PragerU’s Jill Simonian Announces New Platform for Kids at Prageru.com/Kids

PragerU’s Jill Simonian Announces New Platform for Kids at Prageru.com/Kids

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the director of outreach for PragerU, Jill Simonian, to the newsmaker line to discuss their new history program and platform for kids at pragerU.com/kids.

Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend, Jill Simonian. And Jill’s been with us before. She’s got some videos out at Prager University. And, Jill, you are pushing back against the woke culture in teaching our kids. Welcome, Jill.

Simonian: Hi! Yes. Hi, Michael. Yes, we are. We’re pushing back. We’re providing unwoke lessons. That’s what we’re doing at PragerU Kids.

Leahy: Wow! Thank you. Can I say thank you for that?

Simonian: Of course. Thank you. We appreciate you. We’re grateful for so many people who have been so excited about this program.

Leahy: Tell us about the series. When did it launch? And how can people get it and what’s the reaction been?

Simonian: Okay, so for those of you who are in your audience who have heard me before, I’m from PragerU Kids. We are part of PragerU. And what we have been doing for the past several months is developing kids’ shows that celebrate American values and teach American history. Kids videos, resources, shows for kindergarten through 12th grade.

We’ve got a whole line of different animated series, children’s books, and even our recent children’s book: Our debut children’s book, Otto’s Tales: The National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, which launched just last month and hit number one in the bestseller children’s category in a few days. But we’ve got videos.

And our brand new show that we have – for middle schoolers especially – is called TBH. And it’s To Be Honest History. And it’s a video history lesson. It’s very entertaining. It is history meets entertainment. It’s for middle and high school students.

And it teaches history without a political agenda because we know right now in our schools, revisionist history is being taught to our kids that is essentially trying to get our kids to hate America. So we’re pushing back with this brand new series called TBH, which stands for To Be Honest History.

And it’s super fun. And the first episode focuses on the scientific revolution. And if you watch it, Michael, you will laugh and enjoy it. And I would guarantee that you’re going to learn something that you never learned before.

Leahy: I’m looking at it right now at prageru.com in the videos of TBH history. Scientific Revolution. I can tell you, I’m just looking at it, it looks like it’s a fun thing. How many people have been downloading this? How many people have been looking at it? What’s the impact so far?

Simonian: I got to tell you, this particular show just launched. Was it yesterday? I think it was yesterday. What day are we on?

Leahy: It was a day before yesterday.

Simonian: It was the day before yesterday. The response has been incredible. I myself don’t have the numbers yet. Our children’s shows over the past several months have already garnered millions of views from parents and kids and grandparents and everyone inside of our PREP membership program that we do have to support our PragerU Kids content.

Our programs have got millions of views. This new episode just launched. Right now, we have this particular series to have a new episode once a month. I have a very strong feeling it’s going to be much more frequent than once a month. But yes, it’s fun. We have costumed characters.

We’ve got this group of young kids that are based in Arkansas, and they put together all these skits with all the cool hip snappy language that all the kids love. You and me, Michael, we’re a little bit old now. (Laughs)

Leahy: Yes, we are. (Laughs)

Simonian: I know, speak for yourself, Jill. (Leahy laughs) In this particular scientific revolution episode, we’ve got Galileo, Sir Francis Bacon, Aristotle, and these kids. If you guys watch the video or even the trailer at prageru.com/kids you’re really going to be impressed and delighted and thankful that history lessons like this are being provided to our kids that don’t have a political agenda.

Leahy: Crom Carmichael is in studio, and Crom has a question for you Jill.

Carmichael: This is very exciting. I love what you’re doing. And I understand that the way that, as you just described it is parents and grandparents can download these or go to the website and watch them.

Are you marketing them to independent schools, to charter schools, or are you marketing to any of the actual educational institutions? I’m sure the teachers’ unions would fight you like a tiger in government-run schools. But the schools that have autonomy, are you marketing to them?

Simonian: Absolutely. And one of the things that we have is our videos at PragerU Kids can be just like you said, for families to enjoy but also for schools. We have dozens and dozens of resources that are brand new that are absolutely appropriate for school.

