Please join Advocates for Academic Freedom (AAF). Membership is free because you and your time are our most valuable assets. Our goals are to assure the academic freedom of all American students, to advocate the development of critical thinking skills in all educational settings, and to facilitate academic environments which respect robust thinking and discussion in all classrooms. To achieve these goals, we will advocate for libraries of federally and state funded schools to provide materials representing a balance of various points of view regarding science, history, social studies, health, and civics classes. Our blog is filled with information, we encourage your feedback and participation.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012


State governments have wasted millions of dollars creating and implementing anti-bullying curriculums which have been destined for failure because of the institutionally accepted bullying practiced by most political and social institutions, including the educational system. If there is any chance of limiting bullying within the educational system, legislation must include anti-bullying standards for the role models and leadership of the very institutions required to implement the anti-bullying curriculums.

Educators recognize that school libraries set the intellectual and social tone of the school. Librarians have been diligent about including literature that recognizes the contributions made to America by every race and nationality. Books which provide positive representations of women and of every religion, culture, and life-style-choice are included in the library. Displays of magazines and current events materials include items that address all cultural and ethnic interests, hobbies, and most of the political spectrum. The current-events materials may include everything from Mother Jones, Monthly Review, Mother Earth News, to Time, and Newsweek; but one typically will not see a copy of a conservative magazine such as The Weekly Standard or National Review. Censorship is one of the most aggressive forms of bullying.

A Wisconsin teacher brought his fourth graders to the state capitol for a field trip and encouraged those children to participate in the anti-Governor Walker protests that are a well-known daily occurrence. When this instructor used his influence to encourage students to ignore the political views of their parents and to protest a Governor whom their parents support, intimidation was being used to bully young children. Fortunately, most teachers use better judgment.

When a student responds to discussion questions presented in health class by stating that he or she intends to practice abstinence and is met with derision, that is bullying. When the instructor does not stop the mocking and/or if he participates, the instructor not only condones these behaviors but he also becomes a bully. Peer pressure is often used to push children into abandoning their goals and values. A common peer-pressure tactic is represented by the false statement that “everybody does it”. Peer pressure is a form of bullying.

When students are required to view Al Gore’s mistake-ridden movie Inconvenient Truth every year of their school career but they are not required to view Cool It, a highly respected alternative scientific stand, not only have the political views of the student been minimized, but the school system has also bullied those students while ignoring its responsibility to teach critical thinking skills and research techniques. How can children analyze the significance of facts when only one side of an issue is presented in schools? Limiting resource materials is a form of bullying.

Many teachers are required to show the video The Story of Stuff which makes five false statements about the American government and capitalism during the first three minutes of the movie. When movies or school textbooks no longer provide the truth that America is a republic and falsely state that America is a Democracy, and when name calling and intimidation are used to prevent the truth from being revealed, that is bullying. When school systems are encouraged to intimidate systematically and bully our children into accepting falsehoods as truth, legislators and parents must take a stand.

If bullying in schools is going to subside, anti-bullying legislation must include well-defined examples of bullying, well-defined consequences for any acts of bullying, and standards which must be applicable to adults as well as to students in the educational setting. Once that has been accomplished, legislators must take a careful look at curriculum core standards for every subject area and assure that those standards are fact-based and scientifically sound, that the data is replicable, and that the content encourages respect for the traditions and customs that have served the American people so well for over 200 years. After all, those traditions include the right to practice any religion or life-style and must include those who value a republic, who choose abstinence, and who wish to evaluate all sides of any given issue.