Ideologies in our Schools (Part 3)

by Op-Ed

education-indoctrinationBy Ken Eyring

This is the third part in a series that discusses indoctrination of our children through the introduction of ideologies in our schools. The focus below is in response to a Windham student, who took offense with my previous postings and mischaracterized my positions. You can find Skylar Hebert’s April 12th letter to the editor in the Windham Independent here.

Dear Skylar,

In your letter to me in the April 12 Windham Independent, you made comments that indicate you misunderstood the messages of my previous letters and therefore mischaracterized my positions. My letters are against our school district bringing ideologies into our schools and classrooms.

My letter was not against your right to protest – which I support, but not during school hours. My position is that our school district should not sanction nor provide support for your (or any other) protest and that a protest by students for any reason should not take place during school hours, on school grounds, using school resources.

I believe it’s inappropriate when any ideology is introduced into our schools. In my previous letters, I stated the education of our children and their malleable, impressionable minds have been blindly entrusted to our public education system – and that trust has been violated. Being a student, you appeared to take offense with my use of the word “children.” This was not written to dismiss you, your concerns,  nor any other student’s concerns. All of the students in our school district are children of Windham parents – even though the oldest students (like yourself) are young adults.

In your response to me, you acknowledged, “that teachers are prohibited from sharing their personal beliefs with students”… then ignored an example I provided in one of my letters that a teacher did just that. You also dismissed my concerns that our administration sanctioned the walkout that was organized by www.womensmarch.com. As I mentioned in my previous letters, this organization lobbies against the second amendment and (amongst many other activities) is hosting a “HOW WE RESIST” discussion series that includes the topic “CONFRONTING WHITE SUPREMACY.” These are warped, radical ideologies that don’t belong in our schools… but you dismiss those concerns by describing the women’s march as some sort of altruistic group that is “dedicated to promoting the general welfare of the people.”

It does not take much effort to influence impressionable minds. A few years ago, one teacher at Windham High School told their students on Constitution Day that he “was going to take five minutes to teach about the Constitution because he was told he had to.” Another said, he “was told to teach that Constitution Day is a day to celebrate the Constitution, but there is nothing about the Constitution worth celebrating.” These unacceptable statements reflect the ideologies of those rogue teachers, and they undoubtedly had an influence on their students.

In my previous letter, I provided an example where an entire class of middle school students was subjected to a teacher’s rants last year on multiple occasions about President Trump being a “racist who is destroying our country.” That same narrative is reinforced in an upcoming edition of a new High School textbook for Advanced Placement students called “By The People: A History of the United States,” which depicts President Trump as a racist who is mentally ill and his supporters as white racists. Here are a few excerpts:

Trump’s supporters saw the vote as a victory for the people who, like themselves, had been forgotten in a fast-changing America–a mostly older, often rural or suburban, and overwhelmingly white group. Clinton’s supporters feared that the election had been determined by people who were afraid of a rapidly developing ethnic diversity of the country, discomfort with their candidate’s gender, and nostalgia for an earlier time in the nation’s history. They also worried about the mental instability of the president-elect and the anger that he and his supporters brought to the nation.

The book goes on to describe President Trump as an extremist, and his “not-very-hidden racism connected with a significant number of primary voters.”

Those are a few examples of indoctrination, and the types of ideological “lessons” that do not belong in our schools – yet they are recurring more frequently over the past year without the knowledge of most parents.

Skylar, you believe you have a right to disrupt the education in our classrooms at Windham High School to protest for gun control during school hours by joining along with other students across the country in an effort that is centrally coordinated by www.womensmarch.com. I disagree with you, and so does the NH ACLU, who said that student walk-outs during school hours are not protected by the First Amendment.

Now that the district’s leadership (administration and School Board) has led us down this path by sanctioning your ideological protest… where does it lead, and what should students and parents expect in the future? Where will the line be drawn, and who will decide which issues are acceptable – and which ones aren’t – based on what criteria?

In the interest of “fairness,” should all student protests now be openly supported by the district leadership – regardless of the issue or disruption to academic education? Should the district sanction/support a pro-gun walk-out?  What about a pro-life or pro-religion walk-out? Even more radical… what about one that calls for expanding membership in Antifa or the Ku Klux Klan?

None of the above options are acceptable. That’s my point. Ideologies do not belong in our schools.

By supporting the walk-out, the district leadership violated the sacred trust that parents impart in them to educate their children free from ideologies. That is a serious breach of trust. Our schools should be apolitical, and perhaps it’s time for a change in district leadership.

Respectfully submitted,
Ken Eyring

Skylar’s Letter:

20180412_SkylarLTE

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