I imagine that most of you, in that I am as well, are tired of all this Peltier business. After all, it has nothing to do with our current lives. There are a million other situations far more worthy of such deliberation. I have indeed been asking myself 'why the apparent obsession?'
What I have come to is this: there are certain jobs that involve an outstanding moral obligation, amongst them are the legal profession, the military, and education. Though a credential to teach certifies to everyone else that I have met certain standards, I have no guarantee that the system I would become part of has met equal standards, other than those enforced by law. Leonard Peltier symbolizes the most flagrant violation in current memory by "the system" of the laws designed to insure basic moral standards, at least, according to some. It is amongst the first places one might look to find evidence of, or attempt to understand a crystallized instance of systemic injustice. So, in a sense, I have been looking to see if becoming part of the bureaucracy is a fatally naive error. Bizarre as the approach sounds, I think it's a more reasonable choice when considered in light of the incredible regularity with which public education perpetuates social injustice and class structure. It's not such a far cry to see the law doing the same thing, especially to a poor minority, fighting for its rights.
Alas, my Peltier search turned up nothing, and it's taken me this long to figure out what I'm really after. As it turns out, the most hotly debated new piece of education policy is a mandate that all students regardless of ethnicity and social class have equal access to a good education. Teachers are leaving the field in droves, not because they disagree with the sentiment, but because they feel that the methods the policy employs to accomplish that end will undermine everything essential to teaching. So, for the next little while, I will turn my research efforts toward "No Child Left Behind."