Trent England | April 25, 2022
Indoctrination in public schools continues even after legislation
No American is well educated if he knows only the good, or only the bad, from our history. Hagiography—whitewashing away the bad—breeds simple-minded jingoism. Cynicism—dwelling on the bad—sows distrust and alienation. American education in the 19th Century often tended toward hagiography—think George Washington and the cherry tree. Today, that pendulum has swung to an opposite extreme.
“Progressives” see the past as an opponent. As they lay claim to the very idea of progress, they assert that all who disagree with them must be relics of an earlier time—and that earlier time must be morally inferior. Showing the “badness” of the past becomes a political necessity, thus history becomes something more like opposition research.
This is the utility of so-called Critical Race Theory and its various iterations. If all of American history is racist, then all Americans who are not “Progressive” are racist. And, of course, corporations not donating to their political groups are racist—a most lucrative racket.
Standing up against this are some leaders in Oklahoma and around the country. One of them, Rep. John Wills, is the Speaker Pro-Tempore in the Iowa House of Representatives. Below is part of an update he sent to his constituents with a reminder that legislation alone is not enough to prevent some extremists from using public schools as their own ideological training camps.
Yesterday on April 20, I was notified by several people of an undercover video that was conducted with 5 or 6 Iowa School Administrators, around Des Moines. These administrators, mostly diversity administrators, all openly talked about how they were flaunting Iowa law. They specifically talked about how they could “change a few words” or make a “tweak here or there” and continue to teach things such as Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project, and others which directly violates State Law.
When asked if they were afraid of getting caught, they said, there were no penalties associated with the law, so even if we are caught what does it matter. …
Today, I will make a blatant statement that has no room for misinterpretation. These people are breaking Iowa law as they brag about how they are continuing to teach these things and it is obvious that they have an agenda. They are not teaching but they are indoctrinating. If you have any question as to what I am talking about, here is the link to the video: "Iowa Administrators Brag About Skirting CRT Laws: ‘Politicians Really Can't Stop It.'" It is just under 11 minutes but well worth the time to at least watch the first few minutes.
This kind of indoctrination is part of what is driving 64% of Americans in a recent Seltzer Poll to believe that public education is moving in the wrong direction with only 24% of the respondents thinking that K-12 education in America is moving in the right direction. In short, these people and their agenda are ruining public education in Iowa.
I for one am tired of this constant need from some to push their agenda and thought process, no matter what that agenda is, on others. Our kids don’t deserve or need people to tell them what to think they need teachers who encourage them to think. The teaching of values is up to the parent and that is where it needs to stop.
Another example came to light recently in Owasso. Parents are encouraged to contact OCPA with concerns about similar illegal or improper activities in Oklahoma schools. In the long run, the very best solution is to reduce the amount of political control over education; the best way to do that is with school choice.
David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow
Trent England is the David and Ann Brown Distinguished Fellow at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, where he previously served as executive vice president. He is also the founder and executive director of Save Our States, which educates Americans about the importance of the Electoral College. England is a producer of the feature-length documentary “Safeguard: An Electoral College Story.” He has appeared three times on Fox & Friends and is a frequent guest on media programs from coast to coast. He is the author of Why We Must Defend the Electoral College and a contributor to The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Hillsdale College's Imprimis speech digest, and other publications. Trent formerly hosted morning drive-time radio in Oklahoma City and has filled for various radio hosts including Ben Shapiro. A former legal policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, he holds a law degree from The George Mason University School of Law and a bachelor of arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.