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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

University of Toronto professor says some classroom activism fostered by The Toronto District School Board and OISE amounts to child abuse

There are teachers in the Toronto District School Board who are subjecting children in Toronto's public schools to child abuse on a daily basis. 

It's a minority of them to be sure, but they are in the system and they operate with the blessing of the School Board and of Ontario's foremost teachers college.

The University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) has posted a number of interviews with active public school teachers promoting teacher activism in the classroom. The interviews will come as a surprise to those who think the purpose of school is to teach children essential knowledge of mathematics, grammar, geography, literature and civics.

Instead of that core foundation,  these activist teachers feel they have a mandate to promote their own politics and biases to the children over whom they have been given authority.

Among OISE's exemplars of activism are Jason Kunin, a teacher at Toronto's Vaughn Road Academy, a public high school, who has used his class to promote his anti-Israel extremism. Another is David Stocker, a teacher at Toronto's Cityview Alternative School who gained considerable notoriety for his intention to raise one of his children to be "genderless," and who asserts his right to condition his students to his own brand of activism.

Manifestations of this teacher activism include the use of science classes to organize student hunger strikes and demonstrations against the Enbridge oil pipeline, and the use of math classes to convince children about the supposed ills of capitalism.

University of Toronto professor of International Relations and Political Science Aurel Braun considers much of the type of indoctrination practiced by activist teachers to be a form of child abuse.

Children in school are a captive audience, Braun notes, and the purpose of education is to provide them with a diversity of views and objective, ascertainable facts so that they have the tools to become thinking, productive citizens capable of reaching their own conclusions.

Instead, Braun, who is currently a visiting professor at Harvard University's Department of Government, suggests the daily reiteration of a particular, political outlook inflicted by activist teachers on their students is similar to the psychological conditioning that is a feature of totalitarian societies.

He compares it with the type of indoctrination for children that was conceived by Vladimir Lenin following the Bolshevik Revolution and the Communist leader's subsequent dictatorship in Russia.

Braun's analogy is particularly apt, since David Stocker asserts that the tools an activist teacher should use are the teachings of Paulo Friere, a Brazilian Maoist who extolled Lenin in his seminal work, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

In Canada, there is an explicit contract between the government and the consumers of education, those being the children who attend classes and the parents who entrust their children to the care of the state. The most basic aspect of that contract is that the school system will not abuse and inflict harm on their children.

Many take the view that continually subjecting children to politicized biases is harmful to them as it both warps their worldview and detracts from the skills and objectivity they will require to be successful later on in life.

"Of course they're biased, because all classrooms are biased" Stocker asserts by way of an excuse in one of his interviews. "This is mandated by the board. It's about Human Rights Work, and we have an ethical and moral obligation to do it and yes we're going to do it."

But frequently, what is "ethical or moral," and in certain instances what would be considered a "human right," is warped beyond all recognition by activist teachers who may use those terms as a means to deprive others of their rights.

Unequivocal human rights could involve activism against the ethnic slaughter of black Africans in Darfur, or against the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries. But that is not what the TDSB's activist teachers see as "moral and ethical." Instead, they compel their students to engage with groups such as OCAP and No One Is Illegal,  that advocate for class warfare and aspire to cripple Canada's economy, or those like the deceptively-named Canadian Peace Alliance, which acts as apologist for totalitarians who kill Gays and persecute ethnic and religious minorities.

It should come as little shock that OISE would be promoting such totalitarian-leaning classroom proselytizing. That institute recently appointed a professor named Abigail Bakan to head its "Social Justice" Education department. Bakan, a conspiracy theorist,  is one of the founders of the International Socialist organization and has been a speaker at antisemitic al Quds Day celebrations. The Al Quds Day activities are the brainchild of the sadistic leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution, the late Ayatollah Khomeini. Last year, a Queen's Park al Quds rally featuring Canadian Peace Alliance boss Sid Lacombe, whom Jason Kunin called to lecture to his class, was notable for inciting participants to commit a genocide of Jews in Israel.

This is the face of  classroom "Social Justice" activism that your children are forced to endure, day after day. Most teachers are too decent and too smart to subject their students to such abuse. Thankfully, plenty of those students unfortunate enough to have activist instructors realize their teachers are not particularly intelligent propagandists. However, there are many students who will readily absorb the conditioning that activist educators inflict upon them. And for the majority of students who just want to acquire credits so they can graduate and go on to what comes next, they may not emerge from public schools unscathed. Like plants growing next to a poisoned water supply, eventually, some of the toxins in which classroom activist teachers immerse their students may seep into them through the osmosis of constant exposure.

It is critical that parents become aware of what is happening to their children in public schools. Because this form of child abuse will continue to harm new generations of students until the public raises an outcry that forces a response from Ontario's Ministry of Education.

h/t Socialist Studies

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