Education

Watch: ‘Killing Free Speech’ Documentary Exposes Far-Left Propaganda in Schools

Independent filmmaker Michael Hansen has a new documentary out titled Killing Free Speech. It features internal emails from a New Jersey school showing teachers pushing political propaganda in the wake of President Trump’s travel ban. The documentary shows a teacher encouraging colleagues to wear hijabs and/or burkas, and distribute pamphlets in solidarity with Muslims to protest Trump’s policies — even though the White House’s restrictions on travel from countries, erroneously described as a “Muslim ban” by his opponents in the media, includes North Korea, a non-Muslim country. Hansen interviews the school principal who claims to know nothing about the agitation, even though Hansen obtains staff emails showing she had been made aware of it. “Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion on this issue, however, the administration is using this school as a platform to push their political agenda,” explains Hansen. Killing Free Speech is the second documentary released by Hansen, the first being Killing Europe, a feature about mass migration from Muslim countries into Europe. A planned screening of Killing Europe was canceled by the Ottawa Public Library last year following pressure from left-wing activists. Killing Free Speech: Part 1 depicts the rise of street violence by the extremist “Antifa” movement in the United States, as well as campaigns of pressure by CAIR and other groups to shut down political expression they disagree with. Click here to watch part one of Hansen’s documentary, which features the investigation. Part two is scheduled for release later this year.

Christian Student Group Wins Lawsuit with University of Colorado

The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) has settled a lawsuit with a Christian student group which forces the university to recognize the group as an official student organization. Breitbart News reported in February that a Christian student group at UCCS had filed a lawsuit against their university over its refusal to recognize them as an official student organization. This week, UCCS settled with the Ratio Christi student group. The original legal complaint against the university claimed that administrators told students that they could not require their group leader to be a Christian. “It has refused to do so specifically because this religious organization seeks to ensure that its leaders share its beliefs and that its members support its mission, even though other student organizations do the same,” the complaint read. According to a report from The College Fix, Ratio Christi settled with UCCS. As a result of the settlement, the University of Colorado will be forced to recognize the group as an official student organization. Additionally, the students will now be permitted to choose their own leaders. Alliance for Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Travis Barham said that he is pleased with the outcome of the settlement. Barham claims that the settlement included an admission by the university that they failed to uphold the students’ right to free association. “It would be absurd for the university to require the vegan student group to appoint a meat-lover as its president,” Barham said. “Thankfully, the university has acknowledged its error and announced a policy that respects students’ rights to free association, no longer forcing Christian students to let atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies in order to become a registered club.”

Congrats to Ratio Christi for taking on the bully’s at UCCS in court…and winning!  Outstanding!!  🙂

Opinion/Analysis: Education disaster? Common Core has given us snowflakes instead of students

