Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The Political Correctism Run Amok Files: The Banning Of The Declaration Of Independence In A Public School System

Founding Fathers
In what may be one of the worst examples of Political Correctism Run Amok in recent years, we here at the 'Wonks have learned that there may possibly be an attempt being made to bar students from reading aloud the Declaration Of Independence in at least one large public school district.

This possible assault on American Culture is occurring in (you guessed it) California.

What is being alleged is that an elementary school teacher named Steve Williams has been told by his principal, Patricia Vidmar, that the Cupertino Union School District does not approve of teachers using materials in American History lessons that reference God and religion.

The rationale behind this possible suppressing of the reading of the Declaration of Independence (If it can be termed a rationale.) is due to the various references to the Deity that may be found in Thomas Jefferson's monumental work. This teacher has also been told that he may not use George Washington's writings for the same reasons.

According to the Source, the Principal requires that this ONE teacher turn in lesson plans for approval, along with any handouts that the teacher wishes to use in class.

Now the lawyers have gotten involved. A group called "The Alliance Defense Fund" has actually filed a lawsuit in order to get this ridiculous policy reversed.

If the facts are as stated, we here at the 'Wonks think that this attempt to excise all reference to God is asinine, in that the founding fathers (Many of which did not attend church services on a regular basis.) repeatedly referred to God in many of their writings.

Here at the 'Wonks, we hope to obtain a satisfactory explanation as to what is going on, because it is our past experience that rarely are the issues as clear-cut as is indicated by the above source.

Investigating the matter further, we have some reason to question the objectivity of the above source, as their writing seems somewhat more sympathetic to one side of the dispute. Therefore, we would like to withhold judgment until we get a chance to personally speak with school representatives and get their side of the story.

Being California teachers, we know which questions to ask.

Several attempts to contact Stevens Creek School by The Education Wonks early this afternoon were unsuccessful, as classes are in recess for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will try again Monday. The 'Wonks will update this story as circumstances warrant.

Mortarboard Tips: Diggers Realm and Right Thinking From The Left Coast

Update: Kevin at Wizbang! has additional information from another source.

Update: The Smoking Gun has the legal documents pertinent to the lawsuit.

Update: (26 Nov) An education writer, Joanne Jacobs, has some interesting additional information. Fox's The O'Reilly Factor profiled this case, with emphasis on the failure of the school's administration to satisfactorily resolve the conflict.