Susan Schnell’s Speech at Alpine School District Board Meeting

Susan Schnell 3/9/10

Let me introduce myself. My name is Susan Schnell and I wrote the email that is circulating around the district. You might wonder why your motto, “Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy” is important enough to draw so much attention. Perhaps I can shed some light.

I am the daughter of an immigrant who was forced to flee her country when the Soviet Union under Stalin seized Ukraine and brought it under communist rule. The Soviets collectivized farms, burned down churches, took away their religion, their traditions and their heritage and then murdered many millions of Ukrainians. Just before they escaped, my mother overheard her parents say that the “Soviets are stealing away our children.” She understood well that this meant from the age of 3, the children would be sent to public schools where they would completely indoctrinate them into a new culture. The Ukrainian children were to “unlearn” everything their families taught them about their religion, history, culture, heritage and even their native language. The Soviets knew that to succeed, they had to control the minds of the children.  As Vladimir Lenin said,

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted. Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.”

So my grandparents sacrificed everything they had, even their lives to come to America where their family would be free from oppression and their children free from indoctrination, or should I say “enculturation.” Because of this heritage, I have been warned my entire life to watch for warning signs of socialism. Freedom and education came at a very high price for my family.

I received my teaching degree from California State University in Sacramento. I am now painfully aware of why they named my major Liberal Studies instead of Elementary Education. I ended up receiving 4 years of liberal indoctrination instead of how to succeed as a teacher, so I am well aware of the training teachers receive before they go into the classroom.

We are seeing our great nation collapse because of socialistic ideas which are seeping into our government. Our Constitution is hanging by a thread, no doubt. But recently it has come to our attention that even our children right here in Alpine School District are being uninformed and misinformed of our great American heritage. We have been naïve, too trusting, and too busy to notice the awful situation that is now upon us. We put our trust in our government leaders, including this school board, and they have let us down. We think America is always going to be great just because it is America and we don’t have to do anything to stand up for it. Well, we have awakened! We now have a generation of millions of school children across the nation who are either going to save this nation or help to destroy it and it all rests in the hands of their parents and teachers. We know that in every state, children are being indoctrinated in schools because conspiring men know as Adolf Hitler said “He alone who owns the youth, gains the future.” There is a war going on to transform our nation and we are seeing it right in front of our eyes. Socialist educators like John Dewey, John Goodlad and Bill Ayers have been feeding the socialist agenda for years in many universities around the nation and yes, unfortunately, that includes universities here in Utah.

Right now in Texas, school book publishers are trying to change history by leaving out some of our Founding Fathers and the great men who fought for this country. These books will be distributed throughout the whole country. They are taking out patriots such as Ben Franklin, Davy Crocket, and Daniel Boone. In CA schools, my children learned that Christopher Columbus was a horrible man and that Abraham Lincoln was gay. In the high school, they were taught that parents and religion were old-fashioned and they should question the belief system they learned at home. This was fed to them everyday at school with posters, plays, rallies and school assignments.

I testified in front of the CA State Senate against a bill that would completely re-write our American history in school textbooks. I thought a school field trip with my 4th grader to the State Capitol Building in Sacramento would be a wonderful patriotic experience for the children. Instead, they were told that the Constitution was not inspired, but just an incomplete, living, breathing document with many errors that needed to be fixed or thrown out. They were shown Japanese internment camp displays for an hour while listening to speakers tell them how evil America is. They went away ashamed of America, not proud of their heritage. I believe Vladimir Lenin when he said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Adolf Hitler echoed, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” After putting up with so much indoctrination I finally took my children out of school to home school them so we could bring God and truth back into their daily academic lessons.

We moved from California to Utah a year and a half ago because we had hoped that this was a more conservative, religious environment to raise our children. I told my children they would be safe to go to school here because we didn’t have to fear indoctrination. Well I was wrong. Not only are they not being challenged academically but now we are finding out that the district is involved in pushing this dangerous progressive agenda whether they realize it or not. Through your motto, you are telling parents that their family’s culture isn’t good enough, so it is the school’s job now to enculturate the children into believing in a new culture, one of social and political democracy. From everything that I’ve studied, that means socialism or the next step towards it. Lenin said “Democracy is indispensable to socialism.” Karl Marx is quoted as saying “Democracy is the road to socialism.” Who are we following? Who are we using as our Founding Fathers? George Washington and James Madison, or Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and John Goodlad?

