We’re crossing the line from inadequate education to malevolent indoctrination.

For those willing to step outside the boundaries of “just the way we do things,” the justification for mandatory schooling backstopped by taxpayer-funded government schools is an interesting question.  I’d pick up the rope and pull for the “yes, justified” side.  A country founded on freedom and individual achievement and held together by abstract agreement on a limited number of principles and values must inculcate those principles and values in children and owes it to them to provide a foundation for their opportunity to achieve.

However, watching Politico reporter Heidi Przybyla restate one of America’s founding principles as if it is an extremist belief she’s discovered among a particular modern political faction — as the others on the panel “uh-huh” along — is pretty good evidence that the project has failed:

Other news, however, suggests the situation is somewhat worse than schools’ merely failing to pass along the values of the United States of America.  Rather, progressives are using them to implant new, radical, and partisan values in children.  Rhode Island teacher Ramona Bessinger describes her experience with government-sponsored training on “disinformation” and “violent extremism,” on Legal Insurrection:

An example of this can be seen in three lesson plans presented by Courageous RI.  In the first lesson, facilitators talked about taking literature and changing the plot, themes and characters to fit a “less extremist viewpoint”.  There were several examples provided by the Courageous group, but the three lessons that stand out I call “Feminist Versions of Little Red Riding Hood” (English Language Arts)  “Captain America is a Violent Extremist” (Art) and “Insurrectionists and January 6th” (Civics)

Teachers were told to have students discuss the harmful potentially dangerous themes expressed in classic literature and iconic characters.  “Little Red Riding Hood” was seen as anti-feminist, and “harmful” to women, while “Captain America” was seen as a symbol of violent extremism.  Social Studies looked to January 6th to tell and retell the story how dangerous conservatives are.  In fact, one facilitator wrote a book dedicated to discussing the polarization of MAGA republicans in Middle School classrooms.  Presumably, classic literature, history, and art were all a threat to homeland security.

Rhode Island schools have struggled for decades to improve students’ proficiency on academic subjects, and the evidence is beginning to suggest one reason:  that isn’t their focus.  Upholding American values is apparently also not their priority.

As graduating class after graduating class is robbed of the promise of education, those of us who can remember what that promise used to be must become more vocal.  Schools that are neither instilling quintessentially American principles nor preparing students to thrive don’t deserve our continued investment.


Featured image by Justin Katz using Dall-E 3 and Photoshop AI.

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