With the recent media frenzy over the events in Alpine School District, it’s become obvious some clarifications need made as to what this petition is all about and why there’s an uproar in Alpine.
Several months ago this petition started as a result of this site owner (Oak Norton) noticing that the Utah state history standards failed to mention that the United States of America is a Republic. That fact is from Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution wherein the states that came together to draft the Constitution guaranteed their partner states that they could remain under a Republican form of government.
This site’s petition was to ask the State Office of Education, under the first amendment’s right to petition government for a redress of our grievances, to modify 5 standards (as shown on the petition and signatures page of this site) to reflect the notion that we are a Republic. Nowhere on the petition is the word democracy mentioned. Over the last hundred years of American History, the meaning of the word has evolved to two contradictory meanings. The online Websters-Merriam dictionary shows these as both majority rule (original definition that equates to mob rule), and representative rule (ie. Republican), two opposing definitions.
True democracy (majority rule) was abhorred by our Founding Fathers as every democracy that has ever existed has wasted and destroyed itself. Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin and others have endorsed this form of government as the best way to achieve socialism.
The issue with Alpine School District over their use of the term democracy is more complicated. They themselves aren’t advocating for this form of government, but those that came up with the phrase have a stated agenda which is to transform our nation into something it is not.
Hanging in the Professional Development Center of the Alpine School District is a large sign (which can be seen in the 2nd video on the home page of this site) which says “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy.” This phrase comes from an individual named John Goodlad, a humanist atheist who travels the country setting up partnerships with universities and school districts. (in our local area the connection is through Brigham Young University)
Among Goodlad’s teachings you can find these quotes:
Goodlad on the Family:
- “Most youth still hold the same values of their parents… if we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize, our system will decay.”
- “Parents do not own their children. They have no ‘natural right’ to control their education fully.”
- “Parents and the general public must be [resocialized] also… Otherwise, children and youth…may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home.”
- “There is a belief by some that there exists…a ‘correct’ view of the world. This view is incorrect. There is no single worldview that deserves complete acceptance.”
- “…educators must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.”
- “…a moral community [is] one that uses democratic…processes to determine right from wrong, good from bad.”
- “A standardized curriculum of basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic cannot prepare people to participate in a democracy.”
- “The curriculum of the future ‘will be what one might call the humanistic curriculum.’”
- “Schools cannot be tools of Pavlovian patriotism…”
- “…the state we should strive for is better described in Deweyan terms as a social democracy.”
- “The knowledge of how to run a democracy is not possessed by all parents equally. It must be supplemented with public education.”
- “The Agenda has been developed to address the political and content issues of school.”
- “Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now.”
I ask the reader to consider this is a man who is actively seeking through a stated agenda to subvert the rights of parents through social engineering. In a word, evil. Does that mean everything he does is evil? No. There is always a generous helping of good philosophy mixed into evil to make it all the more palatable to those who recognize the good but are ignorant of the motives and intent of the philosophy. Sort of like mingling man’s philosophy with scripture to make it all sound like scripture.
Goodlad’s university level partnership called the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER) has on its website this paragraph under its “Agenda” section.
“Why Do We Focus on Democracy? Many different forms of government have tried to meet this challenge: fascism, socialism, communism, and democracy, to name a few. Democracy, while certainly not without its flaws, seems to offer the best hope of enabling us to live together in relative peace and prosperity. This is because democracy has a great virtue that the others generally lack: real democracy strives to ensure that everyone in a society contributes to the decision-making processes that affect their lives.”
In other words, once again Goodlad exposes his Agenda to mean TRUE democracy in the form our Founding Fathers abhorred. His desire is to have morality made relative to the desires of the majority just as his quote above shows. The purpose of representational government is to elect people to dig in deep to issues that the public has no time to consider. If an ignorant public were to vote on every issue that came up, they would quickly fail to view the unintended consequences of a decision and solely base their votes on things that benefit them in the short term and may in turn hurt their neighbors. That is the nature of democracy.
Democracy tramples the rights of the minority and leads to mob rule, which eventually leads to socialism, which is where the nationally quoted line about Karl Marx comes from where he said, “Democracy is the road to socialism.” If you don’t understand why this is, click the Ben Franklin picture in the top right corner of this website and watch that short video. It explains perfectly why there are really only 2 forms of government (though there may be multiple economic systems that power them).
