The quote from Dr. Suess’ Yertle the Turtle deemed too political for Canadian tots:
[typography font="Droid Serif" size="22" size_format="px" color="#660000"]“I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights”[/typography]
A Prince Rupert elementary teacher has been told a quote from Dr. Seuss’s Yertle the Turtle is a political statement that should not be displayed or worn on clothing in her classroom.
The teacher included the quote in material she brought to a meeting with management after she received a notice relating to union material visible in her car on school property.
The advice is in keeping with a 2011 arbitrator’s decision that found political materials must be kept out of B.C. classrooms, said Dave Stigant, who is acting director of instruction for the Prince Rupert School District and who met with the teacher to discuss what would and wouldn’t run afoul of district standards.
And while he conceded Tuesday that it might seem absurd to spend time reviewing quotes from, among others, Dr. Seuss and former Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker, Mr. Stigant said the review is necessary to protect students from an often-bitter dispute.
The quote in question – “I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights” – comes from Yertle the Turtle, the tale of a turtle who climbs on the backs of other turtles to get a better view.
“I responded that in the context, it was borderline,” Mr. Stigant said. “Contextually, it was political – but it was grey and I would prefer it didn’t appear and I believe she agreed.”
Yertle’s quest for a higher vantage point ends when the turtle at the bottom of the stack – who’s pleaded, “I’ve pain in my back, my shoulders and knees – how long must we stand here, your majesty please” – burps, sending Yertle hurtling to the mud.
Mr. Stigant said he didn’t know the source of the quote when he met with the teacher. On Monday afternoon, Joanna Larson, president of the BCTF local in Prince Rupert, noted on Twitter that “teachers could be disciplined for displaying a Dr. Seuss quote.”
Seriously? Political correctness has spread far enough that DR SUESS is BANNED in Canada?
On the basis of “Contextually, it was political” they could probably ban every book ever printed!