OAKLAND, Calif. - We were dismayed a few weeks ago when hundreds of union teachers in Oakland
skipped work and forced the shutdown of several schools, in observance of the Occupy
movement's national strike day.
We thought their commitment to their students should come before their outside political activities. We wondered how they could be so passionate about national tax issues, but fail to display the same type of concern about educational quality issues.
But now they've sunk to a new low, and it should not be tolerated.
Dozens (or perhaps hundreds) of teachers in the Oakland school district pledged to use taxpayer-funded class time to teach their students about the Occupy movement - from a positive viewpoint, of course. We can safely assume that critics of Occupy were not invited to participate in the lessons.
Here's what the teachers pledged to do:
"During the week of 10/31 to 11/4, I pledge to teach about: the Occupy movement; the role of strikes in movement history; the systems and issues this movement is protesting against; the possibilities for change this movement is part of envisioning; what students need to know about how to stay safe during these protests."
Unique lesson plans
Several teachers shared their ideas for lessons on the "Teach Occupy Oakland
"The use of Israeli
-made weapons in Oakland police violence," one wrote. "International solidarity," another wrote. "Oakland history of blues, rap and protest," was an entry from a music teacher. "Wealth distribution" was another lesson topic.
Okay, we get it. Oakland schools are chucked full of radical left-wing teachers who hate America's economic system, despite the relatively high standard of living that most of us take for granted.
Those teachers, as private citizens, certainly have the right to believe anything they want.
But do they really believe they're paid to indoctrinate students in their personal political philosophies? Do they really believe people pay taxes to send children to Marxist
If political issues are going to be discussed in public school classrooms, all sides should be presented in a balanced and equal light, so students can weigh the arguments and form their own opinions. We're certain that "99 percent" of Oakland parents would agree with that assessment.
School administrators in Oakland, and throughout the nation, have an absolute responsibility to put an end to this gross misuse of class time and taxpayer dollars. And the taxpayers of America should pay close attention and make sure they do.