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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to discuss Tennessee’s stance on Critical Race Theory and questioned why the state is not leading like Florida in the representation of its values.
Leahy: In studio mayor of Maury County. Yes, the bastion of freedom in Tennessee. (Laughs)
Leahy: Oh, we got to change that. The mayor of Maury County, the turbocharged bastion of freedom.
Scooter: I see tourism posters now. (Laughter)
Leahy: Yes, the turbocharged. That’s very good.
Ogles: About every two weeks, we’re adding phrases to this. Another month from now, this is going to be like a whole paragraph of descriptors for Maury County,
Leahy: Maury County the turbocharged bastion of freedom. You know, Andy, I am the unofficial ambassador for the state of Tennessee to people who live outside of Tennessee, because every time we have a guest who’s a good conservative-minded, I point out to them that wherever they’re living, if they live outside of Tennessee, that we have no state income tax here. And they all start whining and say, when can I get there?
Ogles: That’s right. Book me a ticket.
Leahy: So I suppose I’m also kind of a subset of that. I may be perhaps not an ambassador, but a promoter of Maury County as well. That turbocharged, bastion of freedom in Tennessee. I wanted to talk to you about this and get your reaction, Andy.
The rally last on Saturday night in Ohio, attended by now it looks like around 30,000 people. The former President began by lambasting the absolute disaster that the five months under Joe Biden have been.
The first thing he listed was the disaster at the border where the current maladministration is refusing to enforce immigration law. By the way, that refusal is probably an impeachable offense, in my view.
But he also mentioned the fact that they’re trying to force Critical Race Theory everywhere in K12 schools as well as in the military of all places, because, you know, nothing says defending the sovereignty of America like having a woke military.
I want to bring this back around to Tennessee. A couple of stories at The Tennessee Star today on Critical Race Theory. I wanted to get your reaction, Andy. So Corinne Murdock our ace reporter and Hillsdale Graduate has this story.
Part of the Wit and Wisdom Curriculum May Violate Tennessee’s Critical Race Theory Ban, According to Moms for Liberty. The parent coalition is concerned that the Wit and wisdom curriculum approved for use in 33 counties and promoted by Governor Bill Lee’s handpicked Secretary of Education Penny Schwinn, may violate Tennessee’s K-12 Critical Race Theory ban.
My question to you is, why does Governor Lee pick a Secretary of Education who’s promoting a curriculum that looks like it violates the new law banning the teaching of the tenants of Critical Race Theory in K-12?
Ogles: Wow, that’s a loaded question.
Leahy: I’m just asking. inquiring minds want to know what, Andy?
Ogles: But you even go back before that. Why would we have a Commissioner of Education, Penny Schwinn who puts forth this well-being initiative where every child zero to 18 would be interviewed by an agent of the state without their parents’ permission or presence?
And why wasn’t she fired then? And so why would we be surprised? And keep in mind, Critical Race Theory is a label that represents an agenda. It’s not necessarily a curriculum. And so we’ve got to be careful with these labels because then they say, well, wait a minute.
Well, this isn’t Critical Race Theory. It’s wit and wisdom. We’re simply trying to educate your child. We’re trying to educate your child on this agenda that totally undermines our country.
And so why she hasn’t been fired by either the governor or by the General Assembly demanding her resignation is a travesty of the values that represent Tennessee?
Leahy: Why would somebody who purports to be conservative hire such a person?
Ogles: He’s not. At the end of the day, the governor is a nice guy, but he’s not a conservative.
Leahy: Well, I think there’s a general consensus that he’s a nice guy. Asterisk, my question to you is if he’s such a nice guy, why does he never respond to The Tennessee Star inquiries?
Why has he not shown up on our radio program? We can get an exclusive interview with the former President of the United States, but we can’t get Governor Bill Lee to return our phone calls.
Leahy: That’s a mystery.
Ogles: I would love to sit in studio across the desk and have this debate. The three of us. It’s an open invitation to talk about some of these substantive issues facing this country in the state of Tennessee.
Tennessee should have been leading the past 18 months the way Florida and Ron DeSantis have led. And when you compare Tennessee to Florida, we have failed across the measure.
Leahy: Yes. Florida is kind of the standard, isn’t it? Isn’t Ron DeSantis, the kind of governor that every state needs? Every state needs a Ron DeSantis pushing against the egregious intrusions upon state sovereignty and the violations of the fundamental concept of federalism that are coming out of the mal-administration of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Joe Biden. That’s my view. Why can’t every state have a Ron DeSantis?
Ogles: Well, again, I think one it’s a difference in personality and it’s a difference in core values. Ron DeSantis did not back down during COVID when you had the cruise industry trying to mandate and require vaccines.
He stood up to the cruise industry, a multi-billion dollar industry forcing them to change their policies. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, we don’t have the courage, if you will, to take a stand and protect individuals from these mandates.
I just saw in The Tennessee Star that you have a college in Memphis that’s going to require all students to get the vaccine. You have to show proof of vaccination in order to come to the University.
