Buried in the middle of the piece was this fun little nugget that I’m sure will help positively address the Oklahoma teacher shortage – Ryan Walters wants to send Oklahoma teachers to patriotic reeducation camps!
Check this out:
At his recent stop in Bartlesville, Walters shared his vision for how history should be taught in Oklahoma public schools.
He vowed to require teachers here to undergo patriotic education training offered by a small, ultra-conservative, Christian college in Michigan called Hillsdale College, which is also trying to establish a national network of charter schools including a new one in Tulsa.
Yes, Comrades! The State School Superintendant candidate who wants to rid our schools of “leftist” propaganda wants to send teachers to mandatory “patriotic education training.”
Nothing “leftist” or “communist” or “fucking insane” about that, huh? I wonder if he got that idea after studying the teachings of Lenin, reading about China, or watching The Killing Fields on Prime Video.
“I’m a classroom teacher. Ten years ago, I was at a training where they said we shouldn’t say anything good about the Declaration of Independence because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves,” Walters said, prompting audible gasps from among Washington County GOP voters.“
I wonder what the “gasps” were for? Maybe it was that Ryan Walters actually attended some sort of training.
For what it’s worth, I’m actually one of those practical people who tries to interpret the actions and decisions of historical figures based on the time and era they lived, and not uniformly judge them through the lens of today’s moral standards and cultural values.
But that’s just how I chose to view it. I can see how other people – especially those whose ancestors were conquered, eradicated, enslaved, and victimized in the past – would feel different.
That’s why I don’t think there’s anything wrong with teaching kids, and even grown-ups, both sides of the historical coin.
You know, that a guy like Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant writer, politician, and statesman who helped lead and fight for our country's democratic independence from a monarchy, and famously wrote that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” all while he also owned and raped slaves that didn't have those same unalienable rights.
I guess you can say I think we should teach an honest and accurate history of our country and the people who built it, and then let people form their own judgments. Crazy stuff, huh?
Here’s more about the training course Walters wants to put teachers through:
"What I will do is I will put together courses — I’ve been talking to Hillsdale College on this, they’re great, they’re great — and have every U.S. history teacher and every history teacher in the state go through that training so they know the basics and that every kid will have a teacher who is learned on U.S. history, on the constitution, on those fundamental principles.”
Hillsdale President Larry Arnn recently drew national backlash after he compared today’s education system to “a plague” and claimed public school teachers are trained “in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country.”
On the topic of public school teachers being trained “in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country,” this would be a good opportunity to point out that Ryan Walters graduated from Harding University – a small private Christian school in Arkansas that’s famous for the racist and segregationist philosophies of it’s former President, George Benson.