Fahrenheit 9/11 In The Classroom?

Abraham Lincoln once said that the principles taught in the classroom in one generation will become public policy in the next.

He was absolutely right about the influence that teachers can wield… and this is something that film maker Michael Moore is counting on.

His latest “documentary,” Fahrenheit 9/11, is his latest attempt to demonize America and skewer conservative politicians. His movies have gained traction among leftist educators, and in at least one case, a Michael Moore movie has been required viewing in a UCLA classroom.

But even if most educators would not be so crass as to force feed Moore’s bilge on their students, the sad truth is that American students are still being forced to swallow leftist propaganda in their government classes.

Not surprisingly, graduates from our public schools know more about pop culture and leftist issues than they do about the Constitution. One survey even found that more students today could name one of the Three Stooges than could identify what the three branches of the federal government are.

In hopes of fixing this embarrassing lack of knowledge, two Congressmen introduced legislation that, at one time, was on the “fast track” to the President’s desk.

The bill passed the Senate 90-0, and was likewise expected to easily clear the House. The bill’s sponsors were well-intentioned. But the cure would have proved much worse than the disease.

The bill (H.R. 1078) would give millions of dollars to the left-wing educational establishment to set up Presidential Academies for training teachers — training that would almost certainly track the anti-American curriculum which is now being taught in schools. Currently, the government textbook of choice is entitled We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the We the People curriculum is administered nationwide through all 435 congressional districts, and more than 12 million students have been exposed to its doctrines.

H.R. 1078 authorizes millions of dollars to the left-wing establishment for training teachers in history and civics. It is easy to see how such “strings” have moved education in this country towards a pro-UN and anti-gun direction in the subsidized textbooks which are currently used in public schools.

For example, We the People (a federally subsidized textbook) chips away at our national sovereignty, praises our dependence upon the United Nations, downplays the Founders’ vision on the importance of federalism, and desecrates the Bill of Rights, suggesting that our Second Amendment rights are no longer relevant.

Consider the following questions that We the People asks the student:

    * “Do you think the Second Amendment is as important today as it was in the eighteenth century? Explain your answer.”

    * “What limitations, if any, do you think should be placed on the right to bear arms? How would you justify those limits?”

Contrast this treatment of our Bill of Rights with how this textbook treats the “rights” listed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The book speaks in glowing terms about UN Declaration, and encourages the student to “[e]xamine each of the rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that is not protected specifically in our Constitution.”

This is amazing when one considers the fact that the book FAILS to list the U.S. Bill of Rights for the student. Some are mentioned. But, the clearest principle of limited government that is found in the Constitution (the Tenth Amendment) is COMPLETELY omitted from the book, and other rights (such as the Second Amendment) are pooh-poohed.

So, after encouraging the student to read the UN document, the book asks: “What rights, if any, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be established in the United States? How should they be established? Explain your position.”

Should the student miss the clear point of all this, the book concludes this section saying that, “These rights [found in the UN declaration] express the objectives worthy of any just society.”

Now, why was this not said about our own Bill of Rights?

The good news is that H.R. 1078 has been derailed for now, as members of Gun Owners of America have managed to convince several members of Congress to remove their names from the bill.

To date, nine Representatives have jumped from the bill — an incredible feat, to be sure, as getting even one congressman to pull his name from a bill occurs about as often as visitations from Halley’s Comet.

The bad news is that curriculums like We the People are still going to be used in classrooms around the country.

With kids going back to school around Labor Day, parents should make a renewed effort to keep tabs on what their children are being taught.

Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America.