Posts

ARIZONA: Paradise Valley Unified School District Considers Adding Math Textbook That Claims Conservatives Are More Racist Than Liberals

Paradise Valley Unified School District in Arizona is considering adding an algebra textbook that discusses social justice issues as part of the district’s high school math curriculum review.

One of the math textbooks reportedly being considered for high school algebra teaches students about “racial bias,” “ethnic diversity in the United States” and “the widening imbalance between numbers of women and men on college campuses,” according to resources obtained by Parents Defending Education.

The textbook, titled “Precalculus 6th Edition,” by Robert F. Blitzer features a graph labeled “Measuring Racial Prejudice, by Political Identification,” which claims that conservatives are allegedly more racist than liberals.

Paradise Valley Schools is currently reviewing “Grades 9-12 math curriculum resources for high school math classes,” according to the district’s website. Dec. 17 is the final day for curriculum review.

The district is also considering books by Pearson, an educational publishing company. The company claims that education is a means for achieving “social justice,” according to the Pearson website.

“Education is the most powerful force for equity and change in our world. As the leading global education provider for learners and schools, we have a unique responsibility to be proactive in fighting systemic racism and bias. To promote diversity and inclusion. To bring social justice to the classroom. To be anti-racist,” the company’s website reads.

Pearson offers other left-wing social issue resources such as a story about a 9-year-old transgender child and a video that promotes Colin Kaepernick.

Erika Sanzi, the director of outreach for Parents Defending Education, told the Daily Caller that she believes math should be taught “free of politics.”

“It is not the role of a math curriculum — or a school system for that matter — to define political parties for students,” Sanzi said. “Teach [students] how to do math free of politics and send them off with the skills to draw their own conclusions.”

Matt Salmon, a former Congressman for Arizona and current gubernatorial candidate, told the Daily Caller that he believes the graph is a form of “bigotry” and labels conservative families and kids as racist.

Salmon argued that math textbooks with an emphasis on social justice would “not be rubber-stamped” if more “level-headed people” decided to run for school board positions.

Paradise Valley Schools told the Daily Caller that the district’s curriculum review committee is “reviewing a variety of materials from vendors is currently in the process of seeking community input.”

“These materials are not yet approved. Not all materials will be recommended for use in our schools,” a spokesperson for the district said. “Part of the committee review process is designed to identify materials that do not align with the Arizona Department of Education state standards or PVSchools values.”

COLUMN BY

CHRISSY CLARK

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Failure of Public Schooling in One Chart

Arizona School Board, Police Coordinated To Spy On, Arrest Concerned Parents

Wisconsin Mom Says 5-Year-Old Child Accessed Porn Website, ‘Inappropriate Content’ With School iPad

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Racial Equity Committee Co-Chair Resigns After Doxxing Parents And Leaving Profane Voicemail

  • The co-chair of a racial equity committee at a Texas school district resigned Wednesday after admitting she had doxxed parents who opposed her policies and left one a profane voicemail, Fox News reported.
  • While Norma Garcia-Lopez was co-chair of the Fort Worth Independent School District’s (FWISD) school board Racial Equity Committee, she shared parent information and encouraged others to call parents out for opposing mask mandates, Fox News reported. Garcia-Lopez shared the phone number and home address of one parent, Jennifer Treger, in addition to the employer, work email address and phone number of another parent, Kerri Rehmeyer.
  • “But they [school board] don’t care what happened to the parents of nine children in Fort Worth ISD, that’s the biggest issue right there,” Hollie Plemons, a mother of three in the FWISD school district told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “So she’s gone, she’s gonna show back up someplace else, she’s not out of this. She’s just not on this committee, and that’s good, but it doesn’t solve the issue that the board doesn’t feel she was wrong.”

The co-chair of a racial equity committee at a Texas school district resigned Wednesday after admitting she had doxxed parents who opposed her policies and left one a profane voicemail, Fox News reported.

While Norma Garcia-Lopez was co-chair of the Fort Worth Independent School District’s (FWISD) school board Racial Equity Committee, she shared parent information and encouraged others to call parents out for opposing mask mandates, Fox News reported. Garcia-Lopez shared the phone number and home address of one parent, Jennifer Treger, in addition to the employer, work email address and phone number of another parent, Kerri Rehmeyer.

“It’s astounding what the ‘White Privilege’ power from Tanglewood has vs a whole diverse community that cares for the well being of others,” Garcia-Lopez wrote publicly, according to Fox News. “These are their names: Jennifer Treger, Todd Daniel, Kerri Rehmeyer and a coward Jane Doe. Internet do your thang,” Garcia-Lopez wrote. Jane Doe has since been identified as Hollie Plemons, a mother of three in the FWISD school district.

Garcia-Lopez announced Wednesday that she was resigning from her position because she “cannot allow the vile and relentless attacks on me by white supremacists to distract from or overshadow the continued pursuit of equity in FWISD,” according to an email she wrote, obtained by Fox New from a school board member.

“I am writing to inform [FWISD] that it has become necessary for me to resign from my volunteer positions with the District, including as a member and co-chair of the Racial Equity Committee and as a member of the Redistricting Committee,” Garcia-Lopez wrote in the email, Fox News reported. “Every student in FWISD deserves equity and respect. That is my passion and reason for serving on those committees,” the email said.

Garcia-Lopez admitted to releasing the personal information of and leaving a profane voicemail for Rehmeyer, who along with others, sued FWISD to block its COVID-19 mask mandate and obtained a temporary injunction in August, Fox News reported.

“F— you, you stupid b—-. F— you with your White privilege, not caring about the well-being of others, f— you,” Garcia-Lopez said in the voicemail, Fox News reported. Garcia-Lopez claimed that Rehmeyer, along with other parents, “sent a lynch mob to attack me,” aiming to “silence me from advocating for equity.”

“Some people consider my actions doxxing,” Garcia-Lopez said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s not doxxing when you expose someone who filed a public motion in a public court of law that impacts public school children.”

“They definitely need to be called out,” Garcia-Lopez wrote after releasing parents’ personal information, Fox News reported. The FWISD’s Racial Equity Committee defended Garcia-Lopez’s actions last week and Garcia Lopez denied she had doxed parents.

“My message contained harsh language — no threats,” Garcia-Lopez said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Some people find my choice of words in that message offensive. But what’s really offensive is that four white parents could hold so much power.”

Rehmeyer argued that Garcia-Lopez’s actions were wrong, arguing that she “told people to go after us, said where I worked,” Fox News reported. “I received 17 voicemails at work from one person” and “had a previous client who said she hoped that I died,” Rehmeyer said.

Rehmeyer also told Fox News that some of the parents’ businesses received negative reviews online from people who “don’t even try to pretend that they were clients.”

Treger said her focus has always been on informing and protecting the families in her school district, calling it “disheartening that some people feel the discussion around masks should be tied to race.”

