4th-graders forced to recite version of Declaration of Independence in which this word was changed

4th-graders forced to recite version of Declaration of Independence in which this word was changed
Image: Stand Up America

As I intimated yesterday, the Constitution guarantees every American the right to act stupid. If NFL players want to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial inequality, police brutality, or any other imagined grievance, the First Amendment guarantees their right to do so, just as it guarantees the right of fans to boycott the games.

Where these protests by liberals become problematic is when they involve young children. According to Arizona ABC affiliate KGUN, a fourth-grade teacher at an elementary school in Mesa took it upon herself to rewrite some of the words in the Declaration of Independence, then force her young charges to recite the altered version in class.

In particular, the teacher, who is not named in the article, replaced the word man with the word human, so as make the historical document gender-neutral and more “inclusive.”

Modified Declaration (Image: KGUN video screen grab)

There’s more to the story. When parent Elizabeth Vaillencourt complained to school officials, she was initially told she had “hurt the teacher’s feelings” by posting about the story on social media.

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The school reacted by removing Vaillencourt’s child from that teacher’s classroom, and placing them [sic] under a different teacher.

As it turns out, the teacher’s “bowdlerization” of the historical document runs counter to school policy. The school board issued a statement reading:

[The Declaration of Independence] should be recited as written, and not modified in any way. School administration, when learning of the alteration to the text, provided feedback and guidance to the teacher to restore the document to its original format.

There is not a specific reference in policy to the discussion of political beliefs by a teacher in a classroom, however in practice the district does not allow teachers to share their political views with students. When the teacher used a personal example of how individuals can have differing political views but still be friends, the principal reminded the teacher that personal examples are not appropriate in a classroom setting.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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