Newsline , Society

With Virtual School, Parents have an Opportunity to “Check” Teachers with a Political Agenda

Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2020
by Outside Contributor

The start of the new school year is right around the corner and many parents are concerned about the fact that their children will, once again, be learning in a “virtual” environment due to concerns related to the coronavirus. While the concept of “virtual” learning poses many challenges to students and parents, it also provides a much-needed opportunity to “equal the playing field” in a traditionally left-wing learning environment. More particularly, virtual learning allows parents to listen to what their children are learning, thereby serving as a “check” on teachers who try to use the classroom as a medium to promote their political opinions and agendas.

Most teachers are wonderful people who serve an invaluable role in our children’s lives. Many also tend to support left-wing candidates and/or describe themselves as Democrats. Unfortunately, in today’s polarized political environment, many teachers do not hesitate to impose their political opinions/agendas on their students, who oftentimes feel like they have to acquiesce. By way of example, shortly after President Trump was elected, a middle school teacher refused to include a slide of Trump during a class discussion of the nation’s presidents. Of course, the teacher had no problem including slides of former President Obama and all of the other former presidents. To this teacher, Trump was simply too controversial and, therefore, unnecessary. On another occasion, a teacher encouraged his young students to read sources like the New York Times, NPR and the Washington Post, which the teacher deemed “neutral,” “mainstream,” and with “minimal partisan bias.”

In the traditional classroom, parents typically rely on their children to tell them what they are learning. While some children are happy to share this information, many others choose not to do so. As a result, parents do not necessarily know what their children’s teachers are saying in the classroom.

There are some teachers who keep politics out of the classroom, which is where it belongs. Sadly, however, there are many others who don’t. Some examples can be found here. Moreover, as reported by The Hill, some teachers have also discriminated or retaliated against conservative students who did not support their liberal ideologies. This is not difficult to imagine in light of the perceived power and control that a teacher has over a student.

The virtual learning environment changes this dynamic somewhat. As reported by Fox News, Matthew Kay, who teaches English at the Science Leadership Academy, tweeted:

“So, this fall, virtual class discussion will have many potential spectators — parents, siblings, etc. — in the same room. We’ll never be quite sure who is overhearing the discourse. What does this do for our equity/inclusion work? How much have students depended on the (somewhat) secure barriers of our physical classrooms to encourage vulnerability? How many of us have installed some version of ‘what happens here stays here’ to help this?”

“While conversations about race are in my wheelhouse, and remain a concern in this no-walls environment — I am most intrigued by the damage that ‘helicopter/snowplow’ parents can do in the host conversations about gender/sexuality. And while ‘conservative’ parents are my chief concern — I know that the damage can come from the left too. If we are engaged in the messy work of destabilizing a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia — how much do we want their classmates’ parents piling on?”

Herein lies the problem. With all due respect to Kay and many other educators, it is not their place to “teach” our children about such things as homophobia, transphobia, and sexuality. It is also not their role to sharply criticize President Trump, to promote/encourage his impeachment and/or removal, to bolster Joe Biden and his “policies,” and/or to saturate the classroom with their social and political interpretations, definitions, and opinions.

While the same argument holds true for those teachers who promote conservative policies and/or publicly voice support for President Trump in the classroom, these teachers oftentimes face disciplinary action that their left-wing counterparts don’t. High school teacher and coach Justin Kucera’s story is a timely, yet unfortunate, reminder of this. As reported by Glenn Beck, Kucera, who was liked by most students, had no disciplinary action while teaching, and taught social studies in an apolitical way, was fired after tweeting, “I’m done being silent. Trump is our president.”

Fortunately, the online learning environment presents an opportunity for parents to observe and/or listen to what their kids are being told. Unlike the traditional brick and mortar learning environment, where many parents are in the dark about what their kids are learning, the online learning environment provides parents with the opportunity to “check” those teachers who try to use the classroom as a megaphone to promote their political ideologies.

This type of conduct is unacceptable and should not occur in the classroom. Parents put their trust in those who teach their children. In doing so, they expect the teachers and faculty to remain neutral, professional, and to refrain from directly or indirectly pushing/promoting their political agendas/opinions on their students. Teachers are not there to serve as political pundits and/or arms for their respective political party. They should not impose their positions/opinions on young and impressionable children who won’t dare talk back and/or disagree with them.

When this happens, parents must step in. Fortunately, the virtual learning environment puts parents in a better position to do so when necessary.

