By, David Bellow
In Late May 2011, I was contacted by a parent who told me a troubling story of finding out that her daughter’s 6th grade classmates were being chastised for watching Fox News (see what the teacher said below). The School is Lumberton ISD in Lumberton, TX and the teacher is Karen Talbert who teaches Science Class. Upon learning this information, I wanted to make certain that this information was correct before going forward. I talked to fellow teachers of Karen Talbert who told me that Mrs. Talbert was a nice lady who was not shy about expressing her political opinions. I believe that she is a nice lady and I believe that it is perfectly fine to express one’s opinion, but is it appropriate to express your personal political opinions as fact to impressionable 6th grade students? My next step was to meet with the family. They are a nice family who seem genuinely concerned that their daughter is being told by a teacher which news stations to watch. The most troubling part is that these parents almost did not know what happened in their daughter’s class. That is the problem with a leftist agenda in schools. It mostly goes undetected because the students believe their teachers tell them only right things so there is no reason for them to run home and tell their parents what their teacher said in school. When I met the parents of this 6th grade girl, the mother sat down and wrote out the following statement about the incident:
“One night last week we were all sitting at the dinner table and our daughter asked “is Fox News the national news?” We said yes and asked why. She told us that her teacher told the class that Fox News was bad and that they should only watch CNN. Our daughter is 12 years old in 6th grade at Lumberton intermediate School. Her teacher who is telling the class this is Mrs. Karen Talbert, a 6th grade science teacher. We started to tell our daughter that this was not right of her teacher and that she should not listen to the teacher’s personal views. Our daughter then told us about the time that one of her classmates was talking to another classmate and she made the comment “Fox News said that Obama was not making good decisions.” Our daughter then told us that Mrs. Talbert went up to this girl’s desk and put her hand down on the desk and started yelling at her about how Fox News doesn’t know what they are talking about and they never tell the whole story so if you want good news and the right news you need to watch CNN. Our daughter said the classmate looked like she was going to cry because the teacher was getting so upset. As a parent, I am not concerned what news station someone else watches. My concern is that a teacher should not be giving her personal political views to students. They get enough bad influences as it is and they don’t need it from teachers too”
That statement is straight from the mother of one of the little girls in this Science Class.
It is not surprising that there are liberal teachers in this conservative community of Lumberton, TX. It was only a couple years ago that I passed out an American flag to every house in Lumberton on the anniversary of 9/11. The flag came with a flyer promoting conservative values. I was not very surprised that I got an email from someone who was not happy. This person said she was a liberal and said I was wrong and that she will pray to Mother Mary to have her son Jesus help us conservatives make it through this Democratic Rule. The thing that surprised me though was that this person signed this letter as “Michelle Champagne Junior English and World History Teacher”. As you can see, this person did not sign her letter as a concerned citizen. She signed her letter as a high school teacher. I certainly would question what kind of a slant that she has in her history lessons.
We wonder why there is such a strong movement in Texas towards Homeschooling and Private Schools. It is because parents do not want their children indoctrinated by a leftist agenda in Textbooks or even by liberal teachers themselves, such as this Lumberton ISD teacher chastising students for watching Fox News.
Public Schools are a double edged sword. On one hand you want to send your kids there to learn. On the other hand it is horrifying to see the immoral and violent environment that children have to be in at many public schools. It was just in the last few months that Mansfield ISD was exposed for mandating Arabic Culture training, or how about the incident at Seagoville ISD (Dallas, TX) where the teacher watched a bully beat up another student and did not even call for help, or how about when a school like in Lumberton ISD performs a play with vulgar language and that talked about minors putting ads online to get laid, or how about when parents are selective in the negative influences their children are exposed to and then their child gets on the school bus and the music is blaring songs that glorify sex and violence. I remember a couple of years ago my little brother was humming a very inappropriate song that he did not even know what the words meant in the song. I asked where he learned that song and he told me on the school bus. Most schools, like Lumberton ISD, have radios on the busses and there are no restrictions to what is played to the students of all ages riding on the bus.
I could go on and on about the immoral and violent environment of many public schools, but you get the point already.
I am very concerned about the negative and inappropriate environment that children are forced to be in at Public Schools. I hope this story of a Lumberton ISD teacher telling children that Fox News is bad will open up the eyes of parents so that the parents will start asking more questions and demand that schools do a better job of creating a safe and neutral environment for their children.