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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Coming to a School Near You

It's tough to put a face on the Tea Party movement because there
are so many faces in it. With so many splinter members of the Party,
no one is in charge, yet everyone is in charge.
But a guy named Gene Clem, not a country western singer, showed up
the other day to do the Off the Record broadcast. ( The MSM
has done such a number on the T.P. movement, you half expected him to
show up with horns coming out of his head, fangs on his fingers and
fire coming out of his mouth.
Not quite.
Clem is a retired Army captain and former engineer. In other words
he has a brain and he put it to good use as he tackled all the gnarly
questions the OTR panel tossed at him.
He gave a measured and reasoned performance; did not lose his
temper; did not take the bait when someone tried to bait him and
managed to put a face on the movement that looked down right
And it was not by accident, he revealed after the red light went
"Most of the folks in the movement are Type-A personalities," he
launched into his reason for being on the broadcast. As such he noted,
they are not big fans of the media, do not like being challenged
because they know they are right and so to put a non-confrontational
face on the movement, Clem was picked to do the talking.
It was a smart move.
But he did manage to make some news that may give non-Tea Party
folks some pause.
After the November elections, Clem wants to move into the schools
with a new course on how the U.S. Constitution was formed. He doesn't
think the teachers are doing a good job on that front and he figures,
if he can just get into the classroom, his band of retirees with Tea
Party roots can correct all that.
Oh my, even he concedes that will be controversial but he's on a
mission to do it.
"We're not going away," he asserts. So school districts and
non-T.P. parents be forewarned: Some one from the movement will be
knocking on your door next winter.
This should be fun to watch.


Anonymous Mark Ward said...

FUN to watch? Are you kidding. I have children in public school and if the TPers are let in to educate them then they will no longer be in public schools. You may think it entertaining to see such a thing happen or people attempt to make it happen, I find it appalling that you would get your jollies that way.

July 26, 2010 at 2:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a school board member. Clem can go straight to hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. No f-ing way will they get near our kids.

And trust me: I'm just as mean, stubborn, and tenacious as any teaparty member out there. Count on it.

July 26, 2010 at 4:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Anonymous, glad to hear that such an open-minded, well-spoken, thoughtful individual actually sits on a school board. Also glad that my children are no longer school aged and subject to the pig-headed personalities on most public school boards. Where does someone who can't rise about dropping the "f-bomb" in a public forum consider themselves fit to determine what our children learn?

July 26, 2010 at 7:59 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you live in a district where any person off the street can come into a classroom and spew political and historical lies, you should initiate a recall asap.

Don't go there with me, pal. You'll do better than a feeble "open-minded" weak argument to get past me.

That you think this is a good idea is all I need to know about you and your views on public education.


July 26, 2010 at 8:48 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Following your "open-minded" logic, let's let it all in our schools:

--the earth is flat
--the government is hiding space aliens
--toxic sludge is good for you (oops, sorry, this one actually was a dead-serious effort at "educating" not too long ago).

If teaparty people are going to go to board meetings and argue that they--after by-passing state educational panels and the state legislature and lacking any and all teaching credentials recognized in Michigan--are going to waltz into classrooms and spew their propaganda, they really truly are delusional beyond all hope.

The. End.

July 26, 2010 at 8:59 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No f-ing way will they get near our kids.



YOUR "kids", eh?

You and the teachers' union money that put you in place might soon find that YOUR kids are not yours, and belong to the parents, who will be choosing other avenues for their kids' education, as many are now.

Then you and the teachers' union can sit around wondering where everybody went.

July 27, 2010 at 4:11 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


July 27, 2010 at 5:27 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, they are MY kids...I have my own flesh and blood in the district.

You still haven't answered the question of why you think this is a good idea. If districts set a precedent of allowing a group to inject themselves into the classroom...where does it stop? Because I guarantee you that a host of other groups that teaparty people abhor will line up right behind you to inject themselves into the classroom.

Stop fixating on my language (as if you've never heard it in your life). Get over it and start addressing the real issue here.

Yeah, I'm shaking in my boots about my next election. Our district's relationship with the community and with its employees has skyrocketed in the past year. Go rattle your saber somewhere else, haters.


