Friday, May 20, 2022

A poisonous pledge

I grew up in North Carolina in the 1950s where I regularly faced one of the most egregious symbols of segregation—two water fountains, side-by-side, labeled “White” and “Colored.” I freely drank from the same water jug that Black farmworkers did in fields at my home, an all-White Presbyterian orphanage with 225 disadvantaged children ages two to eighteen (hardly a recognized seedbed for “White privilege”), but I couldn’t share a water fountain with the same workers at the Belk department store in downtown Statesville, three miles away. I played with the Black workers’ kids during summers but couldn’t ride the same bus with them to the same school. The disparities of racial treatment were not lost on my pre-woke generation.

Many others and I saluted and internalized the dream of protesters of the 1960s, that Blacks and Whites could together outgrow the shame of prevalent stark contrasts in racial treatment, and I welcomed the then imagined future in which people would no longer be judged by skin color.

Since the Reverend King majestically proclaimed his Dream on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, I’ve done my darnedest to work with people based on the “content of their character” (and scholarship). I understand that skin color is hard to ignore, but I’ve taken King’s admonition seriously, as have hordes of others, especially in universities. By the standards of the 1950s, I have lived through substantial (if not enormous) racial progress—I say with gratitude and relief.

On-Campus “Woke Racism”
Yet, my dream of shared color blindness is suffering because of my university’s relentless insistence on giving skin color— “blackness” or “anti-blackness”—priority in people’s on-campus interactions. Administrators, from the chancellor on down, regularly make sweeping pronouncements, suggesting that those in a non-minority—translated, “Whites”—should be suspected of “systemic racism,” whether they are “conscious” or “unconscious” of their affliction. It’s as if those side-by-side “water fountains” have been reintroduced in disguise, cloaked in the rhetoric of “inclusive excellence.”

The irony in such claims is that (non-Hispanic) Whites on campus are a distinct minority, at 15 percent of the 36,000-student body (and 36.6 percent of California’s total population). Granted, Blacks represent a tiny minority of on-campus students, 2.1 percent (but also only 5.8 percent of California’s population, with only 13 percent of Blacks seeking a college education). Nevertheless, administrators seem convinced that Blacks’ small share can be attributed, to a non-trivial extent, to pervasive on-campus anti-Black racism, with rare reference to other explanations, including admission standards and Blacks wanting to attend other universities with more Blacks and, maybe, fewer Asians (the dominant on-campus ethnic group).

Campus “inclusive excellence” proponents seem unaware that they have been countering one form of racism with another—dubbed “woke racism” by Columbia University linguist John McWhorter—and are thus aggravating on-campus divisions. They seem equally oblivious to the prospects of sowing seeds of exclusion (and resentment) under their mantra. They also appear unconcerned that some on-campus Blacks have tired of being denied, through promotions of special considerations for them, full credit for thriving on their own at a demanding major research university.

The “Take the Pledge” Campaign

In explaining on-campus “woke racism,” I offer exhibit 1, the university’s step-too-far, a campaign to persuade, or intimidate, all in the university to “Take the Pledge.” You might think that the pledge is dedicated to some academic honor code or a fund-raiser. No. The campaign is devoted to making skin color key to developing a campus culture of “inclusive excellence,” where “Black people can thrive at UCI,” a goal no one contests (if applied equally to all others). To do that, however, all in the university have been implored repeatedly to pledge to:

Acknowledge the existence of anti-Black racism

Understand your relationship to anti-Black and micro- and macro-aggressions

Recognize uncredited labor that Black people expend to manage the effects of unconscious and conscious acts of bias, prejudice and bigotry

Confront anti-Blackness to build a thriving culture for Black people

The pledge effectively seeks signees to confess to their own non-deniable original sin of inculcated systemic racism. It concludes, “I recognize that a whole university response is required to build a culture where Black people thrive at UCI and beyond.” Nice words, I grant.

The message is clear: Set aside a transparent fact of campus life, that a large percentage of all students in the country’s most highly diverse student body are first-generation college students, many are from humble backgrounds (a third are Pell Grant recipients), some are from oppressive foreign regimes—and all are no less deserving of a culture free of blanket claims of on-campus racism by non-Blacks and Blacks alike.

What is remarkable for an elite public research university that has long prided itself on the extent of its data-driven scientific studies is that the “Take the Pledge” campaign has been vigorously pursued without a scintilla of documentation, not even a single recorded data point of an anti-Black racial incident on campus. No one has even considered the extent to which anti-Black incidents are greater or lower than anti-Asian incidents by non-Blacks or Blacks.

Not that such incidents haven’t occurred. The point is that the campaign promoters have not done their homework. Instead, they have followed the path of the racists they have criticized: They have caved to their prejudices, a key one being that because (as promoters have professed on video) racism was self-evident in Charlottesville’s violent protests and the George Floyd murder, all members (or some unknown subset) of my university community must harbor a racial animus toward Blacks, which is to say, they are guilty by racial identity or just administrative fiat. By the breadth of their racial claims, promoters do more to signal their own self-proclaimed racial virtue than they do to solve (or just avoid aggravating) what they present as a vaguely defined social-justice problem.

On-Campus Racial Reeducation Programs
At the beginning of the “Take the Pledge” campaign, pledgers were not pressed to reveal their identities. Now, signers are asked to provide their names, email addresses, and UC-Irvine affiliation (which means promoters can tabulate and track those who have and have not signed the pledge, which should be worrisome). They are also asked to give permission to use their names and testimonials in future “marketing materials.” And they have begun to promote the signees’ testimonials, which, to date, represent a tiny fraction of those considered in the university community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, extended supporters, and who knows?). No one should be surprised if signing becomes mandatory. Indeed, count on it. The proponents are missionaries.

Within a day of the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Wisconsin handing down its not-guilty verdict, the chief inclusive-excellence officer on campus cited the verdict as yet another reason for all on campus to take the Pledge, officially declaring for the university, “[T]the verdict conveys a chilling message: Neither Black lives nor those of their allies’ matter.” The officer’s message is even more chilling, given how such an official university pronouncement could easily stoke on-campus racial divisions, as it likely has.

Administrators are apparently concerned that many pledgers will need corrective reeducation and have provided a fourteen-week course, the UCI Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program, which covers on-campus “racial bias,” “White supremacy,” “mechanisms for devaluing Black people,” and rationales for the Pledge. Pledge proponents seem intent on having non-Blacks seek absolution by confessing to their racial sins and then attending reeducation camps (tactics reminiscent of those commonly employed by oppressive regimes and groups the world over, not in scholarly communities).

* * * * *

Wouldn’t a pledge to uphold King’s sentiments—or the Golden Rule—more effectively promote “inclusive excellence”? The loss in this well-intended but misguided take-the-pledge campaign is an unrecognized affront to King’s dream that one day people will be judged by the “content of their character,” not their skin color. That day has, sadly, been postponed at my university.


Using ‘Wrong’ Pronouns Could Lead to Suspensions in Virginia Public Schools

Living as a Christian could get a student suspended from public school in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Earlier this month, the school board conducted an annual review of its Regulation 2601, proposing edits to a 70-page-long document on “Student Rights and Responsibilities,” and parents noticed something shocking.

According to a short provision buried deep in the document, students could face suspension for up to five days, and possibly further punishment, for referring to a fellow student according to their biological, God-given sex.

“Using slurs based upon the actual or perceived gender identity (which includes, but is not limited to, malicious deadnaming or malicious misgendering),” reads the offending provision, which appears on Page 21, under the “SBAR Code” “RB9h,” three pages into an extensive table aligning all possible offenses and punishments.

The corresponding “Level 4” violation (nowhere defined) merits the punishment “circled R” (“®”), defined on Page 19, “allows for a suspension up to 5 days [if frequency and intensity are present]. Also allows for a referral to the Division Superintendent … ” (text in brackets is a proposed addition).

Is it just me, or is the bureaucratic jargon intentionally designed to confuse and discourage parents?

Glossing over its granting sexual orientation and gender identity protections parity with innate categories, this particular provision has three glaring problems.

The first is the use of the words “deadnaming” and “misgendering.” These words carry no meaning to a normal, sane person who hasn’t imbibed the transgender Kool-Aid. They describe using someone’s given name and biological pronouns, respectively, when that person identifies with a name and pronouns of the opposite sex. They’re mostly used as shorthand smears to apply sinister connotations to innocent behavior.

Secondly, the provision describes using someone’s accurate name or pronouns as “slurs,” in a list with prohibitions of “slurs” based on someone’s race, religion, or disability. This is totally backward. Not long ago, it was insulting to call a man “effeminate,” or to call a woman “mannish.” Now, we’re told, it insults certain people to not call them the opposite sex of what they truly are. “He looks like a boy in a dress” should only be an insult if it is not true.

Thirdly, Fairfax County wrongly assumes malicious intent in using the “wrong” name or pronoun. It presumes that transgender affirmation is the only moral option. It rules out the possibility that someone could have good motives for behaving otherwise, such as a commitment to absolute truth, concern over someone’s eternal soul, or seeking their present happiness (as distinct from accommodating their present feelings).

