Skip to comments.How I Changed My Left Wing High School-Steve Miller
Posted on 07/08/2003 8:21:08 AM PDT by GmbyMan
How I Changed My Left-Wing High School By Steve Miller FrontPageMagazine.com | July 8, 2003
I just graduated from Santa Monica High. My teachers compared this country to the worst regimes in world history while excusing the atrocities of its enemies. And the well-entrenched left-wing bias seemed to take its most extreme forms in the classes most responsible for teaching students about civic behavior: History and Government.
SMHS history courses routinely omitted essential components of U.S. historyeverything from the pioneers to the Second Amendmentbut spent an inordinate amount of time condemning this nation's past. My own U.S. history teacher instructed us that our nation's past fears about Communism were unjustified; in fact, capitalism had been a sinister force in the world. The Mexican-American War (or, as it was referred to in class, the North American invasion!) was labeled a barbaric undertaking. Through Americas history as a terrorist nation, she brought upon herself the sinister attacks of 9/11.
Government class served up more of the same. To illustrate their point, teachers handed out articles conveying a wide array of leftist perspectives, but no article from a conservative point-of-view ever balanced these sentiments. Students (myself included) were informed that the U.S. could be termed a fascist country. Some teachers actively encouraged students to protest against the war in Iraq. One teacher even called George W. Bush the son of the devil.
Not only was the teaching politically driven, but so was the grading. I have personally received poor grades for expressing conservative viewpoints. A number of other students, after expressing similar perspectives, also found themselves victims of this unethical grading procedure.
The administration openly disobeyed the California Educational Code requirement for a daily recital of a patriotic oath, such as the pledge of allegiance, in all public schools. They persisted in this despite the fact that I had brought the policy to their attention on many occasions, and they acknowledged its existence.
The campus disdain for conservatives extends to those outside school, as well. The administration tried to prevent both talk show host Larry Elder and best-selling author David Horowitz from speaking on campus, although they had allowed a Communist to speak.
Their bias had a devastating effect on students education. Students I spoke with were terribly uneducated about a variety of political issues, lacking the basic information with which to make their own determination. How can we expect students to make reasoned decisions if they are only getting half of the story?
The results of a scientific poll I conducted as part of a statistics class paint a grim picture of the SMHS student bodys knowledge of history and current events. During the Iraqi war, I found that students who did not know that Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds and invaded Kuwait were four times more likely not to support the war than students who knew both pieces of information. Few at this school knew this. Maybe if more teachers actually discussed the crimes of Hussein instead of making fun of George W. Bush (almost 60 percent of respondents said their teachers were guilty of that), more students would support their country during a time of war. In fact, many students felt no patriotism toward America whatsoever. The poll found that over 60 percent of students did not salute the flag.
This poll produced other noteworthyand alarmingresults, which seem to correlate the politics of the students teachers with their own political views. For example, two-thirds of students do not believe President Bush is smart enough to run the country. Sixty percent believe President Bushs reason for going to war with Iraq was oil. More than half felt too many law-abiding Americans had guns in the home (and nearly none had even a vague idea of how often lawful Americans used guns defensively); 80 percent claimed we spend too little on health care, while almost 60 percent claimed we spend to much money on the military. More than 1/3 of the kids were not even willing to say they were proud to be American, and a monumental 40 percent felt that America itself was unjust. There is, however, one patriotic duty most of these students will be participating in: 94 percent of students indicated that they would be registering to vote within the next few years.
Even before I had formal scientific evidence of my high schools hard-left bent, I had resolved to challenge the campus indoctrination machine. I first gained my resolution because of the schools response to the 9/11 attacks. During that time of national tragedy, anti-Americanism had spread all over the school like a rash. The co-principal broadcast his doubts about the morality of toppling the Taliban to the entire school via the PA system. One teacher even dragged the American flag across the floor! It was then I first took action, writing to radio personality Larry Elder. He invited me to discuss these issues on his program, which immediately drew the ire of the teachers, administrators, and even some of my fellow students. Their resistance only strengthened my resolve.
Soon I was writing articles for the local press and internet news sites. This led to meetings with the administration, which only convinced me that the bureaucrats themselves were part of the problem.
My friend Chris and I invited Larry Elder to speak on campus, and he agreed right away but was turned down by the administration. This served to only highlight the dilemma with my high school and to generate more negative press on Elder's radio program. The administration eventually relented.
As new issues arose, I was fortunate enough to be invited back on the Larry Elder program several times. I am most thankful for the role he played in supporting my cause and this country.
Chris and I invited David Horowitz to speak at the school, as well. This proved to be a colossal undertaking. At first, the school cancelled the event just 48 hours before it was scheduled to take place. Thanks in large part to a Larry Elder radio campaign, the school eventually let Horowitz speak. However, the students behaved badly, and my school's Audio-Video teacher destroyed the tape his class made of the assembly.
