Todd Starnes

A Wisconsin school district has launched an investigation into accusations that teachers have bullied and harassed a politically active student.

Benji Backer, a 15-year-old student at Appleton North High School in Appleton, told me that he’s been subjected to name-calling, foul-language and classroom lectures that bashed Gov. Scott Walker and labeled Republicans as racist:

“They are harassing and bullying me as well as indoctrinating other students,” Backer said. The 15-year-old wrote about his allegations in great detail in an essay first published by FreedomWorks.

“My teachers have always talked about bullying, including bullying homosexuals and how wrong it is,” Backer wrote. “I agree 100 percent. They shouldn’t be bullied, nor should anyone else.”

Backer wrote that if homosexuals can get equal treatment, why can’t conservative students?

“If teachers expect bullying to end with homosexuals, they should want it to end with every type of bullying possible, including political views,” he wrote.

Ben Vogel, an assistant superintendent for the Appleton school district, tells me they have launched an investigation into Backer’s allegations and they are taking it seriously.

“I’m always going to be concerned when a student comes and shares that they feel they are being treated unfairly in a classroom,” Vogel said. “We want all students to feel like they are safe at their school and in the individual classes.”

Backer’s allegations came during a period of time of great political unrest in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker was battling the teachers union and afterwards an unsuccessful recall petition.

Nevertheless, Vogel said that’s no excuse for teachers trying to indoctrinate students.

“We have school board policy regarding political activity in the classroom – when it’s appropriate and when it’s not appropriate,” he said. “We will follow up and make sure our teachers are doing what they need to be doing and if they’re not – then we will follow up accordingly.”

One of the more egregious episodes allegedly occurred in Backer’s English class. He said his teacher would use classroom lectures to rail against Walker – and soon – the teacher turned on the 15-year-old.

“He was swearing and saying how wrong it was for anyone to support Scott Walker,” Backer wrote. “Students were telling him to stop, and he wouldn’t.”

Backer was the Wisconsin co-chair for Young Americans for Mitt Romney. He was also featured in a USA Today story about the November election.


Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” To check out all of his work you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @toddstarnes. In his spare time, Todd is active in his church, plays golf, follows SEC football, and eats barbecue. He lives in New York City.


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