In other words, it assumes Christians are acting maliciously. After all, every American so far who has gotten in trouble for using the wrong pronouns has been a Christian deeply committed to the Bible’s teaching. In fact, the terms of this provision target Christians so precisely it seems as if it were intentionally designed with them in mind.

But not to worry, the students’ new overlords, Fairfax County teachers, are merciful—or at least patient. Based on their guidelines, they likely won’t suspend a student for a first offense. But they will correct them and expect it not to happen again.

“Any student who commits multiple offenses … may … face more stringent disciplinary action as a result,” they warn. They aren’t out to get your child at first, so long as they get them in the end.

If they can’t persuade a student to reject biblical truth about human sexuality, that student had better beware. They could face graver disciplinary action, like suspension. If a suspension doesn’t work, they can refer the student to the division superintendent, who “will consider all possible sanctions in the same hearing (to include short-term suspension, long-term suspension, reassignment, and/or expulsion).” And even afterward, the student “may be subject to ongoing consequences, even after the student returns,” including “probationary conditions” and “restitution.”

If Fairfax County Public Schools isn’t promoting moral training in a secular religion, I don’t know what is. The irony is, the Supreme Court warned against this very type of pressure in banning prayer from school functions.

“There are heightened concerns with protecting freedom of conscience from subtle coercive pressure in the elementary and secondary public schools,” said the majority in Lee v. Weisman (1992). “What to most believers may seem nothing more than a reasonable request that the nonbeliever respect their religious practices, in a school context may appear to the nonbeliever or dissenter to be an attempt to employ the machinery of the State to enforce a religious orthodoxy.”

To transgender ideologues, pronoun affirmation is simply a “reasonable request,” but to a Christian (a “dissenter” from their new orthodoxy), this behavior in a school setting amounts to enforcing their religious orthodoxy. And because the controversy is over names and pronouns, students’ free speech is at stake, as well as freedom of religion.

Christian students in Fairfax County Public Schools will face an uphill battle against this increasingly intolerant culture—and what begins in a wealthy D.C. suburb will be quickly exported to other school districts as well.

One question Christian students will have to wrestle with is, how can they best honor all the authorities in their life when their parents say one thing, but their teachers say the opposite? (Home schoolers don’t face that question because their parents are their teachers.)

Parents should help prepare their children to wrestle with tough questions, face the world’s pressure to conform, and have a solid foundation on which to stand.

Parents bear the primary responsibility for educating their children. They should consider how best to protect their children from this gender insanity. Should they enroll them in a Christian school? Should they educate them at home? Should they run for school board? There are many good options, but “doing nothing” is not one of them


The Left’s War on Children

What are we doing to our children?

The leaked news that the Supreme Court may be about to overturn its controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has sent political shock waves across America. It’s also given new life to the left’s faux trope about “the right’s war on women.”

But if we take a step back and take an honest look at the bigger picture, the real war being waged in America is the left’s war against our own children.

Have we fully considered how many of our children will be able to survive the life-altering gauntlet that the left has put in front of them?

It was the phraseology in President Joe Biden’s recent comment about women having the right to choose to “abort a child” that crystalized this thought process in my mind.

For children, not being aborted is only the first obstacle in the left’s gauntlet. Just think about it:

—Even if children survive by not being aborted in the womb, or, as some extremists from the left have proposed, being aborted up to a few weeks after birth …

—Even if young students are not emotionally damaged, beginning at the lowest grades in school, by being exposed to complex sexual issues and graphic sexual images and concepts that are well beyond their age to comprehend …

—Even if many adolescents are able to maintain their self-confidence, despite attempts to purposefully confuse them by teaching them to question their inner selves with regard to race and gender …

—Even if our children are not coerced to alter the sanctity of their God-given biology, despite the overt efforts by school officials to glorify transitioning to another gender …

—Even if youth who have gender dysphoria survive government-sanctioned emotional brainwashing, surgical mutilation, and chemical castration, and do not commit suicide …

—Even if middle and high school students can avoid the trauma of inappropriate or criminal sexual contact by teachers, coaches, pastors, priests, camp counselors, and other adults in authority positions …

—Even if the rulings of our next new Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is soft on sex offenders and whose proclivity is to side with convicted child predators instead of victimized children and families, don’t give the sexually deviant more of an incentive to prey upon our children …

—Even if young women aren’t discouraged from participating in healthy athletics because their sport is dominated by males who say they are females …

—Even if students don’t suffer long-term consequences from harmful mask mandates and vaccinations that never should have been imposed or recommended for them …

—Even if students somehow graduate from schools that don’t adequately prepare them to become a productive and proud member of our society, instead trying to turn them into political advocates …

—Even if our children grow into psychologically and physically secure young adults, despite continual prompts to view themselves as victims and part of some aggrieved identity-politics group …

—Even if they navigate this outrageous gantlet that the left has erected …

With the weight of all of this upon their shoulders, what are the odds—and how can we expect—that we will have raised a generation of Americans with the strength and wisdom to care properly for themselves, their families, and their country?

Most of these issues shouldn’t fall within the purview of schools. No one-size-fits-all, government-centric approach ever can adequately address the diverse needs and values of America’s melting pot of families.

Indeed, education on these issues must come from only within the private walls of each family’s domain. We seem to have forgotten that parents are the true and ultimate teachers of our children.

Only with an intimate understanding of each young person, developing as a unique individual—as only a close family member may truly know—should these issues be addressed.

In extreme circumstances, for instance, absent a stable family environment or with deeply troubled youth, public dollars can provide families with choices to seek private, professional therapy.

But the left’s strategy to indoctrinate our youth is nowhere near over.

The next major issue will be claims of the declining mental health of our nation’s youth—and it might be true to some extent. And, of course, the agenda-driven left will be ready to rush in with its latest prescriptions and school curricula, including destructive policies that will further advance its agenda and, ultimately, only make matters worse.

However, what you and I know—and what I presume the left also knows but will never admit—is that it was the left’s prescriptions that caused whatever mental health issues may exist in the first place.

These are purposefully inflicted wounds that will leave lifelong scars on our nation’s most precious assets.

So again: What are we doing to our children?



Thursday, May 19, 2022

‘Unrelenting Daily Confrontation’: After Roe Leak, Yale Law Students Call for Ostracizing Conservative Classmates and Tossing Out Constitution

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for students at Yale Law School, who are responding to news that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade with calls to accost their conservative classmates through "unrelenting daily confrontation" and toss the Constitution by the wayside.

Members of the law school’s conservative Federalist Society, first year law student Shyamala Ramakrishna said in an Instagram post, are "conspirators in the Christo-fascist political takeover we all seem to be posting frantically about." Why, she asked, are they still "coming to our parties" and "laughing in the library" without "unrelenting daily confrontation?"

Some of her classmates were less moderate.

"It’s not time for ‘reform,’" first-year law student Leah Fessler, a onetime New York Times freelancer, wrote on Instagram. "Democratic Institutions won’t save us." It is unclear how Fessler will apply that view as a legal intern this summer for federal judge Lewis Liman. Judge Liman did not respond to a request for comment.

Fessler isn’t alone. "Neither the constitution nor the courts—nor the f*cking illusion of ‘democracy’—are going to save us," first-year student Melisa Olgun posted. "How can we possibly expect a document, drafted by wealthy, white, landowning men, to protect those who face marginalization that is the direct result of the very actions of the founders?"

Contacted for comment, the students decried "leaks" of their social media posts and said the Washington Free Beacon was not "authorized" to publish them.

"This was posted PRIVATELY, on a private story, and was clearly leaked to you," Fessler said in an email, adding that the Free Beacon was "in no way authorized" to use the message.

"The post was on a private account on a private story that was sent to you without my knowledge," Olgun said. "You are in no way authorized to use it or my name in your story."

The replies may have been a tacit invocation of copyright laws that ban the dissemination of photos without their owner’s consent. Publishing private Instagram posts, a lawyer might argue, violates intellectual property rights, though Adam Candeub, an intellectual property expert at Michigan State University College of Law, called that argument "bullshit."

"It’s not clear copyright would even apply," Candeub said. "I wonder what they’re teaching at Yale Law School."

Eugene Volokh, a professor of First Amendment law at UCLA School of Law, said the copyright argument was a stretch. Jack Balkin, a First Amendment professor at Yale Law School, did not respond to a request for comment.

The reactions at Yale Law School, long ranked the top school in the country, reflect the radicalism of a younger generation of law students—and, some have speculated, of the leaker himself—who believe that long-standing legal norms perpetuate oppression.

Olgun, for one, lamented that the "‘liberal’ legal discipline will continue to bend over backwards to uphold the decorum, norms, and the sanctity of an institution that serves only those who benefit from originalism."

Such sentiments are widespread at Yale Law School. In March, nearly two-thirds of the student body signed an open letter condemning the Federalist Society for hosting a bipartisan panel on free speech.

The letter—which Fessler, Olgun, and Ramakrishna signed—also condemned the law school for calling "armed police" on "peaceful student protesters," who caused so much chaos at the panel that the speakers had to be escorted to a squad car outside.