Chances are if you say the two words “Common Core” to a parent they will likely evoke strong opinions, and generally not favorable ones. The academic standards that focused on math and English and which many states adopted have been an epic fail and have left several states with a change of heart. But while it’s been a disaster academically, from an agenda-driven perspective Common Core has been a huge win for the politically correct propaganda being peddled. Want proof? Look no further than any college campus over the past couple of years: the rejection of free speech and violent attempts to stifle it; the embrace of socialism out of pure ignorance by a generation who can’t even define it; and the complete lack of tolerance and unwillingness to engage in a civil debate with those who embrace center-right ideas. All while running for the nearest “safe space” when something offends them. Common Core has given us snowflakes instead of students. Screams and protests have become their coping mechanisms. And the lack of high-quality secondary education coupled with indoctrination has undoubtedly contributed to this disaster. A de facto degree in political correctness may earn you an honorary membership into the elite liberal “resist” movements of your choice, but you’re in for some shock and awe when you leave your safe space for the real world. The real tragedy is that so much money has been spent by politicians lying to us at the expense of our kids’ education to promote their indoctrination. Before Common Core was even written, President Obama promised it would “not only make America’s entire education system the envy of the world, but we will launch a ‘Race to the Top’ that will prepare every child, everywhere in America, for the challenges of the 21st century.” “Race to the Top” was a catchy phrase his administration tagged to a grant attached to a $4 billion carrot they dangled in front of states to sucker them into adopting Common Core and its “tougher” academic standards. The carrot initially worked. Forty-six states bought into Common Core – but fast forward to 2019 and 11 of those states are running for the nearest exit. Turns out the amazing race to the top we were promised isn’t so amazing after all. Not unlike President Obama’s promise that if we liked our doctor we could keep our doctor. Common Core has infiltrated both our public and private schools over the last several years and has left parents in the dust, scrambling for reinforcements to help them solve otherwise simple math problems. For example, simple multiplication, addition and subtraction problems can no longer be learned from the back of flashcards. You must now show how you arrived at the answer. For example, lest you think that 5×3 is merely just 15, you’d be wrong unless you add fives and add threes and show why it’s 15. Silly me, I always thought the whole point of multiplication was that it helped to circumvent endless addition. It’s all led to needlessly prolonged homework times, frustrated children and equally frustrated parents who are keeping Google, Siri and Alexa working overtime. To what end? Turns out the return on investment isn’t what we were promised. Not only has embracing these new academic standards not made our kids more prepared, but it’s done the opposite — it’s made them even less prepared. Last year’s ACT scores were revealing. Students were the least prepared for English at a college level since ACT started keeping track in 2002. They had the lowest levels in math in two decades. And English scores declined since 2007. While student achievement is going downhill, here’s what is on the rise thanks to Common Core — indoctrination. How on earth can screwing up basic math concepts possibly be linked to indoctrinating our kids? Have no fear, they found a way. The mandatory taxpayer-funded conferences that teachers are required to attend now often include Common Core. However, rather than keeping their workshops focused on education, the platform has been used to promote politically correct propaganda. The organization UnboundEd, for instance, fuels the flames of racial injustice and inequality under the guise of Common Core. At a conference last year, UnboundEd CEO Kate Gerson reportedly told teachers, “If you are under the impression that there are good white people and bad white people, you’re wrong.” Fun fact: Gerson was an early creator of the Common Core-compliant curriculum that’s now available all over the country. This is what happens when government is put in charge: 5×3 no longer equals 15 and good white people + bad white people = all white people bad. As with most things the government hijacks, this entire experiment began as a way for the government to ultimately have more control over not just our kids’ education, but over our kids’ thinking and ideals. We’ve been played.

Exactly!!  Thanks to Lauren DeBellis Appell for that outstanding analysis.  Lauren is a writer based in Fairfax, Virginia.   Follow her on Twitter @LDAppell.       🙂

Tomi Lahren: Free speech isn’t just saying what you want to say, it’s also hearing what you don’t want to hear

President Trump has signed an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses. I like it, but it’s truly sad it had to come to this. It’s time for “Final Thoughts” Yes, another promise made by President Trump is kept. Thursday our president signed an executive order designed to protect and promote free speech on college campuses — threatening to pull federal research funding if colleges don’t play ball. He said, “Under the guise of speech codes, safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans like those here today.” I couldn’t agree more and I’m glad Trump is using his bully pulpit to push back on the college liberal indoctrination disease. Quite frankly, it needed to be done. I am saddened it took government intervention to make it happen. It shouldn’t be that way. College kids and their school administrators shouldn’t be so fragile, so delicate, so close-minded an executive order is necessary to stop the madness. How did we get here? There have always been liberals, conservatives and competing ideas in this country — that’s part of what makes it so great. When then, are we at the point where safe spaces, trigger warnings, cry-ins, and screaming at the sky are the new norm? All for what? Because Trump won the election? All because conservative college groups invite speakers? Remember the violent ruckus when Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley two years ago? This, from the same people who claim to be all about tolerance, peace, and love? Seriously, UC Berkeley? Your campus used to be a home for free speech, especially political speech, but now your administration and leftist students are so delicate you have to shield your students from free speech? Ironic isn’t it? You claim our president — and yes, he is your president, too, and those who support him are so reprehensible you have to threaten violence and destruction when a conservative speaker comes to campus? Trump is a meanie so you have to beat up anyone who disagrees? Or smash and burn your own campus? Not smart. It’s sad to think some college-age students are signing up to fight for our country in the U.S. military and meanwhile, others are sitting on their precious California campuses whining about Ann Coulter and others. Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. Our service members and law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect and defend free speech and the American way of life and meanwhile some are marching around in black outfits or pink hats crying about how words hurt. Pathetic. You know free speech isn’t just saying what you want to say, it’s also hearing what you don’t want to hear and that includes conservative opinions too. Sorry. And let’s not forget, no one forced these students to go listen to these conservative speakers. It didn’t cost them anything. They aren’t losing college credits or hurting their grades by not going. So people you don’t like are coming to your campus to say things you don’t like? Suck it up. Conservative students have to listen to liberal garbage from professors every day and yes, they are required to be there for that! College campuses are the least diverse places in the country because diversity of thought isn’t a protected class. Over the course of your lives, you’re gonna have to hear things you don’t want to hear from folks you may not like. Get used to it. You’re not that special. And if you can’t be around people you don’t like saying things you don’t like, you can’t go around creating mass chaos and physically attacking people because you think words hurt. Grow up. Get over yourselves and develop a thicker skin. You might learn something more valuable than your professors can teach you. Those are my “Final Thoughts.” From Los Angeles, God bless and take care.

