June 29, 2020

Enlisting school children to paint "Black Live Matters" murals for downtown Madison.

I'm reading "Painting murals gives students empowering role in protest movement" (Wisconsin State Journal):
As murals were being painted at the end of the school year, SJ Hemmerich, art teacher at Randall Elementary School, created a slide presentation of them. Hemmerich then presented it to students and as a last assignment asked , “If you could design your own mural for (Black Lives Matter), what would it be?” Then Hemmerich got the idea of why not do it for real.

Hemmerich, like other teachers, reached out to “Black and brown students” to get involved. Hemmerich got permission to work on one large mural and five panels located near each other. ... Hemmerich also sent an email out to art teachers in the Madison School District to recruit more help beyond Randall and wound up with more than 135 students and some staff members.

“I am really passionate about social justice work,” Hemmerich said. “I thought it would be a really good way to get students involved.”...

Monique Karlen, art teacher at La Follette High School, said she started by recruiting some of her students and then got other help from students from Middleton and East high schools...
The only mention of parents in the article is about one student who said that her parents worry about her participation in the protests, so the mural-painting is a good, safe alternative. But I don't think teachers should be recruiting children to engage in political activism — even if it's artistic — without first involving the parents and getting their consent. I don't think adults should put any sort of pressure on children to take a political position and to do political work — even if it's artwork. Teachers should not be exploiting their access to children for any political purpose. They are given access to our children for the purpose of education, and it is a solemn trust that should never be violated.

56 comments:

Gahrie said...

They are given access to our children for the purpose of education, and it is a solemn trust that should never be violated.

As a public school teacher, I can confirm that that trust is violated every school day.

jimbino said...

Don't you Ann have any concern that this political speech approved by parents is heavily financed by those who have no children, including many like me who are non-breeders entirely?

Sebastian said...

"I don't think teachers should be recruiting children to engage in political activism — even if it's artistic — without first involving the parents and getting their consent . . . it is a solemn trust that should never be violated."

You're so nice. We're past that now. Social justice ueber alles.

The point of prog education is precisely to turn kids into model progs. Essential part of the culture war.

You do realize, don't you, that they utterly despise you and everything you stand for?

Temujin said...

All teachers are immediately terminated. All administrators are immediately terminated. All schools are closed until January 2021.

We will begin the redo in January.

Thank you. That is all.

Jim Gust said...

"Teachers should not be exploiting their access to children for any political purpose."

You are unaware of the public school indoctrination that has been in place for half of a century? I was on the receiving end in the 1960s in high school. My kids had it far more explicitly, including an idiot social studies teacher who once claimed "real communism has never been tried."

I am not at all surprised that school children are being enlisted. The only surprise is that it is apparently voluntary.

Temujin said...

"But I don't think teachers should be recruiting children to engage in political activism — even if it's artistic — without first involving the parents and getting their consent."

Well now. This has been going on for decades across both K-12 and higher ed. The results are in and it's fantastic, don't you think?

R C Belaire said...

Madison. What else needs to be said? Start them young, yours for life.

jeremyabrams said...

They shouldn't enlist students in making a protest mural even with their parents' consent. I'm shocked the professor doesn't realize this. What if the teacher had asked the students to prepare an "All Lives Matter" mural? Even with consent, it would have split the student body in half. This will do the same, except one half (or perhaps a fourth in a Blue city) will keep their mouths shut and fume.

I guess childhood must take a back seat to activism now.

Calypso Facto said...

Defund the pedagogy!

Craig said...

AmericaIsRacist-ism really needs to be recognized for the religion that it is, so that we can get the "separation of church and state" people involved. I don't know how else this stops.

Drago said...

"But I don't think teachers should be recruiting children to engage in political activism — even if it's artistic — without first involving the parents and getting their consent."

LOL

Like Maoists need the permission of parents. It won't be long before these same teachers are asking the children which of their parents are not with the new program....you know....so the teachers can "help" those parents.

https://quillette.com/2018/12/18/the-children-of-the-revolution/

mccullough said...