Similar scenes have unfolded outside the homes of Supreme Court justices in the wake of the leak. Though it is illegal to picket a judge’s home "with the intent of influencing" a case, hundreds of protesters did just that to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, raising concerns about their safety. The Biden Administration does not appear to share those concerns: then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that "we certainly continue to encourage [peaceful protests] outside of judges' homes."

Congress has likewise taken a page from the Yale Law playbook. Days after a pro-life advocacy office was firebombed in Madison, Wis., House Democrats tried to kill a bipartisan bill that would beef up security for Supreme Court justices.

Nearly half those justices are graduates of Yale Law School, which churns out hundreds of law clerks each year. The school has an outsized effect on the legal system, producing a shocking volume of judges, academics, and government officials.

Since 1789, more than 4 percent of all federal judges have graduated from Yale Law. Alumni of the top-ranked school account for 17 percent of new law professors and three of the Federal Trade Commission’s five commissioners, including agency chair Lina Khan.

As the law school’s student body has radicalized, some judges are hoping to hem in its prestige. In March, D.C. Circuit judge Laurence Silberman warned his colleagues against hiring Yale students.

"The latest events at Yale Law School," Silberman wrote, "prompt me to suggest that students who are identified as those willing to disrupt any such panel discussion should be noted. All federal judges—and all federal judges are presumably committed to free speech—should carefully consider whether any student so identified should be disqualified from potential clerkships."


America’s Leadership Crisis Extends to College Campuses

America needs leadership. We face great challenges as a nation, and in order to tackle them head on in a successful manner, we need effective leaders willing to stand up for what’s right. I plan to do my part as a nominee for the position of Regent at the University of Michigan.

I plan to make a positive difference for generations to come by joining the University of Michigan Board of Regents and by bringing common sense, accountability, transparency and a fresh perspective to the university.

Let’s face it. The University of Michigan is facing an identity crisis. Let’s restore its place as the greatest public university in the world, following a series of unacceptable actions by individuals in the highest positions of authority at the University.

Former university president, Dr. Mark Schlissel, was forced out in disgrace following what the University described as an “inappropriate relationship with a university employee.” The actions by Dr. Schlissel tarnished the integrity of the school and sowed distrust in the current university leadership.

The school was forced to pay one of the largest settlements in the history of higher education after the horrific actions of Dr. Robert Anderson came to light. The fact that Dr. Anderson reportedly assaulted young students for four decades is unconscionable and deserves further investigation.

I understand, firsthand, how sexual abuse can permanently impact an individual with trauma and feelings that are impossible to put into words. As a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse, I will tackle these issues head on and ensure everyone’s voice is heard.

For these reasons, and others, I chose to run for an unpaid and often thankless position on the University of Michigan Board of Regents. I’m doing it for my four-year-old daughter Emma, and for all of our children’s future.

This year, I am running as a change-maker. I will bring accountability and transparency to the University to ensure Michigan taxpayers know how and where their money is being spent.

I understand what it takes to get things done. I’ll fight for every Michigander, regardless of partisan political persuasion, because that’s what the role demands. As a member of the Board of Regents, I won’t be representing just Republicans or Democrats, I’ll represent all Michiganders and our common interests at the University of Michigan.

I’ll hold powerful people accountable and ensure Michigan families have a fair shot to send their children to the University. I am a fourth-generation graduate, and I want to ensure all Michiganders have a fair shot at attending.

I come from a family of hardworking immigrants and entrepreneurs. My mother’s father is Stanley Winkelman of Winkelman’s Stores and my father’s father is Eugene Epstein of Vesco Oil Corporation. My parents instilled in me the values that most Americans hold dear; work hard, treat people with respect, stand up for what’s right and give back what you can.

These values are tried and true.

We must ensure the school is preparing students for the future. Unfortunately, in many cases, graduates are often ill-equipped and ill-prepared for a good-paying job with mountains of debt. I will make sure the school keeps the focus on what matters and ceases to waste public money on superfluous

I attended Harvard University and graduated with a degree in Economics. I’m a proud Harvard graduate and learned so much during my four years in Cambridge. After graduating from Harvard, I returned home and joined the family business.

I attended the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business while working with the company and continue to serve on various community boards. I’ve continued to give back the community and now I am stepping up for my daughter’s future, and all of our children’s future.

It’s time for a change. It's time to restore Michigan’s greatness.

That’s why I’m running for the University of Michigan, Board of Regents. To restore Michigan’s greatness and ensure every Michigander can be proud of the Maize and Blue, because every Michigander is connected to the University of Michigan.


After Backlash, NJ School Officials Dig Their Heels in on New Sex Ed Standards

Last month, New Jersey's new sex education and gender identity curriculum gained national attention, putting Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in the position of having to address the uproar.

At the time, he ordered the state Department of Education to review the standards, which were adopted two years ago, asking for "further clarification on what age-appropriate guidelines look like for our students."

He did, however, push back on what he claimed was a "distortion" of the standards.

"Unfortunately, our learning standards have been intentionally misrepresented by some politicians seeking to divide and score political points," the governor said in a statement, adding that he's "seen a handful of sample lesson plans being circulated that have not been adopted in our school districts and do not accurately reflect the spirit of the standards."

"Any proposed educational content that is not age-appropriate should be immediately revised by local officials," he continued.

But New Jersey school officials firmly rejected any attempt to revisit the standards, which are set to take effect in the fall.

The majority of state school board members and Acting Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan Wednesday defended a nearly two-year-old decision to include controversial topics, such as gender identity and abortion, in the state’s new sex education standards. […]

Four state school board members — Andrew Mulvihill, Jack Fornaro, Mary Beth Gazi, and Mary Beth Berry — voted against the revised sex education standards in 2020 and wrote a letter to Allen-McMillan Tuesday ahead of the board meeting. The letter requested a reexamination of the standards, removal of “some of the more controversial and graphic language,” and to delay implementation of the standards.

But, during the Wednesday meeting, Board President Kathy Goldenberg said there would not be a vote to postpone the implementation of the new standards, set to begin in September.

“At this point there will be no votes taken today,” Goldenberg said. “It’s not on the agenda. We won’t be doing it. It won’t happen.”

Allen-McMillan released a memo mid-April addressed to local district leaders that explained the “intent and spirit” of the sex education standards that were revised in June 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous standards were set in 2014. The 13-member New Jersey State Board of Education voted 9-4 to update the standards in a resolution after five months of discussion, public comment, and revisions.

“I firmly support the 2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards in comprehensive health and physical education,” Allen-McMillan said at the meeting. “I recognize that the department can strengthen our efforts to clarify the meaning and scope of the standards for educators.”

She also said she “wholeheartedly disagrees” with critics of the revised standards. One of the guidelines that concerns critics requires second-graders to learn about the “range of ways people express their gender and how gender-role stereotypes may limit behavior.”

“These standards are designed to ensure that children understand that everyone has the ability to live their life in the way that suits them, no matter their gender,” Allen-McMillan said in her memo last month. “They should also help children to understand that every person deserves respect, no matter their identity or expression.” (Chalkbeat)

Allen-McMillan said she will wait for the state Attorney General's Office to weigh in, according to

"If there's a quorum to do something like that then we'll look at that, but at this point it's not even a remote possibility," she said.




Wednesday, May 18, 2022

CUNY Law faculty back anti-Israel BDS resolution

The CUNY Law School faculty council approved an anti-Israel resolution supporting the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The professors on May 12 voted to endorse the BDS resolution that previously passed the CUNY Law Student Government Association last December, a spokesperson for the law school said.

The vote was taken a day before CUNY Law School’s graduation ceremony last Friday. No other details about the vote were available on Wednesday.

The resolution discusses the disputed territories occupied by Israel in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

“The unceasing military occupation and colonization of Palestine by the Israeli state is a manifestation of both settler colonialism and structural racism, supported politically, financially, and militarily by the U.S,” the resolution said.

The resolution demanded that CUNY sever ties with Israel and accused the school of being “directly complicit in the ongoing apartheid, genocide, and war crimes perpetrated by the State of Israel against the Palestinian people through its investments in and contracts with companies profiting off of Israeli war crimes.”

The group called for the school to terminate student exchange programs with Israel and to join the Boycott Divest Sanctions movement against the nation.

The Israel-Palestinian dispute has raged in recent years among faculty and students at a number of City University of New York campuses. Students on both sides claim they have been subjected to bullying and discrimination.

Meanwhile, CUNY administrators — including Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez and campus presidents — recently returned from a mission to Israel. The mission was co-sponsored by the New York Jewish Community Relations Council and a clear indication that CUNY brass opposes the BDS movement.

The union representing CUNY professors also caused a stir last year by passing a one-sided resolution criticizing Israel aggression in the ongoing conflict. Pro-Israel professors quit CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress union in protest.

Not even ice cream has escaped the heated debate. Ben & Jerry’s provoked a backlash when it announced it would not sell its ice cream in the disputed territories.


