In latest news, a teacher in Texas saw a student showing off his Linux LiveCD in action. She was so angry that she not only confiscated his CD but wrote an angry letter to the founder of HeliOS, Ken Starks.
Her letter reads as follows:
Upon looking at his computer, I saw he was giving a demonstration of some sort. The student was showing the ability of the laptop and handing out Linux disks. After confiscating the disks I called a confrence with the student and that is how I came to discover you and your organization. Mr. Starks, I am sure you strongly believe in what you are doing but I cannot either support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom. At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful. These children look up to adults for guidance and discipline. I will research this as time allows and I want to assure you, if you are doing anything illegal, I will pursue charges as the law allows. Mr. Starks, I along with many others tried Linux during college and I assure you, the claims you make are grossly over-stated and hinge on falsehoods. I admire your attempts in getting computers in the hands of disadvantaged people but putting linux on these machines is holding our kids back.
Ms. Teacher, first of all, conference is spelt as “conference” and not “confrence”.
Next, how do you assume that no software is free? Are you so uninformed or did just get out of your cave this morning? If you had a problem with Linux during college (which college? I’m dying to know!!) you can’t dump the results of your unsucessful attempts on kids who are eager to learn a new operating system that is far superior to Windows. Kids who want to learn how to use Linux should be allowed to do so and not restricted to the OS shoved down on their throats as the “standard OS”. You are holding the kids back, not poor Ken Starks’ flavour of Linux.
The teacher goes on to say this:
This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all. I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them…”
xxxxxxxxx Middle School
Very interesting! I’m sure Microsoft is keeping NEA happy. I’ve heard of other teachers who have tried to get Linux installed in their school computers so the kids can learn something other than Windows, and all these teachers have had stiff opposition. Some were told to keep it down or they’d lose their jobs.
Teachers like Karen should be made to attend a lesson in OS tolerance. If they think Microsoft is king because that’s what they were told or because they couldn’t handle Linux, its their problem. I’ve seen 11-year old kids use Linux with ease. Maybe the teacher wasn’t smart enough, maybe she didn’t have the patience, maybe she just couldn’t handle something as hot as Linux. But she’s very wrong to impose her monopolistic beliefs on her students. Its beyond her scope if she doesn’t understand the benefits of something she hasn’t used properly.
Labelling Linux with the wrong tags and forcing kids to grow up on some proprietary software with no scope of imagination or creative thinking is yet another reason for the dumbing down of the school system in America.