Boy, it’s a good thing some people are paying attention to what’s actually happening in Wyoming schools, so they can keep the liberals from warping the young minds we naively send them to educate.
Take Park County School District No. 6 in Cody. Last week parents and some conservative school board members kept the district from approving textbooks whose authors came right out and declared climate change is real. We’d better do something about it now, they added, providing there’s still time to set the record straight for school students.
Talk about jumping the gun. Doesn’t anyone in the school administration realize many of us are still debating whether global warming exists?
Fortunately, Trustee Sam Weber helped stop the whole process in its tracks by calling the notion of global warming exactly what it is: “junk science.”
Who have the members of the textbook committee been listening to for the past two years, as they scrutinized the lessons they planned to sneak into Cody classrooms? Al Gore, that’s who. Plus 97 percent of the world’s leading scientists who agree climate change is absolutely true because the earth is warming at an alarming rate and it’s having devastating environmental impacts worldwide.
Didn’t they see it snow the other day? What more proof do they need that this is all part of a vast conspiracy to stop using fossil fuels that pollute the planet in favor of renewable resources like solar and wind power?
According to the Casper Star-Tribune’s excellent account of what happened at the seven-hour school board meeting in Cody, Weber said as a board member he will not authorize any of the $300,000 for the book purchase to include supplemental books about “global whining.”
“Our Wyoming schools are largely funded by coal, oil, natural gas, mining, ranching, etc.,” Weber noted. “This junk science is against community and state standards.”
Weber knows who pays the freight in our state and doesn’t care that if his side is successful in its fight against liberal fanatics Cody schools will send graduates into the world who won’t be able to pass a basic college science course.
Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, a Cody high school graduate, was at the meeting and said, “If anyone believes that there isn’t climate change and global warming, they’re wrong. I think it’s critically important that nobody leaves this school district thinking global warming isn’t real.”
Another trustee, William Struemke, wasn’t buying anything supporters like the well-known leftist Simpson had to say. Struemke said the proposed material presents “a very liberal, very slanted view of the world.”
And it’s not just climate change that some parents and board members object to, either. It’s the way the United States is portrayed in these objectionable books as a villain just because it has bombed a few enemy cities back to the Stone Age.
Just like the lack of “settled science” opponents claim about the existence of global warming, there’s apparently a great deal of unsettled history that needs to be reinterpreted through the Tea Party filter before it can make its way into the brains of impressionable students and be labeled as “facts.”
A total of nine parents filed 42 complaints against proposed textbooks at the meeting, the Star-Tribune noted, necessitating another committee be appointed by the board next month to investigate the matter.
I must admit, the strength of their complaints surprised me, shaking my core beliefs about aspects of American history that I had never questioned.
Take the legacy of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who led the nation’s investigation of the infiltration of communists into the halls of American government at the highest levels. I didn’t learn much about the McCarthy era in school, because I always seemed to be sick that day. But based on what I read later, I always thought of him as a scumbag right-wing idealogue who disgraced his nation and ruined the lives and reputations of many good citizens.
But a Cody parent’s complaint about McCarthy’s so-called “witch hunts” opened up another possibility. What if the senator wasn’t the bad guy school textbooks claim, but just a misunderstood patriot?
The complaint pointed out the textbook didn’t favorably compare McCarthy’s “worst excesses to the gulag system in the USSR or suppression of dissent elsewhere in the world.”
In other words, there were victims of McCarthy’s vicious, relentless attacks against fellow Americans he helped blacklist and ruin, but at least he wasn’t a godless commie.
Another complaint was lodged against a fourth-grade textbook containing biographies of Langston Hughes, Cesar Chavez, Sacagawea and Martin Luther King. A parent claimed they all displayed a left-wing political bias and that highlighting them ignored “hundreds of deserving Americans.”
Given the color of the skin of that particular historic quartet, I gather this parent was referring to the race and gender always left out whenever American history is discussed — white guys.
That was a common theme in other complaints, voiced this way by a parent: “Students will be indoctrinated in the ‘politically correct’ intellectual focus on minority racial and ethnic groups while the ethnic background of the majority of them is ignored or demeaned.”
Yes, how are white kids supposed to feel good about themselves and their heritage if all they read about in school are stories about heroic, principled people who don’t look anything like them?
Other textbooks were criticized for their portrayal of other classes besides race. Recounting how the Titanic sank in the Atlantic, one historian had the audacity not to mention how many wealthy people saved vagrants and tramps on board the doomed ship. “Being blessed with wealth is not bad or a sin,” a parent wrote. “Character matters!”
Another complaint focused on a textbook that went on at length about Polynesians living in Hawaii, to the point it ignored American citizens who also call the island their home.
You may ask, is there anything irate people can do to stem this crazy tide of unwanted multiculturalism and the teaching of real science in Wyoming schools?
Yes, there is. For starters, if they want to participate in the process of selecting textbooks and other materials for classes, they can let the school administration know it. That way, no matter how off-the-wall others may consider their beliefs, a district can reach a decision with plenty of time to order textbooks, rather than starting the process all over again.
Second, if there isn’t a private school in their area (or one they feel comfortable sending their children to) they can join other like-minded parents and start a charter school. They could create their own curriculum, so if they want to display statues of Joe McCarthy, burn Al Gore in effigy every day or celebrate the contributions of random historic white people they consider worthy of honoring, they can go for it.
Finally, they can try homeschooling. The kids may miss the interaction with other students, but at least Tea Party parents won’t have to worry about their offspring being exposed to any public school’s liberal agenda. We all know how highly thought of liberals are in Wyoming, so it’s no surprise to learn they have total control of the public educational system.
The nice thing about homeschooling is parents no longer have to listen to the demands of progressives who insist on buying textbooks that consider climate change an established fact. These misinformed people don’t understand everyone has an opinion about science, but no one wants to hear theories that might upset the energy industry, which could move away and stop depleting our finite mineral resources for their own outrageous profits.
Best of all, choosing textbooks doesn’t have to be a two-year process that stirs everybody up. Parents can look at the latest bestseller list, buy copies of the new Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly books, and start teaching that very day.
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