By Tom Steward
Originally published at AmericanExperiment.org
American Experiment’s recent post on left-wing politics permeating the halls and classrooms of Edina High School following the 2016 election has gotten a strong reaction. In it, John Hinderaker revealed that 80 Edina High School teachers crossed the line, signing what amounted to a left-wing political manifesto following the election of Donald Trump as president.
Since then, parents and students at Edina High School have stepped forward to provide more evidence of the extent to which leftist ideology has invaded the Edina school system, even down to the kindergarten level. Dozens of parents, students and residents have responded via email and Facebook with instances of the improper politicization of one of the state’s most prominent school districts. One parent writes:
We’re tired of them trying to indoctrinate our children to believe what they believe rather than teaching critical thinking and actual course work. We’re tired of our kids coming home feeling defeated because their beliefs are forbidden at school and they will be ostracized if they speak out. We’re tired of our kids telling us that all they hear in LA and other classes is that white people, especially white men, are bad, over and over. We’re absolutely sickened when our son tells us that he is labeled a racist, sexist and rapist — yes, a RAPIST — because he is a white male. (This was all in a venn diagram on the white board. We have a photo.)
On Facebook, an EHS student described the school’s oppressive culture and shockingly improper behavior by teachers at the time of last November’s election:
I was one of 6 leaders of the Young Conservatives Club which, in our group message, had close to 200 participants. During the election we felt like the minority, which we were. The day of the election a group of us (maybe 20-30 kids) chose to wear political shirts to school. I wore a Trump shirt while other people were wearing Hillary shirts or Bernie shirts. I knew walking into school that it was going to be an odd day but I had no idea what was really in store for me.
I walked into morning rehearsal for choir at 7:15 am and I proudly wore my shirt. As I took my seat I could see and feel eyes on me and people whispering. I kept my head up and was proud. Then I got to the cafeteria where I liked to meet my friends before school starts and in between classes. People were glaring at me, whispering, challenging me on my views, people called me racist to my face and over social media, and I experienced public humiliation.
During lunch the YCC had gathered for a group picture with our Trump shirts on. And by 6th hour, when all I wanted was to go home and lie in bed after a day of bullying, a staff member pulled me out of class. As I was leaving the classroom a girl said “How ugly is that shirt haha” commenting on my Trump shirt. The staff member pulled me out of class not to ask me about how my day was going or if I was emotionally okay, but his question for me was “I heard there were students in the YCC picture yelling ‘deportation!’ as the picture was taken. Is that true?” I assured him that, no that wasn’t true. But he kept asking as if he didn’t believe me. Finally I got to go back to the last 5 min of class and then go home.
The next day, the day after Trump won, was even harder. Teachers were crying alongside students in the classroom. Speeches by teachers included the phrase “we will make it through this together.” One teacher said in front of a class of 100, through tears that “the election was rigged.” Teachers bashed President Trump in front of their students, and people continued to bully me for my views. … I had to have my mom come pick me up after third hour that day. I couldn’t stand to walk around a school filled with both teachers and students crying and looking to me through their tears with hurtful eyes. I’m not kidding when I say so many people were crying that walking through school felt like someone had died or something.
Another student got so tired of being bullied for his political views in class that he made an audio recording of the teacher, who repeatedly harangued him about Donald Trump. The recording got into the hands of several parents, who confronted school administrators.
In his words, they had to “own up” to the consequences of Mr. Trump’s election. Upon hearing this recording it reminded me of the descriptions a friend of mine makes when recalling his classroom experiences, growing up in communist Hungary in the 1970s. When this recording became public, several parents confronted the principal, and only then was he forced to take action…
A parent who is all too familiar with the Edina school district put it this way:
This kind of makes me sick. Every time we learn more – the problem appears deeper than we could have ever imagined.
The Edina public schools are teaching the pernicious doctrine of “white privilege,” beginning at the elementary school level. The school district evidently has assigned a teacher to instruct its youngest students in the racial equity curriculum:
He has spent the last year going from classroom to classroom at the Edina Elementary schools, staring Kindergarten – 5th grade, teaching about white privilege, they did a 6 week project, the students age 8 had to each pick a black person and do a project on only black people including drawing pictures of them and writing up reports. What we know as parents is very little, but for every rat you see there are 50 you don’t see. I can’t imagine what is going on behind closed doors with these impressionable children.
The district’s race-obsessed leftism starts at the top. The school district’s “Racial Equity & Cultural Competence” statement requires staff to look “at all district work and initiatives through a lens of racial equity.” Parents who know about the district’s one-sided political bias feel powerless to stop it. One such parent writes:
Those teachers who signed that article could only be emboldened enough to do so because they sensed they could get away with flagrantly violating existing policy. And why did they have this confidence? Because it had been made very clear to them that the principal and superintendent “had their backs,” and would do nothing in retribution.
Edina is not the only school district that imposes leftist indoctrination on a captive student body, but it appears to be a good example of that disturbing trend. Across Minnesota, students are being deprived of their right to a sound education by teachers who substitute partisan propaganda and bullying for normal instruction in course work. It is long past time for parents and students to speak up against such abuses.