“Free public education, if faithful to the ideal of secular instruction and political neutrality, will not be partisan or enemy of any class, creed, party, or faction. If it is to impose any ideological discipline, however, each party or denomination must seek to control, or failing that, to weaken the influence of the educational system.”

Tina Trent said...

Well why not Ann? How is this any different from public walkways and businesses being forced to submit or else? What the fuck do you think they teach the rugrats in their classrooms already? Have you ever seen a syllabus? Ever bothered to look? That all lives matter?

Jesus, how much cruelly neutral sleepwalking have you pretended is civil participation to this point?

Rory said...

"...idiot social studies teacher who once claimed "real communism has never been tried.""

Mine called it "in theory a perfect system."

Tina Trent said...

Do something. Maybe grope towards sentience and do something real like support police.

Wince said...

Aren't most of the murals meant to literally covering-up the destruction wrought by elements of the movement they are being recruited to extol?

Unknown said...

So do you think those children who refuse will be... well you know.... beaten the fuck up?

tcrosse said...

Any of the kids drawing wee-wees?

cfs said...

Too many people think that the indoctrination begins when their child attends a university. They are not paying attention to the fact it starts in Pre-K. If parents are aware of it, they think they can counteract with teaching their values at home. Wrong. The only way to counteract it is with home-schooling. All my grandchildren are home-schooled. The oldest two at age 6 and 11 are probably more educated and are more critical thinking than most college students today. Their parents just set their work schedules so that one of them are at home at all times (along with a little help from us grandparents). It works out well.

zipity said...


"They are given access to our children for the purpose of education, and it is a solemn trust that should never be violated. "

Oh, we are waaaaaay past education being the goal of public schools. The Left took them over decades ago.

Indoctrination into Leftist/Marxist thought is and has been the goal there for some time.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't think most people have any idea what public schools are like now. The change has been swift.

Static Ping said...

Ann: Teachers should not be exploiting their access to children for any political purpose. They are given access to our children for the purpose of education, and it is a solemn trust that should never be violated.

Where have you been for the past several decades? They have been indoctrinating school children in all sorts of political ways. How do you think we got here?

Openidname said...

Ha, ha, ha! Methinks the Professor is trolling her readers again.

"I'm shocked . . . shocked! . . . that teachers might be exploiting their access to children for a political purpose."

hoyden said...

I remember when teachers rounded up children to sing Obama hymns.

Nichevo said...

"But I don't think teachers should be recruiting children to engage in political activism"


You were all good up to here.

The fucking children. Should be learning. The fucking. Curriculum.

Period.

College students are presumed to be actual adults, but if they'd cut your law class to "go activist," you'd piss on 'em. Or you should have. Certainly no credit should be given, nor countenance.

And this is "adults." Children should not, cannot be safely exposed to politics in such a manner. Don't tell me the diff is that your students are free to choose, that they're paying for your time. That only makes it worse.

Wa St Blogger said...

This is in no way voluntary. In the "silence is violence" culture, failure to draw a proper pro-black, anti-white sentiment, or worse, failure to draw anything, will put the child at serious risk or readjustment.

Oso Negro said...

Geez, Pollyanna. It was non-stop indoctrination of me from "Roosevelt saved America with the New Deal" to let's all go clean up the trash at a city park "voluntarily" for the first Earth Day in 1970. And then with my children, countless Hannukah dreidles and and endless MLK Jr bullshit.

Ann Althouse said...

I myself was a teacher, so I will take the liberty to instruct those of you who are making the assumption that I am not aware of things because I am saying these things are wrong. Your reading is deficient. And it insults me. Don’t stick you neck out and insult somebody where you haven’t made sure you are right. That is potentially quite embarrassing.

I’m saying something is wrong. That doesn’t mean I believe it isn’t happening or hasn’t happened before. Why would you presume some stupid?

DavidUW said...

Thankfully teachers in general are so stupid, they fail at indoctrinating a large portion of pupils.

