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Fox’s War on Education Continues

Reported by Chrish - April 10, 2006

Today 4/10/06 was the day for numerous immigration rallies across the country. As part of it’s marathon coverage of the demonstrations, Fox News Live featured a segment about students from Rockville Maryland who would be receiving extra credit for participating in the rally in Washington DC. The lead in was a brief taped statement by a “concerned” parent, Melissa Anderson, who objected to this because the “schools should be showing all sides of the issues and if they don’t they are indoctrinating the students.”

Fox’s Greg Jarrett then interviewed Stephen Abrams, a Montgomery County school board member. Mr. Abrams stated that the activity was connected with the 60 hour community service credit required for students to graduate. He explained that students in the program work with secular, not for profit agencies that have met the school department’s standards for community service and that many of the students are working with groups involved with the rally. Jarrett, his voice dripping with sarcasm, said “really” and proceeded to ask if this program was open to “any group including the KKK.” Mr. Abrams then reiterated that as long as the group met the standards they would be acceptable and that the KKK would obviously not be in that category. After Abrams was off screen, Jarrett then said, “so you just march in the rally and get graded for it” and chuckled sardonically.

Jarrett finished off the segment with a discussion between right wing radio talk show host, Tammy Bruce (featured in my last piece) and Jim Warren from the Chicago Tribune (Comment: Jarrett really should have kept the school board member as the counterpoint as he was much closer to the issue than Warren). Bruce, predictably, felt that the students participation in the march was “indoctrination” that is part of a “leftist” message. She asserted that schools used to be about “reading and writing” and “not taking political positions.” Then came a typical Fox statement – “they say that 50% of college seniors are functionally illiterate and this is one of the reasons why.” (Comment: Huh, where did she pull that stat and conclusion from?)

Warren rebutted by saying that the students were on vacation so that they were not being taken out of school. He added that they are required to submit a paper regarding their experiences at which point the ever unctuous Jarrett asked “but is this community service or a political statement?” Warren said that the school is allowing the students to do this and that this school department also permits students to work for right wing organizations such as "Right to Life". Bruce then queried if the students would be allowed to participate in a Minuteman rally. (Comment: there were no Minutemen rallies happening today near Rockville).

Comment: Students participate in all sorts of rallies. It’s a way for them to learn (especially in this case) about politics and social issues. The annual Right to Life Rally in Washington, DC in January includes delegations from many Catholic schools. Students routinely participate in anti-drug and anti-smoking rallies. If school were held during the summer, I’m sure that kids would be participating in patriotic rallies. This rally was optional – hence the extra credit. Point is that Fox only makes an issue of it when the students are participating in something that they deem unacceptable. I’m sure that if they were marching in a We Support the President rally, Fox would commend the wisdom of the school board and the enthusiasm of the students.


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