In the essay, "Teaching Tolerance in America," Dudley E. Devlin voices his opinions both regarding to, and how to rid school systems of; racial, gender, and social diversity. Loaded with over exaggerations and generalizations, Devlin accomplishes an essay "provoking response" through his ironic tone. If this essay was in fact directed towards persuading his audience to adopt his solutions, he does not accomplish it well.
Near the beginning of the essay, Devlin states that one of the forces that threaten schools is "reduced funding". While he views this problem as something that can "tear" high schools apart, Devlin proposes later in the essay to get "more video cameras, drug sniffing dogs, and spot checks of cars and lockers". How can one complain about funding scarcities, and then feel the school needs to spend even more money? Devlin ads to his ironic tone by quoting Governor Jesse Ventura, "every school needs to have teachers with paramilitary and anti-riot training." Not only would this suck the money out from under the school by having to pay for such training, but being able to have every teacher trained in such way, is just over exaggeration on the author's part.
Devlins second proposition also causes conflict in an ironic way, "schools need to make single-sex classes a standard practice". By expecting children to only do well in single-sex environments, what is going to happen to them when they graduate and live in the real world, a coed environment? With the theme of teaching tolerance, how does one accomplish tolerance by just separating those that are different? Not very thought out, (or was it?) Devlin accomplishes what he wanted to, to be ironic. Another irony presented includes Devlin's statement that in order to solve the school's problems "we need to eliminate those spineless liberal solutions". While most working for the school districts tend to be liberal, Devlin opened his essay up to much controversy.
By contradicting himself and...
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