Wow..  Tomi Lahren just nailed it!  You can catch her over on Fox Nation..  Thanks Tomi!     🙂

Georgia Southern University Calls Police on Students Exercising Free Speech

Students at Georgia Southern University were confronted by school staff and campus police last week while recruiting members for the Turning Point USA student group on campus. Staff told the conservative students that they needed to “fill out paperwork” in order to exercise free speech at the public university, and then proceeded to call the police when the students did not leave the public grounds. An administrator at Georgia Southern University (GSU) told students that they needed to “fill out paperwork” in order to exercise free speech within the confines of the school’s designated “free speech zone,” a specific area on campus that school claims is approved for exercising free speech, as long as the space is reserved in advance. The students, who were recruiting members for their Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapter, decided not to leave an outdoor area on campus after GSU staff had requested for them to do so, resulting in the police being called as a last-ditch effort to force the students to comply with the school’s perplexing demand. The apparent intimidation tactic, however, was futile, as the TPUSA students filmed their interaction with the officers, who admitted on video that they could not legally arrest the students for exercising free speech at the publicly-funded university, as seen in a report by Campus Reform. “If we do not leave, will we get arrested?” one individual can be heard asking a police officer. “No,” responded one officer. “Well, now, you will be judicially referred,” added the officer. “What does that mean?” inquired a student. “That means you’ll go in front of the Dean of Students for violating Georgia Southern policy,” responded the officer, suggesting that while the police cannot punish students for exercising their free speech rights on public grounds, the university can. “They’re telling me you’re breaking policies, school policies,” added the officer, “But if you’re asking me about laws, which is mainly what I do here, I don’t know of any laws you’re breaking.”

To see the video of this encounter, and read the rest of the article, click on the text above.  It is hard to imagine that publicly funded colleges and universities, students hare bullied for simply exercising their 1st Amendment rights.  Unreal..

Betsy DeVos Strikes a Blow for Religious Freedom

Last week, Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that the U.S. Department of Education will stop enforcing a provision in federal law that has long barred religious organizations from contracting with private schools to provide federally funded “equitable services,” like tutoring and professional development. In a letter to Congress, DeVos explained that she was acting in accord with the Supreme Court’s 2017 verdict in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer. In Trinity Lutheran, the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Missouri had engaged in unconstitutional discrimination by denying a church-run preschool access to a publicly funded program for playground improvement. Under the Constitution’s free-exercise clause, the Court found, otherwise eligible entities cannot be disqualified from a public benefit “based solely on their religious status.” In a press release accompanying her announcement, DeVos declared that, “Those seeking to provide high-quality educational services to students and teachers should not be discriminated against simply based on the religious character of their organization.” This is not a theoretical problem. To take but one example, up to now, parochial-school teachers could not attend a federally funded workshop at Catholic University. In that sense, DeVos’s policy change is long overdue. Indeed, the prohibition on religious providers was not some recent move by the Obama administration. Since its inception, the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was held to require that school districts must provide comparable services to educationally disadvantaged private-school students and educationally disadvantaged public-school students. Washington determined that those dollars could not flow directly to private schools, however, meaning that local districts had to provide the services or find a contractor to offer them. As implemented, federal law dictated that religious organizations were summarily barred from working as contractors with private schools — even when well suited for the work. But the ban on providers was remarkably inconsistent. Bizarrely, under the law, religious organizations have been permitted to provide services like after-school tutoring to public-school students, even as they’ve been barred from providing the same services to private-school students. The secretary’s decision corrects the government’s puzzling policy of intermittent religious discrimination. Predictably, some portrayed DeVos’s modest step to obey Supreme Court jurisprudence as part of a shadowy effort to entangle church and state. (“DeVos Moves to Ease Church-State Rules in Education,” one New York Times headline blared.) But the Department’s decision seems more aptly described as an effort to correct a kind of reflexive, anti-faith discrimination that had been in place for decades, under Democratic and Republican administrations alike. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in his decision for the 7–2 majority in Trinity Lutheran, “There is no question that Trinity Lutheran was denied a grant simply because of what it is—a church.” DeVos is applying the same logic, consistently. There’s no need to overcomplicate this. If the prohibitions in question were being applied to religious organizations that had spent funds inappropriately or engaged in proselytizing while on the federal dime, that would be one thing. But the issue here is wholesale, categorical discrimination against organizations of faith, simply because they’re organizations of faith, when it comes to non-religious programs such as English tutoring and professional development for math instruction. Discrimination of that sort has no place in the American system, and DeVos was right in moving to stamp it out. The new policy has the potential to immediately benefit many of the millions of educationally disadvantaged students who attend private schools, and its significance will only grow if efforts to expand private-school choice continue to flourish. It didn’t spark the commentary or contention that have greeted so many of DeVos’s other actions, but it’s a sensible, overdue act of good stewardship and we ought not overlook it.