The culture wars have crept into Oxbridge admissions

The characters in Sarah Vaughan’s thriller Anatomy of a Scandal include rich Oxford undergraduates from Eton whose main preoccupations are drinking and trashing rooms. They are what it is fashionable to call ‘privileged white males’; while the typical female Oxbridge student is ‘slim, tall, well dressed. Entitled… they knew they belonged there’. The truth, however, is that although Eton is one of the top academic schools in the country, its ‘beaks’ are puzzled by the sharp reduction in the number of their brightest pupils gaining places at Oxbridge. The number of offers has halved between 2014 and 2021.

Not very different to Vaughan’s narrative is the argument of the Sutton Trust that we have a problem when 65 per cent of court judges were educated at independent schools. But some of these were at school half a century ago, in a very different educational setting. Much depends anyway on how the statistics are framed. Do such figures include the half-and-half category of direct grant schools, most of which are now independent but which admitted very large numbers of state-supported scholars?

Stephen Toope, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, said last week that ‘we have to make it very, very clear we are intending to reduce over time the number of people who are coming from independent school backgrounds into places like Oxford or Cambridge’. Actually, the colleges, not the university, choose whom to admit, but the selection of state school candidates in place of well-qualified competitors from private schools has been going on for a long time; it has simply become more obvious in the past few years. The university’s target figure for state school candidates has slowly crept upwards beyond three-quarters; but it was originally announced as a target (or, to use the current euphemism, ‘benchmark’), not a quota – I know because I was a member of the University Council then, and we were assured that what would always count in final consideration was candidates’ excellence.

So that meant going out and persuading state schools to send more applicants to Cambridge. It meant breaking down prejudices in some comprehensives which were telling their brightest students that Oxbridge was not for the likes of them. It is easy to play on the mystique of ivy-clad cloisters, ancient dining halls and arcane rituals, making what are much-loved traditions among a great many students of all backgrounds into deterrents, signs that the colleges were simply continuations of snobbish public schools whose members supposedly dominated Oxbridge social life and took pleasure in burning bank notes in front of beggars sleeping rough. But that snobbery is long gone. Entrance interviews turn on academic discussion, rather than the ability to catch a rugby ball.

To a remarkable extent these initiatives succeeded. Missions were sent to schools. ‘Access officers’ were appointed by colleges. Oxford and Cambridge were shown to be normal places, just like… just like what? They are not like anywhere except each other, and that is the reason for their stunning performance in the sciences and the humanities. Uniquely self-governing, containing a great variety of autonomous colleges, they possess secrets of success that mean they always stand at the top of the admittedly dubious international league tables. They provide a chance for undergraduates to ‘sit at the feet’, as one used to say, of some of the leading scholars and scientists in the world.

As more state schools match the performance levels of very good independent schools, it is only to be expected that more of their own candidates win places. Yet the TSA (‘Thinking Skills Assessment’) tests at Cambridge reveal some disturbing facts. Lately, successful candidates from private schools scored 73 on average, nearly five points higher than candidates from state schools. This worries many of those who teach maths and physics; their students have to cope with exceptionally challenging courses, and need to hit the ground running. In other words, candidates from one type of school with better scores are being turned away in favour of those from another type of school with lower scores.

So much for the claim made by the university’s spokesman in response to criticism of Toope’s comments: ‘The University of Cambridge does not discriminate against any applicant.’ Positive discrimination exists, and the other side of the same coin is negative discrimination against well-qualified candidates, who are often dismissed as ‘well-taught’, taking the credit away from the candidate. The head of one leading independent school asked me: ‘Where does meritocracy end and social engineering begin?’

Evidence of a deprived background (‘contextual data’) may well justify a difficult choice between closely matched candidates, in favour of the disadvantaged one. But when 35 per cent of independent school pupils receive some sort of bursary, sometimes total exemption from fees, it is clear that a very blunt instrument is being applied. Nor is it just those on very low incomes who may need help. I was governor of a school where we were discussing a rise in fees, to which I objected on ‘squeezed middle-class’ grounds, and was told by another governor, a delightful and wealthy man with rather limited horizons: ‘Well, they can forgo their winter skiing holiday.’ But that was a serious misrepresentation of the dilemma many parents face about where to find the money for school fees.

One hears academics saying: ‘The state-to-independent ratio is better this year.’ In what sense can one possibly say it is better? Maybe it is better because the Office for Students is less likely to threaten to claw back fees, as it can in theory do if the university is short of its target – but the idea that admissions to university are subject to an opinionated bureaucracy blindly pursuing its ideological objectives is deeply troubling.

Toope admits the crudity of making ‘state school’ a criterion for admission when he says the figures need to be broken down to identify selective grammar schools, which account for a significant proportion of state admissions. The implication that here too candidates will eventually suffer discrimination has already created outrage. The Times made public a case where a candidate from a state grammar school had a very high score of 82 in the TSA but was not even invited for interview. Of course there is, and should be, more to admissions than that score: a letter of reference, a personal statement, ideally the interview too. Creating a mix of students from different backgrounds who can strike sparks off each other is a desirable objective.

At the moment the really disadvantaged candidates are arguably the white males from outstanding independent schools. If they are rejected by their first-choice college and placed in the ‘pool’ so other colleges can look at their application, they nearly all sink without trace. So they go instead to Durham, St Andrews, Bristol and other Russell Group universities, excellent places – but, as Toope has hinted, they too are under pressure to cut numbers from certain types of school. One head talked to me about a potential brain drain as some of the best and brightest head to Harvard and Princeton, maybe never to return to Britain.

It is vital to remember that admitting students is all about individuals. University admissions have become another site for culture wars in which ‘white’, ‘male’ and ‘privileged’ are terms of disapproval, linked together to justify injustice. Imagined class must not determine admissions. School names should probably be omitted from application forms. Penalising applicants for their parents’ choice of school ‘strips the pupil of any agency’, to quote one distinguished head. It is a betrayal of the principles by which a great university has flourished.


Critical race theory-related ideas found in mandatory programs at 39 of top 50 US medical schools

At least 39 of America’s 50 most prestigious medical colleges and universities have some form of mandatory student training or coursework on ideas related to critical race theory (CRT), according to, which monitors CRT curricula and training in higher education.

Earlier this year, found that CRT was prevelant in medical schools across the country. The project from Legal Insurrection Foundation, a non-profit devoted to campus free speech and academic freedom, has since expanded its database and found even more elite medical schools are focusing on "racialization" of medicine.

"The national alarm should be sounding over the racialization of medical school education. The swiftness and depth to which race-focused social justice education has penetrated medical schools reflects the broader disturbing trends in higher education," Legal Insurrection founder William A. Jacobson told Fox News Digital.

Jacobson, a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, founded’s extensive database that has also examined elite K-12 private schools and 500 of America's top undergraduate programs.

The schools examined were based on the rankings by U.S. News’ rankings of America’s top medical schools. The latest findings show that 39 of the top 50 medical schools "have some form of mandatory student training or coursework" related to CRT and 38 offered materials by authors Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi, whose books explicitly call for discrimination, according to Jacobson.

"Mandatory so-called 'anti-racism' training centers ideology, not patients, as the focus of medical education. This is a drastic change from focusing on the individual, rather than racial or ethnic stereotypes," Jacobson said.

Training is sometimes targeted, such as a new requirement for a major or department, and sometimes school-wide. The subjects of mandatory training and coursework are worded and phrased differently at individual schools, but use terms including "anti-racism," "cultural competency," "equity," "implicit bias," "DEI – diversity, equity and inclusion" and critical race theory, according to

In 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) committed to utilizing CRT in a variety of ways and criticized the idea that people of different backgrounds should be treated the same. All 50 schools examined by are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which sponsors the Association of American Medical Colleges, which has also taken steps to support anti-racist initiatives, and the AMA.

Earlier this year, guidance issued by the Biden administration stated certain individuals may be considered "high risk" and more quickly qualify for monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals used to treat COVID-19 based on their "race or ethnicity."

The study found that 12 schools have department-specific mandatory training, including The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University’s Committee on Anti-Racism and Equity (CARE) that established Discussing Anti-Racism and Equity (DARE) as an "educational intervention aimed at emergency medicine frontline providers."

According to, the curriculum for these medical students includes "conferences on racism and equity, simulations, reading groups, and film screenings integrated into the existing education at Brown in order to ‘encourage anti-racist attitudes and behaviors’ and to provide ‘equitable and actively anti-racist care’ by assessing implicit bias and structural racism."

The study also found that 17 schools have school-wide mandatory training, including Albert Einstein College of Medicine and University of Utah School of Medicine. These trainings at these schools consist of modules, online orientations, orientation programs and all other forms of training that fall short of an academic course, according to found that 28 of the 50 schools have school-wide mandatory curricula, such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), CRT or similar elements embedded into the general curriculum of the university. The Ohio State University School of Medicine and Keck School of Medicine of USC are among the schools that fall into this category.

"Almost all medical students will have attended colleges and universities awash in so-called 'anti-racism' social justice educational and training mandates," Jacobson said. "These concepts will not be new to them, but they are attending medical school to learn about medicine and patient care, not as a refresher course on undergraduate race-focused education."

He believes "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion entrenched bureaucracies promote, protect and relentlessly expand their administrative territory in medical schools," but the resources should instead be used "to expand medical knowledge and patient care, not to enforce an ideological viewpoint."

