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Indoctrination Fridays: California Federation of Teachers Works Unionizing Propaganda into Curriculum

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
The California Federation of Teachers thinks it’s important for kids to learn how to run a business. I come from a small business family, so I’m cool with that. The curriculum immediately starts off on the wrong foot, though, because it’s not from the perspective of an entrepreneur, but rather a disgruntled employee.

A “Labor Studies Curriculum for Elementary Schools,” entitled “The Yummy Pizza Company,” takes up to 20 classroom hours over a two-week period. Important concepts in the 10 lessons, such as the value of work and money management, are critical components, but are quickly overshadowed by the fact that 40% of the curriculum is about forming Pizza Makers Union Local 18. That’s right – the program is focused on teaching kids to unionize.

I don’t suppose this creative curriculum has anything do to with current issues, like collective bargaining privileges for public employees. Teachers wouldn’t be so blatant as to involve young children in their political issues, would they?

Art lessons are incorporated into the curriculum. Students are assigned the task of designing a union logo and membership cards. Math is also a focus. Part of the lesson involves calculating “union dues as a percentage of wages.”

But the lesson doesn’t end with forming the union. What’s next? Contract negotiations, of course! Yes, elementary kids are then taught the finer points of collective bargaining. Members of the Pizza Makers Union may “vote to accept offer, negotiate further or strike.”

The next lesson covers “Unions in the real world,” where “Students will learn about a real union and how it helped its members,” as well as “some labor history and a few prominent labor leaders.”

Kids are then encouraged to interview their parents about whether or not they belong to a labor union. Additionally, students will “act out the life of a labor leader.” One wonders how students will manage to depict the thuggery that union bosses have become famous for.

At the end of the curriculum, San Francisco teacher Bill Morgan gave a first-hand account of his use of these lessons.

“Like many teachers involved in the labor movement, I have tried to bring labor and workplace issues into my classroom. The best I could manage was some isolated history lessons about this or that strike, or some organizer who showed exemplary courage or dedication.”

But Morgan felt he needed a stronger lesson to drive his point home.

“At this point, I decided, as the Curriculum stipulates, to explore the down side of management – labor relations.” So he decided to cut students’ pay in the classroom Yummy Pizza shop.

“This is where the lesson became reality. A storm of protest arose, and many of the students decided to follow the example of Cesar Chavez (who we were studying) and go on strike. Twenty-one of the twenty-seven students present that day voted to strike, and strike they did. With my few faithful scabs, I tried to make pizza that next day. Strikers kept coming over to them, trying to convince them to walk out. Three did, and I was left with only three helpers. When we went downstairs to the yard to see our pizza cookies, things got uglier. Picketers walked back and forth in front of our stand, strikers came up and sneezed on the cookies, and told the other kids not to buy them and a scuffle broke out over a sign.”

Are you freaking kidding me?

Morgan says he successfully propagandized his students.

“Just say we were able to confront in an organic, not imposed way, some of the central economic and social issues of our society. I would encourage anyone who is interested in labor and workplace issues to use the ‘Yummy Pizza’ curriculum,” he ended.

These 20 hours of educational time are little more than a back door way for labor unions and their most strident activists to foist their propaganda on unwitting elementary students. Morgan acknowledges the subtle manner he used to deliver his ultimate message. It is critical parents are aware of it, be on the lookout for it, and if they choose, try to root it out of their schools.

Morgan isn’t the only union activist pushing this stuff in his classroom. In nearby Berkeley, 2nd grade teacher Margot Pepper explained in a 2007 edition of Race, Poverty & the Environment, “For over a decade I’ve been teaching my six-, seven-, and eight-year-old students to strike against me.” Like Morgan, Pepper acts like the mean boss and invites confrontation and leads students to specific conclusions.

“…I give workers hints, like reading Si Se Puede by Diana Cohn, about the Los Angeles Janitor’s strike, or encouraging them to engage in a tug of war with me over a jump rope in which they all have to join together to bring me down. One year, students snuck into the classroom and made picket signs out of construction paper, masking tape, and poles made of linked markers or meter sticks. I’ve found it’s best to demote supervisors to a non-managerial position just as we go to lunch, so they will feel a sense of solidarity with workers, instead of terrorizing them into complacency, as nearly happened this year.

“Once workers realize I’m powerless before their united action, they immediately overthrow all class rules. They scream until I surrender. After the class quiets down, I quickly explain that some rules exist to benefit the boss, the others, for the good of all. They ratify each rule anew, and have consistently thrown out the new contract as benefiting only their employer.”

Socialists realize they don’t need to win political offices to change America. They can do it through education, the arts and the media. Changing culture in general, they know, will be far more damaging to the American experiment and harder to undo than an election. That’s precisely what they’re doing.

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