Am I supposed to teach The Crucible, yet not discuss McCarthy, the Red Scare, religious persecution, or slavery, which is an integral aspect of the play? Can I mention that Miller was blacklisted (a term that needs immediate revision) for refusing to speak in front of the HUAC? Can I even mention the HUAC??
And Gatsby, another book in our school curriculum: Should I ignore the blatant anti-Semitic stereotyping of Meyer Wolfsheim and the derogatory language included, without reference to historical similarities? Do I disregard Tom Buchanan’s raging racist rants and chalk that up to the times, or do I get to explain that this was a prevalent attitude, and still is?
If I am fined $5,000 by the state of Arizona for teaching the truth, they’ll have to put me in jail to get me to pay it, and the state will lose one more of the hundreds and hundreds of teachers who have been leaving the field in the past few years.
Actually, let’s just give all of the students the material to read without any historical references or adult guidance. Apparently, my state is trying to make it clear that, if teachers are not allowed to teach, we are no longer even necessary.