Although remote learning is a poor substitute for actual classroom instruction, at least one good result has come out of it — parents are beginning to learn what their kids are actually being taught — and what’s being ignored.
A Tennessee father was surprised at what his daughter was learning in her second grade Nashville English class.
Instead of reading about the adventures Dick, Jane and their dog Spot, one of her English books was titled, "Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington."
If the father, Grant Benson, was surprised at this, he was also initially pleased. He thought, "Great. She will learn the inspirational and vital story of the civil rights movement."
His pleasure was short-lived, however. Investigating further, he discovered his daughter was being spoon-fed what he believed was rubbish.
"My issue with this book is it literally teaches children that blacks and whites are not treated equally," Benson, who is the founder of Breaking 911, a web-based news site wrote. "In my life they are. In my home they are. In my daughter’s mind, we are equal."
Another "English" book, "Separate Is Never Equal," was more troubling — especially for Benson’s 7-year-old daughter.
"This book struck me as teaching my child that all white people are racist," he said. "More troubling than that, the book seems to insinuate to children of color that all white people are racist or against them in some way."
Perhaps in response to objections like these being raised by parents like Benson, another Tennessee school district took steps to prevent similar problems.
Claiming alleged "student privacy" concerns, parents of students who attend Rutherford County Schools (RCS) were told that they had to agree to refrain from monitoring their child’s online classes, according to The Tennessee Star.
"RCS strives to present these opportunities in a secure format that protects student privacy to the greatest extent possible, however because these meetings will occur virtually RCS is limited in its ability to fully control certain factors such as non-student observers that may be present in the home of a student participating in the virtual meeting," a form sent to parents began.
"RCS strongly discourages non student observation of online meetings due to the potential of confidential information about a student being revealed."
The form asked parents for their signature, warning that "violation of this agreement may result in RCS removing my child from the virtual meeting."
Without surprise, the notice raised alarm bells throughout the district, and the rules were relaxed. Parents could monitor the classes but were warned not to record them.
Those "student privacy" concerns aren’t necessarily a two-way street, however.
Police searched the home of a Baltimore family when BB guns were observed in an 11-year-old student’s Zoom classroom session. He’s using them for his gun safety and marksmanship class in a quest to become an Eagle Scout.
Police were also called to the home of a 7-year-old Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-area student because a toy gun, his "favorite new thing," was observed during one of his remote classroom sessions.
This isn’t limited to grade school or even high school students.
Fordham University banned student Austin Tong from campus for exercising his First Amendment rights — not on campus, not during a remote classroom session, but on social media.
Tong, who immigrated with his parents from China, posted two photos on Instagram that the university found disturbing:
- The first of slain former St. Louis police officer David Dorn, with the inscription, "Y’all are a bunch of hypocrites." Tong was upset that little media attention was given to his murder.
- The second was a photo of himself holding an AR-15 firearm with the inscription, "Don’t tread on me. #198964," a reference to the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre (June 4, 1989).
The university ruled that Tong’s posts violated its policies on "bias and/or hate crimes" and "threats/intimidation."
Finally, earlier this month a New Jersey doctoral candidate faced disciplinary action for displaying a photo of President Trump in the background during a remote classroom session, because it offended his Stockholm University classmates.
Back in the day, parents were encouraged to play a role in their children’s education; now they want parents disengaged.
Back in the day, if a high school student pulled into a school parking lot and a teacher spotted a shotgun in the back window, he’d compare the student’s shotgun to his own; now a toy gun at a student’s home is enough to call in the police.
Back in the day, students were taught basic tasks to prepare them for life; now they’re taught that all white people are bad and genders are like Heinz products — there are 57 varieties.
Things worked better back in the day.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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