Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Public Education: The Occupation of Kids Minds

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I am a father and a grandfather. I love my children and grandchildren. I care about what they are taught in school.

Parents must be vigilant---very vigilant as to what is happening in the public classroom.

Nick Benson has 2 grandsons at Barstow High School in California.

While watching FOX NEWS one evening, his grandson told him, "Fox News lies."

"How do you know that?" asked grandpa.

"My teacher told me," replied grandson.

So Grandpa Nick looked into things at Barstow High.

Benson reviewed last year's class assignments from the time his grandson was in the class and found that his grandson's "World History" teacher, Jim Duarte, had been very active in indoctrinating the minds of the kids.

Hundreds of Oakland teachers recently signed a pledge sheet to use valuable class time to teach their students about the noble “Occupy” protesters and the evil corporations on Wall Street. A good number of parents felt that was inappropriate and in opposition to their own views about the occupy movement.

Yet, what Nick Benson discovered is even more threatening than the misguided, multiple messages of those camping out in public parks and streets, using drugs, committing rape, demanding more wealth redistribution with more entitlements, all with devastating effects on local business and parks.

Nick found that Barstow High teacher, Jim Duarte, is trying to do what many activist teachers are doing in public education: Occupying the minds of the children---pushing an ideology rather than educating---indoctrination rather than education.

Here's what he found, including a threat to sue him if he made public the letter from the school district.


In reviewing the class assignments and work sheets from the class his grandson had taken from teacher Jim Duarte, he found a series of articles, cartoons and discussion questions that were anti-conservative, slanted extreme left, favorably bent toward big labor and the socialist point of view, with a little other stuff thrown in for cover. has published an extensive article on this story.

An overview of what the grandfather found:
  • Fox News pushed a "falsehood" that government workers made more than private sector counterparts. Source? Media Matters and Huffington Post.
  • Duarte led his class to believe that the US House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., wants to sacrifice medicare and Medicaid in order to prevent tax increases for the rich. Students read an editorial cartoon showing Ryan dressed as a witch doctor with a knife raised above his head, poised to slay medicare and Medicaid on an altar.
There was no explanation of Ryan's actual proposal.
  • Students were directed to read an article about Utah legislators proposing an increase in food sales tax, while decreasing the overall sales tax. The students were then directed to the following answers on a worksheet.
  1. This allows the rich to pay less in sales tax on everything else.
  2. Law Makers in Utah are "digging a deeper hole" for the poor by raising the food tax.
Teacher Duarte certainly has a right to believe what he wants to believe, but does he have the right to occupy the minds of children with his personal beliefs and ideologies?


The grandfather complained to the school district.

He received a written response. I have linked the entire letter here.

Teresa Heally, assistant superintendent, found she was satisfied that the teacher had appropriately blended his anti-conservative tirades with actual lessons on history, i.e., World War I and World War II, etc.

The most stunning to me was the not so veiled threat to Mr. Benson:

"The district respectfully requests that you refrain from any publication of this document or portion thereof. We trust you will appreciate this serious concern and avoid any legal ramifications that could result."

A parent asks a public school to investigate what a teacher is teaching his child in class, paid with public funds and tasked to "educate" the child. The parent receives a response and a threat of litigation if they share the information with anyone.

Help! Someone is stealing our country and occupying the minds of our children.

God help us.

Be Vigilant.

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  1. This begs the question. What does the school district have to hide? If they think the course is appropriate, why the threat of legal action?

    It think they know their on shacky ground here and if more parents knew what was going on there would be a firestrom.

    The purpose of education is to teach kids how to read, write, spell, history, science, and do math. Leave the political stuff out of it, left or right or in the middle.

    They get enough of that in college.

    Craig in Lacey

  2. Don't be intimidated. Take this issue straight to the parent-elected school board, with all documentation in hand. Publicize it in the local newspaper. Public schools are accountable to the community standards of the taxpayers that fund them. Pray for Judeo-Christian community standards and stay involved. And strongly consider homeschooling your child/grandchild at least for a couple of classes. The homeschool movement has legal counsel as a resource standing ready, and a variety of fabulous online curricula with excellent testing available. Especially in California. Town: Lynden, Washington

  3. Teachers just shouldn't be talking about the news because they have no idea what the parents want their kids to think about it. The same thing with history. My kids teacher told them that Columbus was bad. Seriously. They can't even stick to real history. They should stick to reading, writing, and math.

  4. The students have a choice to believe what they want to believe. This article seems to be one-sided and an exaggeration. Ask the majority of the students what they think about this perspective. If one has not been in the class room to hear directly from Duarte, then one does not know if Duarte is "occupying the minds of our children". It is a shame how some do not know news from propaganda.


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