Occupying the Minds of Our Youth
By Brian Sussman
A friend of mine is employed by a public elementary school in Santa Cruz, California. In the teacher's lounge he found some troubling materials stacked on a table dedicated to the California Teachers Association.
"Considering Democracy in Occupy Wall Street," was the title of a teaching guide recommended for grades 4-7. The lesson plan was assembled by the Morningstar Center, a leftwing organization that teaches "social responsibility."
In the guide we read,
"...there are some ways that our country isn't always democratic, even though people do have rights such as a vote and free speech. Ask students if they can think of some examples. (Examples include: people and corporations with lots of money can make political contributions that give them more influence over our government than other people. Another: people who have a lot of power and resources can pay to have their opinion heard.)"
What's ironic is that this material is being offered at a resource area sponsored by a very wealthy teachers union. Unions are corporations, and influence politics as much, or more, than most other organizations -- especially in California!
As for people "who have a lot of power and resources," ask gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman how that worked out for her. She spent nearly $100 million of her own money in her quest to become the governor of California, but was defeated by union-backed Jerry Brown.
The guide goes on to describe the Occupy movement for the school children:
Occupy Wall Street is a group of activists who want to change the way money, wealth, and income are distributed in the U.S. They want to change the fact that there is a very big difference between how much money and wealth rich and poor people have. Also, they want to make our country more democratic so that even people with little money and power can have more of a voice.
Morningstar's tactic to assist the students as to "the way the money, wealth, and income are distributed in the U.S." is to have the pupils participate in a group activity:
...divide the students into small groups of 4-5 students each. Ask each group to draw a picture of what a democratic classroom might look like. What would be in the classroom? How would it be arranged? How would students feel? How would students, teachers, administrators relate to each other? How would the class be organized?
The teachers then ask the students, "What are your ideas for making our class more democratic?"
Read more: Articles: Occupying the Minds of Our Youth