My father served in the United States military for decades defending this Republic. My mother sacrificed everything to come to this country of liberty and escape from communism. I have been taught my entire life to respect this country, to be thankful for the freedom I have and to fight any evil that seeks to destroy my liberties. I will not sit idly by as my children and the other children of this district are taught false statements about this country. If this nation does become “fundamentally transformed” like so many of our progressive government leaders are trying so hard to accomplish, I do not want to look my children in the eye and tell them I did nothing to save it. Correct education starts at home first. The schools should be an extension of those teachings, not an enculturation factory which undermines the family. We need a strong generation of educated and civic minded children. If our beloved Constitution is to be hanging by a thread, I want this generation of children to know how to restore it back to the original form the Founding Fathers intended it to be when they were inspired by God to write it. I ask you, please concentrate on academics, and when you do teach civics, be careful to follow the Founding Fathers who wrote our inspired Constitution and not the educated elite who follow a Socialist agenda.

17 Responses to “Susan Schnell’s Speech at Alpine School District Board Meeting”

  • randigerber:

    Way to go Susan. I'm am so glad that you have pointed this disgust out. I had no idea that this was going on in Alpine School District. What a disgrace. God help us to save what is left of the Great Nation that our Founding Fathers and our God has given us.

  • Kristen Chevrier:

    Excellent, Susie. I'm so glad to have you here in our community. We need you and more like you. I loved seeing that cute young mom who struggled through the meeting with three preschoolers, so that she could let the board know that she wants the schools to teach the Three R's and real history and let her do the nurturing and the political, moral and religious education. What a great group of people. Keep up the good work. We can do this!

  • Cindy:

    Well done! THANK YOU.
    My daughter (who is now a senior at Lehi High) left the public school system for a private school during 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. When she returned to Willowcreek Middle School for 9th grade she worked as an aide in an 8th grade history class. She was amazed and disturbed at the difference in what was taught. Later, in 10th grade at Lehi High, she was also taught that Christopher Columbus was an evil, greedy, exploiting man that we should be ashamed of. Because she had been armed with truth by her 7th grade teacher who loves and studies history, my daughter was able to write a paper refuting the false teachings. Her teacher was surprised and grateful for the research. I hope this teacher has been able to do a better job with her students since then. I don't know.

    I have 7 children. My first 2 attended public school largely in the Alpine School District. They are now in college. Back then I was only waking up to what is happening. Unfortunately, these 2 were indoctrinated well even in Utah (and my son-in-law who was raised in the Wyoming public shcool system is equally undereducated in truth). It is disturbing to me to see how unprepared they are to stand up to the liberal ideas they are taught in college or to even think they should stand up.

    My next two children have had a mix of public and private school. They are much more aware of the truth and are more able to recognize half-truths. They will be much more valuable to our country and our freedom in the future. If the school district really wants to shape our children into great citizens who can do the right thing for our country, they would be MUCH better served by teaching the true principles of freedom and turning away from “new” and “progressive” ideas. These ideas are really very old lies that have been proven to fail over and over.

    My last 3 children will be and are being taught in a private school as long as I can afford it or until real change is made in direction. Unfortunately, not many think they can afford it and so goes our future. I am glad that more people are waking up to the schemes that have been hidden, couched in pretty words and feel good flatteries. Many of us have innocently repeated these words and slogans and have done so not knowing from whence they come or the harm they do.

    I graduated from BYU in Elementary Education 20 years ago. Even back then and at that conservative university the seeds were being planted and the lies were being infiltrated to confuse us. As teachers we have been cheated, but we owe it to our students to re-learn the things we were wrongly fed. May we continue to wake up and arm our children with the truth they will need.

  • Ted:

    WOW. I can't believe the paranoia in this speech. To think that ASD is really trying to convert our kids to socialism is about the most absurd idea I have ever heard. Susie, you attack educators who are socialist because they are trying to provide the best education for the most kids? Which Education professors would you like to see ASD use to base its philosophies on?
    Your view of our nation and education are bizarre and almost extremist. You people have lived in your closed little group for so long you have deluded yourselves to believe that without your version of a Republic our country will fail. As you quoted, I believe Vladimir Lenin when he said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Adolf Hitler echoed, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” You have convinced yourselves of something without being able to look outside yourselves. The narrow-minded beliefs presented here are actually quite frightening to most people in this great country of ours.

  • JC:

    Ted. I'd like to ask you two questions: First – Can you give me a definition, using any online dictionary, of the phrase “Enculturating our Young in a Social and Political Democracy”? Second – Do you believe that the job of an English, or Math, or Science, or History teacher in the K-12 grades is to teach ANY political agenda to his/her students, or is their job simply to teach English, Math, Science, or History?

