Denver Direct: November 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

ORWELLIAN HISTORY by Phil Goodstein – December 2014 Naysayer

Columbine High School was in the news during the 1994–95 school year. Al Wilder, a veteran teacher, sought to give students a view outside of the system’s artificial and banal boundaries. He so showed his debate class 1900, a powerful movie by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci. It focused about life, growing up, fascism, resistance, friendship, and love. Included was a graphic scene about bought sex.
The result was horror and heresy. The students were receptive to the film. That was the problem. Their elders, led by Jefferson County’s premier lunatics, the school board, screamed with outrage. They made it plain that school was not a place to encourage eager youngsters to explore the world and question everything around them; on the contrary, it was to turn them into mindless zombies who readily accept the worst of the status quo. The Jefferson Public Schools consequently fired Wilder. Virtually nothing was said about his fate and the horrific world administrators gave students when the Columbine High School Massacre erupted at the academy in April 1999.