Third-grade students in Cupertino, California, were told to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, ranking themselves on the intersectional hierarchy from “oppressor” to “oppressed.” One scandalized parent objected, saying, “They were basically teaching racism to my eight-year-old.” When questioned, the principal acknowledged that the lesson was not part of the “formal curricula.”
The specific topics of parents’ complaints in the examples above change from year to year, or even from week to week. Over the past few years, the following issues have waxed and waned in intensity: global warming, Occupy Wall Street, weapons of mass destruction, voter suppression, immigration reform, the border wall, DACA, Black Lives Matter, gun control, same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, abortion, patriotism, election integrity, and the MeToo movement.
In all of these examples, well-intentioned people of good faith can agree on underlying problems, while disagreeing on what to actually do about them. Increasingly, however, children who are too young to have developed solid or informed opinions are being forced into premature ideological conformity with some teachers and administrators who seem intent on pushing their own particular worldviews in K–12 classrooms.