Skip to comments.15 Year Old Wisconsin Conservative Meets Bullying From Teachers
Posted on 03/28/2013 12:17:28 PM PDT by servo1969
As a 15 year old, I never imagined my activism in politics would translate into controversy for me at school.
My name is Benji Backer and I attend a public high school in Appleton, Wisconsin. I have always supported the public school system and plan to do so for the rest of my life. Many Americans who stand up for the public school system and the unions believe there is no attempt to sway opinion or that students with opposing beliefs are singled out. Unfortunately, experiences I have had with harassment and bullying prove that wrong. This is a timeline of the most extreme cases of harassment and indoctrination I have had in the three different public schools I have attended over the last three years.
I am currently in my freshman year of high school and the incidents are happening more frequently and I believe are more severe. As you can imagine, the ongoing pressure and bullying has been disturbing to me, my friends and my family.
Just before the 2010 Midterm election, I was on the front page of the local newspaper for my political volunteer work and my teachers noticed. One of my seven teachers made it very clear that she dissaproved of my civic engagement. In a period of two months, my Geography teacher frequently would take me aside after school for a few minutes and tell me how stupid, wrong and misguided I was for being Republican. The harassment with this specific teacher got so bad, I had to switch schools halfway through the year. At this time I was only 12 years old. To my knowledge, this teacher was not disciplined at all for her actions.
Two months after I switched to my new school, Scott Walker passed the controversial Budget Repair Bill. Most of the teachers at my new school were more than upset. A couple of my teachers wore red every day while crying, protesting and providing a one-sided perspective on the reforms and making it clear to us just how bad they believed Scott Walker was. One teacher even said she wouldnt be able to have another child because Scott Walker was cutting so much money from her pay.
A few months later, I expected things to die down and be over with; it didnt. Almost four months after Walkers budget was passed, I walked into choir to find a substitute teacher showing us a 5 minute video about how great unions were and then she talked for an additional 10 minutes about how bad she believed Scott Walker to be. At the end of the class, I stood up, defended the governor and told her how inappropriate her behavior was. I was told she didnt do that to another class for the rest of the day.
During my 8th grade year I received more attention for my political activity. I had become known in the community because of newspaper, radio and TV interviews and was aware that this would possibly make me a target. Not only was I a volunteer for Governor Walker, but I was a very vocal supporter of him as well. While there were some minor instances of teachers complaining about Walker and a few mentions of my media appearances and such, the rhetoric seemed to be dying down.
It was a short-lived reprieve. Things have deteriorated again this year, my freshman year. I came into the year with the knowledge that some teachers would already view me negatively because of my political views and I was correct.
Right after Scott Walker won the recall election, I started helping out candidates for November. I was named Young Americans for Mitt Romney Co-Chair in Wisconsin and once again, my teachers took notice; my English teacher in particular. In one of the first weeks of school, he had us write about an article we had read for homework. The article was about political campaigns mining into the personal lives of the American people. He asked, other than Facebook and phone calls, how do campaigns mine into personal lives? I raised my hand and replied: well, you can check who signed the recall. Immediately after, he said I signed that! That was the trigger to the last 40 minutes of class. He spent the remainder of that period lecturing us about how much he hated Scott Walker and explained all the reasons why. He said, most small business owners and workers take off Fridays and summers. According to him, small business owners go golfing every Friday. He also said many businessmen work fewer hours than teachers. He explained how his pay was too low to support his family. He told the class his pay was so bad he had to paint houses in the summers. During this discussion, he was swearing and saying how wrong it was for anyone to support Walker. Students were telling him to stop, and he wouldnt.
I decided I would not argue with him. Past experiences had shown me that arguing with someone like him would only make things worse and inflame the situation. Since no one was debating him, these students were being presented a very biased view and placed in a very uncomfortable situation. By the end of class, some students had a completely negative view of Scott Walker.
A couple of days later, he took me into the hall and apologized. He said he had felt bad about it all weekend. He then gave me a book to read about Abraham Lincoln. He told me that good politicians read a lot. Then he said, I dont think Scott Walker likes to read. The indoctrination and conversations with the class dropped off for a while after this incident, but in mid-October, it started up again. On a regular basis, he would talk about politics in front of the class or in private with me.
The harassment got particularly bad one day in late October, about a week after I was featured in USA Today for my involvement in the upcoming November election. Again, this video and article was sent throughout the school and was even played in several classes. The same English teacher who had lectured to almost 30 students about a month earlier took me aside during class again. He started talking about Mitt Romney and Scott Walker and his views on them. He reiterated how much harder he worked compared to my dad, a small business owner, which he had no knowledge of. He went on to ask how much my parents made because he wanted to compare it to his salary.