“The color of one’s skin plays no part in my belief that families should have the option to choose whether they mask their children or not,” she said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Sharing personal information publicly with ill intent was hurtful to many in our community. We should all be able to disagree and still remain respectful of one another’s opinions.”

“Ultimately, we are relieved to hear that Norma Garcia-Lopez will no longer hold positions of influence in Fort Worth ISD, but we are disappointed by the complete lack of action by the Board of Trustees,” Rehmeyer told Fox News.

Rehmeyer said she thinks the school district “will continue to ignore” the concerns of parents and that the school district trustees “haven’t bothered to notify us she resigned,” Fox News reported.

Plemons told the DCNF it is great that Garcia-Lopez has resigned, “but it’s more telling that our school district didn’t do anything about it, our Board of Trustees didn’t do anything about it and two of our Board of Trustees expressed their sorrow for what happened to Norma.”

“But they don’t care what happened to the parents of nine children in Fort Worth ISD, that’s the biggest issue right there,” Plemons said. “So she’s gone, she’s gonna show back up someplace else, she’s not out of this. She’s just not on this committee, and that’s good, but it doesn’t solve the issue that the board doesn’t feel she was wrong.”

Garcia-Lopez is a community member, but not an employee of the District, district spokeswomen Claudia Garibay told the DCNF in a statement. “She has voluntarily relinquished her position as co-chair of the Racial Equity Committee,” the statement said.

Garcia-Lopez could not be reached for comment.

COLUMN BY

KENDALL TIETZ

Education reporter.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Parents Ask For Minnesota School District Documents Containing CRT Keywords, What They Received Appears To Be Unreadable: REPORT

Oxford Public Schools, Leaders Hit With $200 Million Worth Of Lawsuits Following Fatal Shooting

Pro Wrestlers Step Up To Help Waukesha Massacre Victims With $10,000 Plus Donation

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Parents Upset As Schools Force Kids Nationwide To Undergo Mandatory Quarantines After Nearly Two Years Of COVID Precautions

Some parents from Michigan, Arizona, and Pennsylvania told the Daily Caller that their children are forced to undergo mandatory quarantines with no virtual learning options, despite evidence that schools pose few transmission risks. Many parents expressed fatigue over the nearly two years of COVID-19 precautions in schools.

Brighton Area Schools, a district in suburban Detroit, is requiring students under the age of 12 to quarantine for 14 days if they are exposed to a COVID-positive student, according to a letter from the district’s superintendent obtained by the Daily Caller. Jennifer Smith, a mother with three children in the district, told the Daily Caller that there are no virtual learning options for children placed in mandatory quarantine.

On Nov. 1, Brighton Area Schools announced that they waived mandatory quarantines for most middle and high school students, though not for students in sixth grade or below. According to the district’s correspondence, deciding whether to waive quarantines for younger students will be contingent on “the availability of vaccines for the 5-11 year old population.”

Brighton Area Schools allow parents to choose whether their child wears a face mask or not, according to district policy, though mandatory quarantines for healthy children are still in place.

Smith told the Daily Caller that her nine-year-old child began a 28-day “healthy child quarantine” on Oct. 19. She received an email on Nov. 9 from Hornung Elementary School informing parents that all classes would go virtual on Nov. 10 due to “an unexplained rise in COVID-19 cases among students” following Halloween. The closure was suggested by the Livingston County Health Department.

CLICK HERE FOR: Screenshot/Email from Brighton Area Schools

According to a testimony from a Livingston County Health Department official, school districts make their own rules regarding quarantine, testing, and masking policies, though the county health department offers data and advice.

The Michigan mother said that her son went from Oct. 19 to Nov. 10 with no virtual school option, and was only offered virtual classes when the entire elementary school shut down. Smith said that she is “extremely upset” as she had “no choice” but to take off work and “go without pay.”

Brighton Area School District did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Parents nationwide told the Daily Caller that they are concerned about learning losses, and some are concerned about the effects learning loss will have on students of color or lower socio-economic status.

Data from 2020 bear out the points that schools are not driving infections and school closures or learning losses are disproportionately hurting minority students. A study of 4.4 million students found that test scores of black, Hispanic, and poor children took the biggest hit when students were not in school. A large study from Oct. 2020 found that schools aren’t large vectors of infection.

Mandatory quarantines — and their effects — are not specific to Michigan. Mother Nicole Eidson told the Daily Caller that quarantines are also taking place in the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) in Arizona.

According to CUSD’s COVID policy, quarantining students is “required by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health” when a student comes in “close contact” with a student who is COVID-positive. The district’s website states that quarantined students receive “Google classroom assignments and/or activities,” though Eidson noted that children do not receive any teacher instruction during quarantine.

“There may be schools or teachers that are still teaching the quarantined kids, but there are some that are not as well,” Eidson said.

Chandler Unified School District did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Guidelines for K-12 quarantines in some states specifically target those who are unvaccinated. Washington State’s Department of Health guidelines for K-12 schools states that quarantines are only for those who are unvaccinated. This includes 5-11 year olds who are now eligible for a vaccine under the FDA’s emergency use authorization.

Florida, under guidance from Gov. Ron DeSantis, took a different approach. Students are no longer required to quarantine if they’re exposed to COVID-19 and are asymptomatic, according to NPR.

Some school districts are moving towards “Test to Stay” programs, wherein students who come in close contact with a COVID-positive peer can get consecutively tested to remain in school. Souderton Area School District in Pennsylvania is set to implement the program on Nov. 29, according to a local news outlet.

Superintendent Frank Gallagher said he is hopeful that the “Test to Stay” program will allow “exposed students to stay in school instead of quarantining at home.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering promoting similar “Test to Stay” programs, according to U.S. News.

COLUMN BY

CHRISSY CLARK

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: Arizona School Board, Police Coordinated To Spy On, Arrest Concerned Parents

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

WATCH: Florida 2nd Grader Suspended 38 Times for Not Wearing Masks Tells School Board She ‘Hopes They Go to Jail’

Out of the mouths of babes. Watch:

Florida school board finally drops mask mandate after suspending 8-year-old 38 times for violations

For months, 8-year-old Fiona Lashells did not wear a mask to school, even though it had been mandated by her local school board.

The School District of Palm Beach County has dropped its mask mandate. The district had previously suspended a second grader 38 times for violating the mandate. She may have to repeat the grade.

Fiona Lashells is a student in Palm Beach County who just turned 8-years-old. She took a stand against a school board policy that she believed was wrong. For months she did not wear a mask to school, even though it had been mandated by her local school board. The litany of suspensions she has been handed is available at a website her mother created outlining the experience.

Click here to StandUpForFiona

At a school board event on September 22, 2021, Fiona told the board members that being suspended is “not going to change” her mind, that she still has “the right not to wear a mask,” and that it is “not fair” that she is “getting punished because … the school board is not following the law.” She told the school board that she hoped “they all go to jail for doing this” to her.

Her story was brought to light in a number of major news outlets, including The New York Post. She appeared alongside DeSantis on Fox News and explained to the hosts that she does not like to wear a mask “because you touch it and you have germs on your hands and then you put it on your face and breathe in all the germs.”