 

Thanks to both Frederick M. Hess and Brendan Bell for bringing this to our attention, and major kudos to Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos for making this happen!  This is a HUGE win not only for religious freedom, for the education of our kids.  Frederick M. Hess is the director of education-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Brendan Bell is the education-policy program manager at AEI.    🙂

LA teachers union advocates for illegals, then complains of overcrowded classrooms

About 30,000 Los Angeles teachers and school employees are holding education hostage to demand higher pay and “smaller class sizes” – a popular phrase that equates to more dues paying union employees. On picket lines across the district Monday, striking teachers toted protest signs in the rain as they swapped horror stories about classes with 40 or more students packed in “like sardines.” What they didn’t discuss: How the United Teachers Los Angeles union’s immigration policies contribute to overcrowded schools and its demands for more staff to handle the situation. “It’s absolutely not about the pay raise. It’s about class size reduction. In other words, hire more teachers,” teacher Andrea Cohen told CNN. “We want to have fully staffed schools. That means librarians, nurses, psychiatric social workers and their interns. We have 46, 45, 50 students in a class. That’s unacceptable.” UTLA doesn’t define its demand for “fully staffed schools.” Los Angeles Unified School District negotiators offered to add nearly 1,200 more educators, counselors, nurses and librarians, with hard limits on class sizes. The district also bumped up its previous offer by $24 million, with a proposed 6 percent raise and back pay for the 2017-18 school year. UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl described LAUSD’s latest offer as “woefully inadequate.” Some have used the same phrase to describe the government’s response to illegal immigration and its impact on public schools, in Los Angeles and elsewhere. The Education Trust-West estimates roughly 250,000 undocumented children between the ages of 3 and 17 are enrolled in California schools, with the highest concentration in Los Angeles County. The group estimates 750,000 K-12 students in California have undocumented parents. The parents come to California and Los Angeles schools because of sanctuary policies that shield them from federal immigration officials, as well as the vast resources provided by the district and teachers union. UTLA holds an “Immigrant Rights for Educators Workshop,” for example, to arm union employees with legal information, resources, and “a network of concerned community members and educators who stand up for immigrant students and families.” The union’s Social Justice & Action Resources also advise on how to “Shield Against Immigrant Detention and Deportation.” Union members hosted and participated in several rallies in recent years calling for “Freedom for Immigrants!” and declaring illegal immigrants are “Here to Stay.” Keeping illegal immigrants in LA schools is likely a key to keeping UTLA members employed, as district enrollment data shows the overall number of students in district schools has declined every year 2002-03, when it peaked at 746,831 students. And as student enrollment has steadily slid to about 600,000 students this year, an increasing percentage are also moving to independent charter schools, which are typically not unionized. Since 2002-03, the number of students attending charter schools increased from less than 50,000 to well over 100,000 for 2018-19, according to the superintendent’s final budget. Illegal immigrants equal demand for teachers, which pay dues to the UTLA. It’s why the union focuses more on immigration rallies and contract demands than keeping students in class. Ironically, many immigrants aren’t fond of the teachers strike. Grandmother Juventina Hernandez attended a UTLA presentation to immigrant families as the union prepared for the strike last fall, and she told LA School Report she wasn’t impressed with what she saw. “We wanted to know more about their demands, but all we heard is that they want us to commit in supporting them to go on strike,” Hernandez said. “But how are they committing to our community, to our kids? I wanted to know how they were prepared to support our kids if they go on strike for those two weeks, but we heard none of that.” A union official left a petition with the parents asking for their support, mother Margarita Gilley said, but very few signed on. The UTLA “knows very well our needs, and then they used them to lie to us,” she said. “Out of the entire presentation, I didn’t see anything that reflected our real needs, only their needs. I’m glad most of us didn’t sign their petition.” Azucena Gonzalez, a mother of two at John Marshall High School, also saw through the charade. The union’s focus is on “convincing us to give them our support, what they are asking for them, what is in their best interest,” she said. “That’s all we heard.”

Gee.. What a surprise..  Not.