Madison Ruppert, Contributor
Previously I reported on the New York school system’s move to not only ban words but entire topics and concepts from their tests as if that would somehow make facts of life like poverty disappear.
I found this especially insane since it was essentially based on the assumption that if an incredibly impoverished child didn’t have to answer questions that included poverty on a test, they would somehow forget about the empty dinner table they have to go home to.
Obviously this is so absurd that it is truly hard to believe that anyone is actually imbecilic enough to believe such a thing makes any sense whatsoever.
Unfortunately, it is not just the United States which is plagued by bureaucrats seeking to control speech.
Indeed, recently it was reported that teachers in a small town in British Columbia have been informed that they cannot display quotes from the popular children’s author Ted Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), supposedly because they are political messaging.
I always suspected that “green eggs and ham” was actually about environmentalism and police, and thankfully it appears that the bureaucrats overseeing the town of Prince Rupert have uncovered these hidden meanings and are now protecting our children from them.
After all, there could never be such a thing as whimsical and humorous children’s books without an ulterior motive or hidden message, right?
Of course, Dr. Seuss actually did include some much deeper and more important concepts than just oddly colored eggs, but last time I checked it was a good thing to challenge young minds and encourage them to think critically.
One such work was Horton Hears a Who which has been said to subtly deal with issues of prejudice and civil rights while The Lorax is seen as a cautionary tale about the dangers of ignoring environmental degradation.
Hilariously (although unsurprisingly), Fox News claimed that The Lorax film based on the Dr. Seuss book released this year was trying to “indoctrinate our children” with an “anti-industry message.”
Don’t you just love how the establishment media – which increasingly spews out intellectually bankrupt garbage like never before – can create conspiracy theories with absolutely no evidence whatsoever, while anyone pointing to real evidence of real conspiracies throughout history is painted as a loon?
This all started with Bill 22, which came into effect in March 2012 and ended the teachers’ strike and brought in a mediator.
Teachers have been protesting in the typically aggressive manner in which teachers operate – by wearing T-shirts, signs and bumper stickers expressing their disappointment.
A 1st grade teacher at Prince Rupert elementary school was told that she could be disciplined for wearing a Dr. Seuss quote on her clothing or vehicle while on school property.
What was the quote they deemed so offensive?
I know, up on the top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.
Some might remember this line from the book Yertle the Turtle when Yertle organizes his fellow turtles to stand on top of each other so Yertle can climb to the top and see a great distance.
This was far from an isolated incident. As of late April, eight teachers in this particular school district had been issued letters informing them that they could face disciplinary actions for allegedly displaying political messages.
According to the president of the Prince Rupert District Teachers’ Union Joanna Larson, this is because the administrators do not want to let students even see these messages.
“We feel very censored here right now. We have feelings that our rights to freedom of expression have been violated,” Larson said.
I wouldn’t qualify that as a feeling, as it is a clear, objective fact. Their rights to freedom of expression are indeed being violated in a truly absurd manner.
Other teachers who are trying to avoid getting the letters – which sound eerily like threats – have to park away from the school’s property in order to continue to display their bumper stickers in opposition to Bill 22.
“If they try to use a heavy-handed approach, we just have more people trying to exercise civil disobedience,” Larson said.
However, what they’re doing is probably the least aggressive form of civil disobedience possible. This makes me see their suppression of dissent amongst the teachers that much more insane.
It is important to note that indeed Geisel had a political bent, evidenced by his work as a political cartoonist, although I think it is equally important to note that very few young children could likely recognize these messages without having them specifically pointed out.
If the administration could show that 1st graders were able to tease out the deeper meanings in Horton Hears a Who or The Lorax, they might have grounds to do this, but I seriously doubt many youngsters are capable of that literary analysis.
Judith Morgan wrote a book on Geisel entitled Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel where she says that he was indeed writing about the evils of “greed and destruction of the planet and narrow-minded, close-minded types.”
“Seuss’ work continues to resonate with kids and parents because it is honest; it battles prejudice; it sends the imagination soaring and fits the wonder of a young child’s mind and dreams,” Morgan added.
She said that banning the Dr. Seuss quote is “very upsetting” to teachers and “it’s the ridiculous nature of it that makes it almost unbelievable.”
I couldn’t agree more, as Dr. Seuss books still line the walls of countless libraries and the bookshelves of many children who enjoy the stories not because they speak to their inner revolutionary, but because they are incredibly imaginative and enjoyable.
There might be an even larger point here, which Larson brings to the fore in saying that the ludicrous actions of the administration perfectly exemplify the “ridiculous human nature” Dr. Seuss wrote about.
“This is why he did what he did,” she said. “I think he would think it’s absurd.”
All I can say is that I hope the administration comes to the realization that they’re making themselves look like the antagonist of a Dr. Seuss book in what must be one of the most nonsensical actions taken by a school bureaucracy in recent times.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.