June 27, 2010
A Conservative Kid Tries to Survive in California School
My name is Sam Besserman, I'm eleven years old, I live in Beverly Hills, California, and ever since I can remember I have been subjected to political bias in school. The first time I noticed the bias was actually in preschool, where the teacher was reading a book about the importance of mothers and the inferiority of fathers. I tried to tell the teacher that dads might be just as important. The teacher responded in a sing-song, "No, listen to me, I'm the teacher." Of course, the girls loved the book and most of the boys hated it, except for a few who liked it and also wanted to become mothers some day. I was three years old and royally pissed off.
I had to listen to such feminist ideas every day, and at times, I actually bought into them. Months later, I still didn't know whether mothers were really more important than fathers. Once I even felt like going into the bathroom and trying to pull off my penis. It wasn't that I wanted to be a woman -- I had just lost my enthusiasm for my embattled gender.
The only male teacher I had might as well have been castrated. His voice was soft, his gestures were feminine, he didn't know how to run a class, and he had to rely on female assistant teachers to control the children. And, of course, the female teachers treated the girls ten times better than the boys and constantly reminded us of our alleged inferiority. One of the assistant teachers even put down our rhyme, "Boys go to college to get more knowledge, girls go to Jupiter to get more stupider," by reminding us that more girls than boys go to college because girls are smarter. And this only encouraged the girls to hijack our rhyme and switch the sexes around.
If that wasn't bad enough, on the playground, girls basically had more rights than boys. They had greater equipment privileges, and if a girl asked to join a game, the boys had to say yes and go easy on her, but if a boy asked to join a game, the girls had the right to say no. This ruined the boys' recess, and most of us spent the time drawing flowers instead of doing what we wanted. If we got into an argument, the teachers always said the girl was telling the truth but the boy was lying. We couldn't even escape the bias one day a year because there was only a "Take Your Daughter to Work Day."
When I switched schools in 2nd grade, I suddenly found myself surrounded by bleeding-heart liberals. We were taught that minorities were victims and therefore good, and members of the majority were, by inference, bad. Similarly, we learned that America was the big, bad exploiter, and the countries my parents grew up believing were evil were not so bad after all. I asked my father about these issues practically every night, and he taught me the meaning of moral relativism. I thought he was being too kind, and I characterized it, instead, as moral inversion.
It wasn't until the Democratic primaries ended in 2008 that things started getting really bad. Liberals everywhere -- but especially at school -- seemed empowered by the prospect of a black man becoming president, if for no other reason than the color of his skin. One day, during a game of dodgeball, the old assistant P.E. teacher yelled to the other students to "Get the Republican, get the Republican!" meaning me.
Once, when I was reading to avoid listening to a yet another guest lecture about man-made global warming -- in which the lecturer told us we should all reduce our consumption of meat to one meal a week -- the teacher took away my book and said, "Listen, she's smart." But according to what we now know about the hockey stick graph, she wasn't that smart after all. My English teacher was no better. She made it completely obvious that she thought those who didn't like Barack Obama needed to see a doctor. She never had anything good to say about America and always exaggerated Native American achievements over those of European colonists. When I tried to express my conservative views, she would say that we didn't have time for that and we should move on. One day she gave us a lecture on stereotyping. I raised my hand and gave an example of a comedian I heard who stereotyped Texans, and she said, "Oh, well, Texas!" as if to make an exception. The principal, who happened to be in the room at the time, quickly told her, "Shhhh!"
The liberal intimidation was getting so commonplace that I became afraid to talk anymore. The last straw came when one of the other social studies teachers told all the students that we would sign a pledge together to reduce our carbon footprints. Naturally, I refused. No one was going to coerce me into signing something I didn't believe.
I asked my parents to take me out of the school and put me in our local public school, Beverly Vista Elementary. They agreed since spending money on a private school which didn't teach traditional American values seemed to be a waste of money. Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come.
At Beverly Vista, my first teacher was a full-time misandrist and global warming wacko. She definitely hated boys and men and constantly spoke of male inferiority. If a boy ever mentioned an accomplishment that happened to be by a man, she would bring up an accomplishment by a female (but always tied to the feminist movement), even though we weren't debating whether men or women were superior. In a forced attempt to make women's accomplishments the equal of the founding fathers', she said one of the early first ladies was the real brains behind her husband and told the story of a woman who disguised herself as a man to enter the army, emphasizing how courageous and important she was to the women of America even though no one had ever heard of her. And if she wasn't putting down men and praising women, she was encouraging us to become activists for women's rights, animal rights, and against global warming. I don't think she had ever heard of a conservative cause.
This past year, however, I seem to have been subjected to the ultimate in ideological bigotry. My social studies and English teacher should win an award. After Scott Brown won the third big election since Obama became president, she told the class, "Right-wing Nazis are taking office all over the place." She also told us, "Racist bigots from the south are refusing to shake Barack Obama's hand." She lectured us about Mao Tse-Tung and failed to mention that he killed 70 million people. She also told us that Russia was better off under communism and that under communism, people could rely on each other. To her, the only problem with communism is that it hasn't been done right yet.
In an effort to stop her politicization of the classroom, I circulated a petition. Incredibly, thirty-two kids signed it, although nine kids eventually crossed their names out in fear of retribution. As it happened, those kids were right, because right after I met with the principal to discuss the situation, he spoke with our teacher, and she then told us that those who signed the petition would have their grades affected. She also caught me taking notes in class -- something she said I shouldn't do -- and lied about what I had written, telling the class I wrote that she had Alzheimer's and was running around the room bleating like a sheep. Although I wrote no such thing, she said I was being disruptive to the class.
Meanwhile, my science teacher taught us -- for the umpteenth time -- that man was responsible for global warming, which encouraged a number of students to taunt me by shouting, "Global warming is real!"
After all these years, you'd think I'd have given up. My country is undermining itself in its schools. It's teaching boys that they can't even compete with girls. It's teaching those of us who have pride in our country that it is misplaced. It's teaching nonsense and claiming that it's science. But possibly, even more usefully, I think I have struck comedy gold.