|HS teacher's assignment on vaccine mandates|
|From:||Gary Krasner firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Date:||Thu, Jan 19, 2017 4:26 pm|
(permission is given to post or distribute)
A good lesson on dealing with school bureaucrats. Rule #1, always transact in writing.
HS TEACHER'S WRITING ASSIGNMENT FOR HS STUDENTS.
PART OF A PROGRAM TO TEACH ADVOCACY ON CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS.
IN THIS INSTANCE, SHE WANTED THEM TO ADVOCATE FOR OR AGAINST VACCINATION MANDATES.
PARENTS WITH VACCINE EXEMPTIONS REFUSED TO HAVE THEIR SON TO PARTICIPATE
I'm frequently asked to compose letters for parents who refuse various demands or requirements that are outside or against administrative codes. It usually pertains to how they enforce the rules governing religious exemption. But I never encountered this requirement.
The teacher didn't back down when parents verbally cited vague "religious reasons." She dismissed them. But she did back down after this letter I drafted for parents.
STRATEGY (no guarantees):
It's best to flood the zone by presenting your full case up front. Time is not on your side to go 20 rounds of emails. You have one shot, so don't expect to go tit for tat with an administrator with the power to pull the plug and issue final decision on the matter. (There are exceptions to the rule.)
You also want to align yourself with powerful groups if they exist. Bureaucrats ultimately make decisions based on power assessment. What they think they can get away with. If you're perceived as weak, they will consider you road kill. Exempt parents are in the minority, and are vilified in the media as pariahs, spreading disease etc.
So in this example, I made it appear this wasn't just an exempt parent, but someone part of a larger movement. Conservatives have power now. I chose them because they dominate the executive branch and congress and the state houses. Just hinting at the end that the parents may want to publish this letter might be an incentive for teacher to back down. Again, because bureaucrats only see power relationships and respond accordingly.
And of course, copy all supervisory staff. i.e. the principal.
HOW YOU WANT TO APPEAR
3. passive-aggressive (leave no question who the victim is)
4. reasonable (by way of your arguments)
5. motivated to take legal or political action
Dear Principal Bitchi Bitcherson,
Sorry I wasn't completely forthcoming with you in our first encounter on this matter. I didn't wish to appear to insult you by explaining how your writing assignment was ill-considered. I will do so now. Not to insult you, but because you have a right to know. And I hope you'll be as proud of me in honstly expressing MY views as you say you are when students do that.
First, I do not object to the idea of having students learn about controversial subjects per se . It's a great way to motivate them to learn history and current events. In fact, my concern has nothing to do with controversial subject.
And it has nothing to do with educators injecting their bias on matters having to do with politics, and social/religious values. As you probably know, social and political conservatives vigorously object to many instances in which educators are indoctrinating their children into the radical left "progressive" views to distrust the police, or to blame America for the world's ills.
In fact, some schools (and colleges!!) are banning the works of Mark Twain (because words like "nigger" is used) and replacing it with historically inaccurate polemics, like Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States."
So parents have a right to object to what schools are doing. I mention those examples because while these pathologies exist in schools predominantly run by the totalitarian-mindset of transnational progressives, I am not accusing you of that. So don't confuse my criticism of your assignment with the aforementioned political war going on now, resulting in the rise in homeschooling. In fact, I wouldn't mind if you educated your student about the controversial issue of schools and colleges pushing their progressive agenda.
But I will tell you why your assignment needs to be reconsidered. You write:
The assignment was framed around whether or not students agree with mandatory vaccination. Therefore, it is fine to not agree with it. The topic of vaccination is outlined in the Living Environment curriculum guide and has been a topic covered on the regents exam in June.
There is no reason why Daniel should not be able to express his opinion about vaccination; I am actually proud to have students honestly express their views. This is a skill needed as they progress through their high school and college career as well as everyday life.
FIRST, you are asking students to take a position for or against something. You didn't consider that a student could research an issue and remain undecided. I know ADULTS who are undecided on abortion, jihad, gay marriage, climate change, immigration (etc.)! If you teach students the virtues of honesty and truth, and force them to express a view that they don't possess, then you are teaching them to be dishonest and untruthful.
You cannot tell students to "honestly express their views" for or against an issue, if they have not resolved the issue in their own mind. It has taken me years to resolve controversial issues, and some I have yet to resolve. And you want students to resolve them in a few days?! What you'll get are simple, cookie-cutter responses, usually siding with the majority consensus (they're just high school students, don't forget). Is that what you want?
I think what you want to teach students is the mechanics of effective advocacy. Most of that can be done in speech class.
SECOND, I don't think you appreciate the dangers of your request for students to be outspoken on controversial issues generally, and vaccination issue specifically. You write that you're "proud to have students honestly express their views." Will you help them deal with the fallout afterwards?
The political environment for adults has never been as corrosive and vitriolic as it is today. Trump isn't even president yet and half the country is going insane. Pro "Black Lives Matter" advocates are torturing and killing whites SUSPECTED of being pro Trump.
Even before the campaign for president, you could take your life in your hands for honestly express your views. A professor quietly donated to a fund that opposed gay marriage. Through a FOI request, the names on that list was given to liberal activists, who in turn, publicly "shamed" the contributors, and lobbied in ways that caused them great hardships. The professor was forced to resign, as well as the CEO and founder of Mozilla. Another professor---in the news last week---was forced to resign her college post because she dissented from Global Warming theory. US Senator Whitehouse introduced a bill to criminalize dissenters, if they work as scientists and openly express their dissenting views on what they claim is the prevailing view. Some of his colleagues have suggested making it a crime to advocate that HIV is not the cause of AIDS.
