PHOENIX – Public school teachers who use their classrooms to indoctrinate students with their personal political beliefs may finally be getting the attention they deserve.
Arizona lawmakers are debating the merits of a bill that would punish teachers who preach “partisan doctrine” disguised as legitimate lessons, as well as schools whose administrators defend those teachers’ inexcusable tactics.
Arizona State Sen. Lori Klein sponsored SB 1202 after hearing repeated complaints of “political indoctrination in the classroom,” according to Capitol Media Services.
As the bill is written, educators who promote “partisan doctrine” to students would be fired. School districts whose administrators knowingly allow biased lessons would lose some of their state funding.
Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, a Republican congressional candidate from Arizona, argued in support of Klein’s legislation this week during a state Senate committee hearing, at which lawmakers voted 5-2 to move the bill forward.
“I have seen, first hand, the damage done to our young students by partisans who pretend to be educators,” Mercer told lawmakers. “I have seen young students who, through classroom indoctrination rather than instruction, were incited to threaten and harass anyone who disagrees with their position.”
What defines “partisan doctrine,” however, is a point of contention for some senators who oppose or question the legislation.
The goal, Klein said, is to ensure students receive a balanced view in their lessons, CMS reports.
“It doesn’t matter,” Klein said. “Republicans or conservatives should not be promoting their point of view. Liberals, socialists,Marxists should not be espousing their views in the classroom.”
We agree wholeheartedly. But the extensive evidence we’ve reviewed in recent years suggests that public school indoctrination inAmerica is almost exclusively the domain of radical liberal groups, usually aided and abetted by Big Labor.
EAG founder Kyle Olson’s new book “Indoctrination: How ‘Useful Idiots’ Are Using Our Schools to Subvert American Exceptionalism,” explores this topic in detail. It’s available on Amazon.com.
Propaganda as fact
SB 1202 is inspired, in part, by a heated dispute in the Tucson Unified School District over a radical Ethnic Studies program in which instructors have allegedly incited some students to mob-like behavior.
In one instance, students from the program commandeered the seats of school board members before a meeting, repeated the chant “Fight back” with what was described as a “demonic” look in their eyes, and refused to cease. The meeting was finally cancelled due to the disturbance.
The Tucson school district finally agreed to end the program after the state threatened to withhold 10 percent of its funding. But critics say radical teachers in the district, upset about the cancellation of the program, continue to teach the same one-sided, anti-American message.
Some legislators argued that there are fine lines that would have to be observed in such a law. One lawmaker, for instance, added language guaranteeing that teachers would not be penalized for using partisan books in the classroom.
The goal, according to the bill’s supporters, is to make sure teachers discuss issues with students in a balanced manner by presenting various points of view, and refraining from endorsing any one side.
“When you are targeting young, impressionable minds, starting from kindergarten, these children get lost,” Mercer was quoted as saying.
Classroom indoctrination is hardly unique to Arizona.
Last month in Wisconsin, Racine social studies teacher Al Levie put on a production for his students when he refused to accept an award from Republican Congressman Paul Ryan at a Martin Luther King, Jr. awards ceremony.
Levie actively recruits teens to his student group, “Youth Empowered in the Struggle,” which pickets legislative offices and turns out voters for liberal politicians.
California world history teacher Jim Duarte has convinced his students that “Fox News lies,” according to Nick Benson, the grandfather of two local high school students. Benson provided EAG with several assignments Duarte handed out to his grandson last year, which are riddled with leading questions ridiculously slanted toward the socialist, Big Labor perspective.
In Oakland, California, dozens of public school teachers recently signed a pledge to teach their students about the radical Occupy Wall Street movement in a positive light.
Of course parents notice this happening in schools across the nation. Unfortunately school officials who are confronted about the conduct of their teachers rarely take action to stop the behavior.
Students deserve to learn about President Barack Obama, the history of organized labor, and free market capitalism from all political perspectives. Educators must give equal weight to all concepts of governance, all sides of an issue, and create an environment where students are encouraged to develop their own political values.
Arizona’s SB 1202 is an encouraging sign that lawmakers are taking the indoctrination issue seriously. Hopefully, the discussion in Arizona will sparking similar public debates in statehouses across the country.