The study found that 28 schools also have some sort of mandatory training for faculty or staff, which can either be department specific or implemented school-wide. found that everything from onboarding new hires to filling out faculty research applications can include terms such as anti-racism, cultural competency, DEI, equity, implicit bias and critical race theory.

Jacobson’s team at isn’t finished putting a spotlight on the situation that many feel is plaguing medical schools across the nation.

"We expect to roll out a visual interactive map of our medical school database, to accompany our higher ed map, as part of a broader expansion of in the near future," Jacobson said.

Last month, nonprofit organization Do No Harm was launched to fight back against radical progressive ideology in the healthcare industry while promoting fairness, equal access, and the best, most personalized treatment for every patient.

"We are a diverse group of physicians, healthcare professionals, medical students, patients, and policymakers united by a moral mission: Protect healthcare from a radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology. We believe in making healthcare better for all – not undermining it in pursuit of a political agenda," the organization’s website explains.

A recent Marist Poll, sponsored by Do No Harm, found a mere 28% of Americans feel elevating race or ethnicity as a more significant risk factor over medical history in determining the type of treatment prescribed for patients would be beneficial

Defenses of CRT-associated materials have ranged from outright denying CRT is being taught, to claiming that the underlying ideas are key to creating an inclusive educational environment.




Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Indiana, Louisiana high schools helping low-income students earn associate, bachelor's degrees

A handful of high schools in some of the country's toughest neighborhoods created a curriculum to help low-income students earn college credits while attending high school.

Kevin Teasley, founder of the nonprofit Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation, told Fox News his schools empower students to do more than what traditional schools allow them to do.

Its flagship location, 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Indiana, was founded in 2005. The GEO Next Generation High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was developed three years ago, and the GEO Next Generation High School in Indianapolis was launched during the pandemic.

When Teasley opened his first school in Gary, he had a mission to combat the high school dropout rate in the area, which was about 50%. He wanted to inspire kids to not only go to college but graduate college.

For several years, he implemented various college prep courses to help students ready themselves for the transition to college. They worked on college applications and toured college campuses.

However, Teasley realized it wasn't working.

He came to the conclusion that the students he was trying to help already had the mindset that they weren't going to college because no one in their families had gone before them. About 90% of the households in the area didn't have a college graduate, Teasley said.

In 2010, one of Teasley's brightest students, Vincent, said he was dropping out of school. He was 16 years old and just finishing up his sophomore year.

"He looked at me, and he said, 'Look, nobody in my family went to college. I'm not going to college. And my family needs me to bring money home to help pay the bills,'" Teasley recalled.

To convince him to stay, Teasley told his star student that if he passed the college entrance exam, he would pay for him to take college courses while in high school.

"It's not that he didn't want to go to college … he didn't think he could afford it," Teasley said. "He didn't think he was college material, and he didn't think anybody supported him."

That's when Teasley realized he needed to replace the old way of doing things. Rather than focusing on the process, Teasley said he started focusing on each individual student.

It all started with Vincent.

"We supported him the whole way. And two years later, he not only graduated from our high school on time, he graduated as the first student in northwest Indiana history to actually earn a full associate degree," he said. "Two years of college while in high school."

To celebrate, Teasley brought all students from kindergarten through 12th grade into the gym to celebrate Vincent's success.

Now, every high school student who walks through the halls of one of Teasley's schools has that same opportunity, and it's free of charge. Teasley's program covers the cost of tuition, books, transportation, counseling and academic support.

When the students are not taking their regular high school classes, they're sitting in class on a college campus. Students in Gary can take courses at Indiana University Northwest, Purdue University Northwest or Ivy Tech Community College.

Students in Louisiana take courses at Baton Rouge Community College, and students in Indianapolis take classes at Ivy Tech, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and Marian University.

"Instead of taking English 11 in 11th grade, they take English 101 at the college level," which counts for a high school and college credit, Teasley said.

Over the last 10 years, 50 students at the flagship school in Gary have earned an associate degree while in high school, and one student earned a bachelor's degree.

Today, the graduation rate at the school in Gary is 95%. The school's college readiness rate is also 90%, compared to the local high school rate of 37%.

"Remember, we're coming out of an environment where most people are dropping out of high school," Teasley said. "They're not accustomed to graduating from high school, and they're certainly not accustomed to going to college."

The schools in Louisiana and Indianapolis are only a few years old. However, students at both schools are already on track to earn associate degrees next year, according to Teasley.


Student Loan Forgiveness Hurts Most Americans

You may have seen over the past two weeks dozens of articles emerging detailing the Biden Administration’s plans to address the student loan debt crisis in the United States via executive fiat. While plans to cancel student loans may ostensibly sound noble, they actually penalize the majority of Americans who do not have a college degree. Instead of promoting personal responsibility, the Biden Administration is championing a plan that will increase taxes on the lowest earners in our nation to subsidize educational decisions made by the highest earners. This plan to cancel student loan debt amounts to nothing more than political prodigality designed to secure young people’s vote in the elections to come.

When I was 18 years old I decided to attend Saint Anselm College in my home state of New Hampshire. It made the most sense for me given that I was awarded an athletic scholarship alongside some additional scholarship money based on academic merit. While the scholarship funds did help lower the cost of college, I too graduated college with some student loan debt. After graduating, I got a job and began paying off my remaining student loans. This experience is becoming less common as my generation has unfortunately experienced rising costs in higher education and coupled that with poor decisions on their choice of college.

However, attending college at the end of the day is a personal choice and that consequences the follow should not be thrust upon those who did not decide to go to college. Accordingly, it should not be a surprise to hear that the majority of student loan debt is owned by higher income households. For example, according to the Brookings Institution, the highest income households—defined as those who make nearly $75,000 per year—owe almost 60% of the outstanding education debt and comprise of over three quarters of those payments. Comparatively, lower income households only make up 20% of the outstanding student debt in the United States and fill the remaining quarter of payments. However, those who do go to college, on average, make more than those who do not and therefore the decision to go to college is one that can pay off in the long run.

Yet, many Americans make the equally judicious decision for themselves not to attend college and therefore are not subject to the over-encumbering financial burdens that often follow higher education. Why should they be forced to subsidize the decisions made by others?

Furthermore, American colleges and universities have increasingly become centers of indoctrination for progressive and woke policies. No longer are colleges sources of rigorous debate and intellectual discourse. This trend has also turned many hardworking Americans who love and support our country away from these institutions as they have grown increasingly hostile to the bedrocks of American society. Additionally, there are plenty of alternatives for those looking to secure a good life for themselves and their families.

Instead of cancelling student loan debt, the Biden Administration should support things like trade schools as did its predecessor. In 2020, the Department of Education proposed a doubling of federal commitment to provide states with funds for career and technical education, boosting funding from roughly $1.2 billion to over $2 billion. This investment would have been the first major federal investment in vocational education in over two decades. Yet, the Biden Administration has seemingly ignored such plans and continues its quest to cancel student loan debt. Outside of promoting vocational schools, joining the military is a great career path for many young men and women looking to give back to their country and enjoy great life-starting benefits in return for their service to the nation.

Unfortunately, the Biden Administration refuses to promote such alternatives and instead is asking millions of Americans without college degrees to foot the trillion-dollar bill for those who made their own decision to go to college.

As a member of Gen-Z, I understand the reality we face when deciding to go to college, yet ultimately personal responsibility must be at the forefront. When deciding if and where to go to college, it is a risk that we take and must deal with the consequences—such as thousands of dollars of debt. We cannot force others to subsidize the decisions that we made because of the costs that follow. Furthermore, the cancelling of student loan debt will hurt the millions of Americans who decided to forge their own paths in a different way, while crushing lower income households in the face of record-breaking inflation.

The Biden Administration must end this woke charade for votes and actually begin enacting policies that work for all of the American people, no matter their level of education.


Critical Race Theory and Small-Town America

Like so many other small hamlets across the U.S., critical race theorists have dragged Pickens’ K-12 school system into the spotlight.

Pickens County, S.C., is home to the college football powerhouse Clemson University. Any headlines about this county, all 512-square miles of it, usually involve the Tigers. But like so many other small hamlets across the U.S., critical race theorists have dragged Pickens’ K-12 school system into the spotlight.

In April, Pickens Middle School officials sent a letter to school parents saying that children would be segregated by race for lunch on April 15th. The racial segregation would be part of a program to help students “cope with being a student in a predominantly white school,” according to the message school leaders sent to parents.

Critical race theorists are making their message that everything in public and private life represents a racial power struggle ubiquitous in K-12 institutions. As I explain in my book, Splintered: Critical Race Theory and the Progressive War on Truth, parents around the country are reporting similar racially-focused lessons and school programs in their schools.

For example, Scarlett Johnson describes her town in Wisconsin’s Mequon-Thiensville School District as “quiet, friendly, nice.” But then she began noticing lesson plans and other activities that did not focus on skills and facts but on personal “identity” and claims that America is systemically oppressive. Much of the material was “focused on making kids social justice warriors,” Scarlett says.

Scarlett launched a campaign to recall her district’s school board members. Shortly after the campaign launched, she found herself the object of a New York Times’ feature claiming “Republicans are using fears of critical race theory to drive school board recalls.”

