One Nation Under Fools

Posted on March 13, 2013

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It’s not often I find myself shocked, disturbed and elated simultaneously. This story had that effect on me and I suspect you’ll concur. We have a new ‘Anti-Blasted Fool’ for 2013.  I’ve mentioned this before, by way of explanation, but permit me to update it.  A ‘Blasted Fool’ is a shameful, despicable, treacherous, traitorous, criminally inclined, negligent, incompetent and / or simply foolish person.  An ‘Anti-Blasted Fool’  however, is the complete opposite of what I just described.

Ms. Brenda Brinsdon, now 17 is the ‘Anti-Blasted Fool’ that I’m referring to.  I should point out that this is not a new story per se, but some recent developments have updated it.  Brenda’s  story is the epitome of the kind, that when I see it  I have to write about it, it’s just that inspirational.  And she’s just that inspirational.  Let me explain why.

Brenda, in her Sophomore year at Achieve Early College High School in McAllen,Texas made a principled stand that brought the wrath of school officials down on her. With undaunted courage, she stood her ground and taught everyone involved a life lesson that is every bit as important than any school work that has ever been assigned.

You see, Brenda’s Spanish class teacher, Reyna Santos issued her students an assignment to recite the ‘Mexican Pledge of Allegiance’ and sing the ‘Mexican National Anthem’ and Brenda declined the honor.  This didn’t go over well.  Ms. Santos referred Brenda to the school principal, Ms. Yvette Cavasos for a reprimand.

Next, both women attempted to browbeat the young woman into submission.  Ms.Santos told Brenda that she (Santos), grew up in Mexico and maintained a deep and abiding love for the land of her birth.  Brenda, retorted with a well-reasoned outline of why such an assignment was repugnant to her and a violation of her conscience.

That availed nothing with these two.  As in many schools in the era we’re living in, patriotism is not merely regarded as unfashionable sentiment – it is viewed as rebellion against the anti-American agenda of the Left, and any child that resists, is a threat.  A certain breed of teacher and school administrator values compliance and submission over individual thought and deliberation.

There’s too much of this going on, however, to conclude that this incident can be attributed merely to a power trip on the part of the school authorities.  No, there’s something more sinister and it’s scarcely hidden in plain sight – the ‘Reconquista’ movement, liberal wet dreams about multi-culturalism and La Raza. There’s a sentiment that has been growing, that envisions a new regional paradigm in which the growing Latino population is destined to re-create the West and SouthWest in the image, likeness and cultural dominance of Mexico.

In the LaRaza mindset, the racial obsession flaunts assimilation to the American customs of English speaking and repudiates our history and institutions.  The institution of the ‘Melting Pot’ is also a focal point of derision.  This has had a trickle down effect. The Illegal migrant population, for the most part, eschews the instruction of their young in English.  I see this ever so frequently in public places – Latinas conversing with toddlers in Spanish.  So, without getting too far off the track here, I think there is a flavor of that mindset at play at Achieve Early College High School – ethnocentrism and deep seated resentment.   Dallas Democratic State Representative Roberto Alonzo said to question the loyalty of the teacher and school district is unfair.  Sure it is, Mr. Alonzo.  I can pretty much imagine you speaking out against Racial Identity Politics in Austin and in your district.  No, actually, I can’t.

There is a bit of incongruity in this story.  When we dig deeper we find that this assignment that Brenda demurred to perform, is typically a part of ‘Freedom Week’!  Freedom Week???  It looks like that phrase has undergone a tortured redefinition. What Freedom Week was supposed to be, and the school board members were likely under the impression that it was, was a remembrance and awareness of ‘U.S. Constitution Day’ and commemoration of the 9/11 attacks.  According to the McAllen School District policy for Special Programs, social studies classes during Freedom Week were required to recite the text of the Declaration of Independence.  However, exemptions from recitation are granted for students who have a conscientious objection.

There is a Supreme Court decision, that I confess I had not heard of, called West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette, (1943), which ruled that schools could not compel students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  Jehovah’s Witnesses and children from Communist households have traditionally been the most frequent objectors to the Pledge.  The School District allows children to opt out of civic assignments that mandate expressions of fealty to our nation and its government, which makes the rigid insistence upon the ritual of loyalty to Mexico all the more puzzling, inconsistent and irrational.

Nevertheless, Ms. Brinsdon even offered to complete an alternative assignment for class credit.  Initially, this was reluctantly agreed to by the teacher and the Principal, but they subsequently had a change of heart.  The Spanish teacher assigned an alternative essay to Brenda, requiring a report on Mexican Independence.  Even though Brenda had been receiving above average marks in the class up to this point, and she submitted the essay on time, she was given a failing grade for no objective reason.  She was also required to sit in class over the next several days and listen to student after student reciting the Mexican pledge.

