In Maryland, Montgomery Community College has become the latest institution to offer a class on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. “Occupy MoCo!” will be offered to students in grades nine through twelve during the summer of 2012 as part the community college’s summer youth program. Four days ago, Elizabeth Homan, Montgomery’s Director of Communications, told Fox News the course “does not take a stance on the Occupy movement.” Perhaps not now that the college has been caught red-handed. Since the story first broke, the course description has been changed twice to cover up its clear initial purpose: recruitment and indoctrination in OWS mob mania.
The original description of course, “You392 Occupy MoCo!” read as follows (italics mine): ”We are at an exciting time in the history of the world. People all over the planet are taking democracy into their own hands and working together to create solutions for a better world. Take advantage of this interactive opportunity to learn critical thinking skills that will help you in college and gain insight into becoming a global leader of the 21st century. Learn about the Occupy Wall Street movement and explore real-life human rights implications. Review social justice concepts and explore human rights issues related to current events. Young people hold the power to change their community, their schools, their future–are you ready to join the movement for justice?”
A new description was put on the college’s website on Tuesday: “All around the world, people are taking democracy into their own hands. This class provides a unique, creative opportunity to discuss social issues and protests throughout history, including current events such as Occupy Wall Street. Students will learn about the various processes that can be used to voice opinions in their own community. Join in this interactive class to gain valuable insights into leadership and to develop critical thinking skills for college and life.”
What’s missing from this description? Any mention of human rights and social justice. Why the change? Course descriptions for the summer program are written with “exciting titles and energizing descriptions” to attract students to the program, Ms. Homan contended. ”In an attempt to be fun and interesting, the true content of the class may have been lost.”
Perhaps. But one suspects that both the complaints of area residents and online allegations that the course was trying to indoctrinate students have taken their toll. Ms. Homan conceded the possibility. “We’ve heard from our community that there was some clarity that we needed to provide in our course description, and we’re going to correct that,” Homan said earlier this week before the change was made. Yet even current students at Montgomery College recognized the inherent problem with the original description. “It’s like, ‘Are you ready to join the movement for justice?’ That’s recruiting someone,” said student Cameron Lancon.
The course is being created by Neha Singhal with ”input from the dean” according to Ms. Homan. Curiously, the college’s roster of personnel did not include Ms. Singhal in its database. Ms. Homan explained that summer courses “taught through the workforce development and continuing education, specifically the youth programs are [taught] by part-time, short-term employees.” Ms. Homan also insisted that Ms. Singhal “is not affiliated in any way with the OWS movement.”
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