This particular series, TBH, is a great resource for independent schools, charter schools, homeschooling parents, and even public schools to use. Because in many of our public schools, I don’t know if you guys are aware, but our schools are using videos just like this that were independently created from, not even from academic institutions.

There’s a particular history video series that many mainstream schools use and it’s called Crash Course. And Crash Course was one of the 100 channels that were funded by YouTube’s $100 million original channels initiative that they called that has been pushed through many schools.

And they’re all politicized videos. So our videos, particularly with TBH, are a response to these politicized initiatives – that these politicized groups have created these videos, sent them into our schools, and our children are at the mercy of watching these slanted “lessons,” which aren’t really lessons.

So, yes, what we are doing is we are telling parents, hey, present this to your school. Get this into your school. And in our membership program, especially for PragerU Kids. We call it our PREP membership program. It stands for PragerU resources for educators and parents.

We have thousands of teachers in our membership group, and they have responded so well saying, oh, my, I want to use this for my history class. I want to present this to the district to even consider us as an additional resource for my history class. So we’ve got a positive reaction, and we are hoping that teachers and parents share this with their schools.

Leahy: Jill Simonian with PragerU Kids, thanks so much. Keep up the great work. Come back again and tell us more. We really appreciate it.

Carmichael: Great stuff. Great stuff.

Simonian: Thank you. Thank you. So we want everyone to join us, become a member because we can’t keep these videos free without everyone’s generous support and membership. prageru.com/kids.

Leahy: Thanks Jill very much!

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Director of Seeking Educational Excellence Charles Love Recounts His Experience of Growing Up Black in America

Executive Director of Seeking Educational Excellence Charles Love Recounts His Experience of Growing Up Black in America

 

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Charles Love Executive Director of Seeking Educational Excellence reflects upon growing up in America in his Black community of Gary, Indiana.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by Charles Love a scholar with 1776 Unites. He’s the assistant executive director of Seeking Educational Excellence. He’s a talk show host at AM 560 in Chicago.

And also a great essay written by Charles that we want to talk about. We must scrap the 1619 Project for an accurate account of American history. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report Charles.

Love: Michael, it’s great to be here. Thank you for having me.

Leahy: So tell us about your essay. Why must we scrap the 1619 Project?

Love: Well, I wrote my essay because I was hearing all the noise at the time, which obviously has shifted since then. It’s gotten louder. But what I saw was missing in a lot of these arguments is logic and context.

Everything that people argue has a sprinkle of truth in it, just enough to get you again so you can’t just say everything in it is not true. But the problem with the project is even some historians, as you know, took it to task.

But it’s beyond that. There were factual errors. But where there weren’t factual errors, there were lies of omission and they just took facts and took conclusions that made no sense. So I wanted to highlight that in my essay, but also use it as an example.

People understand things better when you tell stories. So I was telling a basic, simple story. I was telling my story about my upbringing and the people around me in my community in a majority Black town. I grew up in Gary, Indiana.

Leahy: Gary, Indiana. Not Louisiana, Paris, France, or Spain. From the music man.

Love: Yes. So the music man. So knowing that I felt that I had a pretty unique and interesting way to describe the way they should present the information if they wanted to present it, as opposed to the way they were doing it.

Leahy: Did you grow up there in Gary, Indiana, about the same time the Jackson family, the Jackson Five, was growing up there or were they a little bit before you?

Love: They were a little bit before my time. Especially since they left so young. They were gone by the time I was born. But I was born right when the city was breaking from being segregated.

As I say in the essay, they had elected the first Black Mayor at the same time as Cleveland and LA did. And they had what we all later called the White flight. So it was segregated at the time I was born.

And when I was really little, people were slowly starting to move into other neighborhoods. I was growing up right through that transition and seeing the change in the shift living in America, my childhood and my day-to-day life was not what we hear on the radio and see on the news. And that’s what bothers me.

Leahy: What did your folks do in Gary, Indiana, when you were growing up?

Love: My parents?

Leahy: Yes. What did they do?

Love: My mom was a housewife and my dad worked at the mill. We were kind of a steel town.

