Years ago during my police career, I worked for a police chief who asserted: “perception is reality.” One might think this a harmless thought, merely an observation that some people tend to mistake their strongly held beliefs for reality to the detriment of all involved. Not so. He wielded that idea as a single-edged sword to smite all that might disagree with him. Because his perception was reality, he didn’t have to acknowledge actual reality and could treat people anyway he chose. As one might imagine, this led to substantial ugliness. He is long dead and gone, but his warped idea lives on, in of all places, education, as The Washington Examiner reports:
The email insists that ‘Perception is reality.’
‘Many students have been targeted; many, regardless of their place of birth, are worried about being deported,’ the email continues.
‘Teachers have noted an increase in incidents of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying directed at students whose backgrounds are targeted by the rhetoric. There have even been stories of families moving or students transferring from one district to another which they perceive as safer, more inclusive.
Oh, so this is another hyperbolic anti-bullying campaign? Not quite:
The email notes that October is National Bullying Prevention Month and the general election is November 8, also explaining that the ‘presidential campaign will be in full swing when everyone returns to school in August and September.’
‘Anticipate that the current situation will only intensify,’ the email says.
Then it lists eight ways school officials can ‘start to plan ahead for the fall.’ At the top of the list, it is suggested that officials ‘Discuss this with your staff before the start of the new school year.
The presidential campaign? What does that have to do with bullying?
The list warns that ‘The rhetoric of this election campaign is something we cannot prevent,” (emphasis original) and to plan for “mitigation, protection, response — and recovery.’ (Again, emphasis original.)
Officials are told to ‘Consider building the conversation into a start-of-the-year Anti-Bullying Kick-Off Event’ and to build on the lessons from National Bullying Prevention Month.
The fifth suggested item is for school officials to ‘Create safe places for students (and staff) to go, to talk. Don’t ignore the impact on students, staff and families.’ (Emphasis original.) The email also says to allow students to ‘see something; say something’ in regards to political rhetoric (or bullying based there on).
In addition, OSPI instructs officials to build these discussions ‘into lessons across curricula.
Recovery from what? Words? Political speech? The political campaign? “Safe spaces?” Safe from what? Democracy?
Remember, these are K-12 schools, and the office of the superintendent is instructing teachers to institute political bias into the classroom. And of course, it is only directed at Trump. There is no mention of the actual physical violence being committed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders supporters at Trump’s events.
Well of course! All conservatives are racists, sexists, and violent anarchists, like that guy that shot up that gay nightclub. He was a Muslim and a registered Democrat…OK, well, maybe that’s not such a good example…but these people are professional educators and they know how bad something like a republican running for president can get, so we have to listen to them and not ignore the impact on students, staff and families!
And what reality do they want kids, staff and parents to perceive? Why that Donald Trump and everyone that supports him is evil and their existence should make everyone feel bullied! Isn’t life interesting when reality doesn’t require–reality?
Finally, staff are encouraged to ‘involve and talk’ with families about the issue, and provides resources on bullying and harassment.
When asked by the Examiner why mention of Sanders supporters’ violence wasn’t mentioned and whether it was appropriate for institutes of education to be teaching students that perception is reality. Feelings, after all, do not equal facts. In response, OSPI provided the following statement:
‘The email described a situation that educators are identifying in schools both in Washington and around the country. It was intended to alert teachers of any possible increases in harassment, intimidation or bullying in the 2016-17 school year,’ it said. ‘The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is a nonpartisan office that neither endorses nor rejects candidates. The Office regrets if anyone was offended by the email.
Offended? Why no! Why would anyone be offended by school districts trying to demonize 50% or more of the population while engaging in partisan propaganda instead of teaching a professional curriculum?
And this, gentle readers, is why every parent in America should be closely involved with their local schools. Most schools don’t do this sort of nonsense. They do other kinds of nonsense like spending most of their time teaching kids to take a few idiotic tests, but that’s imposed on them from above. Most schools do their best and don’t engage, as a matter of policy, in leftist propaganda, but the schools that do propagandize invariably tilt to the left. Normally, a sufficient number of parents holding schools to account can send the cockroaches scurrying back under the fridge of accountability when the kitchen light of exposure–did you like that metaphor?–comes on, and it’s up to us all to be sure it does.