This has been on my mind for years, but it has come to the forefront now because of a recent commentary in the Eden Prairie News. A young lady wrote that after a short time of taking a certain class she became a "flaming liberal" and still is today. In my opinion, her teachers must have had something to do with that.
I feel very strongly that teachers should be required to keep their personal feelings about politics private. I think this should be mandated, and teachers who don't follow the mandate should be censured.
I'm speaking solely about public schools; private schools can require from their teachers whatever they wish. But public schools and public school teachers, which are paid for exclusively by our tax dollars, should have to remain politically neutral.
Most of us send our children to public schools because we can't afford private ones. There are some who believe so strongly in public education that they send their children to public schools no matter what their financial situations may be. But for the most part, we send our children to public school because it is our only choice. We also pay for it with our hard-earned tax money.
Anti-religious zealots have turned our public schools into God-free zones. It is unacceptable to mention God, Jesus, or Christianity in a public school. Some go to ridiculous lengths to ensure this because of their misunderstanding of the concept of separation of church and state (which guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from it). And there does seem to be a particularly anti-Christian bent to it. I remember when my son was in kindergarten during the holiday season, and every day he told me what he had learned. He knew a lot about kwanza, Hanukah, and Ramadan. I asked if he had learned about Christmas. He said no, and much to my dismay, seemed to know very little about it. Sadly, this kind of political correctness in curriculum is the norm.
Some may say, “Politics isn’t religion, so there’s nothing wrong with teachers expressing their views to students.” True, politics is not religion, per se, but I believe that for many teachers, liberalism and worship of mother earth have come to resemble religion in many ways. Just watch an Earth Day celebration or watch some of the clips of school children singing pro-Obama songs, and you’ll come away with a creepy feeling like you're watching some kind of religious celebration. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdK8OFHT6Jw
This behavior is also discriminatory because conservative children often feel attacked by their own teachers. It is really hard for a conservative teenager to get up and go to school knowing that every day their beliefs will be tested, scorned and mocked. And no American soldier's child should ever have to sit in a class and listen to a teacher criticizing and ridiculing the war or cause his or her parent is fighting for.
Children of all ages are very vulnerable to what their teachers think. Most of them respect and look up to their teachers, and some want to be just like them. If teachers use their bully pulpit to push liberalism (or conservatism, for that matter), the children soak it up like sponges.
I think conservative parents need to take this much more seriously. Most teachers are immune from any consequences of their behavior unless it crosses the line and becomes criminal. Otherwise, they are, for the most part, able to do just about anything they want with the malleable minds of our precious children. We need to stand up and fight against this.
One way to do it is to elect conservatives to the school boards. Conservative parents need to pay attention to these local elections just as much as the state and national ones. The results may have even more impact on the lives of their families than the larger elections (except for the case of Obama, who seems hell bent on taking America apart piece by piece).
Another thing they can do is to complain to the school when a teacher is using undue influence to mold their children into little liberals. If they keep complaining, and there are enough complaints, I believe the schools will be forced to listen and take them seriously. There is power in numbers.
We don't send our children to school to be indoctrinated into liberalism. We send them for an education. We shouldn't accept that liberal indoctrination is just an unpleasant and inevitable side effect of sending them to public school.
We own the schools and pay the teachers. Let's tell them what to do for a change.