One of the Fox News hosts called her stance against the mandate “impressive” and asked Fiona how she felt about the prospect of repeating the second grade. She expressed that she did not want to do that, especially considering she had “done most of the work at home” that she was assigned.

Fiona was visibly shy during the interview, but DeSantis helped her through the question period when she was asked about “how her friends felt” about masking in school. She said that her friends wore them at school because they had to, but did not like them.

After national media pressure and pressure from the DeSantis administration, the School District of Palm Beach County released a letter to the public explaining its decision to drop their mandatory mask requirement. The board described the change as a “face covering opt-out” for parents.

The letter referenced a ruling by Division of Administrative Hearings Judge Newman which came down on Friday as the legal reason behind their change of heart. Judge Newman upheld the DeSantis administration’s block on masking children against their parents’ will.

“The COVID-19 protocols adopted pursuant to section 1003.22(3) should be no more restrictive than necessary to keep children safe and learning in school,” Newman wrote. “The fact that the Emergency Rule achieves this result — and at the same time involves parents in decisions involving their child’s health and education — does not run counter to the broad rule-making directive.”

The school board also referenced its COVID vaccine position in the letter and made it clear that “the COVID-19 vaccine is voluntary, and not required for students or staff.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has battled with various school boards in his state which have mandated masks for students. He signed an executive order in July that prohibited mask mandates in schools. After facing legal action from proponents of mandated masking, Florida’s ban on school mask mandates was upheld by a federal judge on September 15, with the court standing firm by rejecting an appeal to reconsider on September 30.

In an effort to allow parents to have the ultimate decision on whether their children will wear masks at school, DeSantis’ administration opted to withhold funds from boards that require students to mask in spite of the government order. At its October 7 meeting, the Florida Board of Education (BOE) unanimously agreed to impose financial penalties for school districts mandating students wear masks.

RELATED ARTICLES:

FBI Whistleblower Claims DOJ Used Counterterrorism Tools Against Parents

Florida second-grader suspended 36 times for mask mandate violation

Gov. DeSantis joins Florida second-grader suspended for refusing to wear mask: ‘Totally unacceptable’

Mask Opt-out available 11-8-21

Administrative judge rules Florida Health Department, not school districts, has call on quarantines, masking

Biden Administration warns Florida over financial sanctions against school boards with mask mandates

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Quick note: Tech giants are shutting us down. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense, Pinterest permanently banned us. Facebook, Google search et al have shadow-banned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter, and we will not fail. Freedom will prevail.

Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.

Follow me on Gettr. I am there, click here. It’s open and free.

Remember, YOU make the work possible. If you can, please contribute to Geller Report.

WASHINGTON STATE: High School Claims Being White Male Christian Heterosexual Brings One Extra ‘Privilege’

As we have documented here many times, just the opposite is true. Victimhood is so much of a currency that Muslims not infrequently fake hate crimes so as to be able to claim victim status. In American culture today, Muslims, non-white people, women, and gays are focused upon, coddled, celebrated, and again and again cast as victims when it is those who aren’t in these groups who are really marginalized.

Teachers Force-Fed a Slice of ‘Privilege Pie’ at Washington High School

by Ryan Mills, National Review, September 27, 2021 (thanks to Darcy):

It’s still two months until Thanksgiving, and already one school district in Washington is serving up pie to its staff. Not pumpkin pie. Not apple or cherry. Rather, teachers at Tumwater High School recently were force-fed a big slice of “privilege pie.”

According to one employee, teachers in the district were required to attend diversity training where they were asked to examine their privilege. As part of the training, the teachers were instructed to color in a “privilege pie” – a pie chart with several so-called privileges, including being white, cisgender male, Christian, heterosexual, and U.S. born.

“The more we colored in, the more privileged we were,” the teacher, whose name was not released, told Parents Defending Education, a nonprofit that fights classroom indoctrination and activist-driven agendas in U.S. schools.

“I was so upset because we have so much to do and I would really prefer to use that time to design effective instruction or communicate with families,” the teacher said, according to a quote released by Parents Defending Education. “Instead, I’m sitting there for two hours learning about how I am privileged because of my skin color and about micro-aggressions.”…

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Fourth Graders in Minnesota Told Not to Tell Parents About Racist, Anti-White Training In School

What parent, what mom, will stand by while their children were abused and radicalized?

Fourth Graders in Minnesota Told Not to Tell Parents About Anti-White ‘Survey’

Fourth graders at a school in St. Cloud, Minnesota, have been told not to tell their parents about the racist, anti-white training at school.
By Warner Todd Huston, Flag and Cross, July 26, 2021:According to reports, fourth graders at a school in St. Cloud, Minnesota, have been told not to tell their parents about the racist, anti-white training they are getting at school. Lids were told to stay mum about an “equity survey” they were required to fill out that informs the white kids about how racist they all are. Per Fox News:According to a video uploaded by Alphanews, when students didn’t understand some of the survey questions, they were told by a teacher in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District to not repeat the survey questions to their parents.

“The survey asked questions that some students didn’t understand. Even after hearing an explanation from their teacher, some still couldn’t comprehend the survey questions,” The Center Square reported.

The George Floyd incident sparked a nationwide conversation on race and the role of policing. School districts across America are pushing critical race theory on students to attempt to contextualize current events on matters of race.

The parents found out, anyway, though. And they are none too happy about their kids being exposed to the woke anti-whit critical race theory curriculum.

Kelsey Yasgar said that although parents were “informed that the equity audit was taking place, they were not informed on the date of the activity and not given other details.” She explained further that due to the lack of transparency from the school district and from Equity Alliance Minnesota, the third party that administered the survey, parents were not informed of the questions being asked to the students.

Yasgar was “very upset” when her daughter told her that she was instructed by teachers not to repeat any of the questions being asked of them.

“I do want to say though I believe that this wasn’t a single case that her teacher made this decision. We had been informed that this came down from the administration and Equity Alliance of Minnesota instructed them to make sure the children did not share this information with their parents and that should pose a great concern in any parents’ eyes,” Hayley said.

Folks, don’t just blink and pass over this story. It is being repeated in every single school in the U.S.A.

If you have kids in school, they ARE being exposed to this racist crap.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Quick note: Tech giants are shutting us down. You know this. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense, Pinterest permanently banned us. Facebook, Google search et al have shadow-banned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter, and we will not fail. Freedom will prevail.

Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.

Follow me on Gettr. I am there, click here. It’s open and free.

Remember, YOU make the work possible. If you can, please contribute to Geller Report.

Action Civics Is Teaching Our Kids to Protest

Many young Americans seem to have a growing disdain for our country. According to a Gallup poll, pride in our nation has declined, especially among young adults.

Young adults are taking to the streets and not merely protesting but wreaking havoc, rioting and looting, tearing down statues, and shutting down anyone who doesn’t share their perspective.

