Bunovsky Stays Neutral Amid Hot Topics in Civics Classes


Kyle Brennan

Social studies teacher Steve Bunovsky has encouraged respectful debate and consultation of multiple sources while staying neutral in his Current Topics in Civics class.

Ryan Kostenko, Reporter

WOODBURY — With the events of 2020 and now 2021, major life-changing events continue to happen. Some Nonnewaug teachers have decided to do mini-lessons on what is currently happening in the world around us.

Steve Bunovsky teaches a social studies class called Current Topics in Civics.

“Yes, sometimes we have to tackle difficult or sensitive topics,” Bunovsky said, “but Americans should always feel to express their viewpoints as long they don’t use hate speech. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of democracy.”

His students think he is doing a good job of covering the topics and not leaning to one side or the other. 

“I’m perfectly OK with everything being discussed,” senior Joseph Reilly said. “The topics we have covered have not been overtly offensive towards any specific group, other than possibly based on political affiliation.”

Reilly also noted that Bunovsky likes to stay neutral whenever he is talking about an important topic, like the presidential election.

Remaining neutral in conversations like these is important in today’s age because nobody really knows where others stand in terms of politics or sensitive topics in general. Staying balanced and unbiased makes students feel more comfortable with what the class is discussing and makes them feel like they can participate.

“He stays neutral on most all topics, but also makes it clear in many situations if he is biased one way or another,” Reilly said. “In this way, I think it suits most all students’ needs by allowing them to make their opinions.”

Bunovsky explained how he chooses the topics to discuss in class.

“Well, the course is learning about the Constitution via the news, so as long as there is a constitutional issue and it’s in the news, it’s fair game as far as I am concerned,” Bunovsky said.

The veteran teacher says he focuses on obtaining news from a variety of sources.

“The trick to covering the whole political spectrum really lies in understanding people and where they get their information from,” Bunovsky said. “There really is very little unbiased news these days, so it really becomes important to teach students how to spot bias — whether it’s from the left or the right. I also encourage them to look at many different publications across the spectrum — it’s only by synthesizing disparate sources that you can get a glimmer of what truth actually is.”