A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called Not Ever. In the post, I quoted a post from a piano teachers' group. The quote was unattributed. There was no way to know who had said it unless you were already a member of that particular group and had seen the quote. I talked about my visceral reaction to the posted advice, and how much the suggested behavior distressed me.
It upset me. I wrote about it. My blog post was picked up and reposted by the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. My brilliant friend Christa Dahlstrom, creator of the show Flummox and Friends shared it.
Yesterday I was expelled from that piano teachers' group. At first, I admit, I was upset. I want to be liked. I'm the eager-to-please youngest of five children. My father, who died three years ago at age 92, was a dynamic Lutheran pastor. He preached his last sermon on his 90th birthday. In fact, he preached twice that day. I've always been a good girl. (Well, there was that time I successfully petitioned the San Francisco School Board to let the girls at Commodore Sloat Elementary wear pants to school, but I digress.) I was a straight-A, academic and music scholarships kind of student. Expulsion was not something I expected to ever be a part of my life.
But maybe I don't belong in that group. The moderator told me that it was too dangerous to the other members. There were no guarantees that I would not quote other members and write about them. (There was no policy in place when I wrote my original post that prohibited quoting from a post. They have since changed that policy, and I had agreed to abide by it.) But that wasn't enough. They wanted me to pull down my original post and apologize.
I've thought about it. I've thought about it every day since the day I wrote and posted it. There were some pretty nasty comments on my link to the post on my Teaching Tips Page, so I took down the link. Though I'm not responsible for the comments of others, I thought perhaps the quoted person would feel better if I removed my link.
Apparently, that wasn't enough to eliminate the danger.
So here's the thing: I think it's OK to disagree. I think it's fine for people to criticize the things that I make and what I believe. Some people don't like the music that I write. Some people don't like the piano method that I wrote. Some people don't like my recordings. (And I can guarantee that some people won't like the post you're reading right now.) But I think it's perfectly acceptable for people to disagree about important things like parenting and teaching. I feel so strongly about this that I am willing to have people not like me. Willing to be expelled. Willing to be dangerous.
My favorite book about parenting and "discipline."