One reason this is happening is what our children are being taught in school. And that doesn’t mean only in college. We all know college campuses have become centers of radical indoctrination, but now it is happening in K-12 as well, through something called action civics, a new movement in civic education.

As educator Thomas Lindsay explains, action civics was born in 2010 when six organizations set out to redefine civic education. Dissatisfied with traditional civics, which depended on book learning, they wanted to create a new civics that was more experiential. They wanted kids to engage, get involved, get active.


When the elections end, the work begins. Learn what the election results mean for the future of America now >>


The problem is that without a solid understanding of why the Founders were so deliberate in designing our self-governing republic, with its separation of powers to prevent any one branch from becoming tyrannical, or establishing the rule of law so that we would not be subject to the whims of any one person, we risk falling into the same traps of other, less just regimes.

Indeed it is no accident that today’s protests are looking more like the French Revolution, with its guillotines and beheadings, than the American Revolution, with its debates and deliberations.


>>> To learn more about action civics, watch “How Action Civics Teaches Our Kids to Protest,” the Oct. 28 webinar featuring educator Thomas Lindsay held by The Heritage Foundation. To read his study, published in September by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, go here.


Robert Pondiscio, himself once a proponent and teacher of action civics, wrote that it has grown into “a manipulative and cynical use of children as political props in the service of causes they understand superficially, if at all.”

Indeed a study published by the National Association of Scholars found that action civics projects essentially teach students to protest for progressive political causes.

As Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, pointed out, the “new civics” is in fact a form of anti-civics. It does not teach students how our government works or, even more importantly, their critical role as citizens in a self-governing republic. Rather, it simply teaches them how to be activists.

For many today, it feels as if our country never has been more divided and the ideals of our Founders never more at risk. That is due in no small part to what is being taught in our schools.

Parents must step up and take a more active role in their children’s education, carefully watching what their children are being taught. The good news is that with the COVID-19 crisis and the prevalence of online learning, it is easier than ever before for parents to keep an eye on what is being taught to their children.

But what parents do with that information is what really matters. They must engage with schools, school boards, teachers, and principals to ensure that students are taught more than simply how to protest.

COMMENTARY BY

Katharine Gorka is director of the Center for Civil Society and the American Dialogue at The Heritage Foundation’s Feulner Institute.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Podcast: Can Young Adults Learn to Love the Free Market?

Trump v. Biden: 2 Candidates, 2 Starkly Divergent Stances on Abortion

I Visited DC on Eve of the Election. This Is What I Saw.

ICYMI: Hunter Biden Emails, Texts Raise Questions That Need Answers


A Note for our Readers:

When the election ends, the work begins.

Join Heritage Foundation leadership for a tele-townhall on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 2:00pm ET for an in-depth analysis into what the election results mean for the future of America.

LEARN MORE »


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump’s ban on Critical Race Theory, explained

Does Critical Race Theory promote racial harmony or does it “sow division” as the Trump administration claims? And what is its relation, if any, to Marxism?


With the November election just around the corner, it’s only to be expected that President Trump would seek to rally conservative voters and drive his supporters to the polls. So, when his administration, on September 4, instructed the federal government to eliminate all training in “Critical Race Theory,” some thought it was just a red-meat stunt to excite the Republican base. Others saw it as an act of right-wing censorship and an obstruction of racial progress.

In truth, there’s much more to this development than mere politicization and censorship.

Here’s a breakdown of what the administration is doing and why it’s a welcome move.

The executive memo

“It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought wrote in the executive memorandum.

“Employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism’ or where they are required to say that they ‘benefit from racism,’” Vought explained. “According to press reports, in some cases these training [sic] have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.”

The order instructed federal agencies to identify and eliminate any contracts or spending that train employees in “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” “or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”

The exposé

How did it “come to the President’s attention,” and what press reports is Vought referring to?

Well, President Trump is known to watch Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News. And days before the memo was issued, Carlson had on journalist Christopher Rufo to discuss his multiple reports uncovering the extent to which Critical Race Theory (CRT) was being used in federal training programs.

“For example, Rufo claimed, the Treasury Department recently hired a diversity trainer who said the U.S. was a fundamentally White supremacist country,” wrote Sam Dorman for the Fox News web site, “and that White people upheld the system of racism in the nation. In another case, which Rufo discussed with Carlson last month, Sandia National Laboratories, which designs nuclear weapons, sent its white male executives to a mandatory training in which they, according to Rufo, wrote letters apologizing to women and people of color.”

Rufo challenged President Trump to use his executive authority to extirpate CRT from the federal government.

The debate

CNN’s Brian Stelter (as well as Rufo himself) traced Trump’s decision directly to the independent investigative journalist’s self-proclaimed “one-man war” on CRT, of which the recent Carlson appearance was only the latest salvo.

Selter characterized Trump’s move as a reactionary attack on the current national “reckoning” on race. He cited the Washington Post’s claim that, “racial and diversity awareness trainings are essential steps in helping rectify the pervasive racial inequities in American society, including those perpetuated by the federal government.”

So which is it? Is CRT “divisive” and “toxic” or is it “rectifying” and “anti-racist”?

Intellectual ancestry

To answer that, it would help to trace CRT to its roots. Critical Race Theory is a branch of Critical Theory, which began as an academic movement in the 1930s. Critical Theory emphasizes the “critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures,” as Wikipedia states. Critical Race Theory does the same, with a focus on racial power structures, especially white supremacy and the oppression of people of color.

The “power structure” prism stems largely from Critical Theory’s own roots in Marxism—Critical Theory was developed by members of the Marxist “Frankfurt School.” Traditional Marxism emphasized economic power structures, especially the supremacy of capital over labor under capitalism. Marxism interpreted most of human history as a zero-sum class war for economic power.

“According to the Marxian view,” wrote the economist Ludwig von Mises, “human society is organized into classes whose interests stand in irreconcilable opposition.”

Mises called this view a “conflict doctrine,” which opposed the “harmony doctrine” of classical liberalism. According to the classical liberals, in a free market economy, capitalists and workers were natural allies, not enemies. Indeed, in a free society all rights-respecting individuals were natural allies.

A bitter inheritance

Critical Race Theory arose as a distinct movement in law schools in the late 1980s. CRT inherited many of its premises and perspectives from its Marxist ancestry.

The pre-CRT Civil Rights Movement had emphasized equal rights and treating people as individuals, as opposed to as members of a racial collective. “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” Martin Luther King famously said.

In contrast, CRT dwells on inequalities of outcome, which it generally attributes to racial power structures. And, as we’ve seen from the government training curricula, modern CRT forthrightly judges white people by the color of their skin, prejudging them as racist by virtue of their race. This race-based “pre-trial guilty verdict” of racism is itself, by definition, racist.

The classical liberal “harmony doctrine” was deeply influential in the movements to abolish all forms of inequality under the law: from feudal serfdom, to race-based slavery, to Jim Crow.