It didn’t end there.  Retribution included an embarrassing removal from the class, detention, and a failing grade on the child’s report card.  The subsequent publicity of this travesty caught the attention of the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and local Texas attorney Jerad Najvar.  They partnered in filing, on behalf of Brenda and her father, Mr. William Brinsdon, a lawsuit in Federal Court, alleging violations of Brenda’s constitutional rights.  Named as defendants in the suit are the teacher, Ms. Santos, the Principal, Ms. Cavazos and the School District.  The McAllen School District has a supporting role in this travesty.  Item No. 44 of the complaint notes:

The School District has a written policy regarding ‘instructional resources’ and ‘instructional materials, selection and adoption’, which states that “The Board shall rely on District professional staff to select and acquire instructional resources that represent many ethnic, religious, and cultural groups and their contributions to the national heritage and world community”. This policy was a moving force behind the constitutional violations set forth in this complaint.

You can see all the details in the complaint here.  Allow me to linger on a couple of items from this allegation in the suit.  I understand the concept of geography lessons and the value of them in a educational regimen suitable for elementary and high school students.  What’s going on here is a different breed of animal altogether, it seems to me.  Discernment and discovery of the cultures and religions of other nations is one thing.  Elevating the status of another country over that of the students and the indoctrinational nature of this instruction is quite another.

Second, and more telling, is the phrase, ‘World Community’.  What does this suggest to you?  The brave New World Order, perhaps? Interestingly, one of my colleagues points out that a central tenet of the U.N. Initiative known as Agenda 21, involves student education devoting more teaching that indoctrinates loyalty to global citizenship according to U.N. Values, while undermining American heritage or culture and the validity of their parent’s worldview.

That such deliberate treachery is underway is compounded by the fact that in schools across the country, High school Seniors are so ill equipped in the basic skills that Colleges and Universities must provide prep courses just to ramp them up in the core competencies needed to survive in the secondary education environment.  CBS New York recently reported:

Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system. The number of kids behind the 8-ball is the highest in years, CBS 2′s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

When they graduated from city high schools, students in a special remedial program at the Borough of Manhattan Community College couldn’t make the grade. They had to re-learn basic skills — reading, writing and math — first before they could begin college courses.

So, there’s that aspect to this behavior on the one hand and on the other, there is probably a simpler explanation for many instances of abusive treatment of students – hysterical authoritarian impulses of school administrators in reaction to events beyond proportion to the dimension of the perceived threat, are on the increase and dramatically so.

The most remarkable example of this is the school that disciplined a 6 year old child for pointing her finger at one of her schoolmates in mimickry of a pistol or firearm.  She was placed on a ‘terror threat list’ by the school!  Similarly, a 5 year old, in the Mount Carmel Area, Maryland School District was classified as a terrorist threat and suspended for 10 days, for a comment she made to a school mate on the bus to the effect “I’m going to shoot you and I will shoot myself” in reference to the device that shoots out bubbles.  The girl did not have the bubble gun with her and has never shot a real gun in her life.  Another kid got called on the carpet for fashioning a ‘gun’ out of a Pop Tart!  Just hearing about spiteful stupidity of this magnitude makes me feel like my mind has been violated.

I could go on for pages with similarly brain numbing examples of the obsessed fanaticism of teachers and school officials across America, but you’ve seen them for yourself.  These people have no moral or ethical right to be anywhere near children, but parents are behaving like pussycats instead of Rottweilers in defending their children.  That’s why I’m especially thankful for Mr. Brinsdon for making a stand to support his daughter’s moral heroism – and for inspiring it in the first place.

Finally, here is the part of the story that I found supremely ironic.  Naturally, when most of us read about this kind of a story, we have a mental picture of the circumstances and the players, informed by certain details.  In this case, the girl’s first name is Brenda and last name, Brinsdon – an Anglo sounding name.  You imagine a White girl in a school with predominantly Latino students, right?  I admit that I did at first.  Guess what?  Brenda would fit the societal classification as Hispanic.  Brenda’s mother is an immigrant (legal) from Mexico and Brenda speaks fluent Spanish!

Brenda, it turns out, has no particular axe to grind about Mexico, but instead, she simply views herself as an American and was raised with the common sense that you can’t have divided allegiances.  “I feel that I did what’s right,” Brinsdon said. “And I know what I did what’s right […] I’m going to stand my ground.  I really hope that I was an inspiration to a lot of youth in America to stand up for what’s right,”  So do I, Brenda.  That’s a story that doesn’t fit the media narrative and for that reason, you don’t see them reporting these stories nationally. That’s why we feature them here.

Pass it down and don’t return it.

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