A teacher at Rock Hill High School in South Carolina has been accused of indoctrination after showing her class a slide presentation which included universally positive definitions of the term “liberal” and disparaging ones of the term “conservative.”
The slide was part of a presentation on the history of America’s political parties. Described as a “meme,” the slide listed synonyms for the term “Liberal” which include “tolerant, generous, enlightened, broadminded, lavish, charitable.” It goes on to state that the antonym of “Liberal” is “Conservative” which is defined as “stingy, miserly, regressive, narrow-minded, reactionary, bigoted, prejudiced, biased.”
The slide claims that the definitions were taken from Roget’s Thesaurus. While these may be true dictionary definitions of these terms in various contexts, the slide in question contains the image of three American flags, making clear that in this instance the definitions are being applied to the political realm.
Unsurprisingly, many parents and others in the district were outraged by this negative characterization of conservative views.
Parent Keith DuBose, whose son is enrolled in the class, shared the image of the slide on Facebook where it was met with a furious response, eliciting hundreds of comments. “My son whom is a student at Rock Hill High just sent me this in his US History and Constitution class,” Dubois wrote. “She [the teacher] was teaching this to our children. Who do I need to contact to voice my concerns? I am tired of these schools indoctrinating our kids… This needs to stop!”
Bonnie Hunter, also the parent of a student at Rock Hill, was similarly concerned about the partisan nature of the lesson.
“I don’t think it’s a fair assessment because I am a conservative. I wouldn’t be too happy with those being the ways to judge me,” Hunter told a local news station. “I would hope that we can take away the division that we have in our country now a days instead of inflame it.”
A spokesman for the Rock Hill School District, Mychal Frost, issued a statement attempting to absolve the teacher and school of the charge of indoctrination.
“The full presentation sought to provide an overview of political parties, and social and fiscal issues that have shaped the American political system,” Frost wrote. “The teacher, on at least two occasions, stressed to students that labels of ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ have changed throughout history and each is not synonymous with today’s Republican and Democrat parties. The presentation focused on the basic beliefs of conservatives and liberals, and a follow-up activity asks students to identify conservative and liberal positions on issues and explain why each side takes the position(s) that it does.”
Frost did add that the slide and the presentation would not be shown to future classes although he maintained that there was “no intent to indoctrinate.”
To learn more about the Freedom Center’s campaign to halt indoctrination in K-12 schools, please visit www.stopk12indoctrination.org. To read the K-12 Code of Ethics CLICK HERE. To order the Freedom Center’s new pamphlet, “Leftist Indoctrination in Our K-12 Public Schools,” CLICK HERE. To donate to the Stop K-12 Indoctrination campaign, CLICK HERE.