But, with the rise of Critical Race Theory, the cause of racial justice became more influenced by the fixations on conflict, discord, and domination that CRT inherited from Marxism.

Social life was predominantly cast as a zero-sum struggle between collectives: capital vs. labor for Marxism, whites vs. people of color for CRT.

A huge portion of society’s ills were attributed to one particular collective’s diabolical domination: capitalist hegemony for Marxism, white supremacy for CRT.

Just as Marxism demonized capitalists, CRT vilifies white people. Both try to foment resentment, envy, and a victimhood complex among the oppressed class it claims to champion.

Traditional Marxists claimed that all capitalists benefit from the zero-sum exploitation of workers. Similarly, CRT “diversity trainers” require white trainees to admit that they “benefit from racism.”

Traditional Marxists insisted that bourgeois thoughts were inescapably conditioned by “class interest.” In the same way, CRT trainers push the notion that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” as a result of their whiteness.

Given the above, it should be no wonder that CRT has been criticized as “racist” and “divisive.”

Reckoning or retrogression?

Supporters of CRT cast it as a force for good in today’s “rectifying reckoning” over race.

But CRT’s neo-Marxist orientation only damages race relations and harms the interests of those it claims to serve.

In practice, the class war rhetoric of Marxism was divisive and toxic for economic relations. And, far from advancing the interests of the working classes, it led to mass poverty and devastating famines, not to mention staggering inequality between the elites and the masses.

Today, the CRT-informed philosophy, rhetoric, and strategy of the Black Lives Matter organization (whose leadership professed to be “trained Marxists”) is leading to mass riots, looting, vandalism, and assault. The divisive violence has arrested progress for the cause of police reform, destroyed countless black-owned small businesses, and economically devastated many black communities.

Those who truly wish to see racial harmony should dump the neo-Marxists and learn more about classical liberalism. (FEE.org is the perfect place to start.)

So much for CRT being a force for good. Of course, even horrible ideas are protected by the First Amendment. The government should never use force to suppress people from expressing ideas, speech, or theories it dislikes.

Critics insist that President Trump is engaged in this kind of censorship by targeting CRT.

Not so.

No one is banning White Fragility, the blockbuster CRT manifesto. No one is locking up those who preach CRT or ordering mentions of it stripped from the internet.

The memo simply says that taxpayer dollars will no longer be spent promulgating this theory to federal government employees. As heads of the executive branch, presidents have wide latitude to make the rules for federal agencies under their control. Deciding how money is spent certainly falls under their proper discretion—and it is always done with political preferences in mind, one way or the other.

It is not censorship for Trump to eliminate funding for CRT, anymore than it was “censorship” for the Obama administration to choose to tie federal contracts to a business’s embrace of LGBT rights.

Elections have consequences, one of the most obvious being that the president gets to run the executive branch. If we don’t want the president’s political preferences to be so significant in training programs, then we should simply reduce the size of government and the number of bureaucrats.

In the meantime, stripping the federal government of the divisive, toxic, and neo-Marxist ideology of Critical Race Theory is a positive development for the sake of racial justice and harmony.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

COLUMN BY

Dan Sanchez

Dan Sanchez is the Director of Content at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and the editor-in-chief of FEE.org. He co-hosts the weekly web show FEEcast, serving as the resident “explainer.” … 

Tyler Brandt

Tyler Brandt is a Senior Associate Editor at FEE. He is a graduate of UW-Madison with a B.A. in Political Science. In college, Tyler was a FEE Campus Ambassador, President of his campus YAL chapter, and… 

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and the Eugene S. Thorpe Writing Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education. He was previously a Media and Journalism Fellow at… 

RELATED ARTICLES:

STUDY: Black Lives Matter Accounts For Nearly 100% of Riots Across the Country Over 3 Months

Lest we forget, some US slave owners were honorable men

Helping our teens navigate gender ideology: ages 14-18

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘OPEN THE SCHOOLS’: President Trump Calls For Defunding Schools That Remain Shuttered

President Donald Trump demanded that Democrats assist him in re-opening public schools on Thursday, saying schools that remain closed should lose government funding.

Trump has pressed for reopening schools for weeks, making several threats to limit or cut funding altogether if children continue to be forced into distance learning. The main opposition to reopening comes from teachers unions, which consistently align with the Democrats.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1304055016731422722?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1304055016731422722%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdailycaller.com%2F2020%2F09%2F10%2Ftrump-schools-reopen-democrats-funding%2F

Trump first began his push to reopen schools in July, arguing that his Democratic opponents were halting the reopening process for political reasons.

“We have to open our schools. Open our schools. Stop this nonsense,” Trump said Thursday. “It’s only political nonsense. They don’t want to open because they think it will help them on November 3rd. I think it will hurt them on November 3rd.”

Governors across the country ordered schools to close for the final months of the 2019-2020 school year, but states and districts disagree on when classrooms should reopen. The Trump administration released a set of eight recommendations in August for how schools can safely reopen.

The White House recommendations are as follows:

  • Educate teachers and students about the symptoms of COVID-19
  • Require students and teachers to “self-assess” their health each morning
  • Encourage frequent hand washing
  • Minimize large, indoor gatherings
  • Maintain high levels of ventilation in classrooms
  • Require students and teachers to socially distance from “high-risk individuals”
  • Encourage the use of masks
  • Post instructions for hygiene and social distancing around the school

Trump maintains that distanced learning is not an adequate replacement for schooling.

“When you sit at home in a basement looking at a computer, your brain starts to wither away,” Trump said when announcing the recommendations. “We have a lot of good experience at that just by taking a look at what’s happening in politics.”

Trump’s comments echoed those of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which came forward last month to urge state governments to reopen schools in the fall, saying risk of COVID-19 spread among students is low. The group also said dangers of keeping students home and away from learning outweighs the potential risk of spread.

“Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation,” the group said according to U.S. News.

COLUMN BY

ANDERS HAGSTROM

White House correspondent.

RELATED ARTICLES:

White House Praises SCOTUS For Striking Down State Law Banning Aid To Religious Schools

‘Stop This Political Nonsense’: Trump Calls For Schools To Reopen, Blames Democrats For Closures

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved

1776 Initiative Is Helping Turn Civics Education Around

Entrepreneur and civil rights movement veteran Robert L. Woodson Sr. believes that American civics can help save our country—and that’s the mission of 1776, a major initiative launched earlier this year by the Woodson Center, which Woodson founded to give local leaders the training they need to improve their communities.

Featuring essays by notable scholars and writers such as Clarence PageJohn McWhorter, and Carol M. Swain, and eventually a curriculum and multimedia resources, 1776 offers “perspectives that celebrate the progress America has made on delivering its promise of equality and opportunity and highlight the resilience of its people.”

A recipient of the Bradley Price and the Presidential Citizens Medal, Woodson began 1776 to counter The New York Times’ 1619 Project, a series of essays launched a year ago this month with a very different focus: It teaches that America is defined, now and forever, by slavery. As Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote in the 1619 Project’s lead essay: “Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country.”

