Radical left-wing blog ThinkProgress has identified home schooling as the latest Russian collusion scandal, after finding evidence some American home schoolers went to Russia once.
The progressive news website, which receives funding from radical leftist think tank Center for American Progress Action Fund, has identified home schooling as the newest source of Russian collusion in America society after learning an American home school organization attended and helped sponsor a conference in Russia.
ThinkProgress learned that the Home School Legal Defense Association helped plan a home schooling conference in Russia in May of last year, and later learned a Russian who has been publicly sanctioned by the United States government may have attended the conference, seeking to work with the HSLDA.
With this body of evidence, ThinkProgress proceeded to frame home schoolers as Russian pawns who transmit propaganda from the Kremlin to captive children, who are unable to go to public school, where teachers may tell them they could be sued for watching PewDiePie on YouTube.
By networking with Russians, the HSLDA — now America’s largest right-wing homeschooling association — has provided the Kremlin with a new avenue of influence over some of the most conservative organizations in the United States.
And while investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence organizations, and congressional committees have focused on Russia’s efforts to influence U.S. elections, Russian ties to groups like the HSLDA demonstrate the Kremlin’s broader attempts to hold sway over American policies.
While ThinkProgress describes the conference as an opportunity for Russians to relay their propaganda to American home schoolers, the organization described the conference as an opportunity for Russians to learn about the American system of home schooling. Its press release notes that Russians were largely unable to home school children throughout the existence of the Soviet Union, and were excited to embrace individualized, Christian education for children.
In its press release, HSLDA offers insight into Russia’s desire for the freedom provided through home schooling:
Although American media often portray Russia as the most serious threat facing our country, and Russians as anti-freedom, this was not seen. Many Americans are not familiar with Russian history, the chaos that ensued after the fall of the Soviet Union, or the societal wounds from 75 years of communist rule.
A country that permits homeschooling demonstrates respect for its citizens, for educational freedom, and for the institution of the family. Recognizing the rights of families to decide how their children are educated is an important barometer of freedom and a significant function of self-governance—which is foundational to freedom and democracy. These are the ideas, after all, on which the United States has built our republic. It is encouraging to see a country like Russia embracing this freedom.
ThinkProgress specifically denied HSLDA’s Director of Global Outreach Michael Donnelly as a possible transmitter of Russian propaganda, as Donnelly visited Russia as HSLDA’s representative.
Speaking to ThinkProgress, Donnelly noted that no government officials from America expressed any concern over his visit, and ThinkProgress is the first group to find anything suspicious with their initiatives to expand home schooling in Russia.
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