“…I say, that Power must never be trusted without a check.” John Adams
SEL Connection: Students have strong opinions about the limits and uses of power. When they see a teacher abuse power, they are the first to call it out. When their parents step out of line, they are quick to challenge authority and demand fairness. And when their coaches play favorites and give playing time to the select few, they demand that justice be restored. Power—and its abuses—preoccupy the minds of students.
- Claim: Adams advises us not to trust people with power and always be ready to fight back. There must be some countervailing force pushing against those who might abuse authority in damaging ways.
- Counterclaim: It’s also important to trust unconditionally and to have faith that the people entrusted with power won’t abuse it to evil ends. This trust gives leaders space to make decisions. Not trusting our leaders with power might actually antagonize those leaders into committing evil acts.
- Essential Question: Should we ever trust our leaders unconditionally?