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3 years ago

I don’t have young children at home; mine are grown. And I can sympathize with parents who have had to juggle work hours and time spent at-home teaching. But this is the best opportunity for parents, family members, and other caretakers to teach children what really built this country, what really made it great for all citizens, and why the Constitution is still important in our lives hundreds of years after it was written.

Before you know it, that opportunity will dry up, when children go back to school, and teachers can once again fill their heads with the socialist garbage that seems to pass for an acceptable curriculum these days. Ugh!

3 years ago

This assumes that most parents these days are actively involved in their children’s public school education. Sorry, but sad to say that most parents today aren’t. They haven’t been for years, which is why this political propaganda in these public school classrooms has been allowed to morph into what it is today: socialist indoctrination of the young on a massive scale. Virtual learning was going on for a couple of months during the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns, yet most parents just plopped their kids down in front of a laptop and went about their own business of either working from home or other tasks. What do you think the teachers were filling their heads with then? Do you think it will be radically different come September?

Yes, most parents could be doing a much better job of monitoring what is going on during these virtual learning days to see what is being fed into their child’s brains. However, it is up to the parents to take a more active role in checking what their children are being educated in.

Jack Thomas
Jack Thomas
3 years ago

Paul E,

You’re right, of course, that many parents today have largely distanced themselves from what their kids learn in school. Liberal ideologies that reflect a teacher’s political opinions/agenda (or those of complicit school administrators) have persisted far too long in America. In recent years, this PC culture has grown worse, more insidious, more dangerous to the overall objective of educating children (and also at the university level where radical professors routinely promote anti-American, anti-Trump views).

Public school curriculums now mandate that students be taught what to think, not how to think. “Critical thinking” has been pushed backstage in favor of outright propaganda where truth and facts are increasingly distorted. Revisionist historians paint a much different picture of U.S. history, for example, than teachers in my own day who would ever have dared to portray. The “1619 Project” with its roots in the family lineage of the N.Y. Times, is one of the worst examples, falsely promoting the notion that America’s founding wasn’t 1776 — or even 1787 when the Constitution was ratified — but 1619 when the first slaves from Africa arrived on our shores. Even more egregious,”1619″ claims that America’s founding was contrived by “white supremacist Europeans” who unscrupulously exploited black people to enrich themselves and their collective legacy. This sordid tale has been discredited by a legion of academics, but the 1619 Project nevertheless is now mandated in select New Jersey 2020 public school history curriculums and is reportedly spreading to other States as well.

This is entirely the handiwork of progressive liberals — the self-appointed, self-aggrandizing guardians of our children’s education. The usual suspects are comprised of your State Education Department, far-left politicians, and the “elitists” of the teachers unions, e.g. N.E.A. and the Federation of Teachers Unions whose current list of demands includes de-funding the police (which will make your child’s school LESS safe). Try wrapping your head around that twisted logic!

As for “Virtual Learning” it’s up to parents to pay closer attention to what their kids are being taught on-line. The mom or dad who’s working two jobs has a real problem here. Somehow, they better find a way to make the time to tune into their child’s on-line instruction or get someone trustworthy who can. Parents also need to do some saber-rattling at their local school board meetings on what’s being taught to their kids. Sexuality, “homophobia,” “transphobia” etc have no place in a pubic school classroom or Virtual Learning curriculum. The proper explanation of these topics should rightly be left to parents or guardians, not to teachers with radical liberal viewpoints. Likewise, U.S. history should be taught in its proper context, taking into account the sacrifices and accomplishments of America’s founders. These are men who pledged their honor, their fortunes, and their very lives to give us the most successful system of self-governance in the world. To ignore these facts in favor of pushing false narratives about our American heritage is indefensible and outrageous. The very reason kids today don’t appreciate how privileged and blessed they are to live in the United States is because they have not been taught American history correctly, and because they have no moral frame of reference, i.e. they did not grow up in Cuba or Venzuela, or Communist China or Russia. How, then, could we expect them to understand something that’s never been taught to them in the proper light?

Today’s children will become tomorrow’s leaders. So parents nationwide now have a choice to make: Do you want our schools and universities to produce more clones of Nicolas Maduro or Mao or Putin? Or do you want them to produce morally sound leaders who will embrace the promise of the Declaration of Independence, the spirit and intent of our Constitution

Sherry Ryczek
Sherry Ryczek
3 years ago

My neice who is 8 yrs old brought home a paper they did in class after watching a film. She told me they got to vote in class and she voted for Trump because Biden kills babies. I feel like this should be illigal and the teacher overstepped her boundries. We live in Texas. Is this legal? Also it is public school 3rd grade.

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