Eleven professors of education from various universities around the country recently signed a letter, published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, declaring right wing speech as “violent.”
“We commit to standing against violence directed at these targeted scholars and speaking out against the attempts to censor critical work that addresses systemic inequities and power imbalances in education and society,” the letter said. There are no examples of physical violence against professors provided in the letter, but the letter itself suggests that somehow rightwing speech is equivalent to violence.
“[A]s senior scholars, we are pledging to actively support and protect critical scholars in colleges and universities across the US. Further, we challenge those rightwing organizations—instead of focusing on mostly untenured junior scholars, the most vulnerable among us—to focus your fervor on us,” the professors said.
The professors refer specifically to organizations like Campus Reform and The College Fix, who report on extreme leftism on college campuses.
“The attack on critical scholars within US universities has greatly accelerated with the election, statements, and actions of Donald Trump,” the professors wrote. “[T]those of us who are senior scholars doing critical work and authoring articles in this special issue are strongly committed to providing our support to critical scholars under attack by Trump-inspired rightwing individuals and groups.”
The lead author of the letter is professor James Scheurich, a professor in the Urban Education Studies doctoral program at Indiana University – Purdue University of Indianapolis, commonly known as IUPUI. Professors at the University of Texas at Austin, New York University, and Ohio State University also signed the letter.
According to Scheurich’s website he is dedicated to supporting the creation of schools that deliver high-quality student groups, especially those groups that have historically not been well served by public schooling.
Groups that have been underserved, according to Scheurich’s page, include African American students, Latino students, students from low income families, student from families that do not speak English at home, students from other cultures, students with disabilities, girls in math and science, lesbian/gay/bi/transgender students, or any other group not receiving the benefits of a high quality education.
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Harvard Law School Planning Conference to Smear and Silence Homeschoolers
It seems doubtful the conference will feature parents’ rights advocates.
Harvard Law School is planning a conference on the topic of homeschooling, with speakers and content of the tenative June summit suggesting the event will be very negative towards the practice.
The Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform is planned for June 18-19th. The conference listing states that a focus of the conference will be to “discuss child rights in connection with homeschooling in the United States.”
Further investigation of the conference’s premise suggests it’s outright hostile to the notion of homeschooling entirely. One event scheduled for the second day of the conference is entitled “Concerns with Homeschooling.”
The Home School Legal Defense Association questioned what seemed to be the outright hostility to homeschooling that will be part of the event, pointing out the concerning public statements of some of the educators participating in the summit.
The pro-homeschooling rights group highlighted the anti-homeschooling track records of the event’s speakers.
Some, such as College of William and Mary law professor James Dwyer, have fundamentally questioned the rights of parents to homeschool their children. Dwyer has argued in law review article that “the claim that parents should have child-rearing rights—rather than simply being permitted to perform parental duties and to make certain decisions on a child’s behalf in accordance with the child’s rights—is inconsistent with principles deeply embedded in our law and morality.”
It almost seems anachronistic that the fixings of elite cultural liberalism are maintaining themselves in the midst of the national Chinese coronavirus epidemic, an event that has actually forced the American public and policy makers to focus on things that matter. This anti-homeschooling summit might end up being cancelled because of the coronavirus epidemic. But it any case, Harvard Law’s academic elites seem intent to question the rights of homeschoolers either way.
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