[To learn more about the Freedom Center's fight against K-12 indoctrination, visit StopK12Indoctrination.org.]
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
March for Our Lives and the school walkout isn’t about gun violence; it’s about indoctrination.
And there’s no age limit.
Sixteen years ago, David Horowitz and the Freedom Center unveiled the Academic Bill of Rights to protect intellectual diversity on college campuses. But now the same indoctrination and intolerance urgently demand that the Freedom Center step in to protect K-12 students from political abuse.
The ugly scenes from the student walkout haunt our screens as the classroom organizers of the left work to turn students into the latest anti-American protest movement after Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
In Minneapolis, a student carrying a Trump flag was violently attacked outside a high school where a walkout was taking place. In Tennessee, students tore down an American flag and jumped on a police car. These ugly scenes from the latest cultural revolution are the work of activists posing as teachers.
It’s not just high school students being dragged out to protest against the Bill of Rights. Elementary school students are the next frontier for exploitative organizers. Even kindergarteners aren’t off limits.
The plan is to have children as young as 5 years old take part in the walkouts.
The Wall Street Journal reports that schools are “finding ways for children who are too little to be told about school shootings to take part.”
And teachers who offer more than one perspective on the protests are being punished.
In Rocklin, California, a high school history teacher who asked students to discuss whether it’s appropriate for schools to support this protest over other protests, was told not to come in the next day.
“And so I just kind of used the example which I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time—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?” Mrs. Benzel asked. In response, the school put her on administrative leave.
Mrs. Benzel’s question touched a nerve. All protests are not created equal. Parkland survivors who wouldn’t push gun control were smeared or silenced. And those teachers and administrations who have questioned the educational legitimacy of the protests are facing threats to their careers.
That’s why the Freedom Center’s K-12 Code of Ethics matters.
The K-12 Code of Ethics protects students from classroom indoctrination and shields teachers from being pressured into indoctrinating students. “Education in a democracy is best served by teaching students how to think, not telling them what to think,” the Code of Ethics cautions.
When schools push kindergarteners to protest the Second Amendment and when teachers who try to protect the integrity of critical thinking in education are punished for it, the consequences threaten the civic mission of education. Classroom indoctrination hijacks democracy at the source by manipulating the minds of future citizens when they are at their youngest, most trusting, and most vulnerable.
Education and activism are at odds with each other. Education teaches students to use what they learn to ask their own questions, while activism hands them the questions and the only acceptable answers. Activism doesn’t seek to educate, but to indoctrinate. It rewards political compliance, no matter how ignorant or uninformed, while punishing dissent, no matter how enlightened or true.
Democratic education teaches that there is more than one point of view. But the classrooms of the country are being hijacked by an activist left whose endgame is not democracy, but tyranny.
The school protests exploit children as political props while indoctrinating them into projecting their fear and anger, their insecurities and worries into political activism. And it doesn’t begin or end with gun control. The radical left sees the classroom as a community organizing forum. The children placed in its care are just more fresh meat to be organized, indoctrinated, and deployed to fight in its political wars.
That’s what the children marching against the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights are.
The K-12 Code of Ethics prevents public school teachers from using the classroom to push political candidates, legislation, court cases, or any pending political matter. The code protects students from being exploited in political campaigns like March for Our Lives. It turns the classroom away from indoctrination and toward education. And restores education’s proper role in our political system.
It is not the job of the educational system to tell students what to think about controversial issues, but to enable them to examine the different sides of an issue before making up their minds. That’s what Mrs. Benzel tried to do. But when classroom organizers replace teachers, thinking is not allowed.
The national walkout shows us what the future of education under the organizers would look like. There will be more protests than learning. Tests, classroom discussions, and all forms of assessment will measure political opinions, not skills. Teachers will organize students around causes rather than ideas.
The same process that operated at the college level when the Academic Bill of Rights was born will be embedded into the system at the kindergarten level. There are already efforts to force identity politics into elementary school and even kindergarten. The George Lucas Educational Foundation speaks of indoctrinating children as young as three.
"We've somehow decided that little kids can't understand these complex topics," it sneers.
The shameful attempts at indoctrinating children rob them of their innocence. And teach them to turn against their parents by rejecting their values. Leftists always fight their battles with other people’s kids.
The K-12 Code of Ethics draws a line in the sand.
Classroom organizers will attack the K-12 Code with the same arguments that were used against the Academic Bill of Rights. But we’ve heard those arguments. And we know where they come from.
"We say that our work in the sphere of education is part of the struggle for overthrowing the bourgeoisie. We publicly declare that education divorced from life and politics is lies and hypocrisy," Vladimir Lenin declared.
Our educational system is not meant to overthrow, but to preserve. It is not a vehicle for winning partisan battles. And our children are in school to be taught, not organized into angry mobs.
The K-12 Code of Ethics calls for legislators to set “clear regulations and enforcement mechanisms for appropriate professional and ethical behavior by teachers.” The only figures opposed to it are radicals who wish to perpetuate the unprofessional and unethical behavior that we saw with the walkout.
If we want to put an end to the ugly walkout scenes that we witnessed, we need to support the K-12 Code of Ethics and drain the educational swamp before it swallows up our children’s minds.
The March for Our Lives should be met with a March for Our Minds.