How to make sure schools don’t brainwash our kids with ideology of the right OR left
Crazy theories are destroying our schools. Classroom “safe spaces” are nothing more than indoctrination centers. “Race matching” — on the preposterous notion that students of color require a teacher of the same race — threatens to ghettoize education.
Schools everywhere are creating “safe spaces” through segregating children by race or gender. Kids deserve to feel respected and safe from bullying, but what’s missing is safety from propaganda. Schools should be safe spaces for learning and shielded from political brainwashing.
Florida Gov. Ron De Santis nails it when he demands teachers “educate, not indoctrinate.”
As the school year begins, officials should tell teachers to scrub their classrooms of Black Lives Matter logos, rainbow flags, “Believe Women” signs and other slogans. Reserve the blackboards for ABCs, multiplication tables and historical timelines.
The Carroll County, Md., school board voted in June to ban political slogans and symbols in the classrooms, other than the Stars and Stripes and state and county flags. “Our students are a captive audience,” explained one board member. They “need to be protected from all political agendas, both from the right and the left.” Last week, the Kettle Moraine School Board in Wisconsin did the same. That should be the approach everywhere.
The tougher challenge is scrubbing the curriculum, which is overly determined by the teachers unions, with input from leftist groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Legislatures in Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Oklahoma passed 12 bills in 2021, and another seven so far this year, to limit what teachers introduce in the classroom. Over 100 more bills are in the works around the country. Most resemble Florida’s new Stop WOKE Act. They bar discussions of sexuality and gender in K-3 grades and limit sex-education topics in the later grades to what parents approve. The bills also bar Critical Race Theory themes, including labeling whites today as oppressors and blacks as victims.
Leftist groups such as the ACLU and Pen America decry these laws as “gag orders” that threaten to “destroy open inquiry.” Nonsense. These laws don’t gag anyone from discussing sex, gender or race in public. They protect children from being force-fed racially divisive and inappropriate, sexualized materials.
A third-grade reading circle is not a public square. The children have no choice but to be there and are too young to pick and choose what they believe.
Children who’ve been told there’s a Santa Claus and believe it are also likely to believe a teacher who tells them they can be (should be?) pansexual or nonbinary, or that a child with “boy’s body parts” can be a girl.
Parents want control over what their children are taught, especially about sensitive topics. But even if you’re not a parent, the stakes are high. Society can’t prosper when young people enter the workforce lacking skills, filled with animus toward their country and unprepared to function at work and in civic life.
A new Minneapolis union contract specifies that when layoffs are needed, white teachers are to be axed before nonwhite teachers with the same seniority, to increase the chances nonwhite students have a nonwhite teacher. Citing left-wing pedagogy that encourages “race matching,” defenders of the contract claim black students learn better with black teachers.
The contract violates the rights of white teachers, and Monday a legal advocacy group challenged it on constitutional grounds. But the contract is also unjust to students of color. Race-matching doesn’t prepare them for the real world any more than labeling them victims does.
What employer can deal with new hires who need “safe spaces” and a boss whose race matches their own? Students raised to expect these things will be doomed, and our nation will be, too.
DeSantis’ “educate, not indoctrinate” message helped flip a woke Sarasota Florida school board on Tuesday. But the battle for control of our children’s minds is raging across the nation. Surrendering to the indoctrinators is not an option.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.