Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

The Province cartoon compares teachers to Hitler

The Province newspaper has waded into the controversy surrounding the BC College of Teachers alleged white washing of teacher records with an editorial cartoon that the College says is in "bad taste."

The cartoon by Dan Murphy features a photo-shopped picture of Adolf Hitler as a teacher at the head of a class with the caption: "Today's topic: is it bad for the BC College of Teachers to whitewash teachers' records? Nien!" and the students' response "Thank you, Mr. Mitler." Click here for the cartoon under Tuesday, July 6.

The cartoon addresses a recent revelation by The Vancouver Sun's Janet Steffenhagen who obtained records through a Freedom of Information Request that show the BC College of Teachers did not discipline teachers in the past for infractions ranging from drinking alcohol in the classroom to downloading child pornography at work. The incidents were not mentioned on the College's discipline records, either, which are accessed by school officials making employment decisions.

The College, however, did not find the cartoon amusing or fair.

"The cartoon is in extremely bad taste," Mykle Ludvigsen, communications officer for the College told The Tyee.

"It is neither clever nor funny."

The BC Teachers Federation wasn't laughing, either.

"It's just so disrespectful and distasteful to compare teachers, and in particular teachers-on-call to a war criminal who committed all sorts of atrocities," says Jim Iker, 1st vice-president for the teachers' union.

"I guess it's just part of the newspaper's vengeful attitude to teachers across this province."

The Province Editor-in-Chief Wayne Moriarty defended the cartoon, saying it's satire and that the College and teachers' union are "thin skinned."

"The satire here would be that the most heinous person on the planet in the last hundred years would have had his record white washed by the BC College. Now, of course, that's not true, but that's the joke," he told The Tyee. To further emphasize his point, Moriarty emailed The Tyee the Wikipedia entry on satire.

Neither the College nor the BCTF have had time to come up with an official response to the editorial cartoon, but Iker says one is likely coming from the union.

"I just saw the cartoon myself just a few minutes ago, and so we actually haven't sat down to take a look at it and make a response. I'm sure we'll probably make a response to The Province once we talk to our president," he says.

Katie Hyslop reports on education for The Tyee Solutions Society.

Find more in:

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus