Communism isn’t really that bad?

By Buffy Snell

I have lived in American Fork for 15 years, and have had 4 children excel in many ways because of the exceptional teachers of Alpine School District (ASD).  Understandably then, I am respectful and grateful to the staff.  At the same time I have noticed that relativism, a prevalent educational philosophy, is making its way into local classrooms and I feel parents need to be aware of what their children may be learning. Relativism teaches there is no absolute truth—that nothing is certain because it is subjective. Even though our community would largely agree that such a view is false; proponents of relativism, such as John Goodlad, have been influencing educators in our district for many years.  Our children and our country are reaping the consequences.  In fact, in a recent address to the Chapman University School of Law, Dallin H. Oaks has strongly condemned moral relativism because it leads to a loss of religious freedom.   (http://newsroom.lds.org/article/elder-oaks-religious-freedom-Chapman-University)

John Goodlad not only views morality as relative, but patriotism as well:

“…educators must resist the quest for certainty. If there were certainty there would be no scientific advancement. So it is with morals and patriotism.” –John Goodlad, Education for Everyone: Agenda for Education in a Democracy”, Woods Learning Center, pg. 6

If this were true, teaching children allegiance to our country and that 2+2 =4 would NOT lead to “advancement.”  I am deeply troubled that undermining views such as this would be allowed to influence the minds of an American classroom, especially my child’s.  Because of alarming instruction given to my son, I’ve filed a transfer request from his Jr. High Geography class. I have chosen to share the details of that transfer in hopes that the community will increase their vigilance and hold accountable those who are vested with the responsibility to teach and promote our American form of government.  Following are the details.

1. My son came home from his Geography class relaying that his teacher had explained to him why Communism “isn’t really that bad.” (those were my son’s exact words)

His teacher’s response to me was that he explores the pros and cons of many forms of government so that students can understand why different systems of rule appeal to different people.  He did this, he said, as a way to promote critical thinking.  He also said:

I do not promote or decry any government, religion, or economic system over another one. It is not my place to put one thing above or below another– that is the job of parents and for the students to decide on their own….I have students who come from homes of MANY different political and religious backgrounds.”  He also said, “I will not infringe on people’s right to decide for themselves.”

While religious neutrality is important in a school setting, educators are required to promote our American form of government.  According to Utah Code I.53A-13-109 teachers are responsible for:

reaffirming values and qualities of character which promote an upright and desirable citizenry…. Civic and Character Education are fundamental elements of the public education system’s core mission …students shall be taught in connection with regular school work…respect for and an understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Utah… and qualities of character which will promote an upright and desirable citizenry and better prepare students to recognize and accept responsibility for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations and secured by the constitution.http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE53A/htm/53A13_010900.htm

Not only has the teacher failed to prepare students to recognize and accept responsibility for preserving liberty, he has failed to help them think critically.  Critical thinking can only be done when students have an adequate amount of information.  And significant facts about Communism were clearly missing.

I have no problem with a teacher who wants to teach children about Communism.  In fact, it’s important that he does—as long as children are given enough information from which to draw a proper conclusion.  For example, one of the “pros” discussed about Communism was equality. But to truly educate children about the economic realities of Communism, one would have to inform them that the rulers live lavishly at the people’s expense and that “equality” of impoverishment and subjection could never be considered a “pro” for anyone but those running the government.

In addition, teaching that Communism “appeals” to some people and a Republic “appeals” to others, not only communicates relativism—that there is nothing certain because it is subjective; it gives children the impression that there is actually something good about oppression. When done in conjunction with a teacher who is unwilling to promote one form of government over another, it’s not surprising that a child comes to the FALSE conclusion that Communism “isn’t really that bad.”

Communism has been described as “the greatest crime against humanity in the 20th century” and has resulted in the estimated death of 100 million people. http://www.autentico.org/oa09347.php

2. Because of something his teacher said my son came home believing that Mormons are naive and uninformed. He was very upset about a certain aspect of our religion (which he learned from the teacher) and wasn’t sure that he wanted to be Mormon anymore.  According to my son, his teacher said he knows more about the Mormon religion than most Mormons because he goes on the Church web site all the time and Mormons can’t even go to the highest kingdom of heaven unless they practice polygamy. These remarks are disparaging and a contradiction of what he expressed to me in point 1 above.  The teacher was criticizing Mormons, not only for their views, but for their alleged ignorance.  The law states, “employees may not use their positions to …disparage a particular religious… belief or viewpoint. (See 53A-13-101.1. http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE53A/htm/53A13_010101.htm)

When I reported these incidents to the principal, he defended the teacher and blamed my son for “misinterpreting” classroom dialogue without even verifying whether or not other students had similar views. He skillfully avoided my questions during our meeting, and refused TWO follow up requests for a WRITTEN response to the following:

1. Would it concern you (specifically) if teachers in your school taught as if they believed this statement by John Goodlad?

There is a belief by some that there exists “objective knowledge” and a
“correct” view of the world. This view is incorrect. All knowledge is partial
and subjective. There is no single worldview that deserves complete
acceptance.
http://woodslearningcenter.org/Docs/EducationforEveryoneSummary.pdf

2.   I would like to know what the consequences are for violating the Utah Code and how the school plans to ensure that such violations will not continue.

After failing to get a response, I sent the following question to the Superintendent and the Board member for my district.

I would like to know what the consequences are for violating I.53A-13-109 and 53A-13-101.1 of the Utah code and what actions will be taken if there is a violation?

The correspondence from the Superintendent read,

“I encourage you to continue working with [the Principal] concerning this matter.”

My board member never responded to me.

What are my options?  If the teacher refuses to comply with the law; if the Principal fails to investigate; if the Superintendent simply deflects my concerns back to the Principal; and my elected representative doesn’t respond, how do I make sure that teachers are held accountable for what they teach in the classroom?

Although the teacher declined to address many of my concerns or promote our American form of government, he did apologize to my son for the offensive remarks he made about Mormons.  But I am troubled that the Principal refused to take any corrective action before amendments were made, choosing instead to blame my son.

The Principal informed me that the school would be happy to help me find a “better fit” for my son.  When I protested that the other Geography teachers at the school were also exploring the “pros” of Communism, I was informed that my child could do packets or go to a class at the High School.  I was also told that I am the only one who has expressed any concern. While that may be true, I believe it is because many parents are unaware of what is happening in some classrooms or what Utah law requires.  You can see below from a survey given to 10 students in this teacher’s Geography class that a high percentage of other children have drawn conclusions similar to my son’s—conclusions I consider dangerous to the future of our freedoms.

In the NNER Today 2009-2010 update published by the Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling at BYU, it says:

“To join the NNER is to commit to action.  It means committing to the principles of the Agenda for Education in a Democracy and becoming stewards of our democracy.  As Dr. Goodlad has observed, education must be the foundation for seeking positive social and political change.”—Ann Foster, Goodlad’s Executive Director

Alpine School District is fully committed to the NNER and regularly attends their conferences. By committing to its agenda and allowing John Goodlad to influence education in our district, political change is upon us. Time is short.  And unless we hold public educators responsible for teaching this generation to preserve liberty, there will be no liberty left to preserve.

2010/2011 Survey for Geography Class (Semester I)

Y=Yes      N=No

Mr. Gray is a fun teacher.

8  marked (Y)

2  marked (M) for maybe

There are some good things about Communism.

9 marked (Y)

1 marked (N)

One of the good things about Communism is equality.

7 marked (Y)

3 marked (N)

We should respect others views, even if we disagree.  There is not one “right” view when it comes to different kinds of government.

10 marked (Y)– 100% lack the basic understanding that the American Republic is the most successful and superior form of government there is and well worth defending.


Ed. note: Are you really sure you know what’s being taught in your child’s classroom and what ideas your child is picking up on?

Ed. note 2: This article has been edited with the permission of the author so the article just focuses on the most pertinent issues which pertain to state law.

93 Responses to “Communism isn’t really that bad?”

  • BuffySnell:

    .
    Crazyhorse, Vash-

    There is a big difference between name calling/over-generalizations/stereotyping and stating facts about the religion itself. No one ever said, “Muslims aren’t peaceful.” I’ve simply given evidence that there are things about the religion itself, specifically the sacred law of Islam, which sanction violence and abuse toward women, children and non-believers. For a teacher to say that “Islam is religion of peace” is not only a gross over-generalization (something for which you yourself have no tolerance) it promotes widespread ignorance of the facts; thus enabling the spread of Islamic terrorist organization which clearly exist.

    Mormon prophets have never promoted or condoned what happened at the Mountain Meadow massacre. Mormon prophets have never advised the faithful to marry their children off against their will before they’ve even hit puberty (see link). What they have advised is that we love the sinner, NOT THE SIN. What they have advised is that we “not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent.” What they have advised is that we not be hypocrites. Hypocrisy happens when we excuse, ignore and enable evil. Jesus referred to people as hypocrites when they “omitted” the weightier matters of the law, specifically JUDGMENT (See Matthew23:23-24.) He called them “blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”

    However, I think you give valuable feedback in that Islam has become the subject, rather than ASD. So I have given Oak permission to remove Islam from the article.

  • Vash the Stampede:

    First of all, I want to thank you for permitting Oak to cut out this whole issue about Islam from your article. I don’t think this is what you intended the discussion to be about to begin with. Your original points, specifically dealing with the poor curriculum and improper conduct of the teacher and administrators, are excellent and appreciated. However, I must respond to your other two paragraphs.

    First, YOU draw a distinction between “name calling” and “stating facts.” Yet two sentences later you say that “there are things about the religion itself …which sanction violence and abuse toward women, children and non-believers.”
    That is not a fact. You just called names, over generalized, and stereotyped! IN THE SAME BREATH! That is regurgitated neo-conservative propaganda calculated to incite hatred among otherwise good people, seeking to justify the War on Terror and all its attendant evils. Glenn Beck and numerous others are guilty of preaching this gospel of hate, condemning a billion innocents for the crimes of some few fanatics.
    You can cite passages of their “sacred law,” sharia in the Qu’ran, all you like; that’s about as useful in “proving” your point as it would be if a Muslim person cited passages of the Old Testament about how ancient Israel used to slaughter men, women, and children by the millions to “prove” that therefore all Christianity is violent and evil.
    In short, your logic is flawed, your “facts” are wrong, and your arguments are contradictory. If you have more to say on this subject, please do so in private so I don’t have to waste any more of my time responding to them.

    In your paragraph about Mormon prophets, you say some true things, but you mean very wrong things by them. It’s true that we’ve been counseled to love sinners, including ourselves. And not tolerate any degree of sin or evil: especially in ourselves. Hate (lack of charity) is a sin, and cannot be excusable within myself or any other person. When you make such sweeping accusations as: Islam, as a religion, “sanction(s) violence and abuse toward women, children and non-believers,” you are guilty of hate.
    When you make such sweeping and false statements, YOU are PERSECUTING THE INNOCENT!
    “Innocent until proven guilty” is one of the most sacred and fundamental principles upon which the 1787 Constitution was founded. The principles of the Constitution don’t just apply to American citizens; they are God-ordained and God-given rights intended for ALL His children, not just the blessed few that are born in the USA. And righteous men everywhere should be ready to bleed and die to protect the innocent, not just innocent Christians (though our own families are our first priority and stewardship), but should be motivated by such noble sentiments to be ready and willing to do so for anyone in the world. Joseph Smith was. And yet you try to excuse and justify your HATRED, trying to cover your sins and claim it’s something else. You profess to be a follower of Christ; you claim membership in the LDS church; you should know better. I’ve had this discussion with non-members, and been far more tolerant and understanding of flawed thinking. But you post this hate in public, try to justify it, seeking to appear authoritative?! In the future, I hope you keep your trash to yourself.

    Oh, and, um, your attempt to quote Jesus to prove your point? Puerile. You’re just wrong. “Hypocrite” is Greek meaning simply “pretender.” You pretend to follow Christ, in the same breath you want to justify hating a billion of God’s children? Shame on you. Your accusation that I’m swallowing a camel while making a big deal out of a gnat? You tell me, honestly: what’s more important, exposing lies and hatred for what they are, or permitting such poison to go unanswered?
    I didn’t publish this article. I’m not trying to put myself up as a “guide.” YOU are the one attempting to be a guide, and if anyone agrees with your policy of hatred by blind acceptance of your “facts,” you like it, but if I have the guts to disagree, you accuse me of not following the Prophets? Where do you get off lady? I’m through. Go spread your lies and hate somewhere else.

  • Vash, I’m more than a little surprised at your tone toward Buffy. I want to respond to something in your first post above on charity and hate. Identifying evil is not hatemongering. Calling an evil practice evil is not the opposite of charity. You have inserted words in Buffy’s mouth as well as others such as myself. Nobody said they hate Muslims. I have a brother-in-law that lives in Saudi Arabia and there is a completely different mindset toward women that is oppressive. That said, there have been enough posts on this topic trying to clarify positions and the Islam discussion has completely sidetracked the more important issues. I have modified the article with Buffy’s permission and now I will purge the comment section of anything dealing with Islam including this post. I had already removed a few posts that were inappropriate.

    Anyone receiving this reply is on notice that the Islam issue is over and any further posts that mention it will be removed so we can move on with the more important issues.

    Sariah, your closing line is why so many people are concerned. Not all parents talk with their children enough to know what’s being taught in schools and to see if it matches up with their values. That’s why there are laws in this state that forbid certain teachings while children are young. In fact, one recent story came up to me that illustrates just how impressionable children are that when a teacher says something, parents have to disprove it to the child instead of the child believing the parent and making the teacher prove the point. More on this one hopefully soon.

  • Vash the Stampede:

    Great article! Thanks for posting. Thanks Oak

  • Susie:

    TP, when I found Oak’s website last year there were just over 200 people on his list. Within a few months of bringing in this new information, that number went up to over 1,000. That doesn’t even count the many who invite him to speak at their conferences around the state and the hundreds who agree with the dangers of Progressive Education who come to his presentations and praise him for the work he’s done, all without receiving a dime for his hard work.

    He understands that some are uncomfortable with this and has said so many times in past emails to his petition signers. But he found, as did so many of us, that the math problem was only one symptom of a much larger problem. It is only one part of Progressive Education which teaches moral relativism, dumbing down of all subjects, and puts social engineering first over academics.

    While there may be some who are uncomfortable with this new information because they want to believe all is well in Zion except for a poor math program, the vast majority of his supporters know that he is right on target with fighting this Progressive Agenda and the ugly consequences of it. The rest of the nation can also see it as their public schools and higher education institutions are suffering the same ill effects. Bravo for Oak for seeing the big picture and doing something about it.

  • AF Dad:

    After hearing about this letter, I had to come read it and see what was being said. As a parent whose children have learned from this teacher I am concerned about what Buffy is writing. In NO way has this teacher done the things Buffy is accusing him of. I suspect Buffy may not be telling the whole story here, or doesn’t really care what the full story is. He is a teacher who does make kids think but he does not promote communism or hate Mormons. I know he is LDS; I have seem him in the Timpanogos Temple.
    I currently have a child in his class and she has assured me that these things did not take place. The lesson about communism Buffy is referring to was done with a bookwork assignment that introduced types of governments and economies. I found it in my daughter’s collection of school work. It does not only promote communism as claimed on this website. The only thing I can see that could be interpreted that way is the question that asks ” What are 3 benefits to a command economy?” But the following question asks, “What do you think are the 3 biggest disadvantages to a command economy?” If both sides are presented and asked for how is that only promoting communism? My child did not interpret it that way at all, neither do I. My child told me this handout was used as part of a class discussion about how some people would see benefits and negatives to all forms of economies. The last question on the handout asked the students to rank “capitalism, socialism, and communism” in order of what they thought was best and then explain why they ranked them that way. My child put capitalism first and defended it by pointing out it is what our country uses and is the best form of economy to promote competition and reward hard work. My child told me these were all things the teacher had pointed out about capitalism during the lesson. So how is this promoting communism over capitalism? My older child had the same class a few years ago and I remember having conversations about how this teacher clearly taught about how evil communism was during the Cold War and in China and Europe. My child got a very good idea of how communism has been a terrible thing for people in this world. It sounds like Buffy has jumped to a conclusion about this teacher becuase the teacher taught the theory of communism and not the practice of it at that point in the year.
    I am disgusted by the anti Muslim statements on here too, now removed for some reason. That kind of prejudice has no place in our community or for followers of our religion. I think some of the people that follow this site need to learn what my children have from this teacher: research before you judge something/someone.

  • BuffySnell:

    I’m glad that you’ve had a positive experience with this teacher. He is well loved by many students, including my son. I took the teacher some homemade bread at the onset of our disagreements and he seems very nice. I’ve even reassured him several times that I believe he has good intentions. However, I have given him ample time to refute my charges and he has been unable to do so.

    My son likes this teacher and was never trying to “get him in trouble.” He was simply sharing things learned in the class. I gave the teacher the benefit of the doubt and telephoned him to discuss the Polygamy issue. When I called, the teacher did not deny what he said, rather he was very defensive and explained to me that he discusses many religions and was trying to establish “ethos” (meaning that he is the “expert”). When I got off the phone, I explained the teacher’s side to my son and he smiled and said, “Mom, he’s different with you than he is with us. I wish I had a video camera so you could see.” When I asked my son if he thought that his teacher was being derogatory towards Mormons, he said, “Yes.” And I am incredulous that an LDS teacher would communicate negativity about his own religion to the children.

    Following my telephone conversation with the teacher, I wrote–

    After I spoke with you over the phone and got your side on the “polygamy” issue (it did clear some things up), I relayed your side to [my son]; but he still felt that you were being derogatory towards members of the LDS church when you made your comment about Mormons “not even knowing their religion.” Even if that wasn’t your intent, he came away from your class feeling that you are critical of Mormons. I understand you were trying to establish ethos, but that comment even makes me feel that you view Mormons as naive/stupid. You are welcome to have your opinions about that (I might even agree about the naivete) but I worry that expressing negativity toward members of the church in your class could easily encourage skepticism, doubt, and negativity in the children. They look up to you.”

    My son does looks up to this teacher and he did come home feeling skeptical, doubtful and negative towards our religion.

    The teacher responded to my e-mail saying that he has “NO political, religious, or economic motivations other than to help kids want to study the world…” He also said, “I will take into consideration your concern that I am “derogatory” toward Mormons and be more aware that [your son] may interpret me that way.”

    I am grateful for this teacher’s acknowledgment and for the personal apology he later gave to my son. However, I’ve chosen to share the details of this particular incident because I am still concerned about how my complaint was handled. Even though the Principal was not present when the comments were made, he denied that the teacher had said anything disparaging and dismissed my concerns before amendments were even made. To my knowledge, no corrective action has ever taken place.

    As I said before, I have no problem with a teacher who wants to teach children about Communism. But the theoretical “pro” of Communism is clearly NOT a “pro” in practice. So why even ask the question?

    When I challenged the teacher:

    Would you also teach children the pros and cons of slavery, discrimination or bullying? Would you be willing to allow the children to decide whether or not these things are good or preferable? At what point would you “infringe” on someone’s right to decide?

    He refused to answer, saying that it was a “hypothetical concern” and that it did not pertain to “classroom discussion.”

    My reply, which has not been addressed, was:

    “…my last…question does pertain to classroom discussion. Communism is a form of bullying and slavery. I’ve never heard of public educators exploring the pros and cons of bullying in school, and allowing children to choose for themselves. I’ve never heard of teachers having an open discussion about the pros and cons of slavery and encouraging children to think about whether or not they would like to practice that. So why would we apply that same rationale to oppressive forms of government? If we don’t enforce and reinforce values like freedom from oppression we end up with bullying and slavery on many levels.”

    I have read the worksheet you’ve mentioned and I have to say, I WAS concerned. Asking the children to rank “capitalism, socialism and communism” in the order that they think is best, or “Which type of government would you most like to live in?” communicates relativism—that there is nothing certain because it is subjective. Again, the teacher himself has adopted relativist views, and these have been communicated on the worksheet and in person. When I suggested that he teach

    1. That values are absolute
    2. That some forms of government are superior to others
    3. The principles taught to us by our Founding Fathers

    His response was “ your comments…suggest schools should promote certain things, but I will not infringe on people’s right to decide for themselves…”

    By acting in accordance with such a view he is in violation of Utah code, as expressed in the article.

  • The_Patriot:

    Buffy,

    I have tried to be reasonable in listening to your concerns, but after reading your latest post, I’m more convinced than ever that this is much ado about nothing. Rather than type up all these huge posts, contacting your son’s principal, refusing to understand the LDS teacher’s viewpoint, and getting Oak Norton involved, maybe you can do what I’ve read others on this website do and take the time to teach your kids proper principles that you believe are true and right. You said your son “[came] home feeling skeptical, doubtful and negative towards our religion.” Well, that isn’t the school district’s fault; that is a lack of testimony on the part of your son. What will you do in a couple years when he’s on a mission and someone brings up the “dark” side of the LDS faith? I’m on my lunch break right now, and I kid you not: just 20 minutes ago a non-LDS coworker informed me that Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers. He laid out a very persuasive argument for why it’s reasonable to infer that’s what our Church teaches. I hate to think how your soon-to-be-missionary son would have reacted. I’m not trying to be rude or mean, but it sounds like you need to teach your son how to better handle those who say things he disagrees with, particularly because it sounds like his faith is pretty rocky.

    You said you want your son’s teacher to teach: 1. That values are absolute, 2. That some forms of government are superior to others, 3. The principles taught to us by our Founding Fathers. Let’s look at these really quick.

    1. Not all values are absolute. For example, in the 1800s, the LDS Church, a member could smoke, chew tobacco, and drink coffee. Today, if a member does those things he is no longer considered to be in good standing. Obviously, then, the Word of Wisdom is not an “absolute” value; it changes over time. Other examples of LDS values that have changed over time include marriage (polygamy vs. monogamy), clothing length (women in the 1800s especially used to have to cover themselves head to toe except for their faces), and marriage age for women (society used to have no problem with women marrying under the age of 18). Of course, we have completely different values today because values are NOT absolute.

    2. and 3. These are both outside the scope of the class. You can’t be serious about wanting the geography teacher to teach “the principles” (which principles? That slavery shouldn’t be abolished?) of the Founders in a geography class. That’s fine if he wants to teach those things, but I don’t think he should be compelled to teach them.

  • The_Patriot:

    Susie,

    I’m fairly involved in local politics. Most people don’t seem aware of what’s going on with Oak Norton and the school district; I’ve had to explain to a lot of people what’s going on. I only know one staunch Oak supporter, and I know several (but not many) who, prior to hearing anything from me, have expressed dissatisfaction with the Oak agenda. These aren’t left or even middle people, but mostly on the right politically. There may be 1,000 people who have signed the agenda, but how many thousands are opposed? I see quite a lot of opposition to Oak on this website, which is interesting considering how slanted to one side this website is. Go onto Fox News and see how very few liberal posts are on there; go to the Huffington Post and see how very few conservative posts are on there. You will see there is a much higher percentage of people on here who disagree with Oak than we would normally see on a slanted website—and that doesn’t include those people who disagree with Oak who get their comments deleted.

    You imply that our schools in the Alpine School District are suffering from a “Progressive Agenda.” Believe me, if this were really an active, ongoing problem I would be the first person to jump on board and do what I could to prevent it. However, as Oak himself admitted to me on this website, he doesn’t know the name of a single administrator or teacher in the district who is a socialist. Until I see evidence of socialism in the Alpine School District (which just doesn’t appear to exist, quite fortunately), I will continue to question this agenda. Progressivism is a problem in this country, and I can point to specific socialist people who are pushing it on the country (like Pelosi, Reid, Obama). But Oak can’t even come up with the name of a single socialist in the district. It’s very unsettling, then, that Oak insists we have socialists inside the district.

  • BuffySnell:

    When I asked the teacher to show me the difference his view, which he clearly implements in the classroom, and John Goodlad’s view (a champion of progressive thought) he could not:

    “I do not promote or decry any government, religion, or economic system over another one. It is not my place to put one thing above or below another…”—ASD geography teacher

    “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.”–John Goodlad

    Progressivism is a problem in Alpine School District.

  • BuffySnell:

    The progressive view of relativism has not only affected this teacher, but also administration and board members. I asked an ASD Board member if he agreed with the following statement made by an ASD Principal, and he agreed:

    “Even though there is such thing as absolute truth, not everyone agrees, so in a school setting we have to teach respect for different views.”–ASD Principal

    Without naming specific people, apparently there are many members of the school district willing to promote Goodlad’s views.

  • TP, first off, I have never deleted comments just because someone disagrees with me. There have been a couple of times, especially recently, where people who both oppose me and support me crossed the line and I deleted both their comments for attacking people and not the issue.

    Next, you would be the “first person to jump on board and do what [you] could to prevent” a progressive agenda in ASD? Wow. Do you consider Goodlad, Dewey, and the other humanist/progressive people involved in the education system to be benign?

    Here’s a couple questions for you:
    1) Are you saying there are no socialists in ASD?
    2) Are you saying that if I actually produced one name for you that it would make any difference in the world to you and you would suddenly jump on board and tell everyone to support this effort?

  • TP, have you looked into the NNER at all? ASD’s superintendent served on the executive board just a few years ago. 4 of 30 national Goodlad AED scholars live in Utah county, 2 at ASD, 2 at BYU’s McKay School of Education. Goodlad wrote in Developing Democratic Character in the Young (pp. 161) saying “the current demand for unprecedented levels of academic achievement is getting in the way of [our] humanistic purposes.” Our ASD administration has for years attended and taught the national NNER conferences. At those conferences they are all about democracy training and not at all about achievement. Do your own homework. When people associate with each other (ie. ASD & NNER progressive/socialist/humanists) or in this case roll around in the dirt with each other, I don’t care how clean ASD’s people try to stay, once they accept the core teachings they are going to pick up some of the dirt unintentionally and transmit it as kosher for everyone to partake of. That’s the message of the article I wrote on Dealing with Korihor.

  • Anonymous:

    Buffy and Oak, were you aware of the assignment about governments and economies as described by AF Dad? You and Oak have both decried this teacher as having taught ONLY the pro’s of communism, but it appears (according to AF Dad) that he was teaching the cons of a “command” economy (communism). This is a direct contradiction to what you have been saying. If you were aware of this assignment, you have been withholding vital information from the readers of this website, and this teacher is being unjustly scapegoated on this issue as well as the Islam issue that was so well demonstrated to the point you had to remove that portion of your complaint about the teacher.

  • Anonymous:

    AF Dad, at last there is some context to the “communism” issue. I think the real complaint about this teacher is that he is teaching the students how to think instead of what to think. That is dangerous to those who have an agenda.

  • BuffySnell:

    According to the law, teachers are responsible for

    “reaffirming values and qualities of character which promote an upright and desirable citizenry…. Civic and Character Education are fundamental elements of the public education system’s core mission …students shall be taught in connection with regular school work…respect for and an understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Utah… and qualities of character which will promote an upright and desirable citizenry and better prepare students to recognize and accept responsibility for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations and secured by the constitution.” http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE53A/htm/53A13_010900.htm

    I would like to see teachers and administrators held accountable for upholding the law.

  • CE, everyone has an agenda. You do too. I have no fear of mine and post it right here for all the world to see it. My agenda is to do everything in my power to promote the constitution and a proper understanding of it insofar as I am able. It is also to end progressive education in our schools or at least wake parents up enough that they can be alerted to the dangers and take action to teach their children about this. A few people have commented on this site that parents should just be doing this anyway, but I think if you’re honest you’ll admit that it’s only a tiny percentage of parents that are that involved in their children’s education. The vast majority of children are heavily influenced by teachers and parents generally trust that in heavily LDS Utah, “all is well in Zion.”

    Utah is not far behind states like CA where the really whacked out stuff is happening. Someone recently gave me a copy of the book From Crayons to Condoms and I flipped open the book and read a single page and was so sickened by it I don’t know if I’ll even read the book it’s so disturbing what’s being done in the name of education. Last week I got an email from a parent in Park City whose children just had a classroom presentation by the SLC Inclusion Center. This 10th grade class got asked things like “if you had to be black, Hispanic, or Muslim living in Utah, which would be easier, which would be your choice?” If the kids answered they didn’t know how to answer or didn’t have an opinion, the program instructor would say something like, “So what you are saying is you wouldn’t want to be any of the choices because they are treated badly and you like being white.” The teacher wasn’t even present and when the teacher asked how it went and the class said they were made to feel bad for being white, the teacher told this parent he likes for his classes to “go through” this exercise.

    So, agree or not, I’m in this for a pretty long haul I suppose. It’s been 6 years of doing stuff I never wanted to get involved in (and plenty of people wish I never had :) ).

    By the way, you never answered my question regarding the Lewis Barnavelt connection… Seems like a pretty big coincidence to not have something to it.

  • Melissa:

    I discovered this in an e-mail my father sent me today. I think it timely considering this string of discussion.

    *Ezra Taft Benson: These false educational ideas, set forth in many textbooks today, are prevalent in the world, and we have not entirely escaped them among teachers in our own system. There are a few teachers within the Church who, while courting apostasy, still want to remain members of the Church, for being members makes them more effective in misleading the saints. But their day of judgment is coming, and when it does come, for some of them it would have been better, as the Savior said, that a millstone had been put around their necks and they had been drowned in the depths of the sea than to have led away any of the youth of the Church.

    The Lord has stated that his Church will never again be taken from the earth because of apostasy. But he has also stated that some members of his Church will fall away. . . and there will be an ever-increasing amount in the future.

    (May 10, 1966, ³Safety in the Face of Dangers,² BYU, Provo, Utah, in An Enemy Hath Done This, compiled by Jerreld L. Newquist, Parliament Publishers, SLC, UT 1969, p. 286)

    Sounds like prophecy to me.
    Thanks Oak and Buffy for standing up to the Progressive Educational Movement. Thank you for the time and effort you put into educating us.

  • Melissa:

    Can’t resist. I need to add this quote also:

    *Ezra Taft Benson: Have you counted the cost if our countrymen, and especially the body of the priesthood, continue to remain complacent, misled through some of our news media, deceived by some of our officials, and perverted by some of our educators?

    Are you prepared to see some of your loved ones murdered, your remaining liberties abridged, the Church persecuted, and your eternal reward jeopardized?

    . . . We can, as a priesthood, provide the balance of power to preserve our freedom and save this nation from bondage.

    October 25, 1966, ³Our Immediate Responsibility,² to Brigham Young University students, Provo, Utah, in An Enemy Hath Done This, compiled by Jerreld L. Newquist, Parliament Publishers, SLC, UT 1969, p. 320-21

    Thanks for spurring us on to “provide a balance of power”, Oak.
    Keep on keeping on….

  • The_Patriot:

    The_Patriot: I don’t like getting into long internet arguments, so this will likely be the last post I make on this topic. Before going on, let me point out that I noticed you ignored most of what I said in my last post, but oh well. Here we go.

    Oak: TP, first off, I have never deleted comments just because someone disagrees with me. There have been a couple of times, especially recently, where people who both oppose me and support me crossed the line and I deleted both their comments for attacking people and not the issue.

    The_Patriot: You attack employees of the Alpine School District all the time. For example, you have “outed” the geography teacher on this website despite the fact that all the (presumably) direct quotes from him indicate he is a reasonable man. You declared a few days ago that you wanted to get rid of [direct quote] “sitting board members because they had been ineffective as the ones in place to watchdog the district,” and if the other posts under “ASD Responds to Senate Testimony” are true (like the one from the person who went to a candidate meeting you weren’t at), you apparently had a personal vendetta against any sitting board member and were willing to replace them even with people who aren’t even at all in line with your agenda and who seem to have a pro-illegal immigration policy. I don’t see anyone on the supposedly socialist school board who wants more funds for illegal immigrants, but because of your personal dislike for certain school board members you were willing to endorse anyone—including someone who there is actual evidence to show is politically left. These are just a couple of recent examples of you making things personal, so I have a hard time understanding why you think it’s wrong for others to (allegedly) “attack people.” (Another one that I put in parenthesis because it sounds a little silly: you shorten my name to “TP.” I have a thick skin and therefore don’t get offended by you equating my screen name with toilet paper, but how would you like it if I referred to Susie Schnell as the SS? I’m sure you don’t like people calling the tea party people “teabaggers.” What’s the difference between you making fun of my name and those who make fun of the Tea Party or Susie Schnell?) I really don’t think you have a leg to stand one when it comes to cutting off comments from those who you disagree with because they supposedly make things personal. The way you’ve publically attacked the geography teacher is especially inexcusable.

    Oak: Next, you would be the “first person to jump on board and do what [you] could to prevent” a progressive agenda in ASD? Wow. Do you consider Goodlad, Dewey, and the other humanist/progressive people involved in the education system to be benign? Here’s a couple questions for you: 1) Are you saying there are no socialists in ASD? 2) Are you saying that if I actually produced one name for you that it would make any difference in the world to you and you would suddenly jump on board and tell everyone to support this effort?

    The_Patriot: You quoted me out of context. Because you quoted me out of context here, it makes me wonder how accurate you are when you quote people like this Goodlad you’re obsessed with. Anyway, here is what I really said: “You imply that our schools in the Alpine School District are suffering from a ‘Progressive Agenda.’ Believe me, if this were really an active, ongoing problem I would be the first person to jump on board and do what I could to prevent it.” Like I said, if progressive ideology was “actively” being taught in the school district, and if this were an “ongoing problem,” where the majority (or even a significant minority) of kids coming from right-leaning families were suddenly becoming progressives because of what they were taught in school, then I would agree that we have a progressive/socialist problem in the district. Do you have REAL proof of this happening? Also, you are the one alleging there are socialists in the Alpine School District, so you need to show the proof that they exist. There might be a socialist or two, but even if that is the case, it is no proof that the other hundreds (or thousands?) of teachers in the district are progressives trying to corrupt our children. I think it goes without saying that waaaay more conservative teachers are in the Alpine School District than are socialists (of which there are probably no more than one or two, and of which you cannot name a single one).

    Oak: TP, have you looked into the NNER at all? ASD’s superintendent served on the executive board just a few years ago. 4 of 30 national Goodlad AED scholars live in Utah county, 2 at ASD, 2 at BYU’s McKay School of Education. Goodlad wrote in Developing Democratic Character in the Young (pp. 161) saying “the current demand for unprecedented levels of academic achievement is getting in the way of [our] humanistic purposes.” Our ASD administration has for years attended and taught the national NNER conferences. At those conferences they are all about democracy training and not at all about achievement. Do your own homework. When people associate with each other (ie. ASD & NNER progressive/socialist/humanists) or in this case roll around in the dirt with each other, I don’t care how clean ASD’s people try to stay, once they accept the core teachings they are going to pick up some of the dirt unintentionally and transmit it as kosher for everyone to partake of. That’s the message of the article I wrote on Dealing with Korihor.

    The_Patriot: Even if what you say is true, I still don’t see Alpine School District cranking out progressives. (See my response to your previous paragraph.) And are you suggesting that BYU is out to promote the NNER agenda?? Surely I have misunderstood. You definitely lose me (and I’m sure nearly every other LDS person) when you suggest BYU is in on some progressive conspiracy. You write “When people associate with each other (ie. ASD & NNER progressive/socialist/humanists) or in this case roll around in the dirt with each other, I don’t care how clean ASD’s people try to stay, once they accept the core teachings they are going to pick up some of the dirt unintentionally and transmit it as kosher for everyone to partake of.” Do you have any proof that “ASD’s people” have “accepted the core [progressive] teachings” of NNER? Every quote I see on here by administrators and teachers show that they don’t believe in NNER’s core teachings. Buffy quotes one principal as saying he agrees with you and her that there are “absolute truths,” yet she still disparages him while you continue to insist that people in the ASD (such as this principal) have accepted the core principals of the NNER simply because they refuse to teach your and Buffy’s agenda to a T. (I don’t know what your sentence about Korihor means, so I have no comment).

  • BuffySnell:

    CE-

    Apparently my article is too short and my posts are “huge”. I don’t know that I am ever going to please the critics. But I am happy to answer your questions, again. Please read this entire post, as you seem to have ignored the content of everything else I’ve written, or you could answer them yourself.

    1.Of course I was aware of the assignment about governments and economies, that’s why I said:

    “I have read the worksheet you’ve mentioned and I have to say, I WAS concerned. Asking the children to rank “capitalism, socialism and communism” in the order that they think is best, or “Which type of government would you most like to live in?” communicates relativism—that there is nothing certain because it is subjective. Again, the teacher himself has adopted RELATIVIST VIEWS, AND THESE HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATED ON THE WORKSHEET (emphasis added) and in person.”

    The worksheet does not contradict what I am saying, rather it confirms it.

    2. I never decried the teacher for ONLY teaching the pro’s of communism, as you can see from this statement (made in the article):

    “His teacher’s response to me was that he explores the pros and CONS (emphasis added) of many forms of government so that students can understand why different systems of rule appeal to different people. He did this, he said, as a way to promote critical thinking…

    “Critical thinking can only be done when students have an adequate amount of information. And significant facts about Communism were clearly missing.”

    No one ever said that he was not teaching the “cons”—only that he wasn’t providing an adequate amount of information for the children to draw proper conclusions. (i.e. MY SON CAME HOME AND SAID THAT “Communism isn’t really that bad”)

    “As I said before, I have no problem with a teacher who wants to teach children about Communism. But the theoretical “pro” of Communism is clearly NOT a “pro” in practice. So why even ask the question?”

    “…teaching that Communism “appeals” to some people and a Republic “appeals” to others (CE, THIS WAS DISCUSSED AS PART OF THE WORKSHEET ACTIVITY), not only communicates relativism—that there is nothing certain because it is subjective; it gives children the impression that there is actually something good about oppression. When done in conjunction with a teacher who is unwilling to promote one form of government over another (CE, THIS IS IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW), it’s not surprising that a child comes to the FALSE conclusion that Communism “isn’t really that bad.”

    Also, a scapegoat is “a person made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.” This teacher is not a scapegoat. He has personally communicated views in and outside of the classroom which clearly show he is in violation of the law. I would like our community to hold him, and the district, accountable.

  • BuffySnell:

    Patriot- you and CE need to go back and read things that have already been posted. It would save everyone a lot of time, including you. Just because I quoted a principal who said he agreed that there “is such a thing as absolute truth” doesn’t mean that we agreed. In his professional life, he’s a relativist (go back and read his quote). As far as “proof of progressives”, I’ve given you statements made by three different ASD employees without naming names. And Oak has dedicated countless hours publishing evidence on two different web sites. Please do your homework. Please read and process the things that have already been written before making baseless accusations that take a lot of time to address.

  • AF Dad:

    Oak, thanks for the email explaining the Islam issue.

    Buffy, you have clearly allowed your emotions to take over your views of what is happening with this teacher. To accuse of a teacher of violating the law is a serious thing. I would argue that this teacher makes kids think and encourages to look at what is happening. You want him to only teach yourt version of things and so are upset that he is not. I say this because of your tone towards this teacher.
    “No one ever said that he was not teaching the “cons”—only that he wasn’t providing an adequate amount of information for the children to draw proper conclusions. (i.e. MY SON CAME HOME AND SAID THAT “Communism isn’t really that bad”)”
    That bad clearly means that bad compared to what you ahve taught him and so you are upset that he had a thought on his own that is slightly different than your passionate feelings towards communism and socialism. Your emotions are effecting how you see this teacher. My kids have talked about issues form this class and I have not blamed the teacher for my kids wanting to have a discussion about those issues. Why would anyone attack a teacher for helping their child thikn and analyze the world around them? Do you let your children nuild their own testimonies or do you force them to have your testimony?
    You are someone who lives in fear and so are willing to tear down anyone who you THINK promotes your fears. This is not what any good LDS person should be doing. We are meant to build up the kingodom of God not tear down others. I would hope you can see that this is a teacher who is trying to teach kids how to discover what truth is rather just dictate what truth is. Can you please take a step and realize your emotions have clouded your judgment on this teacher. He is a good teacher who is respected in our community- just because you claim he is promoting things you disagree with does not warrant your accuastaions. People on here quote scripture so here is one for you, Matthew 22:37-39, 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

  • Anonymous:

    Oak, I thought I did answer your question about the “Lewis Barnavelt” connection and the “other” name. I looked at your web link for Lewis Barnavelt, but I couldn’t find how the “other name” fit with Corruption Exposed. Since you seem very inclined to believing what you want to hear, I guess I will have to admit to being Lewis Barnavelt, Jared, Sunnyside, The Patriot, AF Dad, and anyone else who disagrees with you. That’s what you want to hear, isn’t it. There is no point in arguing with you on this point since you have it all figured out. On the flip side, how do we know that you are not BuffySnell, Susie Schnell, and others? You all sound a like, pull things way out of context in the same manner, and have the same illogical arguments.

  • CE, I wasn’t trying to match Lewis with CE, but with your email address name which you post with on the Herald website. It wasn’t a mock question, and I wasn’t looking for anything. Why is it so hard to communicate even on trivial things. :) I just find it fascinating that 2 of the critics of this website have used pseudo-names that are related in a book series and yet the 2 of you seemingly don’t know each other. Just a curiosity that doesn’t mean anything.

  • AF Dad,

    Which neighbor are we to love? The teacher who may be engaging in an activity harmful to children and our future liberty, or the children and their parents who have no one in the classroom to advocate for them?

    Jesus also said he didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword (Matt 10:34) because we are in a continuation of the war in heaven. On building Zion, we read in D&C 105:5 “And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.” What are those laws? The opposite of socialism.

  • Anonymous:

    Oak, you’ve got me. Lewis died a horrible death (a heart attack) and his wife (Rose Rita) took up his cause after a brief hiatus for the funeral and time of mourning.

  • LewisCorruptionRose:

    Buffy, the issues I’ve brought up are not being addressed. I just don’t find you credible, especially after the Islam thing and AF Dad’s post. I therefore have decided to contact the teacher myself (it is no secret thanks to Save ASD), and I’m going to research the other side of the story in order to get some much needed context. I will post what I find. You are right when you said to do my homework and research the facts, so I’m going to do just that.

  • I didn’t know or I would have sent flowers…

    It was just a question Rose/CE/whatever you want to be known by here. If you really don’t know Lewis, it’s just quite interesting that you and someone else are both characters from the same book and both out here posting.

  • BuffySnell:

    LCR-

    Thank you for resolving to do some research! I can’t wait to hear what you find out–do you mind asking the teacher and the principal to answer my questions while you are at it? I’d love a written response.

  • Sounds great Rose. Obviously you’re going to get straight facts from a teacher who feels he’s under fire and may have something to lose. Let me give an amazing prediction from my crystal ball (while wearing my tin foil hat). You will contact the teacher, he’ll be very pleasant on the phone and he’ll say he taught both sides of the story and Buffy’s son just misunderstood things or took them out of context, and you’ll return here declaring victory. I’m on pins and needles waiting for your objective report. :)

  • BuffySnell:

    AF Dad-

    Accusing a teacher of violating the law IS a serious thing. That’s why I’ve provided ample evidence to back up my claim. And I don’t just want him to teach MY version of things. I’d like him to teach our country’s version of things, the version Utah code requires. I’d like him to teach the children to think critically, so they aren’t making false assumptions. Is it too much to ask that he promote our American form of government? Why wouldn’t he want to?

    I’m hoping CE will find some answers.

  • The_Patriot:

    Hey Oak,

    Why did you ignore my post? Was it too comprehensive in showing your agenda is wrong?

  • BuffySnell:

    Hey patriot-

    Why did you ignore mine? Join CE. Do your homework so we have something new, or even factual, to debate.

  • The_Patriot:

    Buffy, I have done my homework. Read and respond to what I wrote in my last post. I’ve responded directly to what you’ve alleged. Now respond to what I’ve said instead of condescendingly telling me to “do my homework,” which I already have done.

  • TP, good to see you have a sense of humor and to know I’m on a timer. I’d better get busy…

  • OK The_Patriot, here goes.
    First of all, you sort of accused me of ignoring “most” of your last email. If you look back, your last email was sent to Susie and the one before that was to Buffy.
    You also started off by saying, “I don’t like getting into long internet arguments, so this will likely be the last post I make on this topic.” Is it too soon to chuckle? :)
    Attacking and outing people are not the same thing. If you disagree, fine, but there’s a big difference. It’s like the movement to oust Bob Bennett last year. Looking at someone’s record and things they’ve done doesn’t mean you hate them or are calling them names. Buffy has done a great job of sounding a warning message, while avoiding attacking a person. If you want a direct example of me “outing” someone, look for my original post on why Steve Baugh should not be elected.
    I don’t have a vendetta against board members. My own board member was Chrissy Hannemann who is a very nice person and I’ve had quite a number of conversations with her. That didn’t change the fact that I’d rather have Wendy Hart on the board and we succeeded in getting her elected.
    I’ve never said the school board was full of socialists yet you continue to put words in my mouth such as this.
    I didn’t shorten your name to TP to mock you (I have been calling Corruption Exposed, CE as well). I don’t even know your name. It’s obviously not The_Patriot. Susie, Buffy and I and many others use our real names here because we aren’t afraid to let people know who we are. Anonymity would be wonderful but I’ve found that under that shield of protection, many people feel more comfortable being rude online because they know nobody knows who they really are. Would you care to reveal your actual name?
    Again, nobody has publicly *attacked* the teacher. The teacher may feel under the gun, but no more so than a politician when someone complains about something they’ve done. That happens every day. Both people are making money from yours and my tax dollars and they are subject to public scrutiny.
    On supposedly quoting you out of content, you strongly seem like someone who is just looking to take offense, not someone who is really interested in coming to an understanding of someone else’s viewpoints. There is little point in debate with you because no matter what I may say, you’ll be looking to find a way to take it and twist it into something I never said or meant. So to be perfectly clear on this, let me post both statements:
    I quoted you in this manner which you are upset about:
    “Next, you would be the “first person to jump on board and do what [you] could to prevent” a progressive agenda in ASD?”
    You actually wrote this to Susie:
    “You imply that our schools in the Alpine School District are suffering from a “Progressive Agenda.” Believe me, if this were really an active, ongoing problem I would be the first person to jump on board and do what I could to prevent it.”
    I suppose you can construe that as taking you out of context and accuse me of some vile thing and then draw you further accusation that if I would be so egregious with you, one can only imagine how out of context I am with others. Honestly, it’s sad, but I apologize for any out of context quoting that may have taken place there.
    Naming a socialist in the district would be so helpful for you wouldn’t it? Sort of like saying this teacher Buffy has written about espoused the virtues of communism. I think it’s quite clear how well that’s gone over for you. I can just see my posting a name of someone who even openly espouses socialism in the district. I’m sure that would bring nothing but good from you and many others. :)
    The facts show that regardless of how some people may classify themselves as conservative or liberal or socialist or whatever, this district has been extremely influenced by progressive education. The entire country has. The fact that you don’t see that has no bearing on me. Tens of thousands of students have graduated from ASD with no hope of a technical future thanks to the constructivist math programs pushed by Goodlad & co.
    “Even if what you say is true” is an interesting phrase to use in this discussion. I’d guess you’ve never looked into the NNER at all. I encourage you to do so and see how involved BYU’s McKay School of Education is, and CITES at BYU (run by Steve Baugh, former superintendent of ASD and a John Goodlad Agenda for Education in a Democracy scholar). ASD/BYU/CITES personnel regularly organize and speak at Goodlad’s conferences. This past October was the first one in a decade when they didn’t have anyone speaking at the conference because they left it in June for “financial reasons” (the Daily Herald reported) after we showed from the NNER minutes how the NNER was trying to push the gay agenda into BYU about 5 years ago. This is what confuses me. We’ve known Goodlad was bad news for years, but never got around to leaving his progressive education movement.
    You said “Do you have any proof that “ASD’s people” have “accepted the core [progressive] teachings” of NNER?” Do you mean other than the fact that Goodlad has appointed 2 of his 30 nationwide AED scholars from ASD’s admin and 2 more from BYU’s McKay School of Education? Aside from that, yes, there’s more but I doubt you’d be interested if you don’t think being appointed a “scholar” over Goodlad’s agenda qualifies.
    On the Korihor reference: https://www.utahsrepublic.org/education/dealing-with-korihor/

  • BuffySnell:

    Patriot-

    My son IS going to be challenged all his life. But the teacher is out of line, according to the law, to disparage Mormons or their religion in a public school setting (it seems like you are ignoring the facts here.) All children have rocky faith because they are still developing. To challenge that faith in a public classroom is unacceptable. I don’t help pay this teacher’s salary so that he can be a negative influence in my child’s life.

    Also, when I said,

    1.That values are absolute
    2. That some forms of government are superior to others
    3. The principles taught to us by our Founding Fathers

    I was summarizing a quote out of context. The “values” I was referring to were those stated so succinctly in the law: “values and qualities of character which promote an upright and desirable citizenry…”

    Here is my actual quote, in context:

    “We cannot possibly promote values (without bias) in our schools. We can either teach children the progressive notion that values are “relative”- a particularly biased view that a smorgasbord of differing opinions on government (and even morality in some schools) should all be equally weighed. Or we can teach that values are absolute, that some forms of government are indeed superior to others (200+ years superior); that freedoms are rooted in principles that must be perpetuated if we want to maintain them (let’s get back to what the Founding Fathers already knew); and that morality does not change according to the whims of democratic sentiment.

    We can either teach children that values are relative or we can teach them that they are absolute. But the two are mutually exclusive. And it is delusion to believe that we can teach both. There is no “unbiased” middle ground. We are either “biased” enough to preserve and promote the principals of freedom, or “biased” enough to not. But we can’t do both.”

    The teacher’s response was “ your comments…suggest schools should promote certain things, but I will not infringe on people’s right to decide for themselves…”

    By refusing to promote such “things,” this teacher is in violation of the law—thus my reply (which I did make) to you:

    According to the law, teachers are responsible for

    “reaffirming values and qualities of character which promote an upright and desirable citizenry…. Civic and Character Education are fundamental elements of the public education system’s core mission …students shall be taught in connection with regular school work…respect for and an understanding of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Utah… and qualities of character which will promote an upright and desirable citizenry and better prepare students to recognize and accept responsibility for preserving and defending the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations and secured by the constitution.” http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE

    I would like to see teachers and administrators held accountable for upholding the law.

  • BuffySnell:

    The following comments you made have nothing to do with my article and I ignored them at the outset because they are a distraction to the real issue, which is that the teacher is violating the law. However, since I’ve established that ad nauseum, I would love to address your thoughts, just for fun.

    Patriot: “Not all values are absolute. For example, in the 1800s, the LDS Church, a member could smoke, chew tobacco, and drink coffee.”

    Me: Just because the church hadn’t officially come out against this yet, smokers, tobacco chewers and coffee drinkers still suffered repercussions for making poor health choices. We will ALWAYS experience the natural consequences of breaking natural law, even if we “didn’t know.”

    Patriot: Other examples of LDS values that have changed over time include marriage (polygamy vs. monogamy)

    Me: The church has always believed that polygamy is a practice reserved for the Lord’s appointed (see D&C 132). However, the church was forced to discontinue the PRACTICE because the government created laws against it. It has always been a Celestial principal and has been practiced throughout history. Just because God takes away certain practices (when the law forbids it or the people are not ready—think of the Israelites and the “lesser law”) doesn’t mean that the principles themselves are not true.

    Patriot:“… clothing length (women in the 1800s especially used to have to cover themselves head to toe except for their faces)”

    Me: That was the style then, and modesty has always been a principle promoted in the church.

    Patriot: “ and marriage age for women (society used to have no problem with women marrying under the age of 18).”

    Me: Just because society decides something is acceptable or unacceptable does not mean that crimes such as pedophilia are NOT absolutely wrong.

    Your comments lead me to believe that you are Mormon. Do you really believe that values are relative or were you just playing the devil’s advocate?

  • KBGMM@5:

    Thanks for your informative article. I live in the East and am also concerned about these issues. I had a disturbing response from my school district a few years back on a different type of issue. I won’t go into details, but wish to say, if I had it to do over, I would have hired an attorney much earlier in the process. Have you considered hiring a good education lawyer???

  • Areyoukidding:

    I give this essay a D-. Overgeneralizing from one event does not a valid argument make. Asking skewed questions in a survey does not research make. Accusing a teacher of failing to espouse your ideas as you want them to be understood does not a poor teacher make. Find a new hobby, Buffy. Understanding education, the law, or learning do not seem to be your forte (gosh, I hope I didn’t overgeneralize from one poorly thought-out and poorly written essay).

  • Clintlawton:

    That is why I (and 60K others in AZ) Home School…Government has no role in teaching our children world view. The sooner we pull all our kids out the sooner we can block this Government world view take over.

  • Janet:

    It’s interesting that you would have to go to such great lengths to document things — and that the school authoritie wouldn’t simply listen to your concern and consider change. I think this is a real indication that they have their own agenda — and parents are not supposed to be smart enough to know better than they do. That’s a scary premise.