Leahy: A steel town. That’s a job working in a steel mill, isn’t it?

Love: That’s what he did until he retired. And so that’s what we did. And my family did.

Leahy: I’m guessing, Charles, you never mess with your dad, because if you work in a steel mill, you’re strong and you don’t put up with anything.

Love: Well, as I said, my mom was a housewife. So there were those classic parents, mother-father roles that you can’t speak of today. You know the P-word. (Leahy chuckles) But that’s what my household was like and many in my neighborhood at the time.

And I got to see the shift because I was old enough to not notice the difference, but see the difference because I was like 8, 9, and 10 and 12. Here’s one interesting thing. We often hear about the out-of-wedlock birth rate in the Black community.

But I’m old enough that things were different. I was coming up during the shift. One thing I didn’t notice and write about until I was an adult, but I started to notice it. All of my friends, I grew up in a community with a lot of people my age.

We all played, ran around, and all of them either had their father at home or knew their father really well. They were active. By the time I hit high school, they were all living in single-family homes.

So it’s not that they were born out of wedlock, but the family dynamic shifted over the course of their childhood.

Leahy: Why did that happen so quickly?

Love: I don’t know. I think that for them it was just more circumstances. It wasn’t the same thing as it is now. I don’t think it was the cultural shift as it is now. I don’t think it was media and all that kind of stuff.

But I got to see how it affects kids, though, because I noticed how my friends were different when we were 8, 9, 10, and 11. Same kids, same neighborhood. I walked into high school, and they were just different because that loss of a father makes a difference.

And so now when I hear people talk about it now, I’m like, I know for sure it’s different because you’re talking about going your whole life and your childhood, without knowing your father.

I can tell you about people who grew up with their father in the house until they were nine to 11. And by the time they were 16, they were defiant and they were getting into trouble. Not that no one else gets into trouble but there was not that stern figure to put them back on track.

Leahy: Did you go to a public high school in Gary, Indiana?

Love: Yes, I did.

Leahy: What was that like?

Love: All the way through. It was actually, as I write an essay, tremendously wonderful. I think my essay spins the narrative that you hear about the Black people. So my concern is that there are problems for sure that need to be fixed.

But too many people both Black people because they’re trying to prove a point, and White people because they don’t know any better, keep telling a tale of Blacks being underclass across the board. they’re all poor, they’re all uneducated and they’re all criminals.

So do we have problems in each of those lanes that need to be addressed? Of course. Is the percentage higher than Whites? Yes. But they act like it’s all violent crime in the Black community.

Everybody talked about how it’s higher than Whites, but the percentage of violent criminals is like two and a half percent. So most of us aren’t committing violent crimes. Yes, we have a poverty rate that’s higher than Whites, but it’s like 18 percent.

Too high? Yes. But that still means 80 percent of us aren’t in poverty. So my childhood was great. I went to an elementary school at the time. The city is smaller now, but at the time we had six high schools and lots of elementary schools.

I don’t know 50 or so. When I graduated high school, every valedictorian went to my elementary school.

Leahy: No kidding?

Love: From the public school down the street. I tell this often. I went through K through 12 and never had a White kid in my class, my same year. I only remember two in the school the whole time, and neither was in my year and both left before they graduated.

So you can’t call it a race thing. The city was not that socioeconomically diverse. There were really poor, poor working class and a few middle-class people. So you can’t really call it that either. But they focused on excellence.

What I try to focus on what we talk about at Seeking Educational Excellence, we focus on STEM and you focus on what you can change and don’t worry about the others. And so my experience was great.

I often say that I don’t think a middle-class White person, White picket fence in the suburbs had a different life, at least when I was growing up, as I did. So maybe their vacations were a little nicer. (Chuckles)

Maybe they had some nicer toys, but I didn’t want for anything. And I think I have the traditional American experience, as anyone else would.

Leahy: Grant Henry is in studio with us. He has a question for you. Go ahead, Grant.

Henry: Charles, the last paragraph of your article says, I suggest we take a different approach than the critical race theory approach of the 1619 Project. Instead, let’s take one that my teachers took when I was a child.

