by “Holly”: an anonymous Portland-area public high school student
(the student asked that their identify not be revealed for fear of reprisal; “I want to graduate”)
During the last 30 to 20 minutes of class yesterday, my teacher announced the Occupy Portland event.
He began with the introduction of the Koch Brother’s; two oil tycoons living in Texas. The teacher explained, “The average black family makes about $5,000 dollars a year which is about that big in 100 dollar bills.” He then held up his hand, his fingers only a sliver apart. “The average white family creates $80,000 a year which is about this big in 100 dollar bills.” The teacher held his fingers farther apart, showing that the imaginary stack of money was much larger. “The Koch Brother’s make over $50,000,000,000 dollars which if you stacked their money it would be over 26 miles long.” The class immediately looked shocked.
He continued his passionate speech by attacking capitalism, blaming the mess on Wall Street solely on Republicans and Conservatives. The teacher then encouraged the class to go to the Occupy Portland event, taking place at the waterfront. He said as students (whom are all 17 or older, meaning we were all old enough to vote soon) we could change the world. He would give extra credit to those who went to the rally.
The teacher asked us to report any extremists when we go because “you all know Fox News is going to be the first ones there, looking for the one or two extremists who will go to the event.” He then stated that if “any of you show up in a mask and shouting ‘ANARCHY’,” that he would have a problem. If anyone wanted to throw bricks or chairs they needed to be reported because he didn’t want a riot.
He repeated several times that if the students could prove they went to the rally he would gladly give them extra credit. Throughout his whole speech he made quips attacking both Republicans and Conservatives, blaming everything on them. After his speech he excused our class, as class was over for the day.
Update: The student, who is conservative, spoke to the teacher after class and asked if she would also be given extra credit if she attended a Republican or conservative event. Today, the teacher told her that yes, she would.