An advocate for public schools and a former mentor of West Virginia's PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab attacked charter and private schools, comparing them to Islamic madrasas responsible for indoctrinating the terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001.
In an article titled “Charter schools, vouchers will erode what unites us,” for the Charleston Gazette, Susan Johnson praised public schools, describing them as “where we learn to be Americans.”
Johnson lauded the diversity among homecoming kings and queens across American public schools. “This speaks to the fact that our culture is not tribal. It is not based on religious doctrine. American high school ceremonies have their roots in Greek culture, not Judeo-Christian culture. … Our American education system is based on reason,” wrote Johnson.
“It is in public school where our children learn the basics of civic government, science and history,” Johnson wrote. “It is where they unlearn the prejudices and discriminations of their respective ‘tribes.’”
Johnson recalled that her father “threw a fit” when she was assigned two black roommates from inner cities at a student government seminar in Washington, DC., adding that “in public schools, the public decides the curriculum. The public votes to elect school boards who decide the facts our children will be taught.” She was making her reference to teachers who taught the subject of “anti-racism.”
In the piece, Johnson took aim at charter and public schools, noting:
In charter schools, a private board decides the curriculum. Same for private schools. One board might teach that the earth is flat. Another might teach that the pope is infallible; another might teach he is the anti-Christ. Many children are homeschooled using private instructional programs — some that are online — that are marketed for particular religious and political persuasions.
We have seen where this leads. In some Middle Eastern cultures, private schools called madrassas have been known to engage in religious and political indoctrination beginning at a very young age, even including combat training with military weapons. These are the people who brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Based on the rhetoric we are hearing from certain domestic terrorists, are we very far away from schools like that in America? Proud Boy Academy? Boogaloo Boot Camp?
Essentially, Johnson believes that charter and private schools are potential breeding grounds for alt-right terrorists who plan to overthrow the government. Her warning is in line with liberal talking points, which allege that every Republican is simply a powder keg waiting to explode in a blast of raging alt-right fury.