Later, I looked up this teachers salary. He had been making over $100,000 with benefits for the 2010-11 school year, the same year Walker's reform bill passed. For a few more days, he talked to me in class about his feelings about Walker and Romney. I decided to tell my parents about the two incidents. My parents thought it was very inappropriate and decided we needed to talk to the principal about it. The principal at my school was very upset with the situation. He was disappointed in my English teacher and he told me I needed to talk to my teacher one on one. After I talked to the teacher, my principal said he would meet up with him to follow up. When I went during my lunch hour to talk to my teacher, he apologized and took ownership for everything. Later during the apology, he started to talk about Walker again and how much he hated him. He just couldnt stop. At the end of the conversation, my teacher asked you know how you went down to the principals office? I said yes, and he said I dont give a sh*t. I asked why, and he went on to explain that he was friends with the principal so it didnt matter to him and he wouldnt get in trouble because of their friendship.
My principal called me into his office the day after to see how it went. I told him what my teacher did and said. He then told me if there were any more incidents with this teacher there would be serious consequences. He also told me if there were any more incidents like this with other teachers, I was to report it right away. I felt as if it was being properly addressed and had hoped I had seen the end of it. Unfortunately, the relationship between the teacher and I turned out to be worse than before. Since I reported these incidents, he has stopped talking about politics in the classroom, but sadly, he has not treated me the same as he did before I reported him.
In my Health class, also this year, our very first homework assignment included writing down four activities you do as a person currently and four things you want to do in the future. We were also assigned to present in front of the class. In one of my four boxes, I wrote down that I was a conservative speaker. When I presented in front of the class, he asked if I supported the Tea Party. I said yes. He rolled his eyes and told me believing in the organization was weird." He also told me he knew nothing about the Tea Party. This teacher then told me to explain, in front of the class why I supported the Tea Party, so I did. When I left the class, I thought about what had happened. Why was I being called weird? Why was I being questioned so much? The simple truth reveals that some teachers want to obstruct and block my personal views from looking valid. If a teacher asked why someone was homosexual, Atheist or Muslim and called what they believed weird, there would be serious consequences. I decided not to report this to the principal because I realized it wouldnt help. I had experienced the fallout from reporting prior instances and I didn't want a repeat situation.
The latest incident involved another substitute teacher in my civics (government) class. Every day we watch a ten minute show called CNN Student News. The substitute asked us to recap the show and discuss it in class. The first part of the show had to do with gun control. Instead of having us discuss the topics as she said she would, she decided to share her views. She talked almost twenty minutes. In those twenty minutes, she said the recently released picture of Obama shooting a gun was forced out by the conservative and far-right members. She explained how she believed Obamas birth certificate was forced out, therefore this was too. For about five minutes, she called all Republicans racist. According to her, she had never seen such discrimination against a president and President Obama has been the most ill-treated president in the history of the United States, all because the Republicans don't want a black man in the White House.
I believe that the majority of my teachers (and teachers in general) are professional and leave their personal political views out of the classroom. There are a few teachers that have been extremely inspirational to me. Unfortunately, most is not enough. Teachers that do bring a one-sided view of politics into the classroom are attempting to influence students opinions. They want to teach us what to think instead of how to think.
The intimidation has not swayed me or made me cowar from my beliefs, but I worry about the other students. I'm certain I am not the only one that has experienced this sort of intimidation. My teachers have always talked about bullying, including bullying homosexuals and how wrong it is. I agree one hundred percent. They shouldnt be bullied, nor should anyone else. But if homosexuals can get equal treatment, why cant I? Why cant my conservative friends? If teachers want bullying to end with homosexuals, other races or religious beliefs, they should want it to end with every type of bullying possible, including political views.
One-sided political conversations are happening in the classroom with impressionable students at a young age. This has gone on for decades. The problem is, not enough students speak up and speak out about it. The more educated I become, the more I realize the indoctrination that happens is very subtle and may not be noticeable to most students. Slowly but surely, these views seep inside a students head. Only a year and a half ago did I realize our country was a Republic, not a Democracy. Why is that? I had been taught otherwise for years prior.
Teachers presenting a one-sided political view are a problem and they need to be stopped. A school should be a place students can comfortably and safely express their beliefs, learn, grow and form their own opinions. If we want an educated Republic, we need to educate our students in a fair and balanced way.
this kid is AWESOME!!! Bump for later full read
Let the education begin.
Bright kid. I pray he doesn’t fall victim to the Republican machine. Politics corrupt everyone eventually.
We’re proud of you, Benji, but the “public school system” has become the Bus Ministry of the State Church of Humanism.
It is unrecoverable.
At least the Left knows that they must completely destroy the existing order to establish their new order.
We conservatives have yet to grasp the necessity of tearing down the old before construction of the new can begin.
