Investigation into teacher's YouTube political lesson

November 10, 2008 2:31:54 PM PST
A teacher who blasted a child's choice of John McCain for president in her classroom has sparked controversy across the country.The teacher, Diatha Harris, was not at Mary MacArthur Elementary School Monday. Her principal says she took the day off.

Eyewitness News has learned Superintendent Bill Harrison was shocked by the video and has launched an outside investigation to help him determine what to do about the incident.

The comments were made in a part of a Swedish documentary. Harris is a Barack Obama supporter.

In a response posted on YouTube and the school's website, Harrison says a neutral discussion of the political process is appropriate in class, but teachers should not infuse their own political thoughts into that discussion.

"I was particularly uncomfortable with the level of uneasiness felt by our students depicted in this video," Harrison said.

In the video, (click here to watch), fifth grader Cathy Thompson bites her lip and is just about in tears when Harris suggested her father, who was stationed in Iraq at the time, could be there for a hundred years if McCain became president.

Thompson's mother and father say despite all the commotion surrounding the video, they still support Harris.

"She is voicing her opinions to who she supports and who she does not support," Cathy's mother Angela Moore said. "And Cathy does not support that either, But I don't think that she's necessarily beating her opinion on to the students."

Sources close to the incident tell Eyewitness News the investigation should be completed by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Harris says she has washed her hands of the incident and she has an attorney.


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