We learned an accurate account of American history. Charles, what do you say to someone and help us understand how to respond to this point when someone says, well, that’s what critical race theory does. It presents an accurate account of American history. What’s the response there?

Love: Wow. You’re going to make me do that in under a minute?

Henry: I’m sorry.

Love: The answer is twofold. The answer is, this not what it does, because what they do is they shift. If we want to say that history is not being too barely, and it’s making Whites with the savior, what they’re doing is only pointing out the Black.

I mean, the negatives of Blacks, which is not true. So they’re still leaving stuff out if that’s the case. But the real argument is all this talk about CRT is a waste because what’s being pushed in the schools that are upsetting students and parents, it’s not CRT.

Call it what you want. When you teach two boys kissing and you make that mandatory reading. When you say transgenderism is going to be taught in junior high school. When you’re saying that White privilege is going to be telling things of that nature, you’re not teaching accurate history.

You’re giving your opinion, whether it’s right or wrong, and you’re forcing it down parents’ and students’ throats without any say.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Charles Love” by Seeking Educational Excellence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOP Candidate Robby Starbuck Talks About Growing Up in America Without a Victim Mentality

GOP Candidate Robby Starbuck Talks About Growing Up in America Without a Victim Mentality

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed GOP candidate for Nashville’s Fifth District, Robby Starbuck in studio to talk about growing up in a Cuban family and working hard for a future in America.

Leahy: In studio Robby Starbuck, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in the Fifth Congressional District currently represented by Jim Cooper, the brother of the tinpot dictator known as Mayor John Cooper. Those are my words, not Robby’s.

(Starbuck chuckles) Robby, yesterday you had a big YouTube video announcement. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has endorsed you in glowing terms. You put a YouTube out for that. Tell us about how he came to endorse you and what impact that YouTube videos had so far.

Starbuck: First of all, is there a better endorsement than Rand Paul right now? He’s been right at every step of everything that happened throughout COVID. Like, no question. All along the way, the media says he’s crazy.

And then three months later, he’s proven right every single step of the way. There’s been no bigger advocate of freedom. But this came to be because I made friends with him and his wife a couple of years ago through social media.

Leahy: Through social media?

Starbuck: Yes. We started a relationship through social media.

Leahy: How does that happen with the United States senator?

Starbuck: I have sort of a larger social media accountant.

Leahy: How large is it?

Starbuck: Before the great purge of the election. It was 250,000.

Leahy: That’s pretty good.

Starbuck: And then on YouTube, we’ve got it. I don’t know the exact number. It’s like, 140,000.

Leahy: Is YouTube still allowing you to be on.

Starbuck: So that’s a really funny question. Yes, we have our YouTube account. But our numbers changed this summer. (Leahy chuckles) I made a joke about the fact that I had more subscribers than Joe Biden did.

Leahy: Oh boy are you in trouble.

Starbuck: And literally, I did this whole thing about that. Right afterward, we get a report. There’s a thing called Social Blade that tells you how your metrics and analytics are going. And literally, the next month, we had negative views. (Leahy laughs) Negative 100,000 views.

Leahy: Gee, how did that happen.

Starbuck: No idea. So I send it to our person at YouTube. And he was like, I’ve never seen this before. The loan Republican at YouTube. There is one.

Leahy: Don’t out that person.

Starbuck: No, I’m not outing that. But there’s one. There’s one.

Leahy: There the one Republican at YouTube.

Starbuck: So I made friends with him over social media and with his wife. And we had them on my podcast. My wife and I did a podcast together. And so I was a big promoter of their book, The Case Against Socialism because it’s one of those books that I wish was in every school that every kid would read because we don’t educate kids anymore on the history of socialism and communism.

Leahy: Let me just interrupt for a moment. I’ll invite you to attend the National Constitution Bee that we sponsor every year. I don’t know if you know about that.

Starbuck: I’m in. Yes, I’ve heard about it.

Leahy: And we’ve got a book. We’ll give it to you, but you’re welcome to come. And we give educational scholarships to kids that actually study the Constitution. And back to your point.

Starbuck: You’ll love this then. My daughter this year memorized the Constitution. My oldest.

