Inherit the Wind
How we cite our quotes:
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?
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?
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.