Ed Driscoll

Great Moments In Public Education

Found in James Taranto’s Best of the Web column yesterday:

Here’s an amazing story from the Chico (Calif.) Enterprise:

Bidwell Junior High School administrators said a letter sent home with students in an eighth-grade class Tuesday was a good idea for a history lesson, with bad execution.

The letter, which appeared to ask parents to renounce their U.S. citizenship, prompted phone calls to the school from several irate recipients.

Principal Joanne Parsley said teacher Mike Brooks never intended to have parents sign the letters, or forward them on to President Bush, to whom they are addressed. . . .

Reached at home, the teacher said his U.S. History class is studying the Declaration of Independence, and he decided to write a letter putting the document into modern language. His intention, he said, was to send it home for parents to review, and possibly discuss with their children.

He concluded the letter with “After careful consideration of the facts of our current situation, I have decided to announce to everyone that I am no longer a citizen of the United States, but a free and independent member of the global community.”

“The point was, I wanted to ask parents if they would sign such a letter if conditions that existed prior to the Revolution were happening now,” he said. “I just wanted to start a discussion.”

Not surprisingly, it turns out that Brooks’s complaints include the detention of terrorists at Guantanamo and the terrorist surveillance program. So under his scheme, pre-Revolutionary conditions exist now only if you assume that al Qaeda is the moral equivalent of the American colonists.

Why not? Jimmy Carter’s best friend at the 2004 Democratic presidential convention wouldn’t quibble.