Should Political Beliefs Impact Being Able To Teach?

The disclosure of over 12,000 names of people who are members of the right wing, British National Party(BNP) raised questions as to wether teachers belonging to the organization should be allowed to teach. The list included names of 15 teachers, four nurses and members of the armed forces. Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASWUT teacher’s union, bluntly stated: “those who declare their affiliation to the BNP should not be allowed to work in the teaching profession or in public services.” The Department for Children, Schools and Families said thee was no ban on BNP supporters working in schools, but they could be disciplined or fired if their expressed racist views in the classroom.

During the 1950s, anti-Communist hysteria resulted in many teachers who had been members of the Communist Party in America to be fired. Once members of any legal political party are fired for membership, one is on the slippery slope of giving government the right to decide who can or can not teach because of personal political views. The only criteria if whether or not an individual expresses racist views in class or makes derogatory statements about children. They have a right to be a nudist, Communist, atheist or Nazi in their personal lives. People should be judged on actions, not beliefs.