The Capitol coup is a teachable moment

From a friend with kids in high school in a rich Boston suburb…

One of the beautiful things about remote school is that I get, for the first time, to hear what teachers say to taxpayers’ children. Excepts from the “Advanced accelerated” math teacher’s 30-minute monologue (within a 50-minute class period ostensibly devoted to mathematics):

This is not about politics. My politics are clear to you, but it’s not. It’s not up for discussion. All reasonable people agree that what happened in Washington yesterday was a coup. Armed people, who are in charge, tried to take over the government. They had guns, they had bombs. That is the definition of a coup. . […] I know some of your parents had very clear reasons for voting for Trump. It’s okay, it is just their values are different from mine. These values conflict with our 200+ year old democracy. Everyone agrees about the election, except ONE person and those who blindly follow him. … You can be scared. I want you to be scared. … We need to address this s**** so that it f**** never happens again … When Obama was President, the country was flourishing. Now it’s falling apart.

Some kids in the class listened together in an Instagram chat. One asked, “If a cross in the classroom is not okay, how is this?”

[It is okay for parents to vote for Trump despite their values conflicting with democracy? Wouldn’t it make more sense to expel them as we expelled the Loyalists?]

The harshest attack from the teacher was on the students themselves:

Your generation is failing us. This is on you. It is your fault!!!

[Queried, my friend responded “That is correct, he actually said it was the kids’ fault (for not standing up to the tyrant and their terrible parents, some of whom voted for him).” Me: The kids learned about Gandhi so they were supposed to emulate him by going on a hunger strike at home until the parents put out the correct yard signs? But Maskachusetts voted correctly and by a parent-proof margin. And the mostly-not-peaceful protesters were mostly from other states. So, with respect to this issue, why does it matter how anyone in MA voted or what anyone in MA has as a lawn sign? (Separately, do high schools teach “after his wife, Kasturba, died in 1944, Gandhi began the habit of sharing his