Actual conversation I had with a (Bay Area) public school teacher (5th grade):

Teacher: "You need to vote for X Proposition!" (of course a prop to raise a tax to "fund schools")
Me: "Why?"
Teacher: "If you don't, teachers will get a 8% pay cut. My husband and I will both get cut, and that's like a 16% pay cut!"
me: "... uh no. It's not. Bye now"

I s*** you not. Verbatim.

Gordon Scott said...

There's a few miles of difference between a college professor and a 4th grade teacher. For one, were you required to pledge your allegiance to social justice? El Ed teachers are, these days, before they're allowed to graduate.

Narr said...

Shades of the Moscow Olympics, 1980.

Remember darling little Misha the bear?

Remember the millions of drawings of Misha submitted by Soviet kids for a contest?

Remember that they were all identical?

Narr
This reminds me of that

wildswan said...

How did this art project work? Weren't all these kids at home because the schools are closed? And then a teacher got them together and exposed “Black and brown students" (sic) to covid? What happened?

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Brainwashing.

Otto said...

Agreed something is wrong. Being tied into education all your life and probably seeing the problem up front, what do you suggest.

Not Sure said...

While they're at it, they should teach them to sing "Tomorrow Belongs to Me."

Jersey Fled said...

But I thought boys were worthless. Are Black boys OK now? Is it just white boys that are worthless? But then what about white girls?

I'm confused.

Daniel Jackson said...

"We don't need no education," wrote one very confused person emphasizing the double negative.

Teacher Leave Them Kids Alone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwzGFaMO6gk

I have dreaded our current epoch since this song was written.

The Crack Emcee said...

Normally, I would agree with you, but you guys are proving you're not taking any of this seriously.

What ARE you teaching children? Are you teaching them this could happen to them? And, if not, why not?

It happened to me - in France.

Try explaining yourself to a racist mob - in another language.

THAT should be a test in school.

paminwi said...

I hate effing murals.
I hate the white people cannot paint them from two weeks stupidity.
I hate the teachers recruiting kids now to paint them and what if a white student declines?
That child will be raked over the coals from the social justice assholes that are their classmates and teachers.
I am sick of it all.

Yancey Ward said...

I was an asshole as a student. Had I been one of these students, I would definitely have called the teachers' bluff and painted something criticized the BLM movement, something along the lines of "We need the police," or "All Lives Matter."

Just to be an asshole.

mockturtle said...

Very well stated, Althouse! Send copies to every member of your school board.

Drago said...

Crack: "What ARE you teaching children? Are you teaching them this could happen to them? And, if not, why not?

It happened to me - in France."

Crack now claiming he was chased out of a Walmart parking lot in France by a mob.

How do you say "yellow smiley face sale" in Francais?

Nichevo said...


The Crack Emcee said...
Normally, I would agree with you, but you guys are proving you're not taking any of this seriously.

What ARE you teaching children? Are you teaching them this could happen to them? And, if not, why not?

It happened to me - in France.

Try explaining yourself to a racist mob - in another language.

THAT should be a test in school.



Oopsie! But since you regard the reverse with glee it all becomes a question of superior force. Even flatworms turn from pain. Even Ann Althouse guns up when you make her afraid enough. Pity on those poor people, judged as individuals, but I'm not so sure that's what you're about these days

DEEBEE said...

Kim Jon’s of all kind will be smiling. Either from the hell they are in or N. Korea.

Scotty, beam me up... said...

When I was in the Wisconsin public school system back in the 1970’s, I wasn’t taught this crap! Yes, many of my teachers were liberal and made no bones about it. I had thought at the time that politics could only be taught in context as to what was currently happening without advocating any position. I got into some pretty good discussions with my History/Government teacher who was pretty far left and I was a conservative. I also was his highest graded student for all 3 full years I had him. I am guessing he enjoyed the intellectual stimulation / challenge I gave him that the rest of the students were too lazy to attempt.

That said, there should be a law on the books (if there already isn’t) that makes it a criminal child abuse charge if a teacher does something like what this teacher did to”encourage” their students’ “budding political protest career”. This is political indoctrination along the lines of the Hitler Youth or Communist Young Pioneers. Hell, I am guessing that if a parent said no to this “field trip”, said parent would be getting a visit from the City of Madison Child Protection Services officer within a day or two.

