By Steve Gunn
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As it turns out, student indoctrination was not to blame for a controversy that erupted at a Jacksonville elementary school last week.
The problem was an age-inappropriate classroom lesson.
Aaron Harvey, the father of a fourth-grader at Cedar Hills Elementary, was infuriated to learn that his son had written the words “I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure” on a piece of paper at school.
The boy told his father that his teacher instructed students to write the sentence, which caused Harvey to conclude that the teacher “was trying to pollute my son’s mind.”
Duval Public Schools investigated the incident and determined that the sentence was introduced to students in the classroom by a visiting attorney who was giving a lesson on civil rights, according to TheBlaze.com.
The students were told to write down the sentence as part of an exercise in critical thinking, the news report said. Then they were asked if they agreed or disagreed, and were expected to “offer strong arguments to defend their positions.”
Fair enough. But such a lesson might be more appropriate for middle school or high school students. Did the visiting attorney really expect fourth-graders to have a strong enough concept of constitutional rights to argue about surrendering them to the state in the name of security?
When asked by TheBlaze.com about the age-appropriateness of such a lesson, a spokeswoman for the school district said Cedar Hills Elementary officials “selected the lessons based on identified grade-level and alignment to social studies curriculum.”
No wonder there was confusion among the students about what happened and who the message came from. The attorney was trying to teach them something well above their heads.
But Harvey should be commended for paying attention to the information his child is picking up at school. While his son’s teacher may be innocent, the fact is that educators throughout the nation have been willfully presenting their left-wing political views as fact to students. Parents are smart to be on alert, and to speak up if they smell something political going on in their local schools.