  • Guest:

    You are right that teachers should try to keep their own political views out of teaching. But to say (as one citizen did) that schools should not inculcate morals is wrong. William F. Buckley pointed out in “God and Man at Yale” that it is impossible to disconnect teaching from morality. Schools should socialize kids to say the pledge of allegiance, respect others, and yes, learn to contribute to our “social and political democracy”. Of course they should learn that we live in a republic and that a republic is an ideal form of democracy. It is not a pure democracy but it is ludicrous to say that using the word “democracy” is going to brainwash kids (Winston Churchill used “democracy” as a term for nations where power ultimately resides in the people). Dallin H. Oaks extolled “democracy” in his landmark speech on Religious Freedom up at Rexburg. Of all people, a historian, legal scholar, Apostle and former jurist certainly knows what the word “democracy means”.

    Notice that I used the word “socialize” above on purpose. Did anyone reading this turn into a socialist as a result? “Socialize” is one of many words in the dictionary that has more than one meaning. So does the word “liberal” which Susan Schnell doesn’t seem to understand does not always mean the left of the modern political spectrum. As one commenter on the Daily Herald noticed, if the word “Republic” were a magical word, it sure didn’t redeem the USSR! Good citizens and parents will know what schools are teaching. I applaud whoever found the crazy web link but it seemed to stoke the unreasonable fears of conspiracy theorists.

    These citizens are correct in asserting that it is primarily a parent’s job to teach kids (including morals, life skills, secular learning…everything). Where they are wrong is thinking that kids are going to be corrupted simply by being exposed to ideas, let alone benign words like “democracy”. When I was in school not long ago, all of the same conspiracy theories about teachers passing out condoms and saying America was a bad place floated around Utah Valley but none of it ever happened. Even one teacher who taught profound respect of the Constitution was criticized by a local John Bircher as being a leftist.

    Lastly, America is a Republic. That is a fact. I know of no proposed constitutional amendment for doing away with the Senate and House and voting nationally on various topics via plebiscite. Even California which has way too many referendums is still a Republic. Am I missing something here? Who is trying to change America to a pure democracy?

  • KG:

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and truth. I hope that everyone who reads this are inspired to take an active role in teaching our children correct principles and teachings (not to mention a correct edition of history!)

  • JC:

    I appreciate your thoughts. I don't believe anyone here has indicated, and certainly I didn't intend to, that schools should be devoid of morals. Honest educators, kind educators, fair educators – these are the type of moral educators I hope my children to have, and for the most part, they are. I have no issue with children learning to contribute to our society. But you, and others, still need to look up the term “social democracy”. If my child were to look this up he wouldn't find a warm and fuzzy term telling him to just be a good, honest, moral contributing member of society. And most importantly, it is not the terms, but the philosophies that they represent that are of concern. My child is an individual – he is not just one in a mass of people. This type of philosophy, as seen throughout history, is geared towards decreasing individuality, creating group think, in terms that sound so benign and wonderful.

    Using the term “democracy” as an adjective, describing a philosophy of fairness and cooperation is one thing. Using it to describe our form of government, as in “our democracy”, or used as a noun, is incorrect. Using terms such as “enculturating” “social democracy”, particularly when used together, is concerning. Look them up.

    I don't believe Susan Schnell, at least as I have read and heard her speak, wants the ASD motto changed to read “Republic” instead of “Democracy”, unless the district remains insistent on having a motto with a political statement – then it needs to at least reflect accuracy. I think everyone realizes that what is most important is to have ASD craft a statement that tells us as parents, and let's our children know, their commitment to a great education, qualified teachers, effective teaching methods, etc.

    You ask if you are missing something, and who is trying to change America into a pure democracy. I'm sure there are those on this website that would like to help you find an answer to that question.

  • Guest:

    Thank you for your response. I did look up the term “social democracy” in the dictionary and it is exactly as you said. (Low and behold it is also one of those terms that has two definitions…one being the “principles and tenets of a social democractic party”. But those are closely enough related.) I think it is important that the school board didn't actually use the term “social democracy” although I can see how the wording might make one think they were alluding to it. Still, I doubt the ASD Board has any closet socialists. At any rate, the problem could easily be fixed by saying ““Enculturating the young into our society and democracy” instead of saying it the other way. Another issue is whether school's should “enculturate” at all. I believe the answer is yes! They should teach kids how to be good citizens and cooperate. Both society and individuality are important and I agree with you that in some circles the pendelum has swung too much to seeing society as a mass. But society itself can't exist without personal responsibility and I think the two values are more closely related than some would like to think.