Static Ping said...

Ann, to engage you further, yes, it is wrong for teachers to abuse their position for political advantage. It is also wrong for teachers to abuse their position for economic gain, sexual benefits, or sadistic pleasure. However, teachers do this sort of thing pretty regularly, admittedly some of these things more often than others, so pointing it out as being wrong is, frankly, quaint. It's roughly on par saying gang members shouldn't shoot each other. Well, okay, I think we can all agree on that as well, but it's such an obvious thing that it comes across as pointless or naive.

If you feel offended by my sass, I do apologize. Sometimes I forget that the Althouse Blog is not Twitter.

For the record, when I was in school I literally saw a teacher put a (misbehaving) student upside down in a several foot high trash can. The teacher was not punished in any way. Bad teachers are protected even worse than bad cops.

Known Unknown said...

"I myself was a teacher, so I will take the liberty to instruct those of you who are making the assumption that I am not aware of things because I am saying these things are wrong. Your reading is deficient. And it insults me. Don’t stick you neck out and insult somebody where you haven’t made sure you are right. That is potentially quite embarrassing."

Thanks, Liz Warren.

Bunkypotatohead said...

When you see those 20-something white kids smashing State street windows and pulling down statues...this is where it began.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Teachers should not be exploiting their access to children for any political purpose. They are given access to our children for the purpose of education, and it is a solemn trust that should never be violated.

Wait until you realize that’s a mild and common activist move that public school teachers like to use/indoctrinate/inflame students. Murals. Signs. Banners. Sometimes used in service of their unions, “please pay my teacher” and sometimes just to practice activating them “sign up for school lunch. It’s free!”

The worst example I saw as a teacher in gangland was to send Spanish letters home with any bilingual student that told them all the reasons their parents should vote Clinton over Bush. “Your patents will be deported if Bush is re-elected” was one bullet point. White kids got no letters. Faxed from Sacramento to our school using public assets to transmit and reproduce. I’m sure Bush’s people and the CA Republicans never even knew. Wonder how many other schools got that fax. Is this mural any different?

The Crack Emcee said...

Drago said...

"Crack now claiming he was chased out of a Walmart parking lot in France by a mob."

God, you guys are such willing assholes.

No, as I've told a billion times, here and on my blog, it was an ATM machine and they didn't give me the benefit of the doubt, assumed I was African, and lit into me..

Now fuck off, Drago.

The Crack Emcee said...

Making light of my being attacked by a mob is why you guys are racists.

And you guys ARE racists.

wendybar said...

The indoctrination continues....

Kevin said...

But I don't think teachers should be recruiting children to engage in political activism — even if it's artistic — without first involving the parents and getting their consent.

It’s called homework. It’s integrated into the curriculum.

And you have to go it if you want to pass.

Kevin said...

In today’s America:

Churches must be apolitical to keep receiving tax breaks.

Schools must be political to keep the tax dollars coming in.

Rory said...

"painted something criticized the BLM movement"

This jogged a memory for me: in high school in the mid-seventies, some of the students were given a test. All we were told was that some measure of school funding was dependent on it, and that the test was anonymous. The test proved to have nothing objective on it, just question after question about social attitudes. I made a shambles of it, making fun of every single question.

The next morning, my name was announced over the intercom and I was told to report to the testing room. The principal had joined the guy administering the tests, and they browbeat me for about half-an-hour on my need to go in and take the test again. I parried with the fact that they were obviously lying about the tests being anonymous, and that I didn't have to tell anyone what my attitudes were, let alone score them. This was not by any means a "progressive" high, but it seems someone was able to connect a few dollars to this testing, and they just buckled, and that's about 45 years ago.

Narr said...

I got a verbal reaming from the old biddy Civics teacher (remember Civics?) in the eighth grade (c. 1966) when I voted for Omar the Tentmaker in a straw poll during that year's mayoral race.

But she got so mad at my friend Bobby once she made him stand behind the door against the wall in the hallway while she pressed him with the door. Bobby was great.

Narr
Miss him all the time