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September 12 2017

Politics in the classroom

via Huffington Post
by Julie Gunlock

As kids head back to school, it’s natural for parents to worry. Will little Timmy make friends? Will Susie get over her nervousness? Will they like their teachers? These are the natural concerns of parents. Yet, conservative parents worry about something else: will teachers push a political—and liberal—agenda during daily lessons?

Consider just a small number of recent examples:

Just after the election in November 2016, a California history teacher compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. He was suspended and later retired after he didn’t receive an apology from school officials. Needlessly to say, he also failed to apologize to his students.

In February 2017, the city of Alexandria, Virginia shut down the entire city’s school system because of a teacher-organized walk out to support “A Day Without a Woman,” which was just a paid day off in celebration of a liberal political agenda. No one from the Alexandria school system has investigated this incident nor issued guidance to school principals or teachers to prevent further disruptive political activism.

In April 2017, a teacher in Seth, West Virginia embraced the humor you’d expect from a seventh grade boy, by affixed an anti-Trump patch to her shirt that said “Tuck Frump.” This was worn in her classroom while she taught. Several of her students shared pictures of her wearing the patch on social media.

In June 2017, the New York Times reported that a teacher in New Jersey digitally altered a child’s yearbook picture, airbrushing out the “Make America Great” slogan on his shirt. The teacher also refused to print the student’s pro-Trump yearbook quote.

And a few weeks ago, a teacher Georgia made two students leave a classroom for wearing “Make America Great Again” shirts and suggesting the campaign slogan was akin to wearing a swastika. At least in this case, the school superintendent instructed all principals to meet with their teachers and staff to remind them that their political opinions should be kept out of the classroom.

 

 

These are all deeply concerning incidents, particularly to conservative parents. Yet, for parents in Berkeley, California, this might also be a safety issue.

When Berkeley middle school teacher Yvette Felarca isn’t teaching, she runs an ANTIFA-related organization called By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), which, like ANTIFA, is an extremist left-wing political organization that physically attacks its opponents, vandalizes private property, and encourages other activist organizations to adopt their dangerous and destructive tactics.

We all saw these tactics on full display on Inauguration Day—a national holiday supposedly to celebrate the peaceful, non-violent passage of power from one leader to another. Yet, ANTIFA decided to break this tradition by lighting trash cans on fire, throwing rocks and bottles at police, setting a car on fire, and vandalizing dozens of businesses in the nation’s capital. They haven’t stopped. ANTIFA has continued to set fires, storm buildings, and threaten violence on college campuses throughout the United States.

Since 2016, federal authorities have been warning state and local law enforcement that ANTIFA has become increasingly dangerous, with the Department of Homeland Security now classifying ANTIFA’s activities as “domestic terrorist violence.”

Yet, this doesn’t seem to worry Berkeley officials, who haven’t removed Felarca from the classroom.

The hypocrisy is hard to miss: The Left spend countless hours demanding that schools be “safe spaces,” free of violence and clear of “dangerous” people (like Republicans, feminist writers like Christina Hoff Summers and Camille Paglia, scholars like Charles Murray and others who promote messages of limited government and economic freedom). Yet there seems to be little concern for children who are being left alone with Felarca, who has actually been filmed physically assaulting a man with whom she disagrees. It begs the quite reasonable question: How will Felarca deal with a student who disagrees with her?

Americans are growing weary of politics, especially in their children’s schools. It’s time for it to end and for so called “child safety experts” to demand an end to political bullying in our nation’s schools.

Talking about the role of teachers in a child’s life, President Ronald Reagan said, “In the hands of America’s teachers rests the formidable responsibility of molding and inspiring tomorrow’s heroes—the medical scientists who will invent cures for disease, the businessmen who will found whole new industries, the writers, artists, doctors…”

Teachers should get back to this noble goal.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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