College students aren’t at risk for COVID. Let’s identify the vulnerable and make sure it’s available to them. Then we’ve got to move on and move forward but these mandates are a direct infringement on liberty and medical freedom.
This vaccine now has a warning on heart inflammation. So now we’re a year and a half into this thing, and we know more about this vaccine than we knew just a few months ago and they’re having to put warning labels on it.
And yet the government is requiring and mandating it. Holy crap! This is not acceptable.
Leahy: It’s very interesting how the bureaucrats are playing this Critical Race Theory ban on the tenants of Critical Race Theory. I kind of get the impression that the Educrats who are almost all lefties running the major school systems in Tennessee, the big ones, I think they’re kind of playing us.
It’s my view, anyway, but they say one thing, and then I think they kind of do another. Let me just get your reaction to this story, and we ought to have these guys in if they’ll come in. It’s interesting.
The spokesperson for Metro Nashville Public Schools ideologically, not necessarily what we’re aligned with will talk to The Tennessee Star. Governor Lee will not. I don’t know if I told you, but former President Donald Trump will exclusively talk to The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Just in case, for a matter of comparison right now, interestingly enough.
Here’s the headline. Metro Nashville Public School Says It Won’t Implement Critical Race Theory by our great reporter, Corinne Murdock. Metro Nashville Public Schools informed The Tennessee Star that it doesn’t plan to implement Critical Race Theory.
Metro Nashville Public School spokesperson Sean Braisted. Do you remember him? He used to be the spokesperson for Megan Barry.
Ogles: There you go.
Leahy: That guy. He responded to The Tennessee Star about remarks from the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion Executive Officer Astrid Hughes. Did you know that Metro Nashville has a diversity, equity, and inclusion executive officer? (Ogles giggles)
Now you do. We asked whether Hughes would implement any of the banned tenants in Metro Nashville’s forthcoming Equity Roadmap. And if Metro Nashville Public Schools plan to implement Critical Race Theory.
Here’s what Sean Braisted responded. “Mr. Hughes was not suggesting those reading materials be a part of the school curriculum, but rather that those interested in discussing the subject read about what they are discussing.” Really? Really? I’m not quite buying that, Andy. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just too skeptical about Educrats.
Ogles: When you look at this trend that’s taken place over the last 10, 20, 30 years, the Educrats as you say, first got into the universities. Now they’re pushing it into the seminary.
They’re pushing into our high school and now or even our elementary schools. And once you capture the minds of the children, you’re changing the next generation. You’re affecting politics.
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.
Live from Music Row Monday 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 original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who further illustrated why school choice is more important as critical race theory dominates government run school curriculum.
Leahy: In studio the original star panelist Crom Carmichael. Crom, during the break, we were talking a little bit about this new book from Os Guinness, the great writer, great Christian political philosopher. He’s the guy who came up with the concept that our country is based on the Golden Triangle of Freedom.
And that Golden Triangle is the following: Freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith, and faith requires freedom. And it’s an ongoing circle. That was the character of America when we were founded. The problem is that character is being assaulted in our schools every day. And particularly through critical race theory.
Carmichael: And being assaulted by the government every day in states across the country and cities across the country where they’re trying to make it almost impossible for somebody to go to church or so uncomfortable to go to church, that people don’t go to church. And I think that they are doing that. That’s intentional.
Leahy: Os Guinness has a new book out called The Magna Carta of Humanity. We’re trying to get them as a guest. I think we’ll get him as a guest in the future. And I’m going to try to get them on a day that you’re here Crom because I think you enjoy talking with him.
Carmichael: Sure. There are two or three articles that are all about education and as I was driving in I was listening to your interview of Gabrielle Clark.
Leahy: Right. The biracial mom whose child refused to comply with an assignment in which he was compelled to admit that he was an oppressor as a mostly white person.
Carmichael: Here’s what was interesting about listening to that interview. She says that we have to stand up and fight. It cost her $200,000.
Carmichael: If you go to a restaurant where your service is bad, you don’t need to go hire a lawyer. What do you do?
Leahy: You don’t leave a tip.
Carmichael: And you don’t go there anymore.
Leahy: You do a Yelp review.
Carmichael: And you don’t go there anymore. But the reason that she has to stand up and fight is she’s being forced. Her child is being forced to go to a particular school and to have a particular curriculum with which she disagrees. And this is what’s fundamentally wrong with our educational system.
We don’t have a choice. And if you had school choice and then the kids who attend the charter schools here in Nashville on balance do much better than the kids who go to what I’m going to call the regular government-run schools.
Our magnet schools may be pretty good, but our magnet schools operate actually more even like private schools because the charter schools can’t be selective and of who gets to go there. The magnet schools get to be selective on who gets to go there, and they get to be really selective on who gets to stay there. But in California.
Leahy: Uh oh. I know this is going to be a crazy story already. I don’t know what the story is.
