“Insubordinate teacher reprimanded” wouldn’t get readers, or how news cheats with facts.

In what can only be counted as a P.R. “win” for vegans, this story:

An art teacher removed from the classroom for encouraging pupils not to eat meat vowed Monday not to return to Fox River Grove Middle School until it eliminates milk and all other animal products from the lunch menu.

I heard about this when it first appeared last week. My opinion was and is that the story is about insubordination, not veganism. But that wouldn’t sell. Remember Nina Planck?

As much as I agree with his message (and it isn’t 100% agreement, as you’ll see in a moment) and what I’m sure are good intentions, turning this into a debate on food choices will ultimately hurt vegans by making us look irrational and weird. For example:

Dave Warwak, 44, also said he plans to ask the McHenry County state’s attorney to file child-endangerment charges against the school district because the school continues to promote milk and other animal products as part of a healthy diet.

With friends like these…

In other clichéd “vegans are weird” news, most freegans are vegans. Most vegans are not freegans.

(First story via FARK. Second story via Hit & Run.)

2 thoughts on ““Insubordinate teacher reprimanded” wouldn’t get readers, or how news cheats with facts.”

  1. School refuses to surrender transcripts prior to hearing
    Date: 10/17/2007
    Author: K. West
    Source: http://inslide.com
    Fox River Grove, IL: School District 3 officials have denied Dave Warwak’s appeal for transcripts.
    Recently fired for telling his students to keep veganism a secret, Warwak claims to have never said the word secret. “I said the exact opposite. The last thing I want is for veganism to be a secret”.
    Warwak is asking for time to review transcripts so he may prepare his defense. At particular issue with Warwak are records from the Sept. 24 closed-door meeting in which he was terminated.
    District attorney, Robert Riley feels surrendering transcripts from past meetings is an issue for the hearing officer to address on the day of the hearing.
    School officials and Warwak did manage to get together on one item of contention. Through a process of elimination, they agreed to allow Edward L. Suntrup PhD to hear the controversial case. Suntrup, known for his unwavering neutrality, was selected from a list of five potential hearing officers provided by the Illinois State Board of Education.
    A tenured teacher of 10 years, Warwak has been at odds with his school over their lunch program since April.
    The hearing is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 19th.

  2. It appears that you are involved with the site you link, so I’ll leave the full text here. However, just posting an article isn’t really a debate. I see nothing in this article, or the other articles, to suggest that my interpretation is wrong.
    The facts I have continue to suggest this is about insubordination, not veganism. Milk is bad for anyone, I agree. And the facts demonstrate this. But if people aren’t willing to accept them, the proper course is patience and persistence. Demanding child endangerment charges is ridiculous, making all of us look like extremists. It’s not helping.

Comments are closed.