A couple months ago (Jan. 2010), an event happened in Alpine school district where one parent’s daughter was in a 6th grade class and the teacher told the class we live in a democracy. This young 11 year-old had the courage to raise her hand and correct her teacher and tell him we live in a republic. The teacher told her she was wrong in front of the whole class, and seeing a book of quotes from our Founding Fathers on her desk, proceeded to call that book “pure science fiction.” After class he admitted to her that we were a Republic but then conveniently never told the class that fact.
This parent, already unhappy that her children weren’t being academically challenged in subjects like math (they moved here from California where they have *real* math standards) decided that was the final straw and she would pull her child out of school and homeschool her. This led her to the district office where she saw the sign “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy”. She was a bit shocked to see the school district advocating social democracy (socialism) and political democracy (recall the dual meaning).
She went home and thought she would look at the school district’s website for some help understanding this problem. That led her to the Mission Statement page which contained forms of the word democracy 13 times and the use of academics and excellence, exactly ZERO.
Then she noticed a web link on the left that said “America: Republic or Democracy?” Thinking this must surely explain the district’s belief in our nations form of government, she clicked the link and was transported to a radical green party member website who called our Founding Fathers a “predatory elite” and said their only intention in fighting the revolutionary war, and in giving us the constitution was to enrich the wealthy class of citizens.
Finding this page of revisionist history was stunning, but then she continued to see what else this individual advocated. She found he was for anarchy in America, limiting families to 2 children, and a belief that Jesus Christ was a vampire because he ate flesh, drank blood, was killed and came back to life.
This chain of events was quite shocking and led her to believe this was all connected from teacher, to district, to radical. She then documented it all in an email and sent it out to friends and neighbors, risking relationships in order to share what she saw as a logical chain of events and endorsements.
The email went viral and the media caught it and reported on it. The district immediately removed the link and publicly cried they were being “misrepresented.”
At the next board meeting, over 200 parents showed up and calmly and rationally explained that we live in a Republic, we don’t want indoctrination (enculturation) of our children into a social democracy, and that part of the district’s stated mission to “nurture” our children was in actuality the job of parents, not the district (thank you John Goodlad but we’ll leave your philosophy at the door from now on).
The very next day after this board meeting, the school district sent an email to all the employees and teachers describing the board meeting in a short paragraph and reiterated the district was being “misrepresented.”
Parents were a little upset that the district refused to acknowledge how this happened and wanted assurances that this would not happen any longer. So this past week, parents read a statement to the school board reminding them that they were *public* servants, elected by *US* the parents, and that they worked for the public and it was not their job to be apologists for the district. Parents then asked the school board for three things to be answered at the next board meeting in 3 weeks.
1-Who exactly was misrepresented and what misrepresentations and falsehoods are you referring to in your statements to the public and to school district faculty?
2- You admitted at the last board meeting that “Enculturating the Young into a Social and a Political Democracy” is not user friendly and you will revisit the use of this term. In the meantime, will you direct the immediate removal of all instances of the “Enculturating” sign and the “Democracy” motto in all district buildings and schools until you have developed a new motto which is absent of politics? If not, why?
3 -What policies have you now implemented as a result of this recent controversy to ensure false educational ideas do not further creep into our children’s classrooms (ex. sponsoring constitution classes for teachers during teacher development time; reconsidering the sources of your material such as the PSP/NNER/CITES connections to Goodlad’s teachings, etc…)?
The media at the event reported that JoDee Sundberg, a school board member from Orem, responded with “We are not directed by any group that tells us to immediately do things.” An answer spoken in haste but perhaps reflecting the board’s frustration that the public was holding them accountable.
Naturally, this is a disappointing response from an elected official who is being asked to provide the public with information on how the board is taking action in the wake of this series of events.
The media then picked up on this story, and numerous outlets around the country have taken original stories, already much shorter than the actual account, and truncated them even further making it appear like a handful of nut jobs have nothing better to do than gripe about the term democracy. In actuality, the story is much bigger and more involved than that.
So to summarize, the purpose of this website was to petition for better statewide recognition of what our form of government is, namely, a Republic. Alpine school district happened to step into the light with a series of very poor events which this site reported on as relevant to the overall objective, which is to recognize that there are people like Goodlad seeking to overthrow our Founding Fathers vision of America as a Republican form of government. It is through these events that parents have asked the school district to modify their motto to focus solely on academic excellence, and not on a stated political agenda that seeks to enculturate our children into a social democracy.
1: a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means
2: a democratic welfare state that incorporates both capitalist and socialist practices
Political Democracy (conflicting definitions)
1: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly
2: indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections [emphasis added]
1 : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.