Indoctrination Fridays: Teacher's Lesson Compares Scott Walker to White Segregationist

Kyle Olson

7/1/2011 12:01:00 AM - Kyle Olson
A paper published by several college professors, entitled Organizing the Curriculum for Labor Consciousness, calls for more weaving of Big Labor history and tactics into every day curriculum.

Take the case of Kate Lyman, a teacher in the Madison, Wisconsin school district.

According to an article she penned for the leftist Rethinking Schools magazine, she was swept into the protests by her daughter and Facebook, because “that’s how they did it in Egypt.”

When teacher staged a “sick out,” Lyman described it as “four exhilarating days, four confusing days, four stressful and exhausting days.”

For the record, she’s speaking of the self-serving school employees. She’s not talking about the working parents that had to scramble to find child care because their children were not in school.

At first, the teacher, who already apparently has a warning in her personnel file for violating the school’s “controversial issues” policy, claimed to just invite the students’ observations about what took place.

Consider what these students said: of immigrants, one said Walker would “send them back to Mexico.” Lyman apparently didn’t correct this idiotic notion. Another said, “does he want to be rich?” “Yeah, he wants to be rich!” “He’s selfish.” “He’s crazy.” “He’s guilty.” “He’s greedy.” “He should go to jail, even though he’s governor.”

Lyman made up math problems with the attendance numbers from the protests.

Lyman’s student teacher created a PowerPoint presentation, with side-by-side pictures of the Madison protests and images from the civil rights fights in the south. Then, she went lower than I thought was possible even for union activists. Quoting Lyman:

“I hesitated to ask this last question as the students were examining a photo of white segregations (“We want a white school!”) juxtaposed to a Walker supporter (“WisSCOTTsin”). But we talked extensively about rights, in the context of both the Civil Rights Movement and the Capitol protests.”

I bet you can’t guess how old these kids were. Surely if they were tuned into the news, they must be high schoolers. No, Lyman is warping the brains of 2nd- and 3rd-graders.

This is a perfect example of what the professors’ paper was calling for.

“Embedded in the history of labor’s struggle is an alternative system of values that we sorely need in this era of socially destructive greed and consolidated corporate power,” the professors wrote.

“The values of the labor movement, embodied in collective action for social justice, can counter the gross mal-distribution of wealth and power that has dangerously undermined our economy and politics. A restoration of organized labor’s power can promote prosperity by securing a living wage for working people, and reinvigorate democracy by building a politically progressive electorate that bridges the traditional fault lines of different that have been used to confuse working people and divide them against each other and from their own deepest interests.” (emphasis added)

It seems that if the truth is on your side, nothing would have to be “built.” The masses, once informed, would come flocking to your side.

But the reasoning for the union activists’ push for more “labor history” in curriculum seems to be becoming more clear. The professors cite leftist American “historian” Howard Zinn, when he wrote:

“If teacher unions want to be strong and well-supported, it’s essential that they not only be teacher-unionists but teachers of unionism. We need to create a generation of students who support teachers and the movement of teachers for their rights.” (emphasis added)

“Movement of teachers for their rights,” is, of course, code for teachers unions. So the teachers need to get them when they’re young, fill their heads with propaganda equating collective bargaining privileges and lawsuits over coverage of Viagra as somehow equal to the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis.

Is this becoming more clear now?

This is a battle that is being waged for what our youngest students are taught.

“In education the neoliberal emphasis on accountability and individual efforts militate against the labor movement’s call for solidarity and collective action to address common economic problems. This (mis)education does not serve the needs of the vast majority of students, who need more than anything else to develop the capacity for collective action in their own real interests.

“Moreover, the traditional curriculum does not require discussion of the alternatives to corporate capitalism promoted by historic American social and political movements, such as the International Workers of the World, and the American Socialist Party, beyond a nominal mention and subsequent dismissal, and despite the end of the Cold War, Marxist economics is not seriously studied and communism is not considered as an alternative economic system but simply dismissed as the flawed ideology of a deservedly defeated empire.”

This is the overarching principle of “organizing the curriculum:” to change America away from a free market economy and towards socialism, all the while exalting the virtues of Big Labor.