FAIRFIELD, Ohio – According to a citizenship lesson for 8-year-olds, rights are given to Americans by their government.
Parent Andrew Washburn posted a picture on Facebook of a handout titled “Being a Good Citizen” by Phyllis Naegeli.
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“So Emma brought home a very interesting handout from school the other day. So informative! I didn’t know that our rights come from the government! Thank you, government!” he sarcastically wrote.
“And thank you, (Butler County school district), for teaching my eight year old daughter all about her rights!” he added.
Washburn tells EAGnews his daughter attends a Butler County, Ohio district.
Among other things, the worksheet claims:
* Rights are special privileges the government gives you.
* Because the government gives us rights, we have the duty to be good citizens.
* Someday you will be given the right to vote.
Washburn posted the entire worksheet on the social media site.
“You see, I know how important it is to get to children early in their lives and make sure they understand how it is in the world. Otherwise their impressionable minds might be corrupted by falsehoods like the idea that our rights come from our Creator and that we are born with them,” Washburn posted on Facebook.
After all, the Declaration of Independence makes it clear the rights of Americans are “endowed by their Creator.”
“I personally hold myself to be a patriot, committed to the spirit of 1776 and the American way of life,” the father tells EAGnews.
“As someone steeped in the Enlightenment philosophies of Locke, Paine, and Jefferson, the idea that government is the fount of our rights is a morally repugnant one to me. The whole tone of that handout seemed to be ‘Government gives you your rights and you should be grateful.’ This is what they taught children in the Soviet Union. In fact, the entire handout smacks of a tribute to Comrade Stalin,” he says.
On Facebook, Washburn concluded, “So, again, I just feel so grateful to live in a country whose leaders have generously granted my rights, and even more grateful that they make sure my children know where those rights came from!”
He researched the lesson and found it was met with similar criticism in 2009 and the author supposedly changed it. But at least one school – the Butler County one – is clearly still using the old version.
Washburn tells EAGnews the staff and faculty at his daughter’s school “have all been very helpful” and that the teacher’s use of the outdated worksheet was “a simple accidental oversight.”
The lesson was published by edHelper.com, a site that provides lessons and worksheets on a number of subjects for all ages.
The author, Phyllis Naegeli, has produced other lessons, such as one titled “Our Living Constitution,” which can be found on the Opelousas (Louisiana) Junior High School website.
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