April 19, 2005

Get ready, get set, get naked

An amusing brouhaha at an Illinois high school:

A veteran Oak Forest High School teacher has received a written reprimand for telling students last week they could earn extra credit if they took part in a "Get Naked Day" in his classroom. The comments were an unfortunate, tongue-in-cheek effort by English teacher Bob Burt to get his students interested in an upcoming lesson, Bremen High School District 228 Supt. Richard Mitchell said.

Burt never intended for the students in a senior writing class to get naked but merely wanted them to wear loose-fitting pants and flip-flops as part of a lesson based around the 1989 movie "My Left Foot," Mitchell said. However, he said Burt did not make it clear to the students that his reference to "Get Naked Day" was a joke when he announced it April 6.

At least three boys told their parents that night about Get Naked Day. The parents complained to school officials, saying such sexually suggestive talk had no place in a classroom.

In case you're wondering what getting naked has to do with the movie, "My Left Foot," Burt wanted students to try to write and draw with their feet that day, and needed to have shoes that easily slipped off and pants that easily rolled up. The claim that such an exercise would have any educational value at all sounds pretty dubious to me, as does Burt's alleged past behavior:

Senior Tom McCullagh, one of the students who complained about Burt's remarks, said Burt told the class that "he knows our hormones are raging and we want to see each other naked anyway." Burt also said he would put paper over the windows so no one could see in and that Get Naked Day would be the class' secret, McCullagh said...

Burt has made sexually suggestive comments before in the class, said McCullagh, who acknowledged that he was performing poorly in the course. "Everything we did (in class) basically involved sex or sexual connotations," McCullagh said. "He does it in every class. The 'Get Naked Day' was the final straw."

Posted by kswygert at April 19, 2005 09:35 AM