RACINE, Wis. – Al Levie must be proud of himself.
The Racine teacher had his fifteen minutes of fame this month when he refused to accept an award from Congressman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at a Martin Luther King, Jr. event at a local college. A video of Levie’s antics, accompanied by a lame explanation for his defiance, is circulating online.
“Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is a lackey for the one percent,” Levie contends in a video interview after the event.
The video made Levie an instant folk hero for leftists.
But our research shows that silly antics are nothing new for Levie, an ends-justify-the-means type who routinely uses his students to promote his personal political agenda.
In an article Levie penned for his union magazine, NEA Today, he wrote that “By engaging students in real-life issues and encouraging them to act on a political level, we will transform schools into places where authentic learning takes place.
“At the same time, we will help our students become engines of positive change in our society,” he wrote.
In other words, Levie wants his students to become fellow rabble rousers. And what better way to elicit “positive change” than to snub a respected congressman from a political party he opposes?
The incident with Ryan, however, is only the most recent example the social studies teacher has set for his students.
Last summer, he was kicked out of a Wisconsin Senate Finance Committee hearing for causing a fuss. He was literally carried out by police.
In 2009, “Horlick teacher Al Levie, known for organizing high school students in political movements, was part of the crowd” that protested outside of Ryan’s office, according to the Racine Post.
In 2004, a student vote project headed by Levie was canceled when it was discovered that the event would only benefit one political party. The Journal Times reported:
“The get out the vote project planned by Horlick High School students has been canceled.
“Racine Unified School District Superintendent Thomas Hicks said what started out to be a class-related activity last week turned out to be a partisan event. The decision to cancel the event was made … after he learned the facts had changed and it was no longer a bipartisan endeavor.”
It quickly becomes clear that Levie believes the purpose of public schools is to turn students into junior social democrats, and he’s setting the example with his childish antics aimed at Congressman Ryan.
Meanwhile, only 57 percent of Racine Unified high school students are proficient in social studies.
That sad reality will leave students with a one-sided perspective on American political issues, and likely little insight into Ryan’s conservative thought.
And that’s exactly the goal, isn’t it, Al?