By Printus LeBlanc
It has been almost a week since the “student” walkout over school safety. After studying the event and the aftermath, it has become increasingly clear the walkout was nothing more than a political stunt. It had nothing to do with safety; it had nothing to do with allowing students to voice their opinions, it was all about progressives in national politics and the schoolhouse using children as political props. This begs the question, why are we funding these political indoctrination camps?
The students didn’t walk out over cellphones and driving. The students didn’t walk out over bullying which leads to thousands of teen suicides each year. No, the students walked out over the Second Amendment which the progressive left has been trying to eliminate for decades. Following the horrendous events in Florida, progressives seized on the opportunity to use the children to get what they wanted. A few examples across the nation show just how political the walkout was.
A student in Hilliard, Ohio made the decision he did not want to get involved in the politics of the anti-gun debate. He chose to stay in class. The student should be celebrated for wanting to concentrate on education instead of skipping class time for a political reason. Not so in today’s education system. The student was suspended for not partaking in political speech.
What type of message does that send? What kind of bullies run a school system that force students to participate in political speech?
The bullies in Ohio must be the same type in California. Julianne Benze, a teacher at Rocklin High School in Rocklin, California, was a victim of this bullying. Before the student walkout, Benze discussed the situation with her class. The teacher asked the question, “[If] a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?”
This was too much for the administration; no one is allowed to stray from the progressive dogma. Benze was suspended for the imagined infraction, not the students that skipped class. Seems hypocritical for school administrators to bully a teacher for not adhering to progressive ideals while hosting anti-bullying campaigns themselves.
Perhaps the most crystal-clear example of the children being used as political pawns comes from Baltimore. Just this past January the Baltimore Teachers Union sent a letter to the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, Sonja Brookins Santelises, complaining about the lack of heat in many classrooms. The teachers called the conditions “inhumane.”
But apparently, there is plenty of money to pull children out of school for the day and send them to Washington D.C. to participate in political activities. It is estimated the city spent $100,000 to send the children to protest. Is that really the best use of taxpayer money? The people of Baltimore believe their schools are in disrepair, but the administration somehow finds money for political events.
The actions of the teacher’s unions, progressive leftists, and education officials are not surprising. The most disturbing event to take place involving politics and schools didn’t happen with this walkout; it happened when Chicago teachers walked out on their students in 2012. The highest paid teachers in the country didn’t think they were earning enough and went on strike.
They marched through the streets chanting the usual union slogans, but the shirts they were wearing stole the show. Teachers, the people Americans entrust their children to, were wearing shirts with Che Guevara on them.
In case you don’t know, Guevara was a racist, homophobic mass murderer trying to spread communism throughout Latin America including Cuba. Not only did he personally execute people without a trial, but he also tried to convince the Soviet Union to use nuclear weapons on New York, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. to bring about war. Teachers were celebrating this man by proudly wearing his image in front of students they are supposed to be educating.
Is there any wonder the U.S. education system is failing?
The purely political acts prove the U.S. school system has nothing to do with education and everything to do with political indoctrination. That is why it is clearly time to get the federal government out of the education system and return this function to the states. By all measures it has failed. Look at what it has wrought: it is overtly political while failing to educate our students. It is time to end federal control of education and give the money back to the taxpayers — and end the propaganda mills once and for all.
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Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.