During the recent election season I met two Republicans who told me about instances of Ulster County, NY public school teachers' using schools to ideologically brainwash children. In one case a middle-aged man from Kingston, NY described a fifth grade teacher who repeatedly told his class to support specific left-wing political candidates. In a second, an Olive, NY woman and advertising copy writer wrote me that "my son was told that Snow White's dwarfs represented the disaffected union workers, that conservative judges wanted to steal freedom from the people." She writes that she was "shocked, in denial, and ineffective". As a business professor at the City University of New York and adjunct at New York University I have frequently heard from undergraduate and MBA students who have been brainwashed. Last year on the first day of an MBA-level management class, a young Wall Street trader raised his hand and said that the only thing that matters for business now is "whether the United States should become a socialist country." That was not the first instance of a first-day-of-class revolutionary declaration. On another occasion an undergrad raised his hand and asked in all seriousness about the implications for business of the coming proletarian revolution. One reaction to the politicization of elementary schools and their use for brainwashing of children has been withdrawal and home schooling. The woman who contacted me has proposed a different approach--a systematic training program for parents to enable them to respond to the use of schools for political purposes.
- November 04, 2009