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Using Children to Lobby for D.C. Statehood

Teachers at a recent conference learned how to convince kids to back statehood and congressional representation for D.C.

by
Mary Grabar

Bio

February 11, 2010 - 11:00 pm
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But are eight-year-olds knowledgeable enough and mature enough to make their own decisions about participating in political efforts? What I found at the NCSS workshops, including Senator Brown’s, was a blatant disregard for historical facts and open technique-sharing on how to emotionally manipulate children. The recent revelations about recruitment efforts by Barack Obama’s Organizing for America in public high schools form a tip of the iceberg of political indoctrination and emotional manipulation in our schools, which I reveal in my 60-page report on the NCSS conference, attended by over 3,200 mostly public school teachers from across the country at taxpayer expense.

As at the other conference workshops, the biased leftist version was the only one presented. The opposing view — the concern by the Founding Fathers of a conflict of interest and the danger of power vested to a state that holds the advantage of being the seat of government power — was not addressed. Nor did any of the teachers seem bothered by the omission. Instead, they dutifully noted the websites Brown suggested, like www.TeachDemocracy.net, which links to DC Vote, which itself lists a number of “national partners,” like Friends of the Earth, Hip Hop Caucus, and People for the American Way. The teacher talking points handout, too, states, “The overwhelmingly white Congress has traditionally been hesitant to grant the District’s African-American majority a vote in the House and the Senate” (emphasis added). But this example was one of the oft-repeated lessons on race that provided the focus of the workshops.

Senator Brown, who is not paid a salary, said his and his wife’s travel expenses, as well as those of Jenkins, were paid for by a fund of voluntary contributions by D.C. taxpayers.

The left has a history of using children to advance its political agenda, going back to the SDS parents involved in the Tinker v. Des Moines case. They won the right of their children (ages eight to 15) to wear black armbands in school to protest the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court then famously declared that students and teachers do not “shed their constitutional rights to free expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

The Tinker case opened the way for parents to use children to advance their political views. Now, teachers and senators feel no compunction about using class time to advance a political agenda. The only ones not free are the children ill-equipped with knowledge and too young to discern and resist emotional manipulation from adults.

For my full report at America’s Survival, “Indoctrination without Apology: Social Studies Teachers Share Strategies on How to Mold Students,” go here.

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Mary Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia and teaches in Atlanta. She is organizing the Resistance to the Re-Education of America at www.dissidentprof.com. Her writing can be found at www.marygrabar.com. Subscribe to dispatches here.
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