The “Our Kids are Getting Indoctrinated in Social Studies” road show is coming Home for the Holidays!
Franklin Alderman and campaign consultant Bev Burger and 912 TN President J. Lee Douglas have been busy promoting the event, held conveniently (?) on the Wednesday night of exam week in a Cool Springs hotel lobby. They call it a Town Hall meeting, but let’s call this what it is: a campaign event.
This statewide campaign, aka “Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination,” is being run by political operative and Brentwood resident Steve Gill. (We are asking again: who is paying him?)
Anybody feel like we’ve been on this ride before? We’ve had months of this political campaign roosting in our school board. Multiple resolutions, speeches, a petition. We parents should be very, very afraid that our kids are being indoctrinated by their teachers, the standards, or the textbooks or by (most menacingly, apparently) PowerPoint presentations. We are being told to “wake up!”
This is all about Islam and it isn’t new. This is about fear. And fearmongering.
“Children are being forced to learn how to convert to Islam” and “schools are censoring Christianity and proselytizing Islam.” – ACLJ
“Why do you think Islam is coming to the Bible belt? Because if they can win here, they know the rest of the way will be easy.” – Steve Gill
“The threat of Islam is not in far off countries. It’s in our classrooms in White County.” – CAII paid radio ads in White County
“All it takes is one seventh-grader to go home and recite the five pillars of Islam, then go to a school with a bomb in their backpack and blow up 10 kids.” – Anthony Wright, chairman of White County Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination
In White County, this wasn’t driven by parents and teachers. In fact, there were middle school parent-teacher conferences right in the middle of Gill’s campaign there and not a single middle school parent thought there was an issue.
“On October 29th the middle school scheduled parent-teacher conferences. The teachers did not know what they might face that night, in the midst of this controversy. Sixty parents came. Not one voiced opposition — most said they were so sorry that the teachers had to deal with the conflict. It was heartwarming that our community came together to support our teachers.” – White County School Board Member Richard McBride
The meetings, which were advertised (paid media) on the radio and in the newspaper, were NOT full of public school parents with actual experience with the teachers, the books, and the standards. In fact, there were activists who drove there from the Nashville area because it was promoted by 99.7 WWTN.
In Williamson County, when Beth Burgos proposed her Islam resolution, more than a hundred people wrote in to the school board members to say they thought this was not a concern. Three parents with kids in public school wrote to say they thought there might be an issue. We had a spirited public discussion. Burgos pulled her resolution for lack of support.
But now here we are again, a funded campaign NOT driven by parent concerns, not driven by teacher concerns.
See also: No Hate