MADISON — President Ronald Reagan vehemently defended the Second Amendment, asserting that “the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms must not be infringed if liberty in America is to survive.”
But discussion of the Second Amendment at the New Berlin school that bears Reagan’s name apparently triggers teachers and administrators.
As Empower Wisconsin first reported, Ronald Reagan Elementary School is teaching its sixth-graders “How to Become an Activist.” The focus of the literacy course, according to the principal, is “global activism.”
The leftist curriculum isn’t sitting well with Andy Mesich, the father of a sixth-grade student at the suburban Milwaukee school.
Course work includes an article guiding 11- and 12-year-olds in “pursuing your passion and creating positive change.”
“How to Become an Activist” really is about how to become a liberal activist. Lead by example, the document states. That means “conscious activism,” or “incorporating activism into your everyday life by living and acting in ways that directly support your cause.” Examples given: reducing your carbon footprint, using sustainably produced products, LGBTQ+ rights. That kind of activism.
Gun rights? Not a chance.
Mesich said his son chose the Second Amendment as his activist project.
“They told him to pick another amendment, not this amendment,” he said. “Apparently the Second Amendment is the X-rated part of the constitution.”
Mesich reached out to the principal and the district’s curriculum director.
“I said ‘(my son) is talking about the reasons behind the Second Amendment, he’s talking about freedom, not necessarily guns.’ (Administrators said) ‘the Second Amendment is wrong but LGBT rights, that’s fine,’” the parent said.
Administrators were itchy about talking about guns in school, Mesich said.
School District of New Berlin Superintendent Joe Garza said the teacher and principal initially told the family that the student couldn’t research the Second Amendment “because of reservations that the project would be about guns, a topic not considered appropriate for elementary school.”
“District administration, however, reconsidered the request and informed the family earlier this week that the student could proceed with researching the amendment,” Garza said.
Mesich said the change came after his son was told to pick another topic. By that time he had begun work on his new project on endangered marine life.
The district has had a change of heart on its activism literature. Garza said it was intended to help students research, learn and “understand all sides of issues.”
“That said, after district administration was made aware of and reviewed the article, and after deciding some of the references to various issues may not be appropriate for children of that age, we determined the article would no longer be used as a resource for this unit of learning,” Garza wrote in an email.
New Berlin School District appears to be trending left. Earlier this year members of the school board had a heated debate over a campaign to include more instruction on “white privilege” and “systemic racism.”
Mesich said curriculum on “global activism” doesn’t belong in elementary schools — whether it comes from a right or left point of view.
“Whatever happened to doing a report on James Madison? Why do sixth-graders have to be involved in activism?” he said.
How about a report on Ronald Reagan, an ardent supporter of ‘Free people, worthy of freedom.” And the Second Amendment.