Despite the leftists objections, I then began gathering indisputable evidence of bias and placed pressure on the school. In turn, they continued to receive calls and letters asking for a stop to the indoctrination. Whenever I met with administrators, they complained about the negative PR they held me responsible for. However, I kept repeating the same message: In order to receive a positive review, you will need to take positive action. This certainly did not endear me to the administrators, and I became something of a persona non grata. Once, after an article came out that they were particularly unhappy about, I was brought into the office with a security escort. The superintendent even made veiled threats of reprisal against me (instead of dealing with the root causes of the negative PR, their own rampant bias). But because my criticisms were accurate and because I always strove to act with decorum and respect changes started to take hold.
We began reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every daya huge victory, separating SamoHi from the many California public schools that continue to defy the California Ed Code. The principal also had a teacher take down a "Buck Fush" (get it?) bumper sticker from a classroom after I brought it to her attention. Both Larry Elder and David Horowitz spoke on campus. And there would soon be a lot more changes thanks to money.
Gray Davis' budget crisis resulted in large statewide funding cuts in education. Our high school placed a tax increase initiative on the ballot to generate some revenue. To the districts tremendous surprise, it failed, and I was named the prime cause. At this time, I met with the superintendent and principal and carefully outlined the basic changes I felt needed to be implemented. I let them know this election was a wakeup call, demonstrating massive public disapproval, but I would also dutifully report any positive steps the school should take.
Next, came the miraculous. First, the principal wrote a memo instructing all teachers to discuss the war in Iraq in an even-handed way. This was followed by a groundbreaking directive issued by the superintendent, fulfilling the key request of my campaign: it required every teacher to maintain a politically neutral environment. The principal personally backed this policy up by reiterating the new directive on the PA system. She even took independent action to further rebuke teachers who overstepped these bounds.
The initial battle had been won.
As I had assured the principal and Superintendent, I reported these changes on Larry Elder's show. Their next tax initiative passed, by the margin of 508 votes. This means the school got what it wanted, but the public pressure will stay on, keeping them on the straight-and-narrow. I also hope patriotic members of the faculty will become more vocal. At the end of the year I discovered many teachers were behind me, but they were not open about it, fearing reprimands from the leftist establishment. The readers of this article can also call the school (at 310-395-3204) or the district (at 310-450-8338) and thank them for again making the classroom a place of integrity.
This kind of change can occur at any school. It could be spearheaded by one person or many, although it would be far easier with more manpower. The key is to gain access to the press, and to be vigilant about keeping pressure on the school or university. Write articles and letters to the editor, use the internet, handout flyers, or write to radio show hosts and reporters. You must also legitimately threaten their money supply. Using these tactics, change is not only attainable, but inevitable. In the 1970s, students started a political revolution on campus. Now is the time for a counter-revolutionone characterized by pro-American sentiment. David Horowitz will soon launch Students for Academic Freedom, an organization dedicated to just these principals. Acting together, we can succeed. Of that, I am certain.
Stephen Miller, 17 years old, just graduated from Santa Monica High School and will be a Freshman at Duke University in the fall, where he plans to major in Political Science. Since his Junior year in High School, he has been a guest on local and national radio over thirty times, primarily as an advocate for freedom in education. He can be contacted at ContactSteveMiller@hotmail.com
Our future is in their hands in part because we allowed it to happen. Al Gore was ahead of his time. The Howard Deans are coming sooner or later.
Keep on Rocking me BAAAAAAABEEEEEE!
Money stolen from the parents cant benefit the kids in any meaningfull way except the propagation of leftist propaganda
With more money in mom and dad's pockets...the kids can go on to a real university of tech school and by the grace of God ...get a real education...
This kid should be the chief administrator in his school....wisdom far beyond his years...and obviously gained in spite of the teaching staff
I wonder if young Mr. Miller will be able to make similar inroads against the entrenched leftist establishment at Duke. Certainly he'll find a target-rich environment there.
We may be hearing more from Steve Miller.
Duke will be a much tougher nut to crack, but he's got some experience now.
Yea and I hear him speak about the pompitous of love!
Teaching high school is unfortunately SO attractive to leftists, not only because of the impressionable, malleable young minds, but because dissent can be successfully eliminated through grade administration.
I'm not denying that something should be done, also that the NEA is the enemy, but due to the internet, Fox News, etc., these kids soon find the world to be the exact opposite of what had been taught to them, so some react by becoming conservative, all of them react by becoming skeptical.
It's a crying shame what is being done to our kids in government schools.
One good deed deserves another.
We were idealistic, but just as importantly, we got that way by being naturally skeptical of the status quo. Today's status quo is the abject leftism on the part of the high school establishment, am I wrong to say that there seems to be a large number of kids coming out of these schools having rebelled toward the right, toward conservatism?