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Another warning about public school political indoctrination

Katya Sedgwick delivers Federalist readers a warning about partisan politics in public schools.

For years, conservatives have been sounding the alarm about anti-American indoctrination in public schools. They’ve pointed out the dangers of mainstreaming of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. They’ve exposed the racialism of the 1619 Project. Unfortunately, however, the situation in public schools is far worse than the mere presence of propaganda.

Theoretically, parents can resist the dominant paradigm by explaining that it’s just the teacher’s opinion, and providing a counter-narrative at home. But once teachers demand performative activism from their students and tell them how to feel and what to do, an entirely different level of child manipulation and scholastic depravity is reached.

I recently tuned into a Zoom workshop taught by Oakland-based educational consultants Soul Shoppe. The class, attended by more than 300 families, was advertised through our school districts as a way for elementary school kids to “share what’s in your emotional balloon.” …

… After the brief discussion of how one ought to feel about the unmentionable event, the children were instructed to grab somebody near them to say, “That’s a lot of feelings!” During the hour, the minors were also instructed to chant “I want to be an ally” — the word Arek defined, incorrectly, as “an upstander” — and “We have to protest! We have to fight for what’s right!”

Because at no point were the youngsters asked to pledge anything else, the logical conclusion is that the entire point of the exercise was not so much to talk about feelings but to have the K-5 students commit to a certain type of political activity.

Children were asked if they know how to protest, and one boy volunteered a ditty he’s been practicing: “No justice, no peace / No racist police.” Unsurprisingly, the workshop leaders didn’t object to this characterization of law enforcement. …

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...