In Woodson’s view, the 1619 Project inculcates the “diabolical, self-destructive” idea that “all white Americans are oppressors and all black Americans are victims.”


How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>


“Though slavery and discrimination undeniably are a tragic part of our nation’s history,” Woodson notes, “we have made strides along its long and tortuous journey to realize its promise and abide by its founding principles.”

Woodson continues: “People are motivated to achieve and overcome the challenges that confront them when they learn about inspiring victories that are possible and are not barraged by constant reminders of injuries they have suffered.”

He points to the surprising number “of men and women who were born slaves” but “died as millionaires,” the existence of famous black business districts in cities such as Durham, North Carolina, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the midst of oppression and segregation, and heroes like baseball Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron as powerful examples for black uplift.

And it’s a lesson that Woodson knows firsthand.

Born in a low-income Philadelphia neighborhood, he rose up beyond his circumstances through hard work, the support of his family, and a good peer group. He entered the U.S. military, where he flew aircrafts for the space program; attended the University of Pennsylvania; and worked for the American Enterprise Institute, before starting the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise in 1981. (It was rebranded as the Woodson Center in 2016.)

The Woodson Center’s mission is to seek out “individuals and organizations” already present in communities and help them “build their capacities,” in part by helping them “in linking to the resources they need.”

The center has helped more than 22,000 adults reach financial literacy and has trained over 2,600 grassroots leaders in 39 states, helping them “attain more than 10 times the funding expended by the Center.”

Though the center works on the “whole range” of issues associated with the “problems of poverty,” Woodson notes a “particular emphasis on those dealing with youth violence,” since “the restoration of civil order is a necessary foundation for civic health.”

In “The Triumphs of Joseph: How Today’s Community Healers Are Reviving Our Streets and Neighborhoods,” Woodson writes that low-income black communities are “dying from self-inflicted wounds.” He calls it a “moral free-fall,” one that “penetrates beyond all boundaries of race, ethnicity, and income level.”

In light of violent protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Woodson has been active in print and on television, arguing that though Floyd’s killing was unconscionable, the violent protests that have ensued are “devastating the people in whose name they demand justice.”

Another way the Woodson Center combats civic breakdown is through its Violence Free Zone initiative, which aims to reduce youth violence by providing mentors to young students to “encourage their personal, academic, and career success.” The center reports that this initiative has led to a 50% reduction in crime, a 23% reduction in truancy, and a nearly 10% improvement in both student GPA and graduation rates.

Woodson views the 1619 Project and Black Lives Matter as major contributors to the growing belief that the foundations of America itself must be torn down. Against what he sees as defeatism and a denial of moral agency, Woodson preaches an ethic of self-reliance and personal resilience.

As Woodson sees it, “Nothing is more lethal than a good excuse for failure.”

His vision, a deeply American one, should be heeded by his countrymen of all colors.

Originally published by RealClearEducation

COMMENTARY BY

Mike Sabo, formerly a research assistant for the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation, is the editor of Real Clear Public Affairs: American Civics. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

Democratic Socialists say, “America should be more like socialist countries such as Sweden and Denmark.” And millions of young people believe them…

For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.

Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.

Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW »


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘Nice White Parents’ Responsible for Failing Public Schools, New York Times Says

Why does the public education system continue to fail America’s children? Policy experts have pondered this question for decades.

Most say the answer is complicated, requiring a nuanced, collaborative approach.

But not The New York Times. It found the problem, and it’s simple: white parents.

The solution? “Try, whenever possible, to suppress the power of white parents.”


How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>


That quote comes from the Times’ podcast “Nice White Parents,” which chronicles the history of a single public school in New York. Specifically, the host, Chana Joffe-Walt, decides to look into the racial history of this school.

Her first finding: Many parents who advocated for the integration of public schools, specifically this public school, did not end up enrolling their children. Instead, they chose to send their children to established schools with a history of success. This choice—made predominantly by white families—is why the school has struggled, Joffe-Walt says.

She contacts several of these parents to scold them for not sending their children to a worse school to serve the larger cause of public education. Some parents note that although they believed in advancing school integration, they perceived this particular school to struggle academically, noting that many students could not read at grade level.

Joffe-Walt chalks up these criticisms to racism, rather than a genuine observation that the school would be a step backward academically for a student functioning at grade level.

Does she offer concrete policy solutions to fix the underlying academic issues plaguing the school? Of course not. Instead, she perpetuates the myth that parents choosing to exit the public school system leads to underfunded schools.

In reality, schools are not underfunded. Not even close. In fact, since the creation of the Department of Education in 1979, education spending has gone only in one direction: up. Test scores, by contrast, have remained entirely stagnant.

New York spends almost $23,000 per student per year in the public school system—a close second to Washington, D.C., for the highest per-pupil expenditure in the country. That figure also is significantly higher than most private school tuitions. So why are so many schools still failing?

One reason: The public school system is drowning in bureaucracy. And bureaucrats get paid before teachers—and before students get new textbooks.

Ben Scafidi at Kennesaw State University has studied the concept of administrative bloat in the K-12 public education system extensively. He found that between 1950 and 2015, the student population at public schools had grown roughly 100%. During that same time period, teaching staff had grown 243%.

Although that disproportionate growth in the number of teachers compared to the growth in student population is shocking enough, that is hardly his biggest finding. During that same time period, “administrators and other staff” in the public school system grew 709%.

An increase in administrative staff exceeding 700% compared to just a 100% increase in students seems to be a far more likely answer to why heavily funded public schools appear to lack resources than the choices of some parents to seek out the best education options available for their children.

Throughout “Nice White Parents,” Joffe-Walt details examples of parents’ getting involved in the day-to-day operation of the school, and paints this involvement as affront to public schooling.

In Episode 1, for example, she describes how when “white parents” came into the school, many wanted their children to learn French, yet no French classes were offered. The parents formed a committee, held fundraisers, collaborated with administrators, and got their French program.

This is problematic, according to “Nice White Parents,” because a French program strays from the cultural needs of the majority-minority population of the school.

This scenario is exactly why every family needs school choice. There never will be a one-size-fits-all public school system that will offer the foreign language needs and wants of every family, nor other such demands.

The New York Times and the makers of “Nice White Parents” argue that the solution to the different wants and needs of families is to ignore the wishes of parents altogether and let education bureaucrats decide what is best for their children.

School choice proponents, by contrast, believe that every family in America should be empowered to choose an education option that is custom fit for their child’s needs. Through programs such as vouchers or education savings accounts, every family would be financially empowered to make that decision. Students do better when their parents are actively engaged in their education.

A podcast attacking parental autonomy is bad enough. But the fact that The New York Times attacks parents of a particular race for executing their autonomy is worse. “Nice White Parents” isn’t just troubling, it’s wrong, and an affront to American ideals.

Ultimately, this hurts all children because “Nice White Parents” racializes the failure of the public schools, hurting the students who are trapped there and don’t have the resources to flee the public system.

