We oppose radical left indoctrination in our schools
We are asked to be salt and light in the world. At risk of being labeled salty, I hope to add some needed flavor to our engagement while shining light.
Let me thank Alpena Public Schools Superintendent David Rabbideau, for his efforts to address concerns by hosting a town hall last week. I’m hopeful such town halls will spark an equitable dialogue at some point. In the aftermath of that initial town hall, both parents and teachers, in disheartening numbers, have expressed to me their thoughts and feelings that the meeting was fruitless and ineffectual.
In short, they remain unheard, drowned out by the domination of prepared diatribes, despite congratulatory cheerleading headlines.
The primary takeaway from the town hall, for anyone who cares about the education, minds, and hearts of our children, is twofold: First, there is a perpetual passing of responsibility to higher levels of government bureaucracy. Second, the Alpena Board of Education refused to take a stand against state, federal, and union pressure.
Many of those on the Woke Left who spoke at the town hall expressed feeling afraid and unsafe in doing so, despite the presence of law enforcement, yet the only threats were to the First Amendment. Ironically, many teachers and school employees did not stand up to speak. Why? Because of their very real concerns of being put on a list and canceled by the Woke Mob for dissent and noncompliance. It seems those yelling the loudest about being bullied are the ones doing the bullying.
Since the dawn of mankind, there has been no group of human beings that bullies have not preyed upon. We all want our children, regardless of skin color, faith, sexual orientation, or political persuasion, to have to deal with as little bullying as possible.
We need to teach our children not only tolerance for all, but to stand up for themselves, and for anyone else being bullied.
To open the town hall, APS Assistant Superintendent Meaghan Gauthier availed us with the oft-repeated Blueberry Story, a morality tale of a businessman who confronted a group of school officials. The businessman said that, if he ran his ice cream business the way they run schools, he wouldn’t be in business very long. The story equates children with blueberries in the making of blueberry ice cream. The problem with that analogy is that children and their parents are actually the buyers of the blueberry ice cream, while the educators are the blueberries that make or break the ice cream. The customer is always right and gets to decide if they want to buy the blueberry ice cream.
Parents have the first and last word in the education of their children, not experts or the government.
Repeatedly, we heard the message that the hands of the Alpena school district are tied by the state and federal government, though the teachers union was conspicuously unmentioned. And we heard about long-suffering teachers victimized by our troublesome blueberries.
But, because the state and federal government set policy and don’t make laws (the state Legislature does), we know those hands are willingly tied, like Pilate washing his hands of the blood.
Pilate chose status over truth. We must have compassion for him, being in that position and making such a choice, but we are not obligated to agree or obey. May there be a prayer in all hearts that truth will trump government bureaucracy. Truth is what will teach and serve our children best. We pray our school district will stop pushing responsibility up the hierarchy to bureaucracies even more inaccessible to parents.
We do not serve experts, they serve us.
Political agendas have no place in the education of our children, but, because our government schools are complying with the demands of the Radical Left, bowing to special interest groups and their Woke political ideologies, such as tyrannical and damaging COVID-19 mandates, the teaching of White Privilege, the implementation of Critical Race Theory, and allowing biological boys in girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports, we are moving away from education and toward indoctrination.
We are all aware of the escalating effort to remove God from our nation and our government schools and institutions.
Those who oppose the pushing of Radical Left ideologies are continually labeled as uneducated and told those ideologies are not taught in schools. Through the COVID-19 tyranny of virtual classrooms in our country, the teaching of those political ideologies has been exposed to parents.
We also know students in K-12 teacher education programs across the nation are being trained and indoctrinated in those political ideologies in universities, and the federal government and State of Michigan have made them policy.
As those who oppose the Radical Left politicization of our children by our government school system continue to work to save our children from such indoctrination, we are also developing alternatives to government schools.
We hope and pray the march of Wokeness and rhetoric deescalate, but the reality and evidence suggest it would be wise to prepare for continued waves of the Woke epidemic that Mr. Rabbideau, Ms. Gauthier, and Alpena High School Principal Romeo Bourdage were unwilling to acknowledge and that they continue to deny, as it spreads like blueberry jam through the Alpena school district.
Michael Mantas is chairman of the Alpena County GOP and chairman of United Conservative Voice.