Monday, March 10, 2008

In response to an article in NEA Today about teacher innovation incorporating the dance of "Crank Dat Souljah Boy" in the classroom

Dear NEA---
While I am an advocate for innovative teaching and bringing student interests into the classroom, I also hope that as teachers we put ethical education above entertainment. If you are unfamiliar with this song, I hope that you will take a closer look at the lyrics of "Crank Dat Souljah Boy" and then denounce it as a terrible example for our youth. Even if a teacher uses the dance as a way to reach students and recognizes its catchy beat, its low standards of sexual conduct in a relationship are alarming. I found it ironic that in the same breath (issue), you were attempting to reveal the damaging pervasive examples of female sexuality in our current society ("Lolita in the Classroom") and how our girl students (and boys, really) may be confused about their development in becoming a moral being. I believe that you were also suggesting that teachers can do much to help students along that route. As in the novel Lolita, literature often shows examples of corrupt and morally base individuals, yet the ultimate messages in these texts are virtuous because of the clear difference in an author's judgment and a character's. "Crank Dat Souljah Boy" can hardly fall under that same category.

p.s. NEA Today also put a link to youtube videos made by teachers featuring this dance. Apparently there are a couple hundred videos of teachers doing this dance.
Sarah, a few months ago, actually alerted me to the fact that my own school attempted to have a dress up day for Superman and Souljah Boy in relation to this song. I had never heard the song before that, but its popularity at this point makes me feel sickened at the idea that NEA would be advocating it.

1 comment:

Smiths said...

I really hadn't heard that song, but had seen the "crank dat" pose, not really knowing I was seeing it. When Micah showed me the video and then we watched some of the teacher dances I was shocked! Such an offensive and ignorant song. And teachers? Are they really trying to teach anymore or just entertaining the kids? I'll hand it to you though Souljah Boy, it is catchy.