Leahy: How old is she?

Starbuck: She’s 12 so she did it for a speech meet.

Leahy: We’ve had a couple of 12-year-olds participate in this, so if she wants to come she can participate.

Starbuck: She would love it.

Leahy: I will tell you to get public school teachers to actually promote this, it’s like pulling teeth. We’ve got a few. We’ve got a few out there in a couple of counties. But most public school teachers, because it’s the Constitution of the United States verbatim apparently don’t seem to have much interest in that.

Starbuck: Yeah, that seems like something not super popular in public schools right now. They prefer things that are not based on reality.

Leahy: Critical Race Theory. Black Lives Matter.

Starbuck: Exactly.

Leahy: That’s what they want to promote. 1619 Project. All historical falsehoods.

Starbuck: Exactly.

Leahy: What’s wrong with that picture?

Starbuck: This idea, I think the most dangerous thing about it is the idea that you’re born either a victim or an oppressor, and that’s at the core of Critical Race Theory.

Leahy: What are you, Robby? Are you a victim?

Starbuck: Well, see, that’s the thing is, I’m kind of in the middle, aren’t I? So you can’t really nail it down. I guess I could say I’m the child of a penniless refugee, and I have every reason not to succeed in America.

Leahy: You are a victim.

Starbuck: You can go that route. because And this is actually an argument I’ve made to people as I go. Listen, when I was a kid, I was told every step of the way by my grandparents and my mom that I can do anything. This is America. It’s full of opportunity.

You don’t do what you want to do. That’s your fault. You did something wrong. You work your tail off, you will get what you want. That is why I graduated at 16. If I had been told in school by the people that I was told I needed to trust, by my teachers that I was oppressed and I was somehow a victim, my life story would look very different.

And that’s a scary thing to think about. How many kids with amazing potential are we holding back by telling them you’re automatically a victim and all these people hate you? Its disgusting.

Leahy: And your personal circumstances I think you said your mom was a refugee from Cuba. Your dad was from Oklahoma, but he sort of been in and out of your life.

Starbuck: Yeah. He’s been sort of in and out. It’s one of those things where you could say you had a rough childhood, but I was so lucky to have my grandparents.

Leahy: Your grandparents were key, weren’t they?

Starbuck: They were especially my great-grandpa. My great-grandpa was really like a father to me. He taught me everything I know about life.

Leahy: What did he tell you about jobs?

Starbuck: And he said, you never let go of a good job or a good woman. And that’s why I married young.

Leahy: That’s a good line.

Starbuck: I married at 18, and I never let her go. So it was the best advice I’ve ever been given I think.

Listen to the third hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee State Senator Ferrell Haile Discusses One of His Top Three Priorities Citing Progress in Safe Baby Courts

Tennessee State Senator Ferrell Haile Discusses One of His Top Three Priorities Citing Progress in Safe Baby Courts

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee (R) Senator Ferrell Haile to the newsmakers line to discuss children, families, and education as his top priorities as a state senate legislator.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by State Senator Ferrell Haile. Good morning, Senator Haile.

Haile: Good morning.

Leahy: I think this is the first time you’ve been on The Tennessee Star Report. We’re delighted to have you on here. You represent some trials, Dale, parts of Davidson County. You’re a pharmacist by trade.

Haile: That’s correct. And a farmer by love.

Leahy: And a farmer by love. Do you have a farm right now?

Haile: I do.

Leahy: How many acres do you have? What do you grow?

Haile: A little under 400 acres. Beef, cattle, and, hay. Currently, at least most of the land out for row cropping. But we have run the farm and it’s a family farm we’ve run it for since about 1975, I guess. And thoroughly enjoyed it. My wife’s part of the farm my wife’s great grandfather bought in 1896.

Leahy: No kidding. Wow. That’s history. That is history.

Haile: Yes.

Leahy: So this session of the Tennessee General Assembly has ended. You’re on a couple of key committees there in the state Senate including your vice chair of health and welfare, member of the education committee, member of the very powerful Finance Ways and Means Committee. You want to talk today a little bit about three topics, children, families, and education. Which would you like to talk about first?

