Georgia school: We were ‘terrorized’ by Fox News’ false ‘Christmas card censorship’ report
By David Edwards
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 11:39 EST
A school district in Georgia blasted Fox News on Tuesday and said that they had been “terrorized” after one of the network’s radio hosts falsely reported that Christmas cards had been “confiscated.”
In a Tuesday report, Fox News radio host Todd Starnes turned his daily outrage to allegations that students at Brooklet Elementary School had returned from the Thanksgiving holiday to find that the school’s administration had decided to “confiscate the Christmas cards” that teachers had posted outside classrooms.
Starnes branded the schools’ actions as “Christmas card censorship.”
Brooklet Principal Marlin Baker told WSAV that the “censorship” charge was just not true and that Starnes didn’t bother checking the facts before publishing his report.
“The decision to move the poster had nothing, absolutely nothing, at all to do with any type of religious conversation that is going on in the county,” Martin explained.
The principal said that the Christmas card poster had been moved to a faculty work room in order to accommodate the privacy request of one teacher.
And now the school has been flooded with angry calls and emails because of the misreporting.
“[I am] disappointed. We are trying hard in this community to have a good, healthy dialogue and it seems the intentional spreading of this misinformation I see it as destructive,” Bulloch County School District Superintendent Charles Wilson told the station.
Brooklet Elementary teacher Becky Petkewich said that she was shocked when she read the report at FoxNews.com.
“I just couldn’t believe that someone would make up some things like that,” Petkewich recalled. “The whole country now is looking at us in a negative way, that we’ve done something horrible, that we are not letting the children celebrate Christmas and that’s not what it is.”
The school received so many complaints that the district was forced to release an official statement after Starnes’ report on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, today the school was terrorized by an intentional and vicious dissemination of untrue information that disrupted the good work going on inside,” the statement pointed out. “Fox News Radio Commentary Host Todd Starnes, acting on misinformation that neither he, nor his media outlet corroborated with the school system or Baker, misreported a story about student Christmas Cards being removed from the school. Baker did not receive any questions from the local community either.”
“The cards in question were not student Christmas cards, nor were they a student project or tradition. The cards are the personal family Christmas cards that faculty members share with one another. They are the personal cards from their homes that they would send to family and friends.”
The district added: “This year, due to a legitimate, personal privacy concern raised by one of the school’s staff members, Baker moved the display to the opposite wall inside the office work room so that the staff member could still participate in the tradition. Baker wanted to respect the staff member’s privacy and that of his/her children depicted in the Christmas card.”
Starnes updated his report on Tuesday to mention that the Bulloch County School District had released a statement, but failed to note that he and Fox News had been accused of terrorizing the school.
Last month, members of school board in South Dakota said that they received death threats after Fox News falsely reported that they had voted to drop the Pledge of Allegiance at schools.
There is a two and a half minute video in the article with an interview of school officials.
This is not an isolated event at Fox 'News'. This is what they do - lie, lie and then lie again. Have to keep the base fired up. Keep them hating - keep them fearful of imagined attacks on Christmas, what those scary liberals are up to, the phony confiscation of guns, the hatred and loathing of the lower classes and minorities, and all the other hundreds of 'dangers' that they're told will threaten them if they let their guard down.
There are things to be concerned about. My posts document some of them. But Fox is not the place to learn about them. Believing what they tell you will impair your understanding of reality, and, eventually rot your brain.
Report: $1 billion in taxpayer money went to anti-science private schools last year
By Travis Gettys
Monday, March 24, 2014 10:38 EDT
Taxpayers are helping to pay for courses and textbooks that encourage students to mistrust science, mathematics, and the secular world itself – and those efforts seem likely to expand into other states.
Currently, taxpayers in 14 states funnel nearly $1 billion in private school tuition through voucher programs, paying those schools to teach children that Adam and Eve lived alongside dinosaurs less than 10,000 years ago in the Garden of Eden.
Politico reviewed hundreds of pages of course outlines, textbooks, and school website and reported Monday that many of these taxpayer-funded, faith-based schools portray science and mathematics as a web of lies.
Textbooks popular in Christian schools describe evolution as “a wicked and vain philosophy,” while students practice vocabulary lessons that claim “many scientists today are creationists.”
According to the report, schools often distort basic facts about the scientific method, set aside time during math lessons to explore numbers in the Bible, or teach that mathematics laws were ordained by God.
The schools make clear that religious instruction is a higher priority than academic learning, which students are taught to mistrust.
“Our understanding is not complete until we filter it through God’s Word,” one school assures parents.
Lawmakers in 26 states are considering new voucher programs or expanding existing ones, and eight states are looking at establishing individual bank accounts funded by taxpayers that parents could spend on tuition, tutors, and textbooks.
About 250,000 students use vouchers and tax-credit scholarships, up about 30 percent since 2010.
Voucher proponents see a tipping point approaching, when so many students receive publicly financed private education that all states will demand that option.
But critics say the growth of anti-science education, especially as scientists have made recent advances in our understanding of the universe and its origins, is preparing students “for the turn of the 19th Century.”
Not all religious schools teach creationism, but science education activists have identified 300 such schools that also receive public subsidies.
But that’s likely a significant undercount, because the database does not include Pennsylvania or Iowa, and many church-based schools don’t have websites that advertise their curriculum.
Voucher programs also undermine the bipartisan push for uniformly high academic standards through Common Core, which has been the target of Tea Party ire in states across the country, and Next Generation Science Standards, opponents say.
Voucher supporters have knocked out anti-voucher candidates from primary races and funded local advocacy groups, often with backing from the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.
The conservative advocacy group promoted private school subsidies in 10 states – including Maine, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin – in the last year alone and has spent $18 million on such campaigns since 2007.
With sympathetic lawmakers in place, school voucher funding looks to expand in states such as Arizona, Florida, and New York – and at the federal level.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) proposed the consolidation of dozens of federal education programs into one $24 billion fund that states could allocate as vouchers for low-income students, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has promoted vouchers and other so-called school choice measures.
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld voucher programs, even when they subsidize religious education, as long as parents who accept vouchers can choose where to spend them.
But some state constitutions are more restrictive, and the American Civil Liberties Union is suing to block them in New Hampshire and Colorado, and litigation is also under way in Alabama.
Research has shown that charter schools and other school "choices" are no better than public schools overall. One of the most complex areas in society to understand is education and why its quality is high or low.
Public money should not be going to private schools - of any kind.
This article shows that children are being educated in these schools for the 17th century. No wonder we are losing our edge in many areas where we excelled previously.
And, many are just delighted that is the case.