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What's In A Name? By: Tanya Metaksa
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, July 03, 2001

OUR EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT is corroding the Bill of Rights. It is no longer acceptable to speak the truth, if it offends anyone.

The 2001 cause celebre, of course, is David Horowitz’s running battle with elitist liberal American institutions of higher learning over the issue of reparations -- an issue well chronicled on FrontPageMagazine.com

Horowitz discovered that his enemies, not having the intellectual wherewithal to argue, counterattack by accusing him of being a racist. In Campus of Hate he writes, “There are thousands of students and faculty on these campuses who are in the same position. For many more, the prospect of being labeled racist for reasonable ideas that are deemed politically incorrect inspires fear and a posture of prudent silence.” Obviously the climate on American college campuses exposes those who do not agree with today’s politically correct (PC) culture to fear of reprisals.

Under the guise of “zero tolerance” the “prudent silence” of political incorrectness has descended on our public schools – from grammar school to high school – chilling dissent and nonformity in a manner reminiscent of the Salem witch-hunts, Russian pogroms, and 1950’s McCarthyism.

According to Andrea Billups of The Washington Times, “graduating senior Tom Sypniewski Jr., a fan of Southern comedian Jeff Foxworthy was kicked out of classes for three days in March for wearing Mr. Foxworthy's ‘Top 10 Reasons You Might Be a Redneck Sports Fan’ T-shirt.” The school’s vice-principle suspended Sypniewski for three days in March “saying the word ‘redneck’ had a racist connotation and was slang for a violent, bigoted person. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy commented, “I can’t think that people believe my shirts have racist overtones.”

The zeal of American school administrators is not limited to student speech. They are now passing judgment on student art. Last March a nine-year-old boy in Bunnell, Florida was suspended for 10 days for drawing some stick figures, one of whom was holding a gun and “shooting” one of the other figures.

Later that same month, the Associated Press reported the case of eight-year-old honor student, Raleigh Trey Walker III, whose offense was drawing an armed camouflaged soldier holding a canteen and a knife while attending Lenwill Elementary School in West Monroe, LA. He also drew a picture of a fort, which included a list of the items within it: “5,000 knives, 200 M-16s, 109 pistols and 67 first aid kits.” The child’s father said his son had drawn the picture as a tribute to a relative serving in the Army.

In May, the Wall Street Journal reported “an 11-year-old fifth-grader in Oldsmar, Fla., was hauled out of class in handcuffs for drawing pictures of weapons. ‘The children were in no danger at all, it involved no real weapons.’ But school-district spokesman Ron Stone told the Orlando Times that handcuffing is ‘normal procedure in a situation like this.’"

The only “diversity” of ideas condoned in public schools are those that are the antithesis to the Bill of Rights. After all, the First Amendment rights of free speech belong to the leftist media and teachers, and religious expression has been banned from educational institutions.

Since all textbooks proclaim that the Second Amendment is a collective right, schools do not tolerate the mention of the right to keep and bear arms. As for Fourth Amendment rights, there are none; students in public schools and their possessions are routinely searched. School nurses even violate the trust of students placed in their care.

Student rights are non-existent. Justice meted out by school administrators is something out of a Charles Dickens novel.

There is no freedom of expression by students, whether they are third-graders or university scholars. This kind of intimidation reminds me of my father’s stories about atrocities of the Trotskyites in Russia – only politically-correct thought was allowed. Twenty years later that same kind of fear-based brainwashing was reborn in Germany. In the name of safety and political correctness are we turning our children into twenty-first century Hitler Youth?

Tanya K. Metaksa is the former executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action. She is the author of Safe, Not Sorry a self-protection manual, published in 1997. She has appeared on numerous talk and interview shows such as "Crossfire," the "Today" show, "Nightline," "This Week with David Brinkley" and the "McNeil-Lehrer Hour," among others.

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