Skip to comments.Emails Reveal High School Teachers Plotting To Hide Their Political Bias From Parents
Posted on 08/07/2018 12:31:00 PM PDT by Red Badger
he Left is abusing American high school education in its struggle to gain and retain political power. We only found out about this incident by accident. How many more?
Shortly after President Trumps inauguration, a group of public school history teachers in the posh Boston suburb of Newton pledged to reject the call for objectivity in the classroom, bully conservative students for their beliefs, and serve as liberal propagandist[s] for the cause of social justice.
This informal pact was made in an exchange of emails among history teachers at Newton North High School, part of a very rich but academically mediocre public school district with an annual budget of $200 million, a median home price of almost half a million, and a median household income of more than $120,000. Read the entire email exchange here.
I obtained the emails under a Massachusetts public records law after one of those teachers arranged, earlier this year, for an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organization to show Palestinian propaganda films at Newton North. This stunt earned the Newton Public Schools district a rebuke from the New England branch of the Anti-Defamation League and from Bostons Jewish Community Relations Council. But, as the teachers emails reveal, Jew-hatred is not the only specter haunting the history department at Newton North. The Teachers Conspire to Hide Extreme Prejudice
It was late on a cold and snowy New England evening in February 2017, and Newton North history teacher Isongesit Ibokette was venting at his keyboard about the new guidelines for avoiding bias in teaching. They had been sent out by Newton Norths principal that morning, prompted by the general ill will among teachers for the new occupant of the White House.
The guidelines asked teachers to remain objective while teaching about historical and current events; and to treat all students, regardless of political opinion, with respect. Teachers were told: For current controversial issues (health care, immigration, environmental policies, gun laws), teach students that there are different perspectives and present the reasoning of those who hold those different perspectives.
Ibokette was having none of it. He typed this reply: I am concerned that the call for objectivity may just inadvertently become the most effective destructive weapon against social justice, and sent it to the members of Newton Norths history department.
Ibokette was responding to an email from another Newton North history teacher, David Bedar. Bedar was same teacher who hosted the anti-Semites at Newton North, and has played a significant role in the years-long controversy over anti-Jewish bias in the public schools of the heavily Jewish suburb.
Earlier that February day, Bedar sent an email to fellow Newton North history faculty, accusing President Trump and his supporters of nativism, xenophobia, homophobia, etc., and objecting to the following donts that the Newton North principal had asked teachers to avoid:
Assume that all students agree with us. . . . Assume that all students feel comfortable disagreeing with us. . . . Present facts or logic that support only one side of a current controversial issue. . . . Present our own personal opinion on a current controversial issue as more right than another viewpoint. . . .
These guidelines seem like Pedagogy 101, and are foundational to correctly applying logic and reason. Yet Bedar, who holds a masters in teaching from the prestigious Duke University, admitted to his colleagues:
Personally, Im finding it really difficult in the current climate to teach kids to appreciate other perspectives. . . [T]he other viewpoint might not really be an argument about which reasonable people can disagree and might not lead to any kind of intellectual, policy debate; it might just be blatantly racist. . . . [I]t feels wrong to not call out ideas that I know will offend many of my students and create a hostile and potentially unsafe environment. . . . Im worried that as a school were so focused on making all kids feel safe and being PC that were not showing enough concern for [immigrant] students whose very rights to attend this school and receive an education are being seriously threatened. . . . I dont feel good about protecting [a nativist] students right to a so‐called political view. . . Do I really have to avoid saying I think nativism is bad? The eugenics movement was based in large part on immigrants destroying our country.
Bedars strawman argument is fallacious. Trump administration immigration policies and the Americans who support them have nothing to do with eugenics. To claim without evidence and by tenuous association that they do is repugnant. Dont Fire Me for Being a Liberal Propagandist
Much worse yet is Bedars display of extreme political intolerance toward the views of millions of his fellow Americans, among whom are, presumably, a number of his own students. Support for immigration law enforcement is by no means a fringe political perspective, even in Massachusetts. It is certainly not some sort of taboo that must be expunged from classroom debate, and Newton North guidelines explicitly tell teachers to teach about the reasoning behind different perspectives on immigration.
Yet, in remarkable language, Bedar demanded that the school allow him to propagandize against it, and to do so without any professional consequences: I have an obligation to teach civic duty and teach kids right and wrong, and about social justice. . . . This will probably be an unpopular opinion, but I dont actually think we should have the option of not discussing [social justice] issues. I feel responsible for doing so. . . . We can help kids interpret the lessons of the past better than anybody. I feel like a phony when Im not doing that. . . . But..this is hard. I dont want to get fired for being a liberal propagandist (emphasis added).
Bedar is, of course, wrong on multiple levels. A masters degree in teaching is risibly inadequate to qualify anyone as the arbiter of right and wrong, and a history teachers basic obligation is to teach history accurately and objectively. A sine qua non of that obligation is to avoid propaganda of any kind.
Unfortunately, Bedar does not seem to be very good at the actual basics of teaching history, much less at interpreting the lessons of the past, shortcomings for which he compensates by being a reasonably good propagandist. For example, Bedars erroneous belief to the contrary notwithstanding, the early twentieth-century eugenics movement was based less in conservative nativism than in the same New England progressivism Bedar preaches today. The eugenicist Immigration Restriction League was founded in Boston by three Harvard progressives. As The Guardian well puts it, eugenics is the skeleton that rattles loudest in the lefts closet. Propagandists Simplify Very Complex Events into Slogans
Indeed, if common cause with the eugenics movement is Bedars litmus test for approved opinions in the classroom, then opinions supporting deficit spending and birth control should be as forbidden there as nativism seems to be. Left-wing economist John Maynard Keynes called eugenics the most important, significant and, I would add, genuine branch of sociology which exists, and believed its implementation would be a great moment in the progress of civilization. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was an inveterate eugenicist who believed that the campaign for Birth Control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal, with the final aims of Eugenics.
