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Fuss Over Cartoon in School Social Studies Class

A nearly ten year old David Horsey cartoon about Republicans refusing
to acknowledge global warming is causing a bit of a ruckus in Connecticut.

TOLLAND — A political cartoon used in one of the questions on a seventh-grade social studies reading comprehension test at Tolland Middle School is at the center of a controversy on politics being inserted into the classroom.

The students in the class were then asked questions involving the interpretation of the cartoon, in which one of the correct answers was Republicans not believing global warming is real.

A parent brought the matter to the Town Council who asked school leaders to look into the matter.

“Politics shouldn’t be injected in class,” Town Councilman Lou Luba, a Republican running for re-election, said this week.

Town Council Vice Chairman Steven Jones, a Democrat who is running for re-election, said, “I think anything that is kind of political will be especially sensitive now, especially in this political climate that is upset and hostile.”

School leadership defended the use of the cartoon.

Superintendent Walter Willett defended the use of political cartoons in social studies classes, however.

“By their nature, political cartoons are hyperbolic,” he said, adding, “social studies classes analyze visual depictions of information.”

Willett also said the school encourages this kind of analysis so students can hone critical thinking skills, and do not immediately assume that the visual information they see is true.

The Journal Inquirer reports on the still unresolved issue.

Community Comments

#1 Mary Ella
October/29/2021
@ 12:25 pm

Oh, for the love of tiny puppies— I remember having the “what is the editorial cartoon saying?” assignment back when I was in *fifth* grade—it’s a pretty standard social studies activity, I thought. (The ones on my classroom we’re all about Bush vs Dukakis, at the risk of dating myself.).

Shoot, the thin-skinned wusses throwing a fit over this cartoon probably had a similar assignment when they were kids. When can we go back to functioning without all this performative fake outrage malarkey?

#2 Ignatz
October/30/2021
@ 6:44 am

And they call other people “snowflakes.”

When I was 10, we had a fake “election” to see if the kids wanted Nixon, Humphrey, or Wallace (yes, Wallace).

The idea that 12-year-olds have to be shielded from politics is insane.

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