Mostly Educational: Politics in the classroom – Examiner Enterprise

Two great political scandals rocked my first-grade class. The first arose over accusations of glue-eating leveled against Toby Dawn McIntyre. As his desk partner, I had first-hand knowledge of Toby’s sticky problem, but I was no snitch, so we manufactured the second scandal to shift attention. The snooty new girl and her 96-count box of Crayola Crayons with a built-in sharpener was an easy target, so we added two unwanted colors to her collection – red herring and white privilege – but Nicolette expertly flipped the script by sharing her sharpener and crayons with everyone except Toby and me. Public sentiment quickly shifted as our artwork suffered. Our little house of flashcards folded, and Toby’s ugly Elmer’s addiction was exposed.

Once upon a time, that’s what we meant by classroom politics, but lately, political insanity has been pushed into local public and charter schools by faraway state and national activists who do not know your kids, parents, or educators. They consider themselves courageous reformers or advocates, but your local schools just feel bullied. The playbooks are predictable. The radicals generally marginalize parents under the guise of supporting teachers, and the extremists generally vilify educators while claiming to defend parents. They hope to convince us that the sensationalized stories you see in the media happen in your local schools every day. Instead of helping, their proxy wars usually just hurt your relatives, friends, neighbors, and fellow worshippers struggling to make your neighborhood schools work. Such is the sad state of partisan classroom politics.

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