Education

Homeland Security secretary shouted off stage at immigration conference

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan walked off the stage at a speaking engagement at Georgetown Law School on Monday after being shouted down by audience members protesting the Trump administration’s immigration policies. McAleenan was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an annual immigration law and policy conference hosted by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) and Georgetown Law, at the Washington, D.C., university. But before he even began to talk, protesters stood up and shouted: “When immigrants come under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” Some in the audience shouted at the protesters to sit down so they could hear the DHS acting secretary speak. Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at MPI who served as a top immigration official under the Clinton administration, was to moderate the Q&A, and told the protesters they were robbing the audience of their ability to engage in a meaningful dialogue on a contentious and important topic. DHS, in a written statement released afterward, echoed those concerns: “The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to free speech and assembly. Unfortunately that right was robbed from many who were scheduled to speak and attend today’s event at Georgetown. Unfortunately the Acting Secretary and the audience did not get the opportunity to engage in a robust dialogue this morning due to the disruptions of a few activists.” The department, which published the secretary’s prepared remarks, said those in attendance would have “learned more about DHS’s successful strategy to work with international partners to reduce unlawful migration and end the exploitation of children by smugglers and cartels, and then they would have had the opportunity to participate in an unmoderated question and answer session.” McAleenan, a longtime civil servant who was the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection before he was tapped to lead DHS, tried three times to start his speech, but was interrupted almost immediately by the demonstrators on each occasion. As McAleenan tried to speak, protesters stood and held banners with phrases like “Hate is Not Normal” and shouted out the names of children who had died in immigration custody. “Lot to cover today, there’s some very serious issues that we can talk about today in candor, or we can continue to shout,” McAleenan said on his third attempt. “What I was going to start with was that I’d like to take our dialogue this morning above the politics and the daily news cycle, talk about the challenges and efforts we’ve faced over the past year, but also that this is primarily an audience of immigration lawyers, advocates and students, to talk about some of the fundamental issues we face with the current legal framework.” Protesters once again began to shout him down, leading McAleenan to thank the conference’s moderators and walk off the stage — after appearing for a little over seven minutes. “In a democracy, it is important to hear from all sides on public policy issues, including from those who are instrumental in developing and implementing policy, whether or not we agree with them, and MPI remains committed to that belief,” MPI President Andrew Selee said in a statement. Selee added: “By drowning out the Secretary’s remarks, the protestors deprived immigration attorneys, service providers, journalists, advocates, business leaders, law students, and many others in the public who were in the audience from hearing his point of view and engaging in a meaningful dialogue.”

Exactly..  The specific speech Nazi group responsible for this nonsense was the liberal group CREDO.  Typical liberals..  They’re all for “free speech,” until its speech they don’t agree with, then they want it censored or shouted down.  The students at Georgetown Law School had an opportunity to interface with a sitting Trump Administration cabinet level official, and were deprived of such an opportunity.  This happens all the time.  So.. I have a question..  Why don’t these venues (colleges, etc.) have security in place to remove these sh_t disturbers when they just show up to disrupt?  The school HAD to know this was gonna happen.  Why not have their campus security there to simply remove these idiots?  I guess that makes too much sense…

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.    🙂