The public school system, as it exists today, is really a government school collective, a monopoly, a single-payer entitlement program, and the largest, most expensive and most destructive one at that.
It must be completely abandoned so that new education formats can take over. Home schools, church and synagogue schools, school cooperatives, these are a few of the education paradigms that make education much more responsive to the needs of the students and the values of the parents.
The Noah Webster model of distributed education achieved almost 100% literacy before it was displaced by the Prussian model imported by Horace Mann and embellished by people like John Dewey and Carl Rogers.
In my Health class, also this year, our very first homework assignment included writing down four activities you do as a person currently and four things you want to do in the future. We were also assigned to present in front of the class.
In one of my four boxes, I wrote down that I was a conservative speaker. When I presented in front of the class, he asked if I supported the Tea Party. I said yes. He rolled his eyes and told me believing in the organization was weird." He also told me he knew nothing about the Tea Party. This teacher then told me to explain, in front of the class why I supported the Tea Party, so I did.
When I left the class, I thought about what had happened. Why was I being called weird? Why was I being questioned so much?
The simple truth reveals that some teachers want to obstruct and block my personal views from looking valid. If a teacher asked why someone was homosexual, Atheist or Muslim and called what they believed weird, there would be serious consequences.
I decided not to report this to the principal because I realized it wouldnt help. I had experienced the fallout from reporting prior instances and I didn't want a repeat situation.
Now that right there is a big mistake.
People need to start seeing public education as the indoctrination program it's become and realize we must get kids out of their or we'll lose our freedom for sure.
Smart kid. I have found that the most effective way to build a case in business is with a detailed timeline.
“...I attend a public high school in Appleton, Wisconsin. I have always supported the public school system and plan to do so for the rest of my life.”
He’s a smart kid - who is too dumb to see the system he supports creates and fosters the persecution and prejudice he suffers.
” He had been making over $100,000 with benefits for the 2010-11 school year, the same year Walker’s reform bill passed.”
There was a time when I used to say teachers aren’t paid enough. I was obviously wrong - in some places they are paid too much.
——this specific teacher -——
Why is that specific teacher still alive?
May God hold him and keep him. He has already come thru great adversity and will be a strong leader. God bless his family and friends who support him.
My concern is that you and your classmates are most definately being abused, and yet you seem to be in a sense minimizing (even after so powerfully showing the abuse, as in the section I posted above!) and even apologizing for your abusers and the system that gives them power over you.
BTTT! Congresscritter in the making.....
Give it time. He'll figure it out....
Teachers don’t like conservatives or their children. And the other kids pick up on that hatred...
This kid needs to go on Glen Becks show
What you describe is child abuse and it's endemic in the public school system. Keep your eyes and ears open and I think one day you will rethink your support of it.
Later I’ll contact Benji directly and recommend that he ask his teachers the following:
1-Which of Obama’s policies do you think I’d support if he were white?
2-Would you oppose Gov. Walker if Teacher’s Unions weren’t a huge money laundering operation for Democrats?
3-Would Democrats support Teacher’s Unions if they weren’t a huge money laundering operation for Democrats?
4-Are there any Democrat programs that aren’t meant to maintain and grow a constituency dependent on government programs?
5-Doesn’t that practice make all government programs, large vote buying schemes?
6-Which of Obama’s programs are NOT designed to destroy the Constitution?
Good documentation is also the best way to build a legal case. He may have one by the time he graduates.
Don’t like high school politics? Just wait until you get to college!
“One teacher even said she wouldnt be able to have another child because Scott Walker was cutting so much money from her pay.”
Now, there is a benefit I hadn’t even considered! Stop them from breeding.
Understand the Frankfurt School, Columbia U and NEA relationship history and activities. It’s critical.
he looks like a young Jason Lewis
I always like to use number one on anyone that tries to say that opposition to 0bama is because he’s black.
My son is a high honors 8th Grade student and belongs to a WI Conservative Student Club in a very liberal district. My wife and I are staunch conservatives and we know what he faces. He doesn’t let anything promoted by liberals bother him, and he naturally challenges his teachers. They need him, because he’s always been an absolutely honest, self-controlled, non-disruptive and helpful-to-all sort of kid. He is the dream student: an athlete, a math whiz and he quietly and properly completes his assignments. At conferences they say he’s a real leader as no kids will be disruptive if he’s around, because he doesn’t like it when they do. He plays right tackle O line and at 5’11”/ 185 lbs he’s the biggest kid in his class. God was good to us.
You're still young kid, give it some time....
“There are a few teachers that have been extremely inspirational to me.”
I thought my high school teachers were a bunch of pathetic fools when I was in high school 40-some years ago. Looking back, I now realize that my opinion at the time was much too charitable! I would close all public schools, fire the teachers and administrators and give parents an education voucher to be spent on any private school of their choice. Left wing activism has turned public schools into political indoctrination camps with low achievement scores on everything else.
