WSPD Host's Comments Draw Fire From Teachers, School Board, Parents
January 10, 2011 at 5:21 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WSPD-A/TOLEDO afternoon host BRIAN WILSON has the TOLEDO teachers' union and school administrators protesting his comments about the local school system, and a SUNDAY news conference organized by the TOLEDO PARENT CONGRESS and attended by representatives of the TOLEDO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS and TOLEDO PUBLIC SCHOOLS demanded an apology or license revocation for his "derogatory" comments.
The TOLEDO BLADE reports that WILSON's comments criticizing the school system, including the term "little monkeys," were perceived by the protesters as a racial comment, although the full comments draw a distinction between the "monkeys" comment and children. The full comments were, "... (A)s far as solving the problems of education in TOLEDO, you also have to look at the curriculum, which pretty much sucks, dictated by the federal government especially under the No Child Left Behind business, which now has teachers teaching answers to the tests, not concept, not individuality, not entrepreneurialism, not anything like that, of course some of that hasn't been taught for years. But certainly, teaching little monkeys to peel bananas and so on and then doing it correctly on cue, does not mean that they've learned everything except a funny parlor trick. Similarly with children, just because you can teach them the answers to what are the capitals of the 50 States in AMERICA, that's a fun exercise but it doesn't teach them how to think, doesn't teach them how to be objective, doesn't teach them to be entrepreneurs and individuals and things along that order. So the curriculum then becomes an issue and while there are great teachers throughout every school system, there are some losers in TPS and they need to be extracted one way or the other, of course that brings us back around to the teachers' unions."
Board member CHRISTINE VARWIG said, "Not only are his words racist, whether he intended them to be or not, but they are degrading and demoralizing. Mr. WILSON, my child is no trained monkey, sir. My daughter has a mind of her own, is an honor-roll student involved in school activities and clubs and outside activities. [She] volunteers and has a part-time job and is college-bound. I would say she is a productive member of society with a bright future ahead, and she is but one of the students that is receiving a great education in TOLEDO PUBLIC SCHOOLS."