There has got to be some accountability for the failure of the public system. The New York Times’ use of a racist canard to avoid systemic culpability for failing these kids isn’t going to cut it.

COMMENTARY BY

Mary Clare Amselem is a policy analyst in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

Democratic Socialists say, “America should be more like socialist countries such as Sweden and Denmark.” And millions of young people believe them…

For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.

Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.

Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW »


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

I’m a Former Teacher. Here’s How Your Children Are Getting Indoctrinated by Leftist Ideology.

Your children are being indoctrinated. The education system designed to teach them how to think critically has been weaponized by the radical left to push an anti-American agenda.

As someone who has worked in education for four years, I have seen firsthand how your children are being ensnared by the left and their teachers.

I worked with kids from ages 3 to 13 and saw the brainwashing that exists at all levels of education. The left uses a combination of propaganda and suppression to push kids into the ensnaring grip of socialism and anti-patriotism.

First is the propaganda. Teachers will assign work instilling the idea that the pillars of Western civilization were evil, and their memories deserve to be thrown in the trash.


How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>


Here’s an example. I was helping one of my elementary school students with a homework assignment about listing famous Britons throughout history. She already had some of the more obvious ones: Shakespeare, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth.

“Well, how about Winston Churchill?” I recommended.

“Oh no, not him,” she replied. “He was a racist and didn’t think women should have rights. He wasn’t a good guy.”

I was floored. It clearly wasn’t something she came up with on her own. She was just regurgitating propaganda her teacher had taught her. All sense of nuance and critical thinking about the man who saved Europe from the Nazis was gone. Churchill committed “wrongthink,” so in the bin he goes.

Another way the left propagandizes is through the normalization of its views and positions as nonpolitical.

The Black Lives Matter organization is a prime example of this. Many of my colleagues wore Black Lives Matter pins and apparel to school in blatant violation of school rules forbidding political statements on clothing.

When I asked for a justification of the behavior, I was told it wasn’t political to support the group, it was a matter of human rights. The children would see these pins and clothes and connect radical leftist groups with basic human dignity. “How dare you question Black Lives Matter? I was taught this is a matter of human rights!”

But it isn’t just a matter of actively teaching that America and the West are evil. Suppression of “wrongthink” is equally as important to the brainwashing process. The lessons I was allowed to teach also were censored.

I was preparing a lesson on Thanksgiving involving Pilgrims and American Indians, with an activity centered on making paper teepees for arts and crafts. Cue the progressive panic.

Other teachers at the school were incensed that a non-Indian was “appropriating” Native American culture for an activity. Of course, these teachers weren’t Indians either, they just wanted to virtue signal.

The whole thing culminated in a hilarious incident where my colleagues tracked down the one teacher on staff who was one-sixty-fourths Native American and asked her if it was cultural appropriation. In her esteemed authority, it most certainly was. The school administrators pulled me aside and promptly nixed the project.

The suppression extends to American religious values as well. I would try to engage my students with folk stories from around the globe to teach them world history and other cultures.

Story time went on without a hitch until I decided to tell stories from the Bible. Other teachers began to complain I was preaching Christian values to the children and attempting to convert them.

Keep in mind, this wasn’t a problem when I was sharing stories from other ancient cultures throughout history. Stories about ancient India and China were fine and encouraged as “sharing unheard voices.” After sharing the story of the Tower of Babel, I was told to switch back to non-Christian stories or face consequences.

The young adults who today gleefully tear down statues of the Founding Fathers were incubated in our very own schools, groomed to burst from the education system and burn America down.

The left argues the great men and women who built this nation are problematic and must be destroyed. Conservatives must demand an end to the indoctrination of our youth or face a new American public taught since childhood that the country shouldn’t exist.

COMMENTARY BY

Douglas Blair is an administrative assistant at The Heritage Foundation and a graduate of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program.

RELATED TWEET:

RELATED ARTICLE: A Welcome Conclusion That Yale Discriminates Against Asians, Whites


A Note for our Readers:

Democratic Socialists say, “America should be more like socialist countries such as Sweden and Denmark.” And millions of young people believe them…

For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.

Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.

Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW »


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Vaping in the Classroom

One of the challenges of being a public high school teacher is developing a constant awareness of what is transpiring in my classroom. Even when I conference individually with my student, my eyes and ears are open in a hyper-observant manner that I have cultivated over decades.

Of course, times change, and over those decades, what I’ve needed to pay attention to has evolved– including smoking, it seems.

Now, there’s vaping.

I saw a commercial for vaping in which the advertiser stated that vaping is meant to help smokers who are trying to quit.

Nice try.

As that advertiser was speaking, I was hearing my own high-school-classroom, overlay script:

Vaping makes it easier for teenagers to access nicotine without being detected. Why, they can even vape during class, and many teachers would not even realize it because it would not occur to them to even consider that it could. Oh, yet, and that means we will make a load of money off of teens even as we promote the idea that Smoking Is Bad for Your Health.

Vaping in class– during class! I learned that this was possible only months ago. And part of the problem for many school districts is that they may not have adjusted their smoking policies to include vaping. As any student caught vaping would likely (and quickly) point out, a vape is not a cigarette. That is true. Vaping involves inhaling vaporized nicotine, and the exhale is not nearly as noticeable as that of a cigarette.

img_1409
Vaping in class. (Youtube, 2016)

What complicates detection is that the vaping instrument may look like a flash drive to the untrained eye. (The vaping device may be longer than a flash drive, but not always, I have learned.)

img_1410
A Juul brand vape. (Time)
img_1407
Juul vaping device charging via USB port (looking like an elongated flash drive) (EdWeek)
img_1408
Juul USB port charger (EdWeek)
img_1406

One Juul pod has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes (EdWeek) and lasts for about 200 puffs (TIME)

According to coverage in a March 2018 article on vaping in TIME, the teen appeal was not part of intentional marketing:

Ashley Gould, chief administrative officer at Juul Labs, says that the product was created by two former smokers specifically and solely to help adult smokers quit, and that the company has numerous anti-youth-use initiatives in place because “we really don’t want kids using our product.” Gould also notes that Juul uses age authentication systems to sell only to adults 21 and older online, though most of its sales take place in retail stores, where state laws may allow anyone 18 and older to purchase the devices.

The design, she adds, was not meant to make the device easier to hide.

“It was absolutely not made to look like a USB port. It was absolutely not made to look discreet, for kids to hide them in school,” Gould says. “It was made to not look like a cigarette, because when smokers stop they don’t want to be reminded of cigarettes.” …

Does Juuling help you quit smoking?

It’s not yet clear. Gould acknowledges that Juul doesn’t have great end-user data since its products are mostly sold in retail stores, but she says the company is actively researching the effectiveness of its devices.

Research about the efficacy of nicotine replacement therapy using tools such as e-cigarettes and nicotine gum is relatively inconclusive. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine even found that smokers trying to quit may actually have less success if they use e-cigarettes.