July 27, 2010 at 5:37 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and I've never personally been against home schooling. In fact, I would encourage those that want to inject their children with revisionist/inaccurate history of who our Founding Fathers were and their beliefs (according to them) to home school. And some do. And that's fine. The public school system isn't the place for their personal agendas.

Live and let live.

July 27, 2010 at 5:44 AM 
Blogger Thomas said...

Many groups are allowed or invited into schools to do educational presentations. Even Planned Parenthood has been allowed open access, with their immoral, slanted, profiteering agenda to influence our kids.

All the Tea Parties hope to do is give students a much needed look at our Constitution, passing out hopefully thousands of copies; and telling them about who our Founding Father were, and the whys and hows of the formation of our Constitutional Republic form of government. Allowing them to see and read the writings and speeches of our Founders.

What is so radical and harmful about that? I'll tell you what. Because for decades these things have been woefully neglected, or cut out of public education altogether. And if kids read for themselves these HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS, without any "revision" or "indoctrination", they will clearly see that what's going on in State and Federal government today bears little resemblance of the America they formed and knew.
That makes the liberals AND the big government, country club Republicans very scared!

It is a documented fact, on study after study that our kids know very little about civics and history. Math and science is pushed as the Holy Grail of education, while an understanding of America's uniqueness and greatness is NOT. Just as in socialist/communist nations; because our educational system has been overrun with socialist ideaology, pushed and backed by the NEA and MEA. They want good little workers for the state controlled business sector; but not citizens informed of their enslavement and loss of liberties once enjoyed by their forefathers.

The vitriolic response to letting kids learn about this is telling. And why public schools are FAILING to truly educate kids!

For all you opposed to children having knowledge of our Constitution and the historical writings and addresses of our Founders, do us all a favor and move to a socialist/communist nation where you'll feel right at home!


July 27, 2010 at 6:50 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to:

"Don't go there with me, pal. You'll do better than a feeble "open-minded" weak argument to get past me.

That you think this is a good idea is all I need to know about you and your views on public education."

Please re-read my comments. Nowhere did I state that I thought it was a good idea. You assumed I thought it a good idea because I didn't simply roll over and mindlessly agree with your position.

I actually do have concerns about who makes presentations in our schools--particularly when they potentially have a political agenda. And, I would like to know that a person who is responsible for deciding what OUR kids learn is open-minded enough to consider the merits of all opportunities before voting. If an elected school board member in my district had such a knee-jerk reaction as you did to any proposal without asking one follow-up question, I would definitely be campaigning against them. And by the way, if you are so confident of your position on this, why don't you post your real name and school board affiliation?

July 27, 2010 at 10:20 AM 
Anonymous Mark Ward said...

I'm all for objective teaching of the constitution, and that does happen in public schools. In fact it is a mandated part of the curriculum. To think that members of the Tea Party would come in and be able to teach what the constitution means and keep their opinion out of it is ludicrous. Teachers need to be highly qualified to teach in public schools, how would TPers fit that criteria? If they want to provide unadulterated copies of the U.S. constitution to schools to hand out to students that would be great. Only qualified, certified teachers should be allowed to teach it.

July 27, 2010 at 10:29 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd assume you'd hand out the long drawn-out war of words between Jefferson and Adams? Many of the Founding Fathers--including Washington--believed in a strong central government. Many didn't believe in heaven; many were deists. Is this what you'd tell our kids? No, of course not. You'd most likely tell them the Founding Fathers were fundamentalist Christians and social Darwninists. All of them.

What's wrong is what the teaparty does to the Constitution when it cherry picks.

As I've mentioned, you're by-passing about a half-dozen steps in the chain-of-command going to individual school boards. I've never involved myself in the specific curriculum, as the several state agencies have signed off on it long before it got to my district. Anyone who wants to come directly to our school and by-pass all of that should rightly be met with proactive board members who are very very very skeptical.

It's called doing our job. Look it up.

July 27, 2010 at 2:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Good point. We just went through a bunch of hiring, and let me tell you the "highly qualified" language is very very very strict.

Parents have the right to teach their kids outside of the classroom and teach them whatever they desire. But community members don't have a right to walk in off the street into a classroom and teach.

They don't. Never have. Never will.

Again, hold a neighborhood after-school party and propagandize to your heart's content. Just don't expect to do it between 8-4 in the public schools.

July 27, 2010 at 2:49 PM 

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