Date: August 17, 2004
Subject: Liberal talking points from Stillwater High School

A few weeks ago, Joe Soucheray (AM 1500 KSTP radio) read a letter apparently from certain members of Stillwater High School's class of 2004. The letter was in response to a congratulatory letter sent to all members of that class from state Sen. Michele Bachmann. The student letter struck me as so remarkable that I contacted Sen. Bachmann's office for a copy of it, and of the senator's original letter. (You can read the entire text of both on the main MNEdReform News web site.)

The sentiments expressed by "the class of 2004" were straight from the liberal education elite's talking points. They rebut quotes attributed to Sen. Bachmann that did not appear in her letter. So where did they get them? Here are some excerpts:
  • ...we feel we cannot accept your well wishes, as we believe that your policies on education are hurting rather than helping our public school system. [Actually, individual senators don't have education "policies."]
  • It can only be expected that in a changing nation our values will change as well. [All of our values? Aren't any of our values universal for all people in all times?]
  • Minnesota is now one of the most ethnically diverse states in the country. Our citizens are divided in their political thought more than ever, and the face of the state is changing as new people and new times bring about a shift in the way we see faith, race relations, economic diversity, and education. [In other words, identity politics, which is by definition divisive. Aren't we all Americans?]
  • ...we find your [sic] standards overall to have an usual focus on conservative values and leaders and a general ignorance of the darker, less honorable periods in our history to be considered fair and balanced. [Sounds good, until you read the actual standards, which were written by the not-conservative-by-any-stretch Minnesota Council for the Social Studies, not Sen. Bachmann.]
  • When you state that it is essential that "our children are taught American values like sovereignty, patriotism and free market enterprise," we would say that that is a close minded approach to education which we as students reject. [Specifically what values would you teach to ensure the preservation of liberty and the union?]
  • ...when you say that "parents have the right and responsibility of training their child in the way they should go," we respond that we should have the right to be exposed to a wealth of ideas about America in order to form our own opinions. [So parents have no rights or responsibilities in their own children's education?? Are parental responsibility and forming your own opinions mutually exclusive?]

Although the class of 2004 has certainly moved on to bigger and better things by now, I would be interested in hearing from any of those behind the letter (which is not signed by anyone other than "The class of 2004"). I think that a conversation with the author(s) of the letter would be a fascinating one.