Political bias in academia

Pat Toal ’20

Whether it be teachers structuring their class around their beliefs or just pushing their agendas, I have experienced political bias in most classes at Haverford. As a student who is more right of center politically, this has bothered me. My mother would emphasize the same thing every time I came home venting about a certain teacher pushing his or her ideals on us, or preaching certain things in class that I disagree with. 

     “Pat, bite your tongue and do not say a word. You need them to like you. Just agree with what they say, do your work, and get the grade you need.” 

     Over the course of the last three years, I adopted a pattern to sharing my beliefs in class. During the first few weeks I would find out where my teacher leaned, and I’d cater to that. I would make statements that would ensure my liking with the teacher, and hide my core views.

     “Trump’s an idiot. He should be impeached.”

     I’ve learned to enjoy the class atmosphere offered by math, science, and Spanish courses, because they contain few political discussions. I’ve always considered myself an English and history student based on my strengths and interests, but as my high school career continues, I’ve lost interest in these courses simply because of my teachers’ political agenda. English used to be about verbs, nouns, and prepositions. Now it’s reading a book about why every attribute I possess gives me some invisible privilege in life. I just lost my passion. 

     Last year I put on a mask every day. When I walked into English class, I left everything I believed in at the door. I became someone I am not because I knew I had to. 

     Life is all about doing whatever it takes to get by, and for me, pretending to believe in certain values was what I had to do. Every short story, every small reading, almost every book had to do with either race, gender, and sex. I’d laugh in my head thinking,

     “Here we go again.”

     There is nothing wrong with educating students on historical events that relate to the subject, but when teachers do it on a daily basis, the guilt becomes overwhelming. 

     The social concern America faces is the liberal bias in academia across the entire nation in colleges, and in this case, high school. Schools like Haverford hire certain speakers for assemblies, and their topic of discussion usually has something to do with race, gender, and politics. These speakers and professors are consistently left-leaning and talk to us with this odd sense of confidence, as if what they are saying can’t be questioned. 

      One of Haverford’s mottos is “Preparing Boys for Life.” When I hear this, I think of two different things. One, the lessons you learn and the relationships you form at Haverford will benefit you in the future. The other, how the biased teaching style at Haverford will prepare me for college.

Author: Patrick Toal '20

Pat Toal '20 is a student in the Journalism seminar. He is interested in sports and politics. His favorite subjects are English and history. He will be playing Division-I baseball at La Salle University next year.