Carmichael: It’s a sad story. California had gone for a number of years where they had worked seriously at improving the math skills of students who attended the government-run schools in California. At one time, I’m quoting from the article here in The Wall Street Journal.
‘At one time, California took the goal seriously and made immense progress. California Department of Education data shows that while only 16 percent of students took algebra by the eighth grade in 1999 by 2013, it was 67 percent. Almost four times as many.
Leahy: That’s surprising that they made progress from 1999-2013. That’s interesting.
Carmichael: But then that’s when things started to unravel across the state. And so they also had gifted classes, kind of like AP classes. And now they want to do away with all those because they’re claiming they’re racist.
And you have the schools for the gifted which they are strongly considering doing away with completely. And then changing the math curriculum so that it is almost impossible to fail (Leahy laughs) because they’re actually claiming that math is not something that needs to necessarily be specific.
Leahy: Try building a car with a non-specific specialization.
Carmichael: What’s Caltech going to do if kids coming out of high school are not proficient. Even the top ones are not proficient.
People who have the money to attend private schools their children are going to have an opportunity that the children who are going to the government and schools don’t have. And this is along those same lines. It’s not academically, but it’s about a school board. This is in Monroe County, Indiana.
Leahy: Monroe County, Indiana?
Carmichael: The school board passed a resolution that says that the school resource officers cannot carry a gun.
Leahy: What are they supposed to do, just point their fingers?
Carmichael: That’s a great question because one person said there’s no evidence ever that a resource officer ever had to use their gun.
Leahy: If you have a gun you may not need to use it.
Carmichael: As it turns out, that statement itself is false. And so there are instances where the resource officer had to use his gun to disarm a student that was identified as having a gun. But if nobody in the school is going to have security, that flies in the face of logic, because every place else where security matters. If you want to go into the Nashville courthouse, don’t you have to pass through security? Aren’t the security people armed? Yes.
Carmichael: Please go ahead.
Leahy: Would you like to hear the rest of the story?
Leahy: Guess where Monroe County is.
Leahy: Bloomington. Home of the University of Indiana.
Leahy: Explains it all.
Leahy: These are all probably a bunch of college professors on the board.
Carmichael: Could could be.
Leahy: Good news. Our listeners have been listening for, like, two and a half hours to get the first bit of good news.
Carmichael: No, we’ve had some other good news that we’ve talked about. But this is good news. In the state of Florida, a teacher was fired for not honoring the ban on teaching critical race theory. This teacher just ignored the ban and kept teaching it and enforcing it. And bam!
Carmichael: Gone. Got fired.
Leahy: Governor DeSantis is not fooling around.
Carmichael: If the CEO of a company puts out an edit, that is a logical edict and lawful and some employee essentially gives the CEO the middle finger…
Leahy: Boom! They’re gone.
Carmichael: And nobody questions it.
Leahy: Now, let me tell you what the potential difference may be here in Tennessee. We have a state law that the bill that the General Assembly has passed that would prohibit, in essence, the teaching of critical race. There. 14 tenants. Sources tell me that Governor Lee will sign that bill.
We’ll find out. There’s some time to see on that. But if it becomes law, it has a certain provision in it. And that provision says that if a school district continues to teach critical race theory, the Commissioner of Education has the authority to withhold state funds from them.
Something is about to be set up because our lead story at The Tennessee Star is Memphis City Council adopts a resolution opposing state band on critical race theory. So Memphis and Shelby County schools, I can tell you right now if the governor signs this bill, they will defy it.
Carmichael: Let me ask you a question. You said two things there. You said Memphis and Shelby County.
Carmichael: Will they both, or will it be just the Memphis schools?
Leahy: This is from the City Council.
Carmichael: Memphis is in Shelby County.
Leahy: But it’s separate.
Carmichael: But there’s a lot of Shelby County that’s not Memphis.
Leahy: There’s a similar resolution before Shelby County. And sources tell me that it’s likely to pass. Memphis in Shelby County, I think, will be on the Shelby County and school directors already said I’m not gonna do that. I’m not gonna stop teaching critical.
Carmichael: Then the Commissioner can do what?
Leahy: Under the bill, the Commissioner will have the authority to do withhold state funds from Shelby County schools.
Carmichael: And that’s it. They can’t fire them?
Leahy: They can’t fire, but they can withhold state funds, which, in essence, would cripple the schools. Asterisk, many people are worried about Penny Schwinn. Many people are worried that she will not enforce that rule and that the Shelby County schools are going to say we’re going to teach it anywhere anyway. We’ll see how that turns out.
Carmichael: If they stick their finger in her eye we’ll see if she blinks. (Laughs)
Leahy: Yeah, I think she’ll blink. But we’ll see. Maybe give her the benefit of the doubt until it happens.
Carmichael: Absolutely we should do that.
Leahy: You are much nicer than I am.
Listen to the full show 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 “Crom Carmichael” by Crom Carmichael.