Sheriff Clarke: Teachers Unions Using Urban Youth as 'Pawns,' 'It's Criminal’

David Clarke, former Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis., at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md., on Feb. 23, 2018. (Sipa via AP Images)

WASHINGTON – Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke argued that teachers unions are using children in urban public schools as “pawns” for political power and “lab rats” for “crazy social engineering ideas.”

“K-12 urban public schools are no longer institutions of learning. They are institutions of liberal indoctrination, that’s all they are, and that’s why the math and reading scores and all those other things, graduation rates, truancy rates, it’s exhibited in that. And the stranglehold that the teachers unions have, most of their money goes to Democrat candidates at election time. These kids are nothing more than pawns to political power,” Clarke said during a breakout session titled, “Breaking Bad: What it Takes to Rise Above Circumstances” at this past year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

“These kids are nothing more than lab rats in these crazy social engineering ideas as to how to fix this stuff, that’s all they are. I think this is a sin. I think it’s wrong. I think it’s criminal, in some aspects. Call me naïve if you want: I’m one of those that believe that any kid can learn, maybe not at the same rate, any kid can learn but they’re not teaching kids anymore and they are not demanding standards,” he added.

Clarke, who often appears on Fox News, criticized “lax school disciplinary standards” in public schools that are “ruining the learning environment” for the rest of the student body.

He called mass incarceration “especially of black males … a myth.”

“Look, the Democrats did this. They have screwed this country up. They screwed it up with failed, liberal urban polices because when we are talking about poverty, when we are talking about trying to break the cycle of poverty,” Clarke said.

“You want to know how to do it? You know what they say, right? More programs, more government intervention, and more spending of your tax dollars – but that spending of good money after bad only prolongs this misery that many people who are caught up in the cycle of poverty are stuck in and for a very long period of time,” he added.

Citing the $1.2 billion budget for Milwaukee public schools, Clarke said graduation rates are “horrible” with “failing” math and reading scores.

“We’re spending too much money because I bet I could cut that in half and still get the same results,” he said. “If the parents don’t care, the kids won’t care.”

Clarke argued that there’s a “cultural rot” that exists and the government should not be in the business of fixing families.

“The government fixing families? We don’t do that well – that’s going to have to be done through the sheer determination of the individual to raise their kids better, to be more involved and to change the plight of the next generation, if they haven’t changed their own. OK?” he said.

Clarke mentioned HUD Secretary Ben Carson to support his points.

“His mom had a third-grade education. She said my two boys are not going to end up like me. Dr. Carson, obviously, a neurosurgeon, now cabinet secretary. His brother has a degree in engineering. A mama on welfare with a third-grade education in Detroit, it’s doable. I’m not saying she had no help, but it wasn’t through government – sheer determination of the individual,” he said.

“The Democrats don’t want that to happen. They say you have to depend on us to make it, these government policies, you have to stick to this and you have to vote this way because we’ll help you out of this plight, and they don’t do it.”