Westborough Teacher Resigns Following Eminem Video Complaints
WWW.STREETGANGS.COM STAFF WRITER
June 22, 2011
Sarah Jordan, teacher of a middle school media class, came under suspension and criminal investigation last week for showing Eminem’s “Superman” video to her seventh-grade students. Rather than prolong the investigation at Gibbons Middle School, she has decided to resign.
The class was to promote critical thinking by analyzing media already easily accessible to her students. The video was selected through a poll of student suggestions on what they would like to analyze. Initially Jordan said she wanted to throw out the submission because of its controversial sexual imagery “but there was a strong chorus from a group in my second-period class” that “in our society, sex is bad, but violence is OK.” She felt it was important to address the discrepancy and made sure that the version shown in the classroom was edited to be less graphic. The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reported that she allowed her students to “react freely,” including letting them step outside the room when they had seen enough and stopped the film when 3 students had joined her outside the door.
What struck a heavy blow to her confidence was that a parent had not contacted her first to ask the purpose of showing the video and instead immediately complained to the police, who have since said they would not pursue criminal charges. Jordan expressed gratitude at the support she has received from the teacher’s union members and is considering teaching a higher age group in the future.