At Joanne Jacobs I learned about another of these teacher/pupil ruckuses where the teacher would appear to have behaved very stupidly.
17 year old Ahmad Al-Qloushi disagreed with his teacher, Professor Jospeh Woolcock, about America being great. Ahmad Al-Qloushi thinks it is. His teacher, Professor Joseph Woolcock, on the other hand, said to Ahmad Al-Qloushi that he needed therapy for expressing such an obviously bonkers opinion. The story is already bubbling away on the internet and will surely spread. Al-Qloushi has put his version of the story out there, and however much the Professor may curse, he cannot now reverse this. The Professor has filed a grievance, whatever exactly that means, against Al-Qloushi, for putting his, the Professor’s, name out there, but out there it is and out there it will now remain.
Whenever I hear about disagreements like this, I always think to myself: well, maybe the guy is a bit crazy. Maybe, in this case, the essay was a bit bonkers. And maybe Al-Qloushi had said and done other crazy things which he is forgetting about, and this essay was just the final straw in a hayrick of craziness that we are not hearing about. So, I am especially interested that in addition to reading Al’Qloushi’s complaint, we can also read the offending essay. Says Joanne Jacobs:
If the student’s tale is accurate, it’s outrageous. It’s one thing to flunk him – I think the essay is not bad for a 17-year-old immigrant – quite another to treat him like a lunatic because he thinks the Founders were good guys and is grateful America liberated Kuwait from Saddam Hussein.
This guy (IA?), on the other hand, is sceptical about Al-Qloushi. Registration may be needed at the other end of that link, so I quote from this mercurynews.com story at length.
Needed: a grain of salt
“Arab Student Pushed to see Therapist” the headline began. The Foothill College Republicans blasted faxes to reporters this month complaining that a professor had forced a student to see the college therapist merely because the student wrote a pro-American essay.
This, the students fumed, is why the Los Altos Hills campus should adopt an Academic Bill of Rights.
Nationwide, conservatives are pushing the political protection bill, which says that while colleges tolerate different races, sexes and creeds, they only welcome liberal politics.
Ahmad Al-Qloushi seems a poster child for the cause: His political science professor allegedly told him to get psychological help simply because Al-Qloushi wrote a chest-thumping patriotic essay.
But IA was suspicious. Al-Qloushi happens to be president of the Foothill College Republicans – a fact the group’s press materials neglected to mention.
What were the odds of a campaign-perfect case happening to the college Republican president?
“It is a coincidence,” Al-Qloushi said, “but this is the case.”
IA tried to confirm Al-Qloushi’s story – and a subsequent release from the group that said the professor had filed a grievance against Al-Qloushi – but campus officials said they couldn’t discuss confidential professor-student matters.
The professor wouldn’t return calls and e-mails; the therapist simply hung up.
Fair enough. If you criticise someone publicly, you become a target yourself.
My first reaction was that maybe an angry Professorial outburst was being misunderstood, or misinterpreted, as a serious recommendation. But if there is indeed a therapist involved, the Professor presumably meant his recommendation seriously.
And maybe the fact that Al-Qloushi is the college Republican president is all part of what the Professor regards as so crazy about him.
However, I further guess that the combination of a pupil who is also a student politician (and maybe also an aspiring politician period) plus the Internet, faced the Professor with a situation he did not see coming. I guess that this Professor is used to getting away with crap like this, but did not realise that he was dealing with a different sort of pupil to the ones he is used to subjugating. My guess is that this Professor is a lefty who did indeed, despite what the mercurynews.com guy says, do something seriously wrong, but who did not understand that the Internet has changed the rules of these little conflicts.
Maybe he simply underestimated his adversary, regarding him as a confused immigrant without the moxie (as Joanne Jacobs would say) to stand up for himself.
In which case, the Professor is now getting a rapid piece of further education in the subject he is already a Professor of: American government and politics.