East Prairie School in Skokie, Illinois finds itself in the eye of a storm or at least a tempest in a tea pot. I would love to see more public schools caught in such tempests of their own making. Public school administrators tend to respond to only three things:
- Loss of funds
- A huge community outcry
- Bad press—particularly national press
That’s why pro-family organizations need to publish more exposés of school issues, using the names of teachers who are exploiting their taxpayer-subsidized jobs to promote their non-factual moral and political beliefs through their classroom comments, curricular and supplemental resources, and activities. But I digress.
A fourth-grade teacher in Skokie distributed an assignment recently that was purportedly intended merely to explain the functions of government. Sounds reasonable enough. The problem is that the assignment compares the functions of government to the functions of family. Perhaps the teacher didn’t think through the ideological implications of the questions posed in the assignment, in which case he or she deserves a measure of tolerance. And perhaps in the future other teachers will learn from this teacher’s mistake.
Many teachers see themselves as the arbiter of moral and political truth and feel no compunction about inculcating other people’s children with their beliefs—all in the service of their notions of safety, health and education. This assignment brings to mind MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s startling statement that “we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities.”