Haile: We will just start at the top with children. When you go into an elected position like this, this is the only elected position I’ve ever held. I really was not involved in politics while I was running my pharmacy. I kept my nose to the grind of the daily feeling of prescriptions and thoroughly enjoyed that career.

But throughout that career, I saw lots of families come through my pharmacy and children, and there were lots of needs there. And going into the Senate, I really did not have this on my radar that this would become a focus and passion. But it certainly has. One of the things that we’ve done, and you don’t hear a lot about this, but we established a safe baby court in Tennessee.

I visited and had an opportunity to learn about adverse childhood adversities that affect children and their brain development. And then learned about these zero to three courts or the safe baby courts at another seminar I went to. So I put those two ideas together and realize that we need to be taking better care of our children in Tennessee especially to have these adverse childhood experiences from zero to three.

80 percent of a child’s development takes place in the first five years. If they’re bounced around from home to home and from one trauma area to another for three years of their life, then something needs to change. By the way, when the state takes custody of a child, the average is three years to get them to a permanent home throughout the nation.

With the safe baby court, we’re trying to cut that down to nine months and we’re having a lot of success with that. It’s similar to a drug court if you’re familiar with that, where it’s within a court. And there’s 12 of these in the state and there’s 10 operating now. We’ve added two more this year.

Leahy: Was that the main accomplishment in this area, adding two more courts?

Haile: For this year it was. Yes, getting two more courts established. And you only put these in with judges that want this. They have to have a passion for this because it’s going to take more of their time. There’s going to be a coordinator of services around these children and these families. And what you want to accomplish is one of two things.

You either want to stabilize the family where the children go back with the family, the biological parents, and they don’t come back into state custody. Now, that’s a win first off, for the child. It’s a win for the family. It’s a win for the taxpayer because you don’t have the state taking care of that child any longer. So there’s a win all the way around on that.

The other side of that is for biological parents that cannot get their act together. I’ll just be plain about this. They can’t get their act together and within a short period of time, with all these services and folks talking with them and working with them on a weekly basis, then we’re looking at adoption. And the parents come to realize, I cannot raise this child in the way that this child deserves to be raised.

And so they surrender the child for adoption and that’s a win. Also, again, that’s a win for the child, that they have a loving, stable home and that the biological parents still have the opportunity to see that child. Usually, there’s an agreement made where that the biological parent is not cut off from the child, but the parent of record is now the adoptive parent.

Again, the state wins. The courts win and the child wins. And so it’s a great program and we just continue to slowly grow that and develop it and try and spread the word of what we’re doing.

Leahy: How big a problem is this in Tennessee?

Haile: Oh, it’s a huge problem. We’ve got thousands of children do we have that the state is responsible for? And I’ve lost that number.

Leahy: But it’s a problem. How much of that, Senator Haile is just a reflection of a decline in society?

Haile: That is one problem. There’s no question about that because a lot of these biological parents just need to be taught how to raise a child. How to discipline a child and how to be responsible, how to hold a job, and how to have a stable family unit. That certainly is one issue. Another really really big issue is our drug problem.

And those two go really hand in hand. And a lot of these parents were raised this away. So you’re trying to break a cycle. Their grandmother was in child custody, their mother was in child custody. It’s a cycle that has continued. And so you’re trying to break the cycle in the family unit which will not only affect that one particular child in that family but other children within that family unit. So I think those are the two real causes.

Leahy: How much of this is a role of state government and how much of it is a role of churches and communities?

Haile: Everybody has to come in to play on this. The state is responsible for the well-being of a child however, we need to be utilizing our churches and our nonprofits. And we have these courts spread out through Tennessee, and they’re in both urban and rural areas. Especially in the rural areas more than the urban.

We have churches that are heavily involved. They are there and take care of those children when parents are in front of the judge or talking with the judge or with counselors on these weekly meetings that take place. There’s a real role for churches to play in the local communities and the smaller rural communities where everyone knows everyone else.

