(Headline USA) What students are learning about the Jan. 6 uprising at the U.S. Capitol may depend on where they live.
In a Boston suburb in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, history teacher Justin Voldman said his students will spend the day journaling about what happened and talking about the fragility of democracy.
Leftists are now seeking to appropriate the term democracy as a stand-in for their unpopular agenda, even as they violate all democratic norms and conventions in a desperate effort to push a unilateral power grab.
With much of the media and academia carrying their water, the gaslighting of the American public is now reaching unprecedented levels. And the Jan. 6 protest, which Democrats hope to make the centerpiece of their 2022 midterm campaign, presents a perfect opportunity to push disinformation that aligns with the Left’s agenda.
“I feel really strongly that this needs to be talked about,” said Voldman, who teaches history at Natick High School, 15 miles west of Boston.
As the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, he said “it is fair to draw parallels between what happened on Jan. 6 and the rise of fascism.”
Indeed, fascism did emerge in the immediate aftermath of the protest as the newly installed Biden administration clamped down on all dissent—putting barbed wire around the Capitol and locking more than 700 dissidents from the Jan. 6 protest in DC gulags, their arraignments delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, in violation of the Fifth Amendment.
Although all of the day’s casualties were Trump supporters, leftists have continually framed themselves as victims in the four-hour-long revolt against the disputed results of the Electoral College‘s vote to certify Democrat Joe Biden.
But with parents becoming increasingly involved in the wave of leftist indoctrination at schools and Republicans eyeing a likely red wave in the 2022 midterm elections, leftist educators must be particularly adroit in their subversive attempts to push Jan. 6 propaganda onto their captive audience of impressionable young minds.
Voldman said he feels fortunate: “There are other parts of the country where … I would be scared to be a teacher.”
Liz Wagner, an eighth and ninth grade social studies teacher in a Des Moines suburb of increasingly Republican Iowa, got an email from an administrator last year, warning teachers to be careful in how they framed the discussion.
“I guess I was so—I don’t know if naïve is the appropriate word—perhaps exhausted from the pandemic teaching year last year, to understand how controversial this was going to be,” she said.
Some students questioned Wagner last year when she referred to what happened as an “insurrection.”
She responded by having them read the dictionary definition for the word. This year, she will probably show students videos of the protest and ask them to write about what the footage shows.
“This is kind of what I have to do to ensure that I’m not upsetting anybody,” Wagner said. “Last year I was on the front line of the COVID war, trying to dodge COVID, and now I’m on the front line of the culture war, and I don’t want to be there.”
Teachers now are left to decide how—or whether—to instruct their students about the events that sit at the heart of the country’s division. And the lessons sometimes vary based on whether they are in a red state or a blue state.
Some are turning to support from activist organizations like Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit that produces leftist propaganda for educators. It referred to the mostly peaceful protestors in its Jan. 6 curriculum as an “extremist mob.”
Within 18 hours of publication, it had 100,000 page views—a level of interest that Abby Weiss, who oversees the development of the nonprofit’s teaching tools, said was unlike anything the group has seen before.
In the year that has followed, Weiss said, Republican lawmakers and governors in many states have championed legislation to limit the teaching of material such as Critical Race Theory that pushes the Left’s Marxist worldview onto students while claiming merely to explore how race and racism influence American politics, culture and law.
“Teachers are anxious,” she said. “On the face of it, if you read the laws, they’re quite vague and, you know, hard to know actually what’s permissible and what isn’t.”
While evidence shows a multi-ethnic crowd attending the rally and protest, some leftist organizations, like the Jewish advocacy group the Anti-Defamation League, have leveraged their customary race- and identity-hustling rhetoric to frame the uprising as part of a racial narrative.
Jinnie Spiegler, ADL’s director of curriculum and training for the Anti-Defamation League, claimed white supremacists were among those descending on the halls of power.
She said the ADL is concerned that Jan. 6 could be used as a recruitment tool and wrote a newly released guide to help teachers and parents combat those radicalization efforts.
“To talk about white supremacy, to talk about white supremacist extremists, to talk about their racist Confederate flag, it’s fraught for so many reasons,” Spiegler said.
Last year, he was just moments into discussing what happened when one of his honors students at William J. Palmer High School in Colorado Springs said, “You know, if those rioters were all black, they’d all be arrested by now.”
Conservatives counter that in contrast to the Jan. 6 political dissidents, many of the pro-anarchist Antifa and Black Lives Matters rioters who wrought havoc on cities nationwide in the leadup to the election were released by radical prosecutors—sometimes without any bail.
Since then, three conservative school board candidates won seats on the school board where Schulzki teaches, and the district dissolved its equity leadership team. He is covered by a contract that offers academic freedom protections, and has discussed the Jan. 6 protest periodically over the past year.
“I do feel,” he said, “that there may be some teachers who are going to feel the best thing for me to do is to ignore this because I don’t want to put myself in jeopardy because I have my own bills to pay, my own house, to take care of, my own kids to take back and forth to school.”
Concerned teachers have been also been reaching out to the radical teachers unions for backup. The American Federation of Teachers, which last month sued over New Hampshire’s new limits on the discussion of CRT-endorsed “systemic racism” and other woke topics.
“What I’m hearing now over and over and over again is that these laws that have been passed in different places are really intended to chill the discussion of current events,” griped AFT president Randi Weingarten. “I am very concerned about what it means in terms of the teaching as we get closer and closer to January 6th.”
Despite the vice grip that leftist have in many sectors of the education field—with millions of dollars in dark money flowing to and from labor unions like AFT—grassroots anti-indoctrination activists are beginning to assert themselves.
The biggest fear for Paula Davis, a middle school special education teacher in a rural central Indiana district, is that the discussion about what happened could be used by teachers with a political agenda to indoctrinate students. She won’t discuss Jan. 6 in her classroom; her focus is math and English.
“I think it’s extremely important that any teacher that is addressing that topic does so from an unbiased perspective,” said Davis, a regional chapter chair for Moms for Liberty, a group whose members have protested mask and vaccine mandates and critical race theory. “If it cannot be done without bias, then it should not be done.”
But there is no way Dylan Huisken will avoid the topic in his middle school classroom in the Missoula, Montana, area town of Bonner. He plans to use the anniversary to teach his students to use their voice constructively by doing things like writing to lawmakers.
“Not addressing the attack,” Huisken said, “is to suggest that the civic ideals we teach exist in a vacuum and don’t have any real-world application, that civic knowledge is mere trivia.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press