If you are an aspiring teacher planning to attend the University of Minnesota, you better check any patriotic or non-racist thoughts at the door.
This is according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), an organization which promotes civil liberties on American college and university campuses. The group sent a letter to Robert Bruininks, the University’s president, asking him to not adopt the policies proposed by the school’s College of Education and Human Development which includes the University requiring potential teachers be examined on topics such as “white privilege” and providing them with “remedial re-education” in they hold “wrong views.”
The letter stated:
The university’s general counsel should be asked to comment as soon as possible. If the Race, Culture, Class, and Gender Task Group achieves its stated goals, the result will be political and ideological screening of applicants, remedial re-education for those with ‘wrong’ views and values, withholding of degrees from those upon whom the university’s political re-education efforts proved inefective.
The letter was penned by Adam Kissel, an officer with FIRE. According to Kissel, the entire admissions process will be redesigned to screen applicants based on their beliefs and values. He says that the public University is bound by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, making it legally and morally obligated to uphold a student’s right to freedom.
The new plan asks the question:
How can we be sure that teaching supervisors are themselves developed and equipped in cultural competence outcomes in order to supervise beginning teachers around issues of race, class, culture, and gender?
So what exactly does the new plan have new teachers planning lessons about? Well, the “myth of meritocracy” in the United States for one thing. Also, “the history of demands for assimilation to white, middle-class, Christian meanings and values” and the “history of white racism.”
This path of educating students isn’t exactly new to American universities. The University of Delaware was caught teaching students that “all whites are racists” The curriculum was done away with upon outcry from alumni and the public, but the school still defended its program.
According to Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten, Minnesota’s new plan would force prospective teachers to “embrace – and be prepared to teach our state’s kids – the task force’s own vision of America as an oppressive hellhole: racist, sexist and homophobic.” She goes on to compare the issue to China’s Cultural Revolution re-education camps.
FIRE compares the decision to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of the West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette (1943). In that ruling, Justice Robert H. Jackson said, “Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”
Hopefully, University of Minnesota alumni and Minnesota state taxpayers will stand up against what is being forced upon their college students. Indoctrinating future educators with a specific agenda is dangerous not only to those educators, but to the thousands of students they will reach in their lifetimes.