Malcom X Elementary school is not an isolated case. March 30th was “Hoodie Day” at at Longfellow School in Berkeley, CA, and in teacher Erin Schweng’s class, students were also provided with skittles and Arizona Tea. “We talked about what happened, and how what we’re doing today is just a small thing but that it shows solidarity and support,” said Schweng. “Our middle school students are young people with heart, passion, and a budding activism all their own,” he added. Students at West Orange H.S. in New Jersey also participated in Hoodie Day, again with the blessing of Superintendent of West Orange Schools Dr. Anthony Cavanna. “It speaks to who they are, they’ve identified a social justice issue, they’ve taken it on and we want to support that to the extent that we can support that,” he said. William Penn High School in Delaware changed the school dress code for one day, allowing students to wear hoodies. Colonial School District Superintendent Dorothy Linn also used the term “teachable moment” to describe the demonstration.
What ought to be “teachable moments”? One might be the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Another would be the media’s irresponsible rush to judgement, including ABC’s contention that Zimmerman had no marks on his body, NBC’s editing of the 911 audio designed to make Zimmerman look like a racist, and CNN’s report that Zimmerman said “coon,” not “cold,” all of which were subsequently debunked. Still another might be Al Sharpton’s dual role as racial agitator and MSNBC pundit, completely mocking anything resembling responsible journalism. And maybe students might be made aware of the complete disregard for the law demonstrated by the New Black Panthers who put a $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman’s head.
Even more compelling, especially in Washington D.C., might be the idea of giving children an education at all. D.C. public schools have not only produced some of the worst performance results of any school system in the nation, they are also number one regarding the achievement gap between black and white students among the nation’s major urban school systems.
Trayvon Martin Day will not alter that reality by one iota.
Slowly but surely this nation has allowed its public school system to be hijacked by progressives and their union enablers. Two of the top ten all-time political donors between the years 1989-2012 are the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The NEA has spent $41,412,233 in campaign contributions, 74 percent of which went to Democrats, 5 percent to Republicans. The AFT ponied up $33,615,766 in contributions, 87 percent of which went to Democrats and nothing went to Republicans. Furthermore, 2011 financial disclosure forms filed by the NEA revealed the union spent $88 million on items the Wall Street Journal characterized as “a honey pot for left-wing political causes that have nothing to do with teachers, much less students.”
Thus it is no surprise, as epitomized by Trayvon Martin Day, that American’s public school students are being held hostage to the dissemination of progressive policies being promoting as education. In short, children are being taught what to think, not how to think. And while one might make a marginal case for attempting to slant the worldview of students in high school when they are old enough to defend themselves, indoctrinating elementary school children is nothing short of despicable.
That’s the real teachable moment here.
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