And so they’re willing to get in and help. When you get in an area like Davidson County, then it becomes more difficult to reach out to those individuals. You may have folks coming from one town to the other side of town for some of these services and there is not that local community connection. That’s an area that we really need to try and figure out how we can do a better job with maybe staying within a community setting.

Leahy: Last question for you on this. We’re just going to cover this topic this time. Next time you come back, we’ll talk more about education. What do you have planned in this area for the next session of the Tennessee General Assembly in January of 2022?

Haile: Well, we have the authorization to expand these courts even more. We’ve got authorization and we passed legislation where that we still have 10 more courts that we can expand into. So I’m going to be looking for judges and not me as much as the O of C we’ll be looking for those cohorts at the Department of Children Services.

There are three agencies that are working together on this. You got the Office of the Courts, the O of C, Department of Children Services, and their Department of Mental Health. All three of these commissioners are working closely together to make sure that this is successful. And so they will be choosing the proper place and who wants this.

And as the judges have seminars and talk to one another and say, hey, this is wonderful. We’re having great success in getting children back to biological families or to a permanent home much quicker than we ever did before and it will continue to grow.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federalist Executive Editor Joy Pullmann on Southlake Texas Battle with Critical Race Theory

Federalist Executive Editor Joy Pullmann on Southlake Texas Battle with Critical Race Theory

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Federalist Executive Editor and Author Joy Pullmann to the newsmakers line who discussed her recent article at The Federalist exposing the defamation of conservatives running for a local Southlake Texas school board that oppose racist cultural competence plans.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by Joy Pullmann, executive editor of The Federalist. A great writer and author of a new article, Texas Agitators Get Dirty to Push Institutional Racism in Texas’s Number One School District. Good morning, Joy.

Pullmann: Good morning.

Leahy: It’s hard to believe that a top public school system in Southlake, Texas Carroll Independent School District is teaching that all White people are racist. I couldn’t really… is that really true? And I looked at it and I said, yeah, it is. How does this happen, Joy?

Pullmann: It seems to be, in the Texas case, really brought into the school district, which, by the way, is also a conservative school district voted, I think, almost 20 points more for Trump over Biden in the last election. And that’s a pattern going back to the last five presidential elections, Republican and Democrat. So this is not a community that really is woke.

And that was actually proven by the results of an election on Saturday for the school board we’re talking about. People who oppose the critical race theory in the school District won two school board seats with overwhelming percentages. I think the margin of victory was 10 to 15 points. Obviously, this is not coming from the local community.

This is not what the majority of parents in Southlake want for their children. And I think that’s true in a lot of places in the country. How it really came into the school district was by a number of activist administrators. So these are people using their positions that mid-level bureaucrats, basically, to impose a really extremist ideology that targets people based on their skin color.

Leahy: That’s a very important thing you said. We want to follow up on this. Mid-level administrators, it looks like they snuck in this 2018, a cultural competence action plan that included teaching children in each grade to see each other in racial terms. To be treated according to skin color. We have here in Middle Tennessee, in Williamson County, which is the affluent suburb just South of Nashville, and in Metro Nashville, Davidson County, they’re trying to put in all these cultural competence plans. Is this sort of the way that they’re trying to sneak a lot of these things in?

Pullmann: Yes. So what happened in this school district in 2018 a video went viral on social media of kids after homecoming singing along to a rap song that had a racial slur in it. And this was used as an example. I mean, really, it was kind of hijacked by people in the district that already believed that White people are inherently racist when they’re born.

To me, it sounds crazy to say that, but that literally is what this ideology teaches. And so I looked into skills that in the school administrators that teachers were being given in Southlake schools. And it literally said that it was teaching people to look at each other and divide themselves based on race. They wanted to criminalize children for obviously, nobody supports making mean racial comments to other kids.

Oh, your eyes look like this or whatever. But that’s a relatively minor kid behavior that you can address at the moment properly to teach the children what to do. As parents and teachers really need to do, communicate to children how to behave and help them grow up that way. But this school district wanted to really give those kids a criminal record for incidents like that.

They were applying to the state for a grant to create basically this tracking and monitoring system for kids, possibly with records that would follow them for the rest of their life. So a lot of kind of crazy stuff going on, and they give it the name of something that basically everybody in the United States agrees with.

