Dad Claims His Kid's Homework Is Political Brainwashing

Junior high is the absolute perfect time to teach kids to use logic and think critically, so you'd hope that teachers would take advantage of that and steer kids toward their own conclusions and opinions when it comes to things like current events. But one eighth grade Social Studies teacher assigned some blatantly biased homework on immigration policy in the United States, and shattered our dreams that our kids are being taught fairly.


Grace Davis, a teacher at Shattuck Middle School in Wisconsin, assigned her students some Social Studies homework that left dad Scott Radies feeling incredulous. The worksheet she had the students complete was a response to a political cartoon, and the answers she seemed to be looking for were definitely biased, to say the least.

The cartoon was a commentary on immigration in the United States, and the "path to citizenship." In it, a clearly labeled democrat was laying bricks into a path, while the Republican followed along behind, removing them.

Here were the questions asked, and the student's response, which he scored 100 percent on:

Who are the men in the picture? (What is their job? Look at what they are doing for a hint) Their job is to build/destroy the pathway to citizenship.

What are they building? The path to citizenship.

What do the symbols on their shirts represent? Republican and Democrat.

What is action being done by each man? The Democrat is building; the Republican is destroying.

What might this mean to us about immigration and citizenship? That Democrats want immigrants to come in and Republicans don't.

Dude. I'm not even sure where to begin with how awful this is. Where the heck did that kid hear that Republicans are "destroying" things, if not from his teacher? I'm sure he didn't hear it at home from his dad, who was so appalled by this assignment that he questioned the school about it.

Radies said he just wants his son to be taught objectively, not with political ideology. He told IJReview, "I flipped it over to see if the opposite view was maybe on the other side of the homework assignment, but there's nothing, just one side of paper."

It's not many parents who get upset at their kids scoring perfect grades, but Radies was very concerned when he saw that the teacher had given his son 100 percent.

He shared, "When I saw his answers to the questions, and realized that the teacher gave him five out of five so apparently those answers that he gave were the ones she was looking for because he got them all right ... The fact that the way that she structured the questions and then rewarded them with five out of five, I thought 'Wow, it definitely looks like she wanted a certain answer ...' The whole thing was ridiculous, I thought."

Of course it's ridiculous! This is so obviously biased that I'm appalled for everyone on both sides of the aisle. Of course it's fine for teachers to have their own opinions, but the goal of teaching is to teach facts, and furthermore, teach kids how to think.

There was nothing in this assignment that asked students to explain how they thought the different political parties would respond to the cartoon. There was nothing asking them to defend a particular position, or opposing one. This was just flat-out bashing of one political party over another, and it's going to do nothing in the attempt to raise up intelligent, free-thinking adults who might actually have a shot at saving the world.

It doesn't matter if a teacher is a Republican or a Democrat, it is not their job to tell kids one ideology is bad and another good. We don't need little parrots in society, we need kids who have been given background knowledge of facts about history and current events, who have been taught to think and reason, and who are able to form their own opinions about the world themselves.

When Radies confronted Ms. Davis about the lesson, saying, "Some of the things that my son has been hearing in your class, it doesn't seem like you're giving the other view," the teacher responded, "Well, the semester's not over.'"

Well OK then. Here's her big chance to apologize to the class for giving them such a biased assignment, and to teach them all the reasons blanket amnesty is a terrible idea, and maybe, just maybe, have them think up some of their own compromises that might work, should they become lawmakers someday.

Do you think this teacher did her students a disservice with this assignment?


Image via Ludwig/Flickr

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