minimum, and from what she tells me this stuff and other scary stuff (weapons and drugs) happen quite a bit. Her school runs from K-7.

** tclouie** as a teacher you should know that in this country you are innocent until provent guilty. Arnold is just as guilty at sexual harassment as you are. Thats what you should explain to your kids.

My school is K-5, in a relatively rough area of South Central L.A., and I hardly ever hear of anybody getting expelled. Sometimes there is what is called an “opportunity transfer”: the kid gets sent to a school where he doesn’t know anybody and, presumably, will not have his usual “homies” reinforcing his bad habits. Arrests or expulsions would be more likely to happen for things like bringing a gun or drugs to school, but despite the post-Columbine attitude of “threats are no laughing matter” (posted on walls all around the school), threats and “touching” are not likely to incur even a suspension. There are some administrators who take that stuff seriously enough to investigate the most egregious incidents and suspend a student for one day, but in general the perception among teachers is that Administration does not back us up on discipline. Their main response is to tell us to call the parents and set up a parent-teacher conference. In fact, most would even say that the principal is more likely to expel a troublesome teacher than a troublesome student! Fortunately, in L.A. we have a contract provision which allows us to suspend a student from class for up to two days (meaning they have to sit in the office all day and study – more boring than sitting at home suspended). I exercise this right in nearly all cases of physical aggression or sexual battery, and the Administration resents me for it.

alterego: most people would say that it’s extremely likely that O.J. is guilty of murder. Similarly, considering what has come out in the media, from women who did not know each other and did not seek publicity and who told friends about their humiliation years before the recall race, it is extremely likely that Arnold is guilty of sexual battery. Didn’t he himself say “Where there’s smoke, there is fire”?

In either case, I’m worried about kids who watch the news and see an adult doing the same things “bad boys” do and getting elected governor. “Hey, it’s not so bad after all!”

I don’t understand why you are worried. The worst thing you can do to a kid is shield him from life. You can’t protect him from it, he’s in it. By protecting a kid all you are doing is setting him up for failure later . The best thing you can do is teach him the truth, and qualities like integrity, virtue, and honesty.

Also, I have to say, no its not likely that O.J. is guilty of murder. I think the reason we went through that trial is so that we could weight all the evidence and find out the truth. You might like to think he is guilty, but I don’t think you can provide any evidence towards that, otherwise he’d be in jail already.

Also, no its not extremely likely that Arnold is guilty of sexual battery. Same reason.

Hey tclouie whatever happened to the truth? Just use Arnold as a negative example. Adress the issue along the lines of the stupid general public willing to overlook anything in the world including alleged sexual battery charges as long as the candidate is rich, strong and starred in some movie they like.

PS I am a huge Arnold fan myself and I dream of bodybuilding all day and smoking hash and having orgies all night but he is just not the kind of a role model that 9 year olds should have, give em another 8 years or so.

Isn’t there enough history to be taught that you don’t have to worry about what is going on right now? I don’t remember doing any current events in 4th grade…

alterego: I do respect your views on “guilty until proven innocent.” It’s people like you who safeguard our Bill of Rights and keep us free. (And I mean that sincerely.) You would probably be first in line to oppose some of the nuttier ideas that came out of the O.J. trial, like non-unanimous juries, as well as this current Ashcroft madness.

However, I should point out that when D.A.'s make the decision to prosecute, and when judges make decisions about bail and binding over or kicking a case, they are making their decisions based on likelihood of guilt.

(FTR, I do not myself believe that O.J. is guilty. I believe he could be guilty, but nobody will ever know (except him). I even lean a little toward the “innocent” side. However, there was definitely enough evidence to put him on trial. And the outcome of the trial? Just or not, no one can say.)

Similarly, with Arnie, I believe there is definitely enough evidence to prosecute or sue Arnold, IF any of the incidents falls within the Statute of Limitations. And if he is found guilty or liable, he should be removed from office. And then I’ll talk to the class about him the same way I talk about Nixon. Problem solved. :slight_smile:

alterego does have a good point about not sheltering kids, which under normal circumstances I would agree with; and faldureon’s point is good as well. This would be my strategy IF this matter did not strike so close to home!!! I mean, I’m dealing with a situation on a daily basis, people!!! But if I do end up teaching about this, I will probably do what faldureon said. I just hope no administrator busts me for being “biased.”

Rhum Runner, I do remember my teacher discussing current events when I was in elementary school in the 70’s. We talked about school board elections, school bus strikes and Carter’s pardon of draft resisters. And I do have mock elections in my class at least every couple of years, except with this rushed election there wasn’t time.

tclouie i respect and understand your opinion as well, my statements were more oriented to the way i feel the kids should be taught about it, not necessarily how i absolutely feel. Thats the thing though, you have to teach the kids the facts so that when they develop their own judgement, personality and opinions so they are free of mental and societal obstructions.

A more pragmatic view of the OJ trial would be to look at the facts and say, well the court hearing dragged on and on, involved 20 laywers, and he was a rich football star, how many of those jurors honestly never heard of him?

Combined that with the fact that he himself said, (in effect)“without the money to pay for a “dream team” of lawyers, I would not have been acquitted of murder charges.

and that a civil trial deemed him responsible and liable for “compensatory damages to the Goldman family” and “it effectively found Simpson liable for his ex-wife’s death”. (He paid 8.5 million dollars)

Ok so he is probably guilty - but we are talking about what you are telling your kids here. They need to be free to develop their own judgement.

What next, Shakespear speaking out against regicide, patricide, homocide, and suicide?