Friday, November 26, 2004

Reuters dispenses rightwing propaganda

The story about the California school teacher being banned from dispensing materials about the Declaration of Independence has a bit more to it than how Reuters paints it.

*Amended here. See below.

I'm so late on this but I'll put up the major link to Seeing the Forest, which is functioning as probably the central place for the blogger coverage.

Update: A quick looksee around a few edublogs show that they've bought into the propaganda. The heart (and headline, for that matter) of the story is not true; this is all about a lawsuit being propagated by a well-funded right-wing group called the Alliance Defense Fund. Dave still has the best summary all around.

The consequence to this: kids get screwed because the school district has to defend themselves against a lawsuit. They'll need money for the lawsuit, which means less money goes to the kids.

Update II: I amended my proposed headline in the second paragraph above as it was not proven to be false although I don't know it to be true, per cs in the comments.

I was referring to the 'supplemental handouts' the teacher was providing; cs, you're right, I don't know what material this teacher brought into the class. There's no proof it was specifically provided by Christian rights groups, although I think this should be specifically looked into.

However, there is a whole body of family-values Christian-right approved education material. For instance, here is the Restoring America Project, linked from the American Family Association, which is tied to the Alliance Defense Fund.

Here's another organization devoted to bringing the influence of the Bible back into schools. The Declaration of Independence is one of the prominently featured influencees.
The Bible was the foundation and blueprint for our Constitution, Declaration of Independence, educational system, and our entire history until the last 20 to 30 years.

I think this is chiefly about which worldview to teach kids in public schools; it's a huge issue with the conservative Christians.

I don't know what the teacher, who was disciplined by the principal, was bringing into the classrooms but there is an educational curriculum for teaching American history developed by the Christian right. There is a movement to try to bring into public schools this material. I have strong suspicions that this teacher might've been inspired this body of educational materials.

But you're absolutely right, cs; I don't know what supplemental material he dispensed to his students.