Middle School Workbook Gets 2nd Amendment Wrong, Wingnuts Outraged
The nation's clutching salts, fainting necklaces, and smelling couches were nearly overwhelmed this week by the news that an inaccurate summary of the Second Amendment was distributed to innocent seventh-graders at Grant Middle School in Springfield, Illinois. At issue was this description of the Most Holy of Holy Constitutional rights:
“This amendment states that people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and have not been in prison. The founding fathers included the amendment to prevent the United States from acting like the British who had tried to take weapons away from the colonists.”
As of press time, the teacher is still employed by the school, which has not yet been burned to the ground, which has not yet opened up to swallow everyone who has come into contact with the abomination. But the workbook will be revised or discontinued, thanks to unending phone calls and emails from defenders of the Word.
After a parent posted the offensive image to the "Illinois Gun Owners' Rights" Facebook page, the story has blown up all over the web, with the usual calls for the workbook to be removed, the teacher fired, and possibly the site of the school to be nuked from orbit (it's the only way to be sure).
And while most of the stories we've seen on the workbook point out that it was prepared by teachers at the school a few years ago and is used only at Grant Middle, the comments sections of most articles are full of people insisting that this has to be part of Common Core, or what you get from the liberal textbook publishers (or unions), and all the proof that you need that we should not have Government Schools at all. According to the Glenn Beck Anger Thing, the dad went down to the school to tell administrators that they "can’t reword the Constitution to what you think it should be," which apparently violates Article Jumbo-Ziffteen's ban on ever writing a summary or paraphrase of the sacred text -- maybe the dad was thinking of Revelation 22:18. The administrator the parent talked to said that they would "go to the proper people to have it changed."
Also a source of poutrage: Springfield's interim Superintendent, Bob Hill, said Monday that after a review, he didn't believe that the workbook was a "political statement," that the workbook was used in a now-completed unit on the Constitution, and that he would not ask the teacher to exclude it in the future, because "Academic Freedom." This did not endear Hill to the Freedom-loving gun fondlers, who now want him fired as well. The Illinois Gun Owners Rights page has Mr. Hill's photo and work phone posted prominently, with a reminder to be "courteous, polite, and professional."
An article posted Tuesday on a Springfield radio station's website says that Grant Middle will either revise or stop using the workbook, so hooray for accuracy.
For what it's worth, we think it would be a lot better if the summary were accurate, too, although Yr Wonkette thinks that calling for the entire social studies faculty at Grant Middle to be flayed is a bit overboard. On the other hand, it might also be worth noting that while it's not an accurate summary of the Holy Second, it does sort of reflect Illinois law, which requires a permit to purchase a gun -- but not registration, a distinction that may have been lost on whoever wrote the workbook. We aren't going to defend an inaccurate teacher-written study guide, but maybe, just maybe, this was just an example of sloppy writing (which is bad enough) rather than an attempt to indoctrinate innocent children into the Church of Gun Confiscation. (Yes, we know we're dreaming there. It's an Illinois school, so the workbook was probably written by Barack Obama and also too ACORN.)
Our favorite comments on the story, of course, are from the parents who brag that they're homeschooling, so that they can ensure that their kids get nothing but accurate information. We'd be willing to bet we know what books some of them are using.
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