"I attended and watched part of the conversation with Ritz, Tully, Kloth and others referenced here but was not in any way a participant. This seems to suggest I was one of the panelists and made comments about arts education. I didn't."
By now, most teachers in Indiana know that Mike Pence’s wife Karen is a former art teacher in the public schools. But living in the Strict Father world* dictated by her husband, Pence’s wife hasn’t publicly spoken about the corporatization of Indiana education (which is merely another example of abuse against women—in this case, teachers—and children) and has remained silent about how school privatization and tax slashing (which her husband is calling for more of) detrimentally affect school art in the Hoosier state.
*A while back, I wrote about the “strict-father” and how it applies to corporate-theocratic education reform. If one applies cognitive and political linguist George Lakoff’s “Strict Father” model to the white males calling the shots on Indiana education (and across the country for that matter) it’s obvious they see themselves as the be-all and end-all authorities on how teachers and students should be whipped into shape. The strict-father, in layman terms, means the woman is subservient to the male in the household. She is kept barefooted, pregnant, and in the kitchen. Their worldview is anti-women, anti-children, and pathologically corporate.
As strict father types, Pence, like Daniels and Bennett before him, assumes that men must put female teachers (which make up 70% of Indiana teachers), like women in general, in their place. According to strict fathers, women teach because they can’t do; men do real work (like gamble in the stock market, lead the Chamber of Commerce, or kickbox each other to death), while their wives are left to babysit the kids with their McGraw-Hill textbooks. If men do enter the teaching profession, the strict father deems it best they come from the corporate world and become superintendents and principals who shove slave labor onto female teachers. Pence’s treatment of Glenda Ritz is a perfect example of the Strict Father model at work.
**A big thank you to art therapist Christy Pence Ellis, who snailmailed me several books on this topic and who prizes the psychological well-being and safety of her students each and every day.