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Quotes

Quote #1

MEEKER. […] Seems kinda queer havin' a schoolteacher in our jail. (Shrugs) Might improve the writin' on the walls. (I, I, 92-94)

The bailiff's comment reminds us of the position a schoolteacher is supposed to have in a community: teachers are supposed to be respectable, law-abiding, and good at grammar and spelling. How does Bert live up to, or not live up to, these stereotypes? Do you think teachers are still widely respected today?

Quote #2

BRADY. I'm sure you teach according to the precepts of the Lord.

RACHEL. I try. My pupils are only second-graders. (I, I, 534-35)

Both Brady and Rachel believe in bringing religion right into the classroom, even in public schools. But what about the separation between church and state?

Quote #3

RACHEL. You make it sound as if Bert is a hero. I'd like to think that, but I can't. A schoolteacher is a public servant: I think he should do what the law and the school-board want him to. If the superintendent says, "Miss Brown, you're to teach from Whitley's Second Reader," I don't feel I have to give him an argument. (I, I, 756-61)

Where do you think that the rules for what is taught in schools should come from? Students? Teachers? Administrators? Politicians? This is a thorny issue, Shmoopers.

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