A public high school in Ohio has been giving students extra credit for watching videos from PragerU, an organization that features such intellectual titans as *checks notes* Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens.
Yeah, that’s gonna be a big “YUCK,” for me, b. Not a normal yuck either, a Pusha-T yuck. A “yuuugh,” if you will.
A report from Huffington Post found that the videos were assigned to a 10th-grade history class at Maumee High School. The assignments included questions on what the videos’ “most important messages” are. Videos assigned to the students included such hits as “Build the Wall,” “Why the Right Was Right,” and of course, “The Left Ruins Everything.” A look at the teacher’s class website reveals that she assigned the videos last year, as well.
Andrea Cutway, the mother of 16-year-old student Avery Lewis, was understandably heated when she realized what her daughter was being taught. She pulled her daughter out of the class, contacted the school principal to see who approved the assignment, and inquired if the students were given any proper context for the videos.
“It’s ALT RIGHT propaganda,” Cutway wrote in an email to the school principal. “If you Google PragerU and spend a few minutes scrolling, you will see that this site is controversial at best.”
Cutway met with school administrators who attempted to compromise by introducing videos from the opposite side of the political spectrum. For Cutway, this wasn’t enough, as she was concerned that PragerU videos are being assigned in a classroom at all. She was less worried about her daughter, who she believes is politically savvy enough to know when the fix is in, but more so for students who may not realize what they’re seeing isn’t fact-based, but propaganda.
“When I talked to the principal and vice principal, they acted like this was just another assignment,” Cutway told Huffpost. “I said, ‘I think at this time we need to end this call, gentlemen.’ … I don’t know what you have allowed to bring into your public school.”
The school seems to have changed its mind on this bootleg attempt to create the Trump Youth, as PragerU videos have been removed from the curriculum. However, the school stopped short of acknowledging why you really shouldn’t be teaching propaganda in the classroom.
“We believe that students deserve a balanced presentation of content,” Maumee City Schools Superintendent Todd Cramer said when Huffpost asked if the school condoned use of PragerU materials. “We support our educators in using a variety of instructional tools and materials. We expect our educators to exercise good judgment and trust our students, parents and community to engage our staff in conversations about our instructional methods and the materials being used if they feel the need to do so.”
Nothing says “balanced presentation of content,” like showing kids videos with titles like “There Is No Gender Wage Gap,” and “How to Steal an Election: Mail-In Ballots,” with little proper context or counterpoint.
The assignments appear to have no connection to an effort launched by PragerU in recent weeks to have its content taught in schools. PragerU Educators and Parents, or PREP, is described on its website as “a community committed to teaching youth about America’s blessings and limitless opportunities.”
Every time I see shit like this I just get huge Purge vibes.
“2,000 parents and educators have already signed up for PREP,” Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer of PragerU, said in an email to HuffPost.
Adrienne Johnson, PragerU’s chief of staff and lead of the PREP platform, told state TV outlet conservative news site One America News Network that school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic inspired them to try and indoctrinate the youth with right-wing talking points.
“America is not being fairly portrayed,” Johnson told the outlet. “Many schools are implementing anti-racist Black Lives Matter curriculum and The 1619 Project.”
You know, I just sort of figured an organization complaining about kids being taught how not to be racist would make it pretty clear they’re in the wrong. Granted, white people love to feel aggrieved about social and economic systems built entirely to their benefit, so I’ll have to file this news under “disappointed, but not surprised.”