Following a tip from a reader, Big Government has discovered that a radical immigration group, Voces De La Frontera (Voices of the Frontier/VDLF), has infiltrated the public school system in Racine, Wisconsin by working with an approved student group.
School Officials in the Racine Unified School District tell Big Government that they had no idea that the approved group, Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES), had become the youth arm of Voces De La Frontera (Voices of the Frontier/VDLF), a well-financed leftist movement with a membership of several thousand, headquartered in Milwaukee with two satellite offices in Racine and Kenosha.
According to sources within the school district, several hundred students have joined YES and affiliated themselves with VDLF, an organization that has also recruited some of the teachers–who apparently promote the group’s agenda in their classrooms.
Big Government learned about the organization’s infiltration after a reader found out that YES had been given authorization to post 15 posters throughout the school featuring a rising fist with the words “Join the Student Revolution.” The poster was a promotional ad for a “youth summit” (held December 3rd) where hundreds of VDLF members were also present.
According to Kate Werning, a 24-year old “youth organizer” hired by YES (the students had apparently pooled their money together to hire outside assistance), teenage members of YES are eligible to join VDLF once they are out of high school or college. Werning described their mission as one supporting “social justice” but also explained that many of the children have an “understandable desire to protect their families from deportation.”
Stacy Tapp, a spokeswoman from the Racine Unified School District, confirmed that, but she added that school district officials were under the impression the group’s mission was limited to immigration and equality issues.
“They are a large student group within the district,” Stacy Tapp told this reporter in a telephone interview. “They’ve been active in many issues, but we’ve mostly known them to support racial equality on Martin Luther King Day, participate in ‘Get Out the Vote,’ and support the DREAM Act, which would make sense since many of them come from immigrant families. The extent of their involvement with this other group wasn’t really on our radar.”
The DREAM Act (Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors), if passed, would provide a pathway to permanent residency to certain illegal aliens of good moral character. Tapp says there are YES chapters at most schools within the school district and that they’ve been active in a great deal of “community organizing.” Sources tell Big Government that VDLF supports immigrant rights but also supports “the right to full employment,” a core principle of socialism.
A number of school administrators at William Horlick High and other schools have openly promoted the group and even participated in VDLF activities. Allen Levie, the group’s student advisor at William Horlick High, was reportedly physically carried out by police from the state capitol during a VDLF protest, and he was also apparently arrested in 2008 for obstructing police officers from interrogating a student about an unrelated matter.
Levie reportedly posted a YES poster in his classroom window.
Congressional sources from U.S. Representative Paul Ryan’s office confirmed that Horlick’s guidance counselor was one of three VDLF members arrested outside their Racine premises during a vigil, and school-based sources told Big Government that another teacher at a neighboring school has also promoted the YES group among her students.
Wisconsin became a hotbed for leftist activism earlier this year after Governor Scott Walker proposed and successfully passed a law ending most collective bargaining rights for most state employees in March. Since then, Democrats have been attempting to organize a statewide recall election to remove Gov. Walker from office.
Local sources within the school district tell Big Government that YES started at the school about 10 years ago, and became the youth arm of VDLF around 2004. Those familiar with the group say that their student members sell red t-shirts year-round emblazoned with the phrase “Solidarity!” The shirts are sold on school property, and feature numerous little fists charging a larger fist.
Tapp says the group has about 15 chapters at various schools in the district.
“We didn’t really know they were working so closely with this other group until you called us. We care about our kids’ First Amendment rights, but our first priority is protecting our kids so we are going to have to discuss the effect this outside group may be having inside our schools at this point. Like I said, it wasn’t really on our radar before, but it’s on our radar now.”