When Churchill was dropped from the UK school curriculum last July, one had to wonder if patriotism itself was next. Now it's official. The Institute of Education, a leading educational body, has warned teachers not to instill pride in students when speaking of great moments in British History:
"To love what is corrupt is itself corrupting, not least because it inclines us to ignore, forget, forgive or excuse the corruption. And there's the rub for patriotism."
The recommendations singled out specific moments in history that students should now feel "ambiguous" about:
1750-1830 The Industrial Revolution: exploitation of the poor versus great wealth creation and growth
1807 Abolition of the slave trade. Britons were both practitioners of the trade and responsible for abolition
1947 Indian independence and Partition. How well did Britain manage its withdrawal from the sub-continent?
2003 Iraq war: was it liberation or occupation?
This shouldn't come as a surprise. The UK schools' leftist agenda has been in full steam over the last year:
Here in the US, the leftist agenda is also sinking its teeth into our schools at an equally disturbing pace. Leading the charge is California:
- San Francisco is debating an anti-war textbook, which features corporate American celebrating the spoils of war and Ronald Regan hugging Osama Bin Laden. Pete Hammer of the San Francisco Unified School District, who approved the book, says "The topic is one that a lot of teachers would have an interest in bringing into the classroom."
- A current bill gaining momentum by California lawmaker Joe Simitian (D - Palo Alto) would require California schools to include climate change as part of the science curriculum.
- Last October, "Mom and Dad" were banned from schools, along with "Husband and Wife." In the same bill, public schools were ordered to allow boys to use the girls' restroom or locker room, and vice versa, if they choose.
- Last June the state passed a homosexual education bill SB 777, which:
"...requires textbooks and other instructional resources to cast a positive light on homosexual ‘marriages,' cross-dressing, sex-change operations and every other facet of homosexual and bisexual lifestyles."
While there is not a specific mandate here in the US to "ban" patriotism - or any specific heroes that defined it -- with more of the left's agenda taking up course time, one must wonder what will be slighted to make room.
A 2003 poll from California's Santa Monica High School said that 1/3 of students were not proud to American and 40 percent said America itself was "unjust". One can only imagine what the numbers would look like today in the name of "progress." Of course, you can't blame young, impressionable students for not being proud to be an American if that is what they are taught. The way the left commonly twists the meaning of the word, not being proud to American could be coined by a teacher (see Ward Churchill) as "patriotic."
"respects the diversity and culture of all nations, recognizing that our continued success lay not in spite of other nations but in alliance with them in a uniform approach toward promoting the global general welfare."
"ensures that the basic rights of those we hold dear to access quality healthcare and education is steadfastly supported, uncompromisingly and without discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, or orientation."
"offers foreign humanitarian aid unconditionally without tying it to religious dogma"
"exercises the right to openly challenge (the president) and hold accountable at all times, even and most particularly in times of war"
Multiculturalism? Socialized Healthcare? Government- administered education? Wartime dissent? If the left had their way, being a patriot would be officially redefined to mean...being a liberal democrat. At Nathan High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a project was started in 2005 to hang a picture of George Washington in every classroom. John Pribram, chairman of Project George Washington and a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart said:
"I'm grateful (for the success of the project). After Sept. 11, we were united at that point. Flags in front of every house. Patriotism was rekindled. George Washington does the same thing."
One can only speculate at the heated debate that would occur in California over whether George Washington -- military hero and devout Christian -- deserves the classroom wall. Unfortunately, with Churchill being pulled from the walls in Great Britain, there is now a precedent for more patriotic disillusionment from California's schools.
Perhaps Leo Lacayo, San Francisco Republican Party media surrogate, put it best with his response to San Francisco's anti-war book: "We're not teaching them -- we're basically washing their brains with liberal mish-mash."