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The Zero Sum Game--again and again and again

In this post I blogged approximately a year ago about some proposed Minnesota "anti-bullying" legislation that was neither more nor less than the imposition of the normalization of homosexuality across Minnesota schools, including any private schools that accept public money. Apparently the legislation was temporarily defeated but is coming back again and may pass this time. It appears that the attempt to include private schools may have been scrapped for the moment, but not for want of trying, and I'm sure that idea will return as well.

Katherine Kersten at First Things blog has many hair-raising details of such so-called anti-bullying programs.

One that struck me this time was this:

In addition, the regulations proposed by the task force would require schools to police “cyberbullying,” including comments a student writes on his Facebook page.

We already know that teachers can face repercussions for what they write on their Facebook pages, if they have any of their students as Facebook "friends." But see what this means: What this would mean is that any student who posted allegedly "offensive" comments about homosexual behavior or any aspect of the homosexual agenda on his private Facebook page--say, as a status update or any comment at all--could, if caught and reported, be brought up on charges of "cyberbullying" by his public school, even though the comments were made entirely outside of the context of school.

Anyone who does not see that this is attempted student indoctrination and intimidation at a very detailed and invasive level is willfully blind. It represents a frightening attempt to monitor all student expression of ideas in all circumstances, including to friends outside of school, and to squelch all expression of wrongthought.

I frankly expect this type of program eventually to pass in Minnesota, and I doubt that Minnesota schools will be the last. Get your kids out of public schools now. And maybe get them out of private schools as well, if the schools are going to participate in any such programs.

Comments (16)

It represents a frightening attempt to monitor all student expression of ideas in all circumstances, including to friends outside of school, and to squelch all expression of wrongthought.

Yeah, so much for freedom of speech.

You raise an interesting point, Tony, if this were ever tested in a court of law. Multiple court precedents hold that the actions of public schools in the U.S. constitute the actions of state actors and that the incorporation doctrine therefore causes the 1st amendment to apply to public K-12 schools. (As well as colleges that take public money, for that matter.) All of the "prayer in school" and evolution precedents are based on this assumption. I'm not at all convinced that the legal connection there is sound (that is, I deeply doubt that the founders or the authors of the 14th amendment ever intended or were in their own time understood to be laying down rules for micromanaging the operation of public schoolhouses all across the fruited plains). Be that as it may, the precedents aren't going away any time, and *on that basis*, what would happen if some school actually punished a kid for his politically incorrect comment on his private Facebook page? If no actual verbal harassment against a specific other individual, of the sort that could constitute a tort of some kind or a crime, could be shown, I would think such a kid would have a very pretty case of violation of his freedom of speech on the part of the school if they punished him for his political, religious, or moral comments.

But who wants to be that kid bringing that test case? A lot of this operates on bluff. The schools see what suppression they can get away with.

In an earlier post I referred to this case as a "smoking gun."


In a few minutes of googling here I have been unable to get an update on Brandon Wegner's demand of an apology from his school for their outrageous bullying of him, nor have I been able to find out if the school continues to have as a policy that no one with his views may write for the student newspaper. It looks like the school may have gotten away with it that time.

I'm in school to become a teacher, and this greatly depresses me. I suppose my job will be to become a light in the darkness. I suppose that's what we're all called to be anyway.

Fortunately, teachers have a fantastically great deal of discretionary leeway in how they apply rules. They can (for example) always claim to be taking a "non-confrontational" approach to solving an issue, or an "unofficial internal correction" rather than an official reprimand. Indeed, this is what they should be doing about 95% of the time for bullying anyway, with the other 5% being the stiff backbone behind the softer approach.

How much discretion a teacher has in dealing with politically incorrect statements by students will entirely depend upon both the administrators and on how much leeway any program gives them. And then thee are the anti-bullying (read, homosexual propaganda) indoctrination sessions *for* the teachers planned into all such programs. Then there are the boys who demand to be called girls and vice versa. MarcAnthony, good luck.

I suppose my job will be to become a light in the darkness.

Actually, your job will become trying to avoid law suits or getting fired.

No, I'm not cynical.

The Chicken

And to try to avoid becoming an instrument of a system that harms children and indoctrinates them with falsehoods.

I do not what Marc wants to do, but I recommend he should read some more HBD literature (if he hasn't already) so he would not be surprised at the dismal circumstances and students he may encounter.

I can guess at the rationalization and rhetoric that will be used to browbeat people who criticize such laws: Some kids have killed themselves after incidents of bullying (cyber or otherwise). Therefore the proper solution is to take away everyone's rights and allow a coercive government system to decide what you can or cannot say. If you disagree with this and propose any other solution, then Oh my goodness YOU WANT KIDS TO DIE!!!

I obviously think that's a con, but that's how liberals tend to justify coercive programs: with false dichotomies between an undesirable outcome on one end, and government coercion on the other, which they will never admit is capable of being abused (Boston DCF and Justina Pelletier, anyone? But if we didn't have Boston DCF, undoubtedly abusive parents would be killing their kids in droves, etc.)

Yeah, I wonder what would happen if some kid committed suicide after being bullied by school administrators for his political views expressed on Facebook. Or if a man committed suicide after being fired when his employer finds out he holds un-PC views. Gee, then we'd have suicide vs. suicide.

Actually, your job will become trying to avoid law suits or getting fired.
Unless you're self-employed, that is quite literally everybody's job.

My attempt to be poetic has not been well-received, it seems. Perhaps that's a sign for me not to start writing poetry.

Oh, no, MarcAnthony, it's not that it's not well-received. I think it's just that we're a bunch of deep pessimists when it comes to the public school system and are a little concerned about anybody who is going into it. At least, that's what it is with me. I appreciate the _aspiration_ to be a "light in the darkness." I'm just inclined to think that, for a variety of reasons, it is not the best idea to try to do that by being a public school teacher.

It is tough enough trying to be a teacher in a Christian school. I know, some of my friends are teachers in Catholic schools, and even there they have to fight entrenched nonsense: the NEA educrats' ideas of what "education" means, the textbooks written from a stridently secular point of view (even when not directly heretical, that is), and "subtle" attempts at sex-education in spite of Vatican documents forbidding it, and (somewhat less than in the 70's and 80's) the outright heresy. It's hard enough fighting all that, when you sometimes have a helpful mentor, principal, or even bishop (not likely). But it is multiplied 10-fold in the public schools, where you are forbidden to even talk about religious beliefs except as under a non-committal secular viewpoint. My advice is shoot for teaching in a Catholic school but look around first for a thoroughly sound principal / headmaster and clear sense of purpose contrary to the spirit of the world and the errors of the previous 4 decades of Catholic so-called education. There are probably over 30 really top rate ones at this point, and they all tend to know each other, and there could be another 100 or more good ones in really sound dioceses - but you have to search out the facts on the ground for each one.

My attempt to be poetic has not been well-received, it seems. Perhaps that's a sign for me not to start writing poetry.

I really did appreciate the poetic attempt. I am sorry for being a bit cynical in my earlier post. The burn-out rate (no pun intended) for public school teachers is really high. Keep on guard against it.

The Chicken

My old High School was a very orthodox Catholic School. I hope that they would look upon me kindly. I do volunteer to help regularly (mostly their theater program, but I'm involved).

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