They call it anti-racism. They say it’s trying to stop mean instances and cruelties based on race. And nobody opposes that. But the sort of solutions that are provided is really extremist and most likely to really cause more trouble rather than help kids love each other and treat each other equally.

Leahy: So the opponents of this cultural competence action plan that teaches kids to look at each other based on race have put together a political action committee that has fielded candidates at the mayoral level, at the city council level, and at the school board level. The election was held on May the first.

And as you say, it was an overwhelming victory to members of the school board that opposed this critical race theory teaching were elected. What happens now? How many members of the board are there? Will this have an impact? Will they get rid of this cultural competence action plan down there?

Pullmann: Yes. That is something that I talked with the parents about when I was writing this article. I believe there are five members of the local school board. And so two obviously is not a majority, but the votes have been narrow. So two actually do make a significant swing on the support on the school board for this plan.

And as well as this plan had really divided this local community and really set people up and had people on one side accusing the other of being closet racist, while the people on the other side were saying, actually, what we oppose is racism against anybody. And it has infected the mayor, the city council, all kinds of things. It was really being divisive to people.

It was a tragedy to kind of look at that and from an outside perspective and talk about how their personal relationships. I had one dad who said he’s a volunteer sports coach for some I think kids in middle school and one of the families whose children he had coached, they were good friends. They wouldn’t talk to him anymore because they thought he was a racist for opposing this school plan. (Chuckles)

So really sad personal things going on and really based on inaccuracies. So I think that’s really unfair to do to people and to caricature them as racist when they’re not. Obviously, if that is going on that should be addressed. But when it’s not, to smear someone with something that evil it’s really a bad thing to do. It really hurts communities.

But this local community, one of the things that so, like, has going for it is that it’s the top achieving school district in the state. This is largely because of the kind of parents they have there. They have people who are former court clerks for Supreme Court justices. That’s one of the new school board candidates who was just elected. Razor-sharp, top religious liberty litigation lawyers with decades of experience.

They have the other new school board person who was elected has led hundreds of millions of dollars of budgets for local aviation complex. The type of people in Southlake are high-powered and high-achieving people. They really had the resources to put together things like you mentioned political action committee to really take this head-on and to fight extremely hard. And obviously, it looks like they’re seeing some success.

Leahy: It’s interesting about this success winning these two school board seats, opposing critical race theory is the level of resources required to win. And the high quality. These are amazing candidates. These are candidates who could be candidates for federal office easily. But how many communities out there have this level of resource? This level of a candidate to fight back against the organized system, if you will, of promoting the notions of critical race theory that is all over the United States today?

Pullmann: That’s a question that actually people are really finding out right now by trying it. (Chuckles) I think South Lake had better conditions than many people in other places do. Their average income is four times the national median. So these are high-powered people again, so they have a lawsuit going on besides this. They know how to put together a political action committee.

I consider myself an intelligent, engaged person. I don’t know how to put together a political action committee. But at the same time, critical race theory is such an extremist ideology that really has been effective for parents to just literally get copies of the training of the information provided to children. And that’s really indefensible. If you take it to a school board meeting, to a teacher, to a principal.

There is no way a rational person could think that that’s not racist. It’s just so clear. I do think the extremism of this issue really gives parents a leg to stand on. There’s been a lot of coverage about it in the media. It’s become a National thing, with President Trump banning it from federal agencies. And President Joe Biden reinstating all of that and pushing it on schools.

But you have parents all across the country waging lawsuits and showing up to their school board meetings. And they are beginning to really have some success in places besides Southlake. I just heard the news that, for example, it’s Oklahoma and Idaho the two states that just banned this from their public schools. There are half a dozen other states that are considering that.

So those are major victories happening just in the past couple of weeks that wouldn’t have happened just three months ago. The entire terrain is different because parents have been standing up. They have been going to their state legislators, to their local school boards, and making a difference. It’s obviously hard. I don’t think everyone’s going to win in every case. I do think the conditions are really good and people are standing up and having success.

Listen to the full first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Joy Pullmann” by The Heartland Institute.