Really? In a survey of the literature describing the ways in which critical race theory is used in K-12 schools, two University of Utah professors who promote the theory wrote in 2015:

Within the span of the last two decades, critical race theory (CRT) has become an increasingly permanent fixture in the toolkit of education researchers seeking to critically examine educational opportunities, school climate, representation, and pedagogy, to name a few.

The professors then added, “CRT has evolved into a type of revolutionary project.... [W]e owe it to ourselves, and others, to help safeguard CRT.”

By the theorists’ own admission, then, parents are not just imagining that critical race theory haunts school lessons. In response, parents such as Scarlett are leading school board recall efforts to protect children from discrimination. Advocacy groups such as Parents Defending Education are reporting activities such as those at Pickens Middle School to the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and filing lawsuits arguing that districts such as Pickens are violating the Civil Rights Act.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are introducing proposals that say no teacher or student should be compelled to affirm or believe any idea, but especially not ideas that violate federal or state civil rights laws.

Before dismissing such proposals as attempts to prevent white students from feeling “discomfort,” parents, taxpayers and members of the media should look closer at what critical race theorists are claiming—and what the theory inevitably causes: Discrimination. Those who claim parents are simply creating things to be afraid of should be ashamed that any child would face bias and prejudice, in school or out of school. ?




Monday, May 16, 2022

I’ve faced many dangers, but the screaming hate of campus woke warriors left me shaking with fear

JULIE BINDEL explains how female students are bullied out of hearing from feminists

In 2004 Julie Bindel wrote an article criticising transgender activists who tried to close a rape crisis centre which wouldn’t include transwomen as counsellors

She received criticism and abuse when she gave a speech on feminism at York University, and was labelled as transphobic
She says that she will now be giving up on the university staff who enable behaviour that has prohibited female students hearing from feminists

"Even as I accepted the invitation, I knew there would be trouble. The moment it got out that evil, monstrous Julie Bindel was to set foot on campus at York University, it was all entirely predictable.

In the old, logical days, long-standing feminist campaigners like me would often be invited to universities by student feminist groups.

But in 2004, I wrote an article criticising transgender activists who tried to close down a rape crisis centre which wouldn’t include male-bodied transwomen as counsellors, and ever since I have been dogged by so-called progressives who consider me ‘transphobic’.

As a result university feminist groups, which nowadays are stuffed with just these ‘progressives’ and barely focus on women at all, largely consider me persona non grata and demand that I be banned from all events.

It was a sign of the times that the group that invited me to give a talk on feminism at York was the university’s Free Speech Society. It was scheduled for February but trouble immediately materialised and both the feminist and the LGBTQ societies got it cancelled. But my hosts did not back down and, pledging to guarantee the safety of both students and speaker, rescheduled the talk. It happened last week, in an atmosphere I found both deeply disturbing and profoundly distressing.

The night before, I woke in the small hours dreading what I would face. I admit to feeling horribly anxious and on the verge of cancelling. I’d seen social media posts organising a protest and knew I’d have to go on my own. Stringent security measures imposed by the university meant that only students and staff could be present.

I heard the noise before I saw the crowd. ‘Bindel, out!’ ‘Not welcome on our campus,’ ‘Decrim(inalise) sex work now’ and the like. I could have cried. How has this mad transgender ideology so captured the female students who, just a few years ago, would have welcomed me warmly as a mentor?

There were four burly guards who told me they’d first have to do a sweep of the room for smoke bombs and weapons. No one was allowed water bottles, in case someone threw one at me.

My heart started racing and my mouth was dry. Here I was, a feminist preparing to give a talk on male violence, being told that I could well be attacked. At that stage I almost walked out, but I knew that the humiliation would be too much to bear.

I couldn’t let the bullies win. I told myself I had been through this before. Yes, at Edinburgh University in 2019 I encountered verbal abuse, and one individual who physically lunged at me, but there weren’t many protesters then, and a fair number wanted to hear me. This time was the worst I’ve ever known it. I’d been told most students had been scared away, so I’d be in a room with fewer than 20 people, while 100 were outside, screaming my name.

My hands were shaking. I could not let the protesters see how sick I was feeling, so I approached some of them and tried to speak to them, but was blocked by a man who kept pushing a sign in my face: ‘Not on our campus’.

Every time I tried to take a photograph to record what was happening to me, he would thrust the sign towards my face as though he was going to hit me with it.

Someone waved a ‘Kiss my man boob’ placard at me. There were explicit comments about what I should do to their ‘trans d***’. Students — and a few members of staff — shouted vile things at me through megaphones. Female students turned their backs on me. It felt aggressive and hugely, horribly personal. I have reported from war zones — these were just a bunch of students. And yet it was devastating to hear them scream at me.

The few young women I did manage to talk to told me that my presence was ‘literal violence’. They told me I was a transphobe and a ‘whorephobe’ (I campaign against the sex trade). They shouted that there were 1,300 ‘sex worker’ students at York, and that I was a danger to them. I could have sobbed at the injustice of it.

Back in the room, I began: ‘Imagine that you have heard nothing at all about me, do not know me by reputation, except that I’m a feminist who has fought all her life to end rape and domestic violence.’ I said this because I had noticed two students from the demonstration were there, glaring at me. The talk went smoothly, but I honestly couldn’t wait to get out.

Healthy debate is impossible in that atmosphere, but what makes me saddest of all is that the women who scream at me have such a poor understanding of feminism and of me and my work. They criticise a mad, mangled parody. And, yes, it really does affect me. I feel unjustly attacked.

I became a feminist activist aged 17. This was in 1979, when sexism was brutal, in your face and constant. I faced it as a cleaner in a pub. The landlord sexually harassed me, then tried to rape me. I escaped, and found sisterhood in my feminist group.

One of the first campaigns I was involved in was to criminalise rape within marriage, which only became illegal in 1992. Since then, I have set up organisations such as Justice for Women, which highlights the injustice of sentences handed down to women such as Sally Challen, jailed for life after killing her sadistically abusive husband.

Somehow this has led campaigners to believe that I’m inciting violence, peddling hatred, or even ‘literally’ perpetrating violence. It’s an upside-down world when I’m the one who is ‘dangerous’ and a ‘bigot’.

How can I answer the charges when they are so at odds with reality? I speak all over the world on the global sex trade and its harm to women and girls, including at the United Nations. I have campaigned with sex trade survivors to change the law so that women convicted of prostitutionrelated offences have their records expunged.

Yet one twenty-something activist felt moved to mischaracterise my beliefs to her social media followers in this way: ‘Bindel is an advocate for the Nordic model. This is a model that criminalises sex-working individuals and denies them worker rights, which has been proven to put them at an increased risk of rape, murder, and coercion.

‘Bindel’s whole career is founded in supporting the mass homicide of sex workers.’ Mass homicide? Of women I’ve campaigned alongside for 40 years?

It feels like they are looking at me through a funhouse mirror and using my distorted reflection to mock my life’s work. And yet it is me that they accuse of hate speech. Maybe you think the treatment I suffered at York University shouldn’t affect me by now. I am an older media professional with a successful career and public profile, and they are just students, exercising their right to protest.

My life’s work has been trashed by lies

But this is as callous as it is disingenuous. I am not a robot. I have feelings. My life’s work, much of it activism and therefore unpaid, has been trashed by these protesters who spin lies about me.

After my hideous ordeal, I met a group of young women who were keen to talk about the real issues — sexual harassment, rape on campus — and it gave me a sliver of hope.

But how angry it makes me that they have to sneak around and hide their views; that female students are being bullied out of hearing from feminists who have actually achieved something and can help.

I went to bed feeling deeply depressed, unable to sleep. This time was different. I’m still not over it. I feel upset when I think about it. I think I always will. At the moment, academia feels like a closed door to feminists like me. After running the gauntlet through a hail of horrid insults and damaging untruths, I made a decision.

I won’t be giving up on young women — far from it — but for now, I will be giving up on British universities whose staff enable such behaviour


As Parents Resisted Transgender Push, Teacher Suggested Sending in Child Services

If Erin Lee had known what her 12-year-old daughter would be exposed to during an afterschool “art club” last May, she would have never allowed her to go.

It began innocently enough. Lee received a text from her daughter asking if she could stay late for an “art club” at Wellington Middle School near Fort Collins, Colorado.

What happened next, though, would change their lives forever.

The “art club” was actually a meeting of the school’s Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) club, a group dedicated to supporting homosexuality, transgenderism, and other nontraditional ideas about gender and sexuality.

When the leader told Amanda (name changed to protect the minor) she must be “queer” if she didn’t feel sexually attracted to anybody, and that she must be “transgender” if she didn’t feel fully comfortable in her own body, the shy little girl suspected something wasn’t right.

According to Amanda, that same leader told her not to tell her parents about what would be discussed that day.

The woman in charge, Kimberly Chambers, who works as a “health equity initiatives coordinator” for Larimer County and director of the pro-LGBT organization SPLASH Youth of Northern Colorado, also handed out her personal contact information to the children and urged them to contact her anytime.

