Guest Editorial | Pushing Liberalism in West Bend High Schools | By Owen Robinson

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Feb. 15, 2019 – West Bend, WI – At West Bend High School, there is a required, one semester class called “U.S. Government and Law.” The course overview says:

In this course, students will experience how the wheels of government and justice work at the local, state, and federal level. Student activities and hands-on experiences will be emphasized to demonstrate how “We the People” are affected by and function within our government and law. Students electing to take Advanced Placement U.S. History have the option of taking this course in grades 10,11, or 12.

Good, right? I would argue that part of the reason for public education is to equip people to be active participants in our civic society, so this kind of education is good. One semester seems entirely inadequate, but at least it will provide kids with a rudimentary understanding of the levels of government, how legislation works, how the legal system works, etc., right?

Wrong. With one precious semester to teach kids about their government, the teachers at West Bend High Schools are using it as an opportunity to advocate liberalism to the impressionable teenagers under their care.

Here is a description from Esquire, of all places, of what happens in class:

The class recently took a political-opinion poll that places students on a forty-four-point spectrum from Conservative Reactionary (22C) to Liberal Radical (22L). About two thirds of the class were moderate to liberal, falling between 1L and 22L. Ryan says a few kids landed at the extremes: one “conservative radical,” a boy, and three “liberal extremists,” all girls.

[…]

Mr. Inkmann then has the students sing two songs written by another West Bend teacher. “The Liberal Song” is set to the tune of “Ode to Joy.” Mr. Inkmann offers to sing first before everyone joins in. “If I were a liberal, liberal, life would be so very great,” the lyrics read, “knowing that in liberal land this other man could marry me.” The students flip through their political-spectrum packets to follow along. One kid snaps his fingers, rocking out. “The Conservative Song,” set to the tune of “Beer Barrel Polka,” includes lines like “I hate social programs, they really make me want to puke / I would rather use the money for a two-ton nuke” and “Welfare is not good, before we had it, people tried / And I hope the biggest criminals are electrified!”

Yes, you’re reading that right. Here are the songs written by the other teacher:

WBHS liberal song

 

West Bend High School conservative song students had to sing

 

You can see the difference in the language. The liberal song is positive and uses words and phrases like “loved,” “happy,” “pro-choice,” “protest in a big parade,” “end pollution,” etc. The conservative song is negative and uses words like, “hate,” “women should stay home, pro-create, cook,” “hate gay marriage,” want to puke,” etc. This is a liberal’s caricature of conservatism. It’s a straw man that the teachers then spend the rest of class tearing down. It is not even close to an accurate description of modern conservative philosophy.

This is not isolated. I’m told that in Mr. Kieser’s class, the teacher who wrote the lyrics, it is much the same. The first few weeks of the semester have been spent having kids identify their stances on political issues and then the teacher will spend oodles of time “explaining” to the kids how the liberal positions are the better positions – without outright saying it, of course. The message to the kids is clear, however, if you hold conservative views, you are a violent heartless bigot.

This is not a rogue teacher. This is part of the planned course of study.

There are two outrages here. First, the obvious outrage that the lefty teachers are abusing their positions of authority to push their lefty views on kids. Second, they are wasting educational time on this junk instead of using it to teach the kids about their government and legal system.

It would be easy to fill four years of civics classes with just the mechanics of government and law – without even getting into political philosophies. And yet West Bend is choosing to fill class time with this and leave the kids ignorant about everything except the basics of our government and legal systems. Curriculum is about choices and the West Bend schools are choosing to advance liberalism with the scarce classroom time allotted to them.

 

Owen Robinson is a local blogger. You can find him at Boots&Sabers.com

 

 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Once again liberalism rears its ugly head. In of all places, Washington Co. which used to be a very conservative county. This can probably be blamed on two things, the influx of people from Milwaukee Co. and the co-opting of our educational systems by radical leftists. The Republican party in this county better get moving before we are overrun by leftist theology. It will be a sad day when we become like Milwaukee and Madison. I urge all parents to call the school board to STOP this foolishness before its too late.

  2. It does not matter for which political party, the indoctrination of certain political values into a young generation is wrong. Teachers are supposed to teach students fairly and without an extreme bias. The students should be able to make up their own minds! No view or party is right or wrong on a whole, so vilifying one party and sugarcoating another is wrong on a million levels. It is absolutely unacceptable for a high school to behave so childishly. This course needs to be changed immediately so that it actually teaches students about government and the law to prepare our students for the real world when they graduate. Thank you.

