Let us, gentle readers, test your SRQ. “What’s a SRQ,” you ask? “School Rationality Quotient.” In other words, are you capable of rationally judging what is and what is not appropriate for school children? Try this example:
“(1) You are a high school principal. The campaign of a candidate running for President of the United States contacts you and asks you to recruit high school students to work for the election of their candidate. That candidate is a Democrat. You:
(A) Invite them to your home and ask them to marry your daughter.
(B) Warmly welcome them and do all you can to help them recruit students.
(C) Enlist the school band to provide music for the blessed recruitment event.
(D) Personally stick the candidate’s bumper stickers on every car in the school parking lot.
(E) All of the above.
(2) You are a high school principal. The campaign of a candidate running for President of the United States contacts you and asks you to recruit high school students to work for the election of their candidate. That candidate is a Democrat. You:
(A) Inform them their request is inappropriate and direct them to solicit campaign workers via the public at large.
(B) Scream obscenities at them and hang up.
(C) Refuse and call the police.
(D) Refuse and call the Federal Elections Commission, the White House, the FBI, CIA, DEA, NSA, the Democrat National Committee and the Congressional Black Caucus.
(E) All of the above.
The correct answers for many principals are “E” and “E.” Let’s take a few minutes to see what I mean, via Todd Starnes at Fox:
A public high school in Maine [Marshwood HS in South Berwick] was caught red-handed trying to recruit students to work on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a ‘community service opportunity’ – without the knowledge or consent of parents.
Could you imagine the national media firestorm had the school been recruiting for Donald Trump’s campaign?
Students at Marshwood High School in South Berwick received an email from the Clinton campaign – urging them to sign up for positions as unpaid ‘fellows’.
‘Hillary for New Hampshire is looking for smart, energetic winter fellows who are committed to winning the New Hampshire primary for Hillary Clinton,’ read the email from a campaign staffer. ‘Everyone working on the campaign now started off as a fellow at some point so it is a great way of getting a different skill set whilst helping an important cause.
Golly! Wouldn’t that be a wonderful opportunity for any teen? Some parents weren’t impressed.
Tim and Elita Galvin were furious that their teenage son had received the solicitation – calling it ‘disingenuous and sneaky.’
‘My son didn’t appreciate being targeted by anybody via his school email for a political campaign,’ Mrs. Galvin told me. ‘I’ll be honest – he’s not a fan of Hillary Clinton to begin with. He’s done his homework and he doesn’t like her.
The issue, of course, is that any kind of political solicitation in schools is unethical. Not only does it directly suggest governmental favor toward the involved politician, it directs student attention away from the mission of any school. Kids are more than easily distracted enough. The last thing they need is to imagine that their life–and time–would be better spent electing Hillary Clinton, or anyone else of any party.
The Galvins reached out to Paul Mehlhorn, the principal of the high school. They provided me with a copy of his emailed response.
‘We often receive information from outside sources regarding opportunities for students to get involved in their communities,’ he wrote. ‘We pass on this information to provide students with ways they may meet the requirement to perform 50 hours of community service to graduate.’
Mehlhorn went on to explain that students are not obligated to volunteer for Clinton’s campaign, ‘nor does it suggest the school supports a particular political candidate, religious doctrine or branch of military.’
‘If other ‘campaigns’ were to seek volunteers, we would pass that on also,’ he noted.
Oh really? Why do I doubt that?
The principal went to say that the email solicitation sounded like a great way to have a conversation with their children about understanding their choices in getting involved or not.
But of course! What other way could parents possibly encourage their children to have a “conversation?” When I think about all the meaningful conversations my parents and I had about working for political candidates–uh, wait a minute. I can’t recall any. In fact, I’m pretty sure if my parents tried to talk politics with me, I would have politely excused myself and trotted off to visit my girlfriend, who was much more interesting then, and in memory, than Hillary Clinton.
Politics doesn’t belong there – Republican, Democrat, green, purple, white, whatever,’ Mrs. Galvin told me. It doesn’t belong in the schools. The kids get, we get so much of this — we get bombarded during the political campaigning season, which now is almost never ending. Those kids should be able to go to school and learn without having that noise around them or targeted at them.
How about that; an actual adult. Are there any more in this bizarre little morality tale?
I reached out to Mary Nash, the superintendent of schools. She told me it was a mistake to send out the email.
She said a school staffer had forwarded the email to students without providing ‘additional information regarding this community service opportunity.’
Oh sure. It was all about community service, just like Hillary was named for Sir Edmund Hillary, and Hillary was under sniper fire at Tuzla, and Hillary didn’t tell the families of our people killed at Benghazi it was all about a video no one had ever seen. The Superintendent, acting as an adult caught with their hand in a cookie jar, caused this to be sent out to parents:
In general, all staff must refrain from sending out any solicitations supporting any non-school organization,’ the principal wrote
That doesn’t sound very much like he’s sorry about anything, does it, gentle readers? EAG News.com provides a bit more perspective:
The Galvins contacted principal Paul Mahlhorn, and shared his emailed response with Fox News. In it, Mahlhorn doesn’t seem very concerned his school is being used as a recruiting ground for Clinton, and told the Galvins it would do the same for any campaign that requested assistance.
It must be noted that schools can, if they wish, allow after school religious clubs to meet on school property, however, if they do it for one denomination, they must do it for all. Accordingly, most schools don’t allow it for any. In the case of political activity, the same principle applies. Do it for one–which is entirely wrong for every imaginable reason–and schools must do it for all. So this year, that would be what, nearly 20 Republicans and four Democrats, and perhaps an odd independent or two? There might be time to slip in a little math or reading, say, in May?
Schools exist for the sole purpose of providing the best possible educational opportunity for kids. Even without politics, we already allow far too many distractions and disruptions, as regular readers know. Athletics, in many schools, could easily be determined, by outside observers, to be the primary reason those schools exist. Huge numbers of outside organizations would love nothing more than captive audiences of school kids to market their ideas and products, and many get that opportunity.
It is no coincidence it was Hillary’s campaign trying to get its hooks into kids. Progressives always take the long view. It is an essential part of their ideology to indoctrinate the young as early as possible in the hope of turning them into life-long progressives, consumers of governmental largess rather than producers in the free market. They are constantly trying to make inroads into schools to sell their views.
I do not for a moment imagine Republicans to be paragons of virtue, but their ideology generally prevents them from doing what Progressives see as minimally necessary tactics.
Perhaps the most important lesson from this situation is that parents must always keep an eye on their schools, and when anything improper or unethical, anything not focused squarely on providing the best possible educational opportunity is going on, politely, but very firmly, call them on it. I can guarantee that administrators often don’t much care what teachers think, but a surprising number fear determined parents, as well they should.
Of course, they shouldn’t be doing unethical things like this in the fire place, but schools are limited in hiring from the human race–a tragedy.
“… any kind of political solicitation in schools is unethical.”
Agreed. I would also extend that objection to politicians who meet students at their schools for any reason whatsoever. I have never understood why pols want to read storybooks to elementary school students. They are exploiting children who cannot opt in or out of publicity stunts and photo ops that are intended to provide political support for an elected official or candidate. Their direct or indirect engagement in any kind of classroom and student activities should be forbidden. I would encourage them to meet with parents to discuss policies that affect their children’s education — with a focus on learning what parents want — but that’s a different issue.