That said, I do not approve of teachers imposing their personal political or religious views on students, taking advantage of the power they have over them (grades). However, I am not entirely certain that this young man did not deliberately bait teachers by stating activities which I'm sure he knew would generate controversy. Reading through this article, it certainly seems that he went out of his way to do just that. For example, his telling a teacher, in front of a class, that her behavior was "inappropriate" was itself highly disrespectful. He should have asked to speak to her after class. Such actions would quickly paint him as a real smart aleck.
Some of his purported conversations with these teachers just do not sound real. I don't know, this whole piece sounds like a contrived attempt to garner a pat on the head, "Good Boy!" from conservatives.
I supposed I must remind FReepers that although I am a teacher, I am a conservative as well. I have been subjected to my own dose of awful remarks by some more liberal colleagues, but generally they learn very quickly to keep such remarks to themselves. They may start a fight, but I most certainly will finish it. For example, just last week, a colleague told me that "I didn't have to be so stringent about my religious practices to prepare for Passover." I asked her when she had become my rabbi. And then, pointing out the obvious, I told her to keep such opinions to herself. I doubt that she will ever offer up any such remark again.
Good! Invite him to FR (as post 29 mentions).
I spent the morning grading reports written by my community college students. Of the 12 or so I’ve worked through, only one approaches the quality of this writing.
Color me impressed.
This kid is 15? I’m 22 and seriously wish I could write as well as he does!
If he really wants to attract the contempt of teachercrats, he should hook up with TrueTheVote.
AFAIK, and very generally speaking, the teachers at the bottom of the pay grid make about double what the teachers at the bottom make. The only factors in the pay are level of education, and years of experience. The lowest-paid have minimum credentials, and zero experience. The highest-paid have a masters degree and (again, generally speaking) 10 years of experience.
Principles, Vice-principles, etc. get more, just as managers would in any other business. The teachers advance on the pay grid, without having to take on any additional duties.
Is that the kid that spoke at CPAC a few years ago?
What a bright, young man. Thanks for posting.
I was thinking Haley Joel Osment
His first mistake is his vow to always support public education. It’s a lost cause.
Now that is naive, publik skoolz are the focal point of evil leftist indoctrination
Maybe not. at 15 naivety of youth still may make him more idealistic than those of us who’ve been around awhile longer. more real life experience may get him to this conclusion.
Ping for conservative Wisconsin 15 year old taking on the educrats.
FReepMail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.
This is an acceptable position for a fifteen year old but don't let it go on much longer.
The only possible thing that you might benefit from doing for the rest of your life is accepting Jesus as your Savior. Other than that possible exception, I see no reason to declare anything you would do for the rest of your life. A great deal of life will happen while youre on your way to something else.
Keep him close to you...and right.
hey, to all you teachers out there, 25K tops.
Doctors, lawyers 100K tops.
Oh I forgot, if you work i “acemdemia” 40K tops
Used to be that any school personnel, even the secretary or front door monitor, couldn’t even wear a campaign button. And how do we get to politics in english or music class?
How can someone in charge of teaching our youth—which should be about teaching them HOW to learn, not WHAT to learn— express their hatred of and ignorantly mock a group—the Tea Party— and then admit they know nothing about them???????
Benji is absolutely right, this is bullying and intimidation on steroids!
...”I have always supported the public school system and plan to do so for the rest of my life.
Now that right there is a big mistake.
People need to start seeing public education as the indoctrination program it’s become and realize we must get kids out of their or we’ll lose our freedom for sure”...
This is brainwashing and indoctrination, pure and simple. America, how much of this can our nation stand before becoming a slave nation once again and this time all of us will be imprisoned in a system we cannot get out of? This kind of oppression should unite us because I KNOW there are many more good than evil Americans in this country. However, I am beginning to wonder how many good ones can be found in the public school system and academia in general. It seems those institutions have been taken over by politically correct, Godless, narcissists who care nothing for children in general. This child is very smart and very courageous. Put him on your prayer list. He has character.
Thanks, FRiend. His conservative student club is growing (it’s larger than the “progressive” student club now)and the attention given it by some teachers who hate Scott Walker has been noticed. The great thing about kids this young (he’s just 14)is their resilience and tact in the face of pressures coming from an adult world they are just beginning to negotiate. My dad taught me to stick up for myself the same way. He was Tennessean born in 1923 and was a Joe McCarthy supporter & Goldwater Republican, owned a newspaper and wrote scathing editorials against Big Government. Hell, he even refused to shake Jack Kennedy’s hand when the latter visited him looking for an endorsement. If I can help raise a son who was one tenth the man my dad was I will die happy.