    We don't have an SDP (Social Democtic Party) in the U.S. and I doubt even many educated people know what “Social Democracy” means. In the context used in the ASD statement I am certain the statement “Social and Political Democracy” does not have any sort of socialist/communist meaning.

    Are words important? Yes. They can be tools of persuasion and means of shaping thinking. But I must say that I disagree that democracy is a bad word or that it is only correctly used when done so as an adjective. I personally like to use the term “republic” because it conjurs up all of the high enlightenment ideals represented in the American Revolution and the [best parts of] the French Revolution. I would like to see it used more often and think this discussion is good if it gets people to thinking about different forms of government and what distinguishes them.

    [Note that in Jefferson's day the Democratic Party was referred to as the Democratic-Republican Party. Now I don't want to weigh in on whether the proper, capitized names of the parties add or detract to their actual political positions because they are simply nice names and could easily have been the “liberty” party or the “equality” party. In short they don't tell us anything about the parties. However, it is interesting to me that the terms were used together and didn't seem to bother anyone back then]

  • JC:

    I think you might find more of what ASD “means” when they write “social and political democracy” by following the link to BYU's website. You can also read John Goodlads words, and those are what are used to create the “explanation” to the Mission Statement that is on the website. And since the district has done nothing/said nothing to let anyone know it doesn't have those meanings, it is of concern.

    The problem lies not in any board members being closet socialists, but in being slowly adapted into the thinking of those who ARE. I read, listen, watch, and discern what is going on around me (and here I'm not always correct!). But when I read phrases from the essay explaining the Mission Statement (and note – a MS shouldn't need explaining, and this essay has since last Tuesday been removed from ASD's website and replaced with their statement about the MS), – “Music teachers may teach students to play… (can't remember the word here) and in harmony with other citizens”, or “English teachers should teach responsibility and choice”, it all sounds a little off to me. I want English teachers to teach English – reading, writing, etc. Responsibility in what? Choice in what? Playing in harmony with other citizens? They are playing musical instruments with other students, and learning how to cooperate in a group of other students, not “citizens”.

    So the issue here IS with the words as they are persuading attitudes and guiding the behavior and teaching models of adults who are teaching my child. If those words cause a focus on “enculturating” my child into something I disagree with, that concerns me, and I will speak up.

    And I think you are RIGHT on when you say that you would like to see the term Republic used more often and this discussion is good if it gets people thinking about different forms of government. Unfortunately, when one young lady tried to do that, she was soundly shot down by a teacher who didn't believe we were a Republic, but a Democracy. Not a very good beginning to a “discussion”.

  • marjohnakathrynmadsen:

    Thank you, Susan for speaking the truth and for being the kind of parent who will raise up children to protect the freedoms of others and the principles of the Constitution of the United States of America. God bless you.

  • polljc:

    This article explains the current attempt here in the U.S. to repeat what Susan's parents described happened to them.
    http://www.kimberacademy.net/?p=108

  • Thank you. You have no idea how timely that was. :)

  • Susie:

    Cindy, thank you for your letter. I have often told my children that I had wished I went to BYU to receive my Elementary Education degree instead of a liberal California university because then I wouldn't have been so indoctrinated. Hah! I am shocked at what is being taught now in the David O. McKay Education Dept since they have adopted the Dewey/Goodlad philosophies. If anyone does their research about President David O. McKay's thoughts on education, they will be assured that he is turning in his grave to see what is happening at that fine institution nowadays. My concern is for more than just my own children. I can easily homeschool them or enroll them in charters or private schools. My concern is with the thousands of children who are coming out of these public schools with incorrect ideas of our founding principles and will one day be our leaders.

  • Susie:

    Excellent information on that website. Thank you for commenting and referring it.

  • Susie:

    Cindy, thank you for your letter. I have often told my children that I had wished I went to BYU to receive my Elementary Education degree instead of a liberal California university because then I wouldn't have been so indoctrinated. Hah! I am shocked at what is being taught now in the David O. McKay Education Dept since they have adopted the Dewey/Goodlad philosophies. If anyone does their research about President David O. McKay's thoughts on education, they will be assured that he is turning in his grave to see what is happening at that fine institution nowadays. My concern is for more than just my own children. I can easily homeschool them or enroll them in charters or private schools. My concern is with the thousands of children who are coming out of these public schools with incorrect ideas of our founding principles and will one day be our leaders.

  • Susie:

    Excellent information on that website. Thank you for commenting and referring it.