FRANK FUREDI: Does this image prove that schools are turning into anti-conservative indoctrination factories?

The picture in the Daily Mail yesterday was truly disturbing.

As an educator for 45 years, I would be hard pressed to find anything as shocking as this photo of a scowling elementary school student in front of a whiteboard on which the words ‘lie’, ‘selfish’ and ‘distrust’ ” were scribbled on it. Boris Johnson.

It was like something out of Maoist China – kids being forced to parrot or endorse political messages.

The handwriting was clearly that of an adult – presumably the teacher who had the pupil pose for the photo, which was later proudly tweeted on the Welbeck Primary School Twitter account in Nottingham.

The school also tweeted photos of pupils holding up letters addressed to the local Labor MP, captioned: ‘Year 6 pupils have written to Lilian Greenwood regarding their anger at the Prime Minister over allegations he breached the lockdown rules and his continued lying to Parliament.

“Their trust in politicians has been shaken.”

The picture in the Daily Mail yesterday was truly disturbing. As an educator for 45 years, I would be hard pressed to find anything as shocking as this photo of a scowling elementary school student in front of a whiteboard on which the words ‘lie’, ‘selfish’ and ‘distrust’ ” were scribbled on it. ‘Boris Johnson’, writes FRANK FUREDI

And there was an online letter apparently written by a ten-year-old – something of a prodigy, I’d say, given the maturity of the language – that included unemployment numbers and quotes from ‘LF’ .

He called Mr Johnson a ‘hypocrite’ who ‘can no longer be trusted as our leader and who should step down’.

Many parents are understandably appalled. ‘It is wrong. Children of this age are strongly influenced by teachers. It’s a form of indoctrination,” one complained.

And he or she is absolutely right. Some teachers, not all, turn classrooms into indoctrination factories.

The primary interest of teachers should be the education and intellectual development of children. But too many of them behave more like political commissars than educators.

I am not a fan of Boris Johnson and I think it is legitimate to criticize his behavior. I also agree that students should be encouraged to think about politics, to express their views, and to be exposed to the views of others.

Vigorous discussion is part of a healthy democracy, and schools need to prepare children to play their part.

If, for example, after a discussion on the pros and cons of this government, half the class had been asked to criticize the Prime Minister and the other half to defend him, that would have been legitimate, even if it was a difficult task for ten-year-olds.

Since when is making students spokespersons for their teachers part of job descriptions?  The classroom is no place for <a class=political party broadcasts” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Since when is making students spokespersons for their teachers part of job descriptions? The classroom is no place for political party broadcasts

Generally, only people aged 14 and over have the critical thinking skills essential for meaningful debate.

But at the Welbeck School, it seems that students were encouraged to toe the party line. Head teacher Rebecca Gittins made her leftist leanings clear via her Twitter feed and used the phrase “Tory Scum” in now-deleted tweets.

Since when is making students spokespersons for their teachers part of job descriptions? The classroom is not a place for party political broadcasts.

Of course, our teachers are free to have whatever political views and loyalties they wish, but it is utterly unprofessional and highly damaging to publicize them, as Rebecca Gittins would have done.

A principal personifies the school, so he should not post partisan opinions or use such inflammatory language. What message does it send?

That anyone who doesn’t agree with the headteacher’s chosen ideology is “scum” and not welcome?

Sadly, this is just the latest – albeit glaring – example of how too many teachers prioritize their interests and ideology over the learning and well-being of their students.

Yes, there are countless dedicated teachers who are careful not to let their own opinions seep into the lessons.

Their students remain blissfully unaware of how they vote or what they think about controversial topics such as Black Lives Matter or gender identification.

The handwriting was clearly that of an adult - presumably the teacher who had the pupil pose for the photo, which was later proudly tweeted on the Welbeck Primary School Twitter account in Nottingham.

The handwriting was clearly that of an adult – presumably the teacher who had the pupil pose for the photo, which was later proudly tweeted on the Welbeck Primary School Twitter account in Nottingham.

But while researching my book on the culture wars, I spoke to a lot of people who were desperate about the behavior of some of their colleagues.

Teachers with deep leftist sympathies are not new.

The annual conference of the National Union of Teachers (the NUT is now part of the NEU education union) was notorious for its anti-conservative invective. But the extent to which these sympathies infect our schools is new and terrifying.

In that regard, the pandemic has done parents a bit of a disservice. It opened their eyes to what was really going on when they listened to their children’s Zoom lessons.

One parent told me, “I was shocked when I heard my daughter’s teacher talk about white privilege.” Children have been warned that they might “perpetuate it unconsciously”.

“White privilege” is a very controversial concept. Presenting a fact to six or seven year olds is dishonest and wrong.

Another parent was furious when her eight-year-old daughter told her, “Mom, maybe I’m a boy”, after learning about a gender-neutral ideology – the idea that biological sex is a matter of choice.

She complained to the teachers but says they dismissed her concerns. Their opinions mattered, not his.

A recent document — a manifesto, essentially — from the NEU laid out its mission to “decolonize” the curriculum.

Members are encouraged to become culture warriors who “educate teachers and schools on whiteness, anti-racism, create tools for critical self-reflection” and make “white privilege and colonialism in schools visible.”

There are legitimate discussions to be had around the Empire and its legacy, but presenting a one-sided view fosters division and makes young children feel ashamed of their nation’s and culture’s past.

Schools have a role to play in inculcating moral values ​​such as social conscience and personal responsibility.

The NEU and leftist teachers like Rebecca Gittens need to focus on these concepts.

Pictured: One of the letters allegedly written by a sixth year pupil to the local Labor MP hitting the Prime Minister

Pictured: One of the letters allegedly written by a sixth year pupil to the local Labor MP hitting the Prime Minister

But instead, their mission seems to be to instill “correct” beliefs about gender, race, and environment in the next generation, at the expense of actual knowledge.

They push their propaganda to children young and confident enough to accept it as fact.

Indoctrinating young children with views contrary to those of many people creates division between children and their parents, and the community at large.

The pandemic has also laid bare the fact that the education of children is not always the priority of the educational institution.

In May 2020, Mary Bousted, the NEU’s joint general secretary, was recorded on Zoom showing breathtaking disregard for pupils as she described the union’s resistance to the government’s back-to-school plans.

The students, she sneered, were “dirty, germ-spreading, meddling, crying, wiping their snot on your pants or your dress.”

Perhaps Ms Bousted thinks the welfare of teachers is more important than that of students?

It was like something out of Maoist China - kids being forced to parrot or endorse political messages

It was like something out of Maoist China – kids being forced to parrot or endorse political messages

As for parents, their opinions are too often ignored. I know many who were rightly infuriated when some schools allowed children to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protests.

I saw 80 or 90 young children led by teachers to an XR demo, all shouting about “Net Zero” and holding up pictures of Greta Thunberg.

Saving the planet is great, but missing out on vital hours of education won’t help a child’s future prospects.

I urge parents to take a closer interest in what their children are being taught and to resist attempts at indoctrination.

As for Rebecca Gittens, she seems more interested in partisan politics than education.

It should make way for a school principal who puts students before ideology.

Frank Furedi is a sociology professor and author of 100 Years Of Identity Crisis: Culture War Over Socialization.

About Timothy Ball

Check Also

Elon Musk Fans Slam Editor’s ‘Hypocrisy’, But Also End Up Supporting Her ‘Doxxing’

Elon Musk supporters slammed Atlantic News Agency writer and editor Molly Jong-Fast earlier on Tuesday …