All of this is not to argue over birth control, deficit spending, and which ideologies are responsible for what travesties. Rather, it is to say that history, politics, and ideology are complicated things. Yet, in the history lessons they teach, propagandist teachers like Bedar insist on reducing all of this complexity to a Manichean struggle between right and wrong, the essence of which they insipidly correlate with Democrat and Republican.
In that kind of lurid light, where no shades of gray can possibly exist, people who lack the right politics must pose, in Ibokettes words, a real, immediate, and present danger to human progress, and to all that is right and good. Men who light up the world in such stark contrast fill history books with their crimes. This Is Like My Childhood Education in the Soviet Union
The year after the Soviet Union fell, I entered fifth grade at State School No. 8 in the Siberian city of Tomsk, where I was born at the beginning of the end of that evil empire. Usually, Soviet children started learning the history of Russia in fifth grade, but my teacher told the class that she had nothing to teach us anymore. Left-wing activists are dug in at all stages of the American educational process from preschool to graduate school.
The old history books are useless now, I distinctly remember her telling us. They were full of Communist Party lies. Just like that, the entire monument of official Soviet history, built upon an ideological foundation of lies and held together by despotism, crashed as soon as the coercive power that had kept it upright for 74 years disappeared in an instant.
Undaunted by the failures of their comrades in the Soviet Union and other socialist hell-holes, left-wing activists are dug in at all stages of the American educational process from preschool to graduate school, where they seek to replicate the Soviet Unions abuse of its childrens minds with lurid lies.
Even science education is facing a hostile takeover by progressive luddites with scientific degrees who insist, as one biology PhD student did recently, that to think there are universal truths perpetuates a particular kind of able bodied white cisgender male logic. The result of all this left-wing obscurantism is a brainwashed Generation Z that inhabits a false reality colored in stylized black and white by leftist dogmathe same false reality that Soviet school and preschool battered into me as a child. The Teachers Administrators Back Them Up
After Bedar complained that he didnt want to get fired for being a liberal propagandist, his fellow history teacher, Ibokette, wrote back: David, if you get fired for doing exactly what history teachers, and indeed all rational and ethical‐minded adults should indeed be doing, I will be right behind you.
I wish this would happen, not because I want them punished, but because I think the way they teach history is a form of child abuse. But Bedar and Ibokettes superiors, all the way up the ladder, are fully on board with this abuse. Bedars direct supervisor, Newton North history department chair Jonathan Bassett, replied to his revolt against reason with this: David: Your essay is very good, and raises a lot of the questions that we are all dealing with. . . . We are in unprecedented times, and we are all struggling to do good.
The Left is abusing American high school education in its strugglenot to do good, but to gain and retain political power. The ongoing trend of growing political intolerance and ideological bigotry among the newest American adults will continue, and nothing good will come of it. In the Soviet Union, Ive seen what young people could be turned into, what I myself could be turned into. Trust me, America hasnt seen anything yet.
Ilya Feoktistov is a member of the board of directors of Americans for Peace and Tolerance.
Photo U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cary Smith/Released
Gee, that’s odd. Teachers not wanting parents to know anything about them.
Fire the lot of them.
For ‘teachers’, they’re not very smart..................
The best way to do that is not to go there anymore. Budgets are tied to attendance.
If they took as much time to hide it from their students as they took to hide if from the parents, be professional and actually TEACH instead of INDOCTRINATE, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, because that would be just fine.
But they can’t be professional and just do their job.
It often felt like I was part of the Borg (Star Trek TNG reference).
“If they took as much time to hide it from their students as they took to hide if from the parents, be professional and actually TEACH instead of INDOCTRINATE, we wouldnt even be having this discussion, because that would be just fine.”
You’d get bears to stop crapping in the woods before you get leftists to stop indoctrinating.
The better bet is to drive leftists out of education.
Johnny can’t read. Johnny can’t write. Johnny can’t think for himself.
The colleges that create teachers fail anyone who doesn’t parrot the party line, so there are essentially no normal teachers.
So, teacher ethics are on a par with “climate scientists” who were caught emailing each other that the data did not support their preconceived conclusions and discussing how to fudge it? Why am I not shocked when lefties act like lefties?
But Johnny’s teachers make $65K...................
Drive them before us to the lamentations, weeping, and gnashing of teeth of their administrators!
[Johnny cant read. Johnny cant write.]
That’s how The Lone Rangers sang it.....
The state stands In loco parentis when it comes to school and children. Perhaps unwittingly, many parents have surrendered their rights to the school district. Thus, when these things happen and the Administration backs the teacher, we shouldn't be totally shocked and alarmed.
This is not an attempt to bash parents...we are all busy. But when it comes to your own flesh and blood, it is VITAL to understand exactly where we stand vs the school. Increasingly, the PTA, arguing, and petitioning is useless.
Time to Go Galt and homeschool.
The key is the union. Without that, the incompetent and ideological leftist indoctrinators get culled from the teacher herd in a natural manner.
Public School is Child Abuse.
Yep. 100%. Teachers unions are scum, as are all unions.
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