HUDSON, Wis. – A Wisconsin school district’s recent decision to show its preteen and young teenage students a video in which left-wing celebrities pledge to “serve” President Barack Obama has some community members wondering if their school leaders know the difference between education and political propaganda, or if they care.
Last Wednesday, middle schoolers in the Hudson School District were shown an “I Pledge” YouTube video from 2009 as part their school’s involvement with Peace One Day, an international, annual event to promote world peace, reports MyFoxTwinCities.com.
“But there was a big problem – the video conveyed the idea that Americans should serve the presidency instead of our elected officials serving the citizens,” writes Todd Starnes of Fox News Radio.
The video showed actress Demi Moore pledging “to be a servant to our president.”
It also showed Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis pledging “to be of service to Barack Obama.”
TheBlaze.com reports that “a number of parents in attendance were outraged” by the video, forcing district and school officials to make “a quick backpedal, apologizing to those who were offended by the video.”
Principal Dan Koch made an announcement to students the following day.
“The video conveyed a message that people serve the presidency when in fact our elected officials serve the people,” Koch said, according to MyFoxTwinCities.com. “We respect the Office of the President of the United States but like all of our other elected officials, that office serves each of us as well. I sincerely hope that as participants in Wednesday’s event what you took away from the experience was to choose to make a difference in your world.”
In a press release, Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten acknowledged that “using the video was a mistake” and pledged it “will not be used in the district again.”
However, Bowen-Eggebraaten ended her press release by defending “the purpose of the event” which “was to raise student awareness and encourage involvement in taking positive action in their schools and communities.”
The district’s half-hearted apology is all well and good, but it doesn’t address the bigger issue, which is: Why did it take parents to point out that the video crossed the line from education to outright advocacy and propaganda? Why weren’t the teachers or school officials who chose the video able to figure that out beforehand?
Hudson school officials won’t reveal whose idea it was to show the YouTube video to students. Apparently, they think their begrudging apology will be enough to put this issue to rest.
Parents and taxpayers shouldn’t let them off that easy.
Any normal, clear-thinking adult would have been able to determine that such a video is totally inappropriate in an academic setting. The fact that Hudson Middle School has people on its staff who lack that basic level of judgment is very troubling, and should make parents very concerned about what other kinds of propaganda – left-wing or otherwise – their children are being exposed to on a daily basis.
Hudson community members are left to conclude that their school leaders are so “progressive” in their worldview that they didn’t see anything creepy about showing impressionable kids a video of “celebrities” pledging to be President Obama’s servants.
By Ben Velderman at EAGnews.org
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