You write that, This skill, "to honestly express their views", is "needed as they progress through their high school and college career as well as everyday life." HAVE YOU VISITED A COLLEGE CAMPUS OR CLASSROOM IN THE LAST 10 YEARS?!!
Liberal totalitarianism on college campuses is worse. Intolerance and conformity to uniformity is mercilessly enforced by students, and cowardly upheld by faculty. When your students enter college, their "honestly expressed their views" will not be tolerated unless they're pro Palestinian, abortion, illegal immigration, global warming, Islamist, and anti police. They will encounter safe spaces and speech codes that are as silly as they are igorously enforced to silence honestly expressed opinions.
The penalties are organized shaming, harassment, and isolation. They will not receive a thoughtful counter-argument. Instead, they will be tainted with the labels which Hillary made famous: homophobe, islamophobe, zenophobe, nativist, racist, misogynist, capitalist! Palestinians and Muslims are more direct: They will assault you for promoting hate (i.e. supporting Israel)!
Since the election, the Alinsky rules for radicals has been applied to Trump by liberals everywhere: Isolate him, then demonize him with labels and personal allegations, in order to render him radioactive so that no Democrat lawmaker will vote for his legislation. Not through open debate----which you're teaching your students is pivotal to advocacy----but through the tactics of personal destruction. Any Democrat legislator who agrees with the merits of a Trump public policy provision, and votes in favor of it, will then be painted a racist, misogynistic, zenophobe etc. Even if it's a bill to fund highway construction!
Perhaps you might want to teach your students the risks of guilt by association, as a reward for honestly expressing their views.
With respect to vaccination:
Vaccination mandates have also been made radioactive for anyone to "honestly express their views." This week, President-elect Trump met with RFK Jr. this week and afterward, "honestly expressed" his view that too many doses are given too early in an infant's life. He was immediately chastised by media and "experts", and declared a "one-man public health threat", as if homophobe, islamophobe, zenophobe, nativist, racist, and misogynist, weren't sufficient labels to destroy him.
The president merely commented on the amount of doses given to newborns. Your assignment is for students to take a position on whether vaccines themselves should be mandatory. And you insist that "[T]here is no reason why Daniel should not be able to express his opinion about vaccination"?!
I read various parenting and mothering blogs and discussion lists. Their personal experiences are not included in your "Living Environment" curriculum guide, so allow me to educate you in real-world ostracism and hardship for expressing your views about vaccines.
We cannot cite doctors' opinions, because those who are outspoken against vaccines are portrayed as pariahs, and made examples of, by targeting them for license suspension. Any patient complaint will do to set them up, just like any defamatory label pinned on conservatives will do.
(Silencing physicians who question vaccines.)
(Cleveland Medical Director Attacked for Questioning Vaccine Safety)
Parents will also be penalized for honestly expressing their views. Around 2003, in LIC, Queens, Rolando Bini answered a fellow parent's question at a PTA meeting. He announced that exemptions from vaccines are possible and that he had a religious exemption. The school nurse was present and took exception to that. But she did not openly express her views in a way that would have made you proud, Mr. Titus. Instead, she reported Bini to Children's Services!
It doesn't matter what the allegation was (it turned out to be a lie). Like the labeling of people which liberals don't like, any allegation will do. It happens that the nurse made a false allegation. But Children's Services have a mandate to turn you life upside down based upon any allegation----true or false---because the investigation doesn't end once the allegation is quickly shown to be false. Because they're mission is not to investigate the allegation. It's to investigate YOU. YOU become suspect of neglect or maltreatment of a minor.
Mr. Bini, like all subjects of these "investigations", was guilty until proven innocent. He unlike most other parents, didn't plead out by agreeing to go to parenting class and be on the intrussive Children's Services watch list. He made his case public and fought it. Because he fought it, the guilty until innocent Mr. Bini lost custody of his son. Family court returned custody 6 months later when he won his case. Today, his son attends college and Rolando is a renowned family advocate.
There are many similar stories like that one. Some don't end well for parents. Anyone can report anyone to Children's Services----our modern-day Gestapo. A universally incompetent agency that cannot distinguish between a child who is physically abused and starved, and the parents of a child who are exercising freedom of speech. Like any predator, to that agency, meat is meat.
There are also many instances in which a parent's religious exemption is not kept confidential by school administration. Some schools don't appreciate the consequences of that negligence. Have you ever had parents knock on your door by parents shouting at you to keep your unvaccinated children away from their children? Do you honestly think that an open and honest debate be conducted in the current atmosphere of fear and ignorence? Mr. Titus, why don't you get back to me when our society and laws do not have it's heavy foot pressing on my neck! I will decide then how important it is for you to be proud of my son for "honestly expressing [his] views" on controversial subject.
As you can fathom, I'm not afraid to speak my mind. I'm an adult, with access to a megaphone and a good lawyer. He can explain to you how this drama will end should you keep pressing me on this matter. May I suggest another topic for your students? "Why there isn't freedom of speech on certain topics and venues."
You may not know this, but my son is forbidden from speaking honestly on vaccination mandates. Because school administrative codes require principals to deny or rescind religious waivers if parents possess one scintilla of secular thoughts about vaccination. Should Daniel's research lead him to determine, for example, that vaccines are not very effective, the principal can allege he was influenced by my views, and have grounds to rescind our waiver.
Again, you wrote, "There is no reason why Daniel should not be able to express his opinion about vaccination." I gave you plenty of reasons.
I would like your permission to post this response to your message on the internet with your real name. If you deny me that permission, may I conclude that I convinced you that open and honest debate in the current climate of intolerance is dead, and can invite serious consequences?
copyright 2017 Gary Krasner, CFIC