People probably wouldn’t be as concerned about President Obama’s speech to public school kids next week if weren’t for some recent examples of indoctrination we’ve seen.
You have parents in Utah who are upset over a “leftist propaganda” video shown to students – without parental consent.
Children at Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington were shown a short video called "I pledge" on Aug. 28. The video opens with an image of President Barack Obama and part of a speech in which he says, "Let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other." The video then features celebrities making pledges about how they will help the president and the world — and that’s where some say the problem lies.
Here is the controversial video. Some of the pledges are fine, but there are some that are out of line. Like pledging to be of service to President Barack Obama.
Then Adrienne Ross, a middle school English teacher in upstate New York shares about her experience in her school after President Obama was elected.
After Obama won the election, my school went crazy. Leading up to the inauguration, the school decided we were going to show it live to every student. Now, I was sick to my stomach because I just didn’t want to watch it, but I did believe that it should be shown, so I prepared myself to grit my teeth, suck it up, and just get through it–which I did. The problem was what went down leading up to that day–and for weeks afterwards.
Let me run you through a day at school leading up to the inauguration: walk into the building; go to my mailbox; find lesson plans about Obama to use with students that were placed in my box; leave plans in my box (I did not do them!); walk down the hall where there were Obama posters on my left and right–posters about Change, Hope, and all that rhetoric he was talking during the campaign; listen to morning announcements with some quote from Obama right before the Pledge of Allegiance (everyday); go to library and see books about Obama displayed; after school go home and check email; in email find suggestions from ELA professionals about how to incorporate inauguration activities into lessons; read email with information about different seminars and workshops teachers can attend about the inauguration.
Once, when I was doing my state-mandated observation, I saw a a fifth grader slapped down (verbally) by a teacher. He was given an assignment to design laws that protect the sea turtle. While other students were busy writing ways to seize private property, stop economic growth, and limit rights and freedoms of people, this student raised his hand and said he really didn’t think that sea turtles needed any more help. This was a good point- something that could be debated for the benefit of the whole class- but instead, the liberal teacher simply told the student to toe the line and submit to authority and pretend to be a dictator like the other young students.
A sixth grade class I observed had students design ways to combat “sprawl," and a seventh grade class spent some time designing schemes to combat “global warming.”
I once observed an eight grade class spend several days discussing how government can combat unemployment. The plans which were analyzed and discussed where chosen by the teacher, and students read news stories and articles about the successes of these various plans. The plans which were discusses were either schemes of wealth redistribution or government-provided jobs. A constant theme of the discussion was that businesses were evil, that earning profits was evil, and that attempts to establish efficiency in business by letting go inefficient or unproductive employees was evil. This teacher believed that the purpose of a business was to provide a job, regardless or production or profit entailed from this.
Could you imagine the complaints coming from the left if it were a conservative agenda being promoted or religious instruction? This isn’t education, it is indoctrination and it is propaganda. Something to consider when sending kids off to school every day. Whether you send your kids to public school, private school or home school – parents need to be involved and invested in their children’s education. We need to remind schools that we as parents are the ones who are responsible for their education. So I commend the parents in Utah who complained. We need to insist that schools educate, not indoctrinate.
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