Even so, both the vape device and the vape action are easy to hide in plain sight in the public school classroom– all the more reason for school admin, teachers, and staff to educate themselves on the issue.

On July 31, 2018, EdWeek published the following video on vaping (also known as “Juuling,” derived from a brand name, Juul):

Regarding the long-term effects of vaping, not much is known yet because vaping is still relatively new. That noted, common sense dictates that vaping is problematic because nicotine is addictive, and the young person vaping is opening the door to chemical addiction by repeatedly inhaling concentrated nicotine and may well be damaging or otherwise impeding healthy growth and development.

Regarding the effects of vaping, the March 2018 TIME article offers the following:

While e-cigarettes contain fewer toxic substances than traditional cigarettes, the CDC warns that vaping may still expose people to cancer-causing chemicals. (Different brands use different formulations, and the CDC’s warning did not mention Juul specifically.)

It’s not clear exactly how e-cigarettes affect health because there’s little long-term data on the topic, says Dr. Michael Ong, an associate professor of general internal medicine and health services at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. “We just don’t have a lot of information as to what the harms potentially are going to be,” he says. “There likely would be health risks associated with it, though they’re not going to be the same as a traditional cigarette.”

Doctors do know, however, that each Juul pod contains nicotine equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. That’s troubling, because nicotine is “one of the most addicting substances that we know of,” Ong says. “Having access to that is certainly problematic,” Ong adds, because it may get kids hooked, which could potentially lead them to later take up cigarettes.

Juul’s products come in flavors including mango, fruit medley and creme brûlée — and the chemicals used to flavor vaping liquid may also be dangerous, Ong adds. “Even if the manufacturer doesn’t intend it to be something that’s kid-friendly, it’s kid-friendly,” he says. A 2016 study suggested that these flavoring agents may also cause popcorn lung, a respiratory condition first seen in people working in factories that make microwave popcorn.

There we have it teachers: Vape Detection 101.

Watch out for those flash drives.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by deutsch29 is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Cianna Jolie on Unsplash.

Washington Post Advice Columnist Gets it Right on Irrational Fear of School Shootings

These days the cynical adage “if it bleeds, it leads” seems as applicable to the news media as ever. This is all the more reason that Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax should be applauded for a recent piece where she sought to quell her readers’ out-sized fears about school shootings. Titled, “Apply the empirical method to your school-shooting anxieties,” Hax urged her readers to take a moment to look at the facts about school shootings before succumbing to fear.

In the column, a parent of a kindergartner told Hax, “I am just a wreck every time I see news about a school shooting.” The Parent went on to explain “I know there are daily risks in life (getting in a car, etc.) but I am having a really hard time with the possibility that something fatal could happen to her at school,” and asked “I’d love to hear thoughts on how to deal with this anxiety.”

In the opening of her response, Hax didn’t mince words, writing, “Throw facts at your anxiety, because it is in fact irrational.” Hax explained,

Something fatal can happen to all of us anywhere — and does, eventually — but the likelihood of any U.S. child dying by any cause is very low. When something bad does happen, it is typically accidental; you brush past the “daily risks” but the numbers are much grimmer for that car trip than for any school day. School shootings are more terrifying because they’re outside our daily risk trade-offs — such as, do we stick only to places we can walk, or accept the risk inherent in vehicle travel?

The simple truth is that school shootings are extremely rare.

In another excellent piece published in the Washington Post last March, Harvard Instructor David Ropeik explained just how vanishingly rare such incidents are. Walking readers through the numbers, Ropeik noted,

The Education Department reports that roughly 50 million children attend public schools for roughly 180 days per year. Since Columbine, approximately 200 public school students have been shot to death while school was in session, including the recent slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (and a shooting in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday that police called accidental that left one student dead). That means the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000.

As one writer for the New York Times put it, “A school can expect a shooting once every few thousand years.”

Moreover, despite the prevailing news media narrative, school shootings are not becoming more common. In fact, according to research from Northeastern University Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy James Alan Fox, schools are safer than they were in the 1990s.

A February piece for Northeastern.edu that summarized Fox’s work quoted the professor as follows,

Four times the number of children were killed in schools in the early 1990s than today, Fox said. “There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” he said, adding that more kids are killed each year from pool drownings or bicycle accidents.

The trouble many Americans have in accurately evaluating the prevalence and risks of violence extends beyond school shootings. Polling routinely shows that Americans believe crime is worsening, even as it has trended downwards.

Given the obvious difficulty many have in evaluating risk, and much of the news media’s alarmist bent, it is incumbent upon those who have been exposed to the facts to share their knowledge with others. Hax’s call to reason should help some to better understand the realities of school shootings, and in a small way help inject some much needed sanity into the school safety debate.

Some Refreshing Honesty about the Purpose of Mass Schooling in Florida by Kerry McDonald

In case there was any ambiguity over the idea that mass schooling values and rewards conformity and compliance, an elementary school in Florida has made it very clear.

At Deer Park Elementary School in Pasco County, signs appeared this week showing a hierarchy of behaviors from good to bad. “Democracy” was at the top, “Anarchy” was at the bottom. While there are many issues with these posters, beginning with the fact that public schooling is far from democratic, the one causing the most outrage among parents is the desire for children to exhibit “Cooperation/Conformity.”

“Conform! How Orwellian,” one parent wrote on Facebook.

The posters, tied to the school’s “behavior and classroom culture” project modeled after author Marvin Marshall’s Raise Responsibility System of discipline, suggest that a young person who “complies” and “conforms” is a model student. Under relentless pressure from parents and student advocacy organizations, the school indicated they would temporarily remove the posters until they could better communicate their initiative to parents and the public.

These school posters explicitly reveal the troubling reality that mass schooling retains its 19th-century roots as a system of social control. Originally designed to bring order to an increasingly diverse population, the industrial model of mass schooling continues to impose order by encouraging compliance, rewarding conformity and eliminating individuality.

As author and academic, Noam Chomsky, says “the education system is supposed to train people to be obedient, conformist, not think too much, do what you’re told, stay passive…”

In educator John Holt’s bestselling book, How Children Learn, republished this month in honor of its 50th anniversary, Holt writes about the systematic ways schooling destroys children’s natural curiosity and originality:

We like to say that we send children to school to teach them to think. What we do, all too often, is to teach them to think badly, to give up a natural and powerful way of thinking in favor of a method that does not work well for them and that we rarely use ourselves. Worse than that, we convince most of them that, at least in a school setting, or any situation where words or symbols or abstract thought are concerned, they can’t think at all.”

The elementary school posters in Florida are an overt reminder that schooling and learning are strikingly different. Children, especially those young elementary schoolers, have an incredible capacity for creativity, an inherent zest for exploration and discovery, and an insatiable appetite for learning about the world around them. Then they go to school where tactics that encourage conformity and compliance crush their natural learning instincts. At least these posters tell the truth.

Reprinted from Intellectual Takeout.