  3. This is psychological abuse and manipulation, plain and simple. This is not teaching.
    These “teachers” need some mandatory training on how to keep their PERSONAL BIASES out of the classroom and not FORCE THEM on students. You know, like TYRANTS do. (They probably call conservatives tyrants as they stand in front of their students doing exactly what actual tyrants do).
    I repeat: This is psychological abuse. A school district that allows it to continue is complicit in abusing students and should be taken to court.

  4. Thank you so much for deleting my completely justified and truthful comment. I’ll be sure to tell the entire internet about your censorship.

  5. While I understand and appreciate Mr, Robinson’s opinion, we also have to acknowledge that parents need to play a bigger role in their children’s education, and in what they are learning on a daily basis. We can’t place blame solely on the educators. Kudos to you, Mr Robinson for taking an active role in what your child(ren) are being taught. More parents should do the same.

  6. I normally say “wake up West Bend”, but this time I am going to say Wake up American. I am a red-blooded conservative who is here legally and paying my taxes, and believes that you get what you work for, just so you all know where I come from. . .

    When I find out things like this are happening in the most conservative voting county in Wisconsin and what is stated below, happens, it makes me furious. Why do they (administration and teachers) think this is ok? There never should be a political spin on teaching, teach the facts, teach the details, moreover, just TEACH. There is no reason things like this should be happening in this school or any other for that matter. Before you say whats wrong with this, think about what this is saying to the kids, some of which are very impressionable at such an early age The liberal song is positive and light feeling and the conservative song is dark negative feeling. It should be up to me and the parents if children learn these things at home, NOT IN SCHOOL!
    West Bend School District West Bend East High School – I am sure you are going to love that I am out of your hair in JUNE of this year, believe me, I am too! You should be ashamed of the spin you are putting on education and you should be ashamed of how early you are allowing this to happen as it is happening in 4th grade, it is happening in 6th grade and it should stop immediately. IF you think this is right, start allowing conservative viewpoints to be taught in the classrooms too, but that won’t happen

  7. Please Make contact on this issue, see contacts and responses I got below. a few people bringing this up directly goes a long way with legislators.

    I have contacted the West Bend School Superintendent, as well as the State DPI , the state blew me off completely and deferred me to the WB District. the District [email protected] respondent Don Kirkegaard ‘s response was: Mr. Schultz: We have addressed this issue with the teachers. They will not be using the songs or related information going forward.

    I also contacted Senator Dewy Strobel [email protected] his response was: Thank you for contacting me and alerting me of this issue.

    The story you highlighted in your email is disturbing and unfortunate. I agree with the author of this article that the creator of these “songs” wanted to highlight the conservative song as negative and the liberal song as positive. I want civics taught in our schools- this is not what I envision of learning civics.

    While state taxpayers fund schools, generally, the curriculum is made at the local level.

    I would encourage you to contact your local school board members, or the school itself and highlight the concerns you expressed to me.

    Best,

    Sen. Duey Stroebe

    Also Rep Rick Gundrum [email protected] his response: Thank you for passing along Mr. Robinson’s column on the recent Esquire article that highlighted the experiences of the high school student from West Bend. I am glad Owen decided to draw attention to the biased materials that the West Bend High Schools’ social studies departments have apparently been espousing since 2005 (according to the creation date listed on the top of the attached documents in Owen’s article).

    I wish I could say I was surprised by Mr. Michael Kieser’s patently misleading characterization of the conservative ideology. While there is no disguising the fact that there has always been a leftward-leaning bend amongst a number of educators, you would hope that a licensed professional tasked with teaching a civics course at the high school level would be mature enough to keep his personal political views outside of the classroom. There are ways in which certain concepts can be generalized without engaging in such blatant stereotyping.

    My senior staff member, a recent graduate from UW-Madison’s Political Science Department, said that he never encountered anything nearly as subjective as Mr. Kieser’s “Ode to Joy” and “Beer Barrel Polka” during his experiences in the classroom as an undergraduate student. We can’t throw up our hands and ask why civic engagement amongst young adults is on the decline when the civic education experience is being trivialized to this extent, even if it only applies to a select number of classroom activities.

    In my ongoing conversations with members of the West Bend School District (and in my planned introductory meeting with the new superintendent of the West Bend School District, Don Kirkegaard), this is likely a topic that I will have to discuss.

    If you have not already, I would encourage you to reach out to your State Representative, Rob Brooks ([email protected] or 608-267-2369). I’m sure he would be interested in hearing about your thoughts and concerns on this topic.

    Regards,

    Rick Gundrum

    As well as a letter I got back from Reo Rober Brooks [email protected] this was a letter i got in the regular mail, but the summary, He was disgusted, and plans to speak with the West Bend Superintendent at the next CESA 6 Legislative Breakfast next month and will keep me updated.

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