Chambers’s organization has boasted of teaching children ages 12 to 16 about “polyamory”—relationships with multiple sexual partners simultaneously—and other controversial ideas.

During the afterschool GSA club, according to Amanda, Chambers explained to the children that their family homes may not be a “safe space,” but that there were “resources” available. She also handed out transgender flags and stickers that Amanda understood were supposed to represent the children in the club.

As soon as Lee picked up her daughter at school, it was clear that something was “off,” the mother told The Epoch Times in a series of interviews about the incident.

Amanda, looking confused, showed her mother the transgender paraphernalia she had received from Chambers. The transgender flag represented her, Amanda told her mom.

“My heart started racing and my mind blacked out,” Lee recounted. “I was in so much shock that I struggled to get out any words.”

Even though the GSA leader at school had told Amanda it was OK to lie to her parents, Amanda knew better. Over the days that followed, she told her parents everything, Lee said.

Amanda’s parents could hardly believe what they were hearing. Lee, who has described herself as an “ally of the LGBTQ community” and said she has a history of voting “pretty progressively on social issues,” was appalled.

But that would be just the beginning of an ordeal that continues to haunt the family.

The Fallout

Amanda never went back to the school after that. Instead, her parents put her in a local Christian school, even though it meant Lee would have to work nights to afford it. But as Lee and her husband saw it, there was no other choice.

Despite that Amanda was pulled out of Wellington Middle School, the family’s difficulties grew.

After the lesson, Amanda began to wonder whether she might truly be queer and transgender. Her mental state began to rapidly deteriorate, her mother said.

Multiple family members confirmed to The Epoch Times that prior to what Lee describes as the “grooming” of her daughter at school, Amanda never showed any signs of “gender dysphoria,” the term used by psychiatrists to describe discomfort with one’s biological sex.

Afterward, though, it was hard for the girl to shake the idea.

Lee and her husband, who was outraged by the ordeal, struggled for months with how to talk to their daughter about what had happened.

“We didn’t want to say something that would push her further into this dark hole or further into this transgender label,” Lee said. “And we did exactly what the trusted adults who indoctrinated her told her we would do. We played right into their narrative.”

Weeks after the incident, as her mental state got worse, the parents decided to take Amanda to a therapist. The therapist also ended up being “queer” and sought to affirm the young girl’s confusion about her gender.

By December, between the COVID isolation and the questions surrounding her gender, Amanda’s mental state was spiraling downward, Lee said.

The pediatrician immediately prescribed powerful psychotropic drugs for depression—medications that Amanda has since been weaned from—in an attempt to deal with the crisis.

“I don’t know if that fear will ever go away,” Lee said about her own concerns. “I don’t expect to ever stop being struck with sadness about what happened.”

Fighting Back

The more she thought about the whole ordeal, the more Lee realized she had to do something.

First, she contacted Chambers, the woman who Lee says “groomed” her daughter and who also sometimes works as a substitute teacher for the district. “Her response was alarming,” Lee said. “It was delusional. She doubled down on her actions.”

Next, she contacted the principal, who seemed empathetic but confirmed that secret GSA meetings with children were an intentional part of creating a “safe space” at school.

There are more than two dozen self-proclaimed LGBT children in the small middle school, according to social media posts by SPLASH. And the district is determined that they be “affirmed” without parental involvement, Lee said.

After all that, Lee spoke out at a school board meeting and contacted all its members by email. None responded. When she was finally able to sit down with two of them, they both “supported everything that transpired and refused to address any of my concerns.”

Finally, exasperated and realizing her first call would have been to the police if this had occurred on a playground or any other setting, Lee contacted the sheriff’s office.

While law enforcement was deeply sympathetic to her plight, and urged her to speak out loudly, there was nothing they could do from a legal perspective, Lee said.

District officials, meanwhile, saw nothing wrong with what had occurred, she said. Indeed, some expressed shock that a parent would be upset over the incident.

As Lee fought back, school officials were working on their next move.

Among other tactics, documents and communications obtained by The Epoch Times revealed a discussion about the possibility of reporting the parents to child-welfare authorities.

When Chambers was informed by the art teacher that Amanda’s parents had not been sending her to school since the incident, Chambers wrote back urging her to consider filing a report and have child-protection officials visit the home.

“If that persists, you’ll want to talk to admin about doing a well-child check or whatever is within the policies of the school,” Chambers wrote, describing upset parents as “barriers” and citing an “extreme case” in which a family did not allow their transgender child to leave the home unsupervised.

Lee was flabbergasted after receiving the documents.

“I knew this woman was evil, but I didn’t see this coming,” she said. “This teacher and Kimberly [Chambers] forced us to pull our child out of school by creating an unsafe environment, then discussed sending CPS into our home because we pulled her out, at our most vulnerable moment as a family—that they caused.

“If my child had indicated that we were not affirming her pronouns and trans identity, I believe the authorities would’ve taken our child away. And everyone involved knew this.”


Transgender Infusion Takes Over School Systems: Enter the Pronoun Pin

image from

“Learning only happens when students feel like they belong.”
That is the vision according to the Oregon Episcopal School website. That’s right-Episcopal. In this new age of gender-awakening and fluidity, the Director of the school’s Center for Learning and Teaching, Asha Appel, is taking full advantage.

The new push is “pronoun pins,” the latest stop on the road to inclusivity. Available to all OES employees, students, and their families, there are three pin messages: He-Him, She-Her, and They-Them—and they come in a handful of different colors. “OES teachers want students to know that their classrooms are spaces where students have voice and agency,” says Appel. “A teacher wearing a button declaring their own pronouns creates an inclusive classroom for kids who are working on their identity.

By wearing a button, the teacher is saying ‘you can safely share your pronouns here.” ‘All-School Equity Coach’ Willow McCormick added the following : “If we are trying to create an atmosphere of belonging, where every child at OES feels seen, known, and accepted, then it’s the impetus on adults to set the tone and conditions for that sharing of self. What I’ve seen in other places is the burden falls to the student who doesn’t exist within the gender binary to educate all of the adults about who they are and that the gender spectrum exists.”

With seemingly no hesitation or limitations, this training continues throughout academia as well all over our nation, many times with or without parental knowledge or consent, leading to a singular, sobering conclusion: this is more prevalent than most would dare consider, and more deeply rooted than most would dare believe. How did we get here?

Changing Definitions

In 2004, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary listed the term, “Trans-gender” this way: “having personal characteristics(as transsexuality and transvestism) that transcend traditional gender boundaries and corresponding sexual norms.” Even then, the individuals cited were generally adults (and by and large male) who had made this decision as an adult, and rarely if at all, sought to change his sex. In addition, the Williams Institute records that only 0.6%, or about 1.4 million identified as such based on a 2016 report.
However, something has changed.

Within the last few years, a relatively new trend has begun; not just in our homes-but in our schools. An unprecedented surge in girls, not boys-questioning their sexuality, as well as their gender, and seeking to change it. This is being done in most cases, or in many cases, WITHOUT parental endorsement and assistance. This was predominately an area that had been long since dominated by males not females. Nevertheless, the encouragement and push urging questioning girls to become transgender men is at an all-time high. While this was once an anomaly-it is now by and large a well endorsed part of our social construct-and academia has clearly taken notice.




Sunday, May 15, 2022

Florida to Teach Students About Evils of Communism. Some on the Left Aren’t Happy About It

Florida students will now learn about the evils of communist totalitarianism, thanks to the Florida Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis signed HB 395 into law on Monday, creating a “Victims of Communism Day” in which middle school students will receive at least 45 minutes of instruction every Nov. 7 on topics “such as Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution, [Josef] Stalin and the Soviet system, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and Nicolas Maduro and the Chavismo movement.”

It’s a remarkably positive step.

Given the fact that the struggle against communism was the primary focus of American society and foreign policy for generations and that communism still threatens us today, isn’t it appropriate that high school students learn something about it?

Not according to some on the modern left.

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato told me on Twitter that Florida’s initiative is just “political posturing.” Teaching high school students about the murderous regimes of Stalin, Mao, Castro, and other communists is “red baiting,” according to some in the media.

If that’s “red baiting,” then what would you call teaching students about Nazi atrocities and the Holocaust? Surely, young Americans should know about that.

A Miami Herald columnist, Fabiola Santiago, who is from Cuba, ranted that teaching a lesson about communism to students is itself just like communism.

Interestingly, we didn’t get those same comparisons when California mandated a full semester on ethnic studies for students to graduate high school. Some of the people and groups who spearheaded that initiative and shaped the model curriculum were Marxists.

Is it so ridiculous to set aside a single day each year—in a state with many refugees from communism—to talk about an ideology that has done so much harm in the world and has threatened to overthrow free societies around the globe?

Yes, according to Jezebel, which actually went with the line that “true” communism hasn’t been tried yet.

“For any impressionable Florida kids that may be reading this, please note that there have never been any ‘true’ communist countries, owing largely to violent intervention from the U.S. and other Western superpowers,” wrote Jezebel’s Kylie Cheung.

It would have all worked if not for that pesky United States!

Cheung also mocked the contention that communism has killed 100 million people. That’s some kind of right-wing fantasy pulled out of thin air, apparently.

