How to make sure schools don’t brainwash our kids with right-wing OR left-wing ideology

Crazy theories are destroying our schools. Classroom “safe spaces” are nothing more than centers of indoctrination. “Racial matching” — on the absurd notion that students of color need a teacher of the same race — threatens to ghettoize education.

Around the world, schools are creating “safe spaces” by segregating children by race or gender. Children deserve to feel respected and safe from bullying, but what is missing is protection from propaganda. Schools must be safe learning spaces free from political brainwashing.

Florida Governor Ron De Santis succeeds when he asks teachers to « educate, not indoctrinate. »

At the start of the school year, officials should tell teachers to clear their classrooms of Black Lives Matter logos, rainbow flags, « Believe Women » signs and other slogans. Reserve chalkboards for ABCs, times tables, and historical timelines.

DeSantis tweeted “Florida schools will educate, not indoctrinate [children].”
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The Carroll County School Board in Maryland voted in June to ban political slogans and symbols in classrooms, other than stars and stripes and state and county flags. “Our students are a captive audience,” explained a board member. They « must be protected from all political agendas, right and left ». Last week, the Kettle Moraine School Board in Wisconsin did the same. This should be the approach everywhere.

The toughest challenge is cleaning up the curriculum, which is too determined by teachers’ unions, with input from left-leaning 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 seven more so far this year, to limit what teachers bring into the classroom. More than 100 other bills are in preparation across the country. Most resemble Florida’s new Stop WOKE Act. They prohibit discussion of sexuality and gender in K-3 grades and limit sex education topics in later grades to what parents approve of. The bills also ban critical race theory themes, including labeling whites today as oppressors and blacks as victims.

Left-wing groups such as the ACLU and Pen America denounce these laws as « gag orders » that threaten to « destroy the open investigation. » Absurdity. These laws do not prevent anyone from discussing sex, gender or race in public. They prevent children from being force-fed racist, inappropriate and sexualised material.

A Grade 3 book club is not a public square. The children have no choice but to be there and are too young to choose what they believe.

Children who have been told there is a Santa Claus and who believe it are also likely to believe a teacher who tells them that they can be (should be?) pansexual or non-binary, or that a child with « parts of a boy’s body » can be a girl.

Parents want to control what their children learn, especially on sensitive topics. But even if you’re not a parent, the stakes are high. Society cannot thrive when young people enter the workforce without skills, filled with animosity towards their country and unprepared to function at work and in civic life.

A new Minneapolis union contract specifies that when layoffs are necessary, white teachers should be fired before nonwhite teachers with the same seniority, to increase the chances that nonwhite students will have a nonwhite teacher. Citing a left-leaning pedagogy that encourages “race matching,” advocates of the contract say black students learn better with black professors.

A volunteer picket signs together at the headquarters of the St. Paul Teachers' Federation in St. Paul, Minnesota, on March 5.
A volunteer picket signs together at the headquarters of the St. Paul Teachers’ Federation in St. Paul, Minnesota, on March 5.
John Autey/MediaNews Group/St. Press Paul Pioneer via Getty Images

The contract violates the rights of white teachers and on Monday a legal defense group challenged it on constitutional grounds. But the contract is also unfair to students of color. Race-matching doesn’t prepare them for the real world any more than labeling them as victims.

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 to be doomed, and our nation will be too.

DeSantis’ « educate, not indoctrinate » message helped topple a woke school board in Sarasota, Florida on Tuesday. But the battle for control of our children’s minds rages across the country. Going to the indoctrinators is not an option.

Betsy McCaughey is a former Lieutenant Governor of New York.


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