To the contrary, historian David Satter wrote in The Wall Street Journal that communist regimes have killed on an “industrial scale.”

The numbers are staggering.

“In total, no fewer than 20 million Soviet citizens were put to death by the regime or died as a direct result of its repressive policies,” Satter wrote. “This does not include the millions who died in the wars, epidemics, and famines that were predictable consequences of Bolshevik policies, if not directly caused by them.”

When you count the victims not just of the Soviet Union, but of the various communist regimes it was linked to, “including those in Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia,” Satter calculated, the number is about 100 million.

Even apart from communism’s lethality is the destructive nature of communism on the living. The ideology destroys economies, strips citizens of basic rights, saps them of their spirit, deprives them of religion and faith, and reduces them to slavery in the name of equality.

Just days after DeSantis signed the Florida legislation, Roman Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen, a 90-year-old retired archbishop, was arrested by Chinese authorities for his support of democracy in Hong Kong.

The evil of communism is still very much with us.

Unfortunately, young Americans are woefully uninformed about communism and the Cold War. According to a poll conducted in 2016, about one-third of millennials thought that more people were killed under George W. Bush than under Stalin.

More recent polls show that Gen Z is also generally ignorant about communism.

One of the foundational reasons for publicly funded education in America is to cultivate self-governing citizens of a republic. Giving American students a basic understanding of the differences between a free society, like ours, and totalitarian societies is essential.

How can they even understand our own country’s flaws if they have nothing to compare them against or to contextualize them?

Students should learn about the history of slavery and racism in America. What the left-wing education establishment increasingly wants is to mandate teaching about those things to the exclusion of anything else.

Even more, it wants to inject lessons in history and even science and math with warped ideology—such as critical race theory—that actually make us more racist and less free.

Its initiatives create an extremely distorted picture of the United States.

Throughout its history, America has been a symbol of liberty. In the 20th century, after a remarkable rise in power, it played an active role in opposition to totalitarianism on behalf of free people.

First was the fight in World War II against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan—the triumph of which would have created a new dark age.

Next was the long, twilight struggle—as liberal President John F. Kennedy called it—against the Soviet Union and international Marxism. The goal of the Soviet Union, stated very plainly, was to bury the United States and free societies, to push Western civilization onto the ash heap of history.

History, the communists claimed, was on their side. To make sure of that, they imprisoned political dissenters en masse, starved their own people, directly killed millions more, and waged war on those who resisted around the world.

For a time, the United States was the only serious earthly counter to that threat. It was a symbol of hope for people living under the jackboot of fascism and communism.

Countless people abroad who live under the most direct threat of oppression understand what we stand for, at the most fundamental level.

Our own people should know that, too. Learning about communist tyranny and atrocities is a good place to start.


Striving for ‘Menstrual Equity,’ Oregon Puts Tampons in Men’s Bathrooms at Public Schools, Colleges

According to a new poll, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, is officially the least popular governor in America. And considering the law she just signed, it’s not hard to see why.

Thanks to the Menstrual Dignity Act that just passed, local taxpayers are now on the hook for thousands of new tampon dispensers in boys’ bathrooms. This latest madness, which affects every public school and college in the state, is expected to cost up to $400 a machine. And school custodians aren’t the only ones upset about it.

“This will show all of our youth, and especially our trans youth, that the bathroom they’re using, that affirms their gender, that it’s for them,” argued one Portland resident, “and it has the products there that they might need.”

Legislators agreed, expanding a bill that was originally intended to give female students free sanitary products at school. Now, in an absurd gesture, the state has decided to “affirm the right to menstrual dignity for transgender, intersex, nonbinary, and two-spirit students” by trying to “minimize negative attention that could put them at risk of harm … during menstruation.”

In the state’s guidance, school officials are told to use gender-neutral phrases like “menstruating students” instead of “girls.” When it comes to explaining the reproductive process, teachers are instructed to tell kids that “someone with a uterus and ovaries may begin to menstruate,” instead of girls. There’s no such thing as “female hygiene products,” the toolkit argues, only “menstrual products.”

Obviously, state leaders didn’t bother to consult their counterparts in Illinois, where a similar move has literally opened the floodgates to expensive plumbing issues and mischief. “When you give a grade-school boy something that’s adhesive, they’re going to put it in places,” Illinois Republicans argued during their debate.

“These products are not inexpensive, and they are going to be misused if they are placed in elementary school boys’ bathrooms,” Republican state Rep. Avery Bourne fumed last year.

Case in point: campuses like Loyola University, where janitors are dealing with all kinds of pranks, tampering, and vandalism. Sanitary pads “would end up on the mirrors, in the sinks, down the toilet, and completely thrown out,” one students group complained.

School administrators have also had to deal with the fallout of this lunacy in Illinois, admitting, “Operationally for our building, yes, it is creating problems … ” Huntley High Assistant Principal Tom Kempf said. “[T]he custodian has to spend an extra hour fixing something … ”

What’s next? Urinals in the girls’ restrooms?

“I’m telling you, there is no logic here,” Republican state Sen. Jil Tracy warned before the state ignored her and passed the bill. “We’ve got to quit playing these stupid silly games here and get real and get fiscally responsible.”

Unfortunately, “menstrual equity” is only scratching the surface of outrage in most states, where parents are fighting a much more sinister abuse of their authority. In Florida, mom January Littlejohn is actually suing her school district for helping her teenage daughter transition without her consent.

On “Fox & Friends,” she explained how she stumbled on a “transgender support plan” that school officials were working on behind Littlejohn’s back that included everything from preferred pronouns, overnight rooming situations for field trips, switching to boys’ restrooms, and other steps that they never called home to discuss.

“This is happening all over the nation,” Littlejohn warned. “This same protocol is in place in many, many schools across districts everywhere … So this is a very systematic way that parents are being excluded from important decisions occurring with their children—and, further, social transition is a medical intervention that schools are grossly unqualified to be taking these steps without parental involvement.”

Her attorney, Vernadette Broyles, pointed out that there’s a wave of lawsuits across the country from parents experiencing this same injustice. In places like Wisconsin, Maryland, Oregon, and California, she pointed out, moms and dads are starting to realize that “this is a national agenda … and they need to assert [their rights] with their school.”

President Joe Biden’s radical education secretary, Miguel Cardona, has been on the receiving end of a lot of angry letters from Republicans who see the president’s administration—and woke districts across the country—”withholding information from parents … at an alarming pace.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., were furious that a 12-year-old girl attempted suicide after the school pushed her to embrace her new gender identity “without notifying the parents.”

“There’s little to no accountability coming from this administration,” Foxx and Burr wrote to Cardona earlier this year. “How many more children will be put in harm’s way if school districts are not being held to account?”

In places like Missouri, state leaders are racing to keep this dangerous ideology at arm’s length. Right now, local conservatives are working against the clock to move a bill that would outlaw this radical gender therapy (including hormones and surgery) for children out of the Rules Committee and onto to the floor. So far, it’s been stalled by one man—the committee’s chairman, Republican state Rep. Philip Christofanelli


Australia: Parents turned away as childcare centres don’t have enough staff

Queensland’s childcare industry is being crippled by worker shortages with many centres forced to turn parents away due to regulatory child and staff ratios.

The number of job vacancies in the early learning sector are at record highs across the country with one in 10 roles vacant nationally and 1371 in Queensland. Hiring difficulties are so dire fears grow that some centres will not survive and many have had to apply for a government waiver to legally operate as they have not enough staff.

The Australian Childcare Alliance in Queensland is deeply concerned by the job crisis and has been lobbying all parties in the lead up to the Federal Election to recognise the need for strategies to attract workers to the sector and in the long run keep more mothers, who need childcare, in the workplace.

“The workforce crisis in early childhood education has been on our radar for many years but this became even more of an issue during the pandemic when we had a significant number of educators leave our sector, either taking early retirement because they were simply exhausted, or due to vaccine mandates,” president of the ACA in Queensland Majella Fitzimmons said.

The ACA has been working with members on the most effective ways to find new staff.

“We highlight government programs for staff and businesses to support new entrants to the sector. There are some great packages and grants that bring new entrants to our sector and allow them to ‘earn while they learn’ through supported work placement programs,” Ms Fitzimmons said .

The early education peak body believes the government needs to look at reduced fees for qualifications in this field, and a boost in Skilled Visa Immigrants.

Lucy Schweizer Cook, general manager of a chain of Amaze early education centres across the state plus outside school hours care services, told The Courier-Mail that all but one of the Amaze centres are at capacity due to staff shortages.

“Parents are on waiting lists until we can meet the ratios to enrol more children. During Covid a lot of educators had a life reboot with many deciding they would stay home rather than work or looking for jobs with higher wages. We are doing all we can to make things more attractive for workers. We give loads of bonuses, pay four per cent above award wages, have staff childcare discount, flexibility, free uniform,” she said.

“It is such a rewarding career, who wouldn’t want hugs from babies and children every day,” she said.

Under The National Quality Framework there must be one educator for four children under 24 months in child care settings, two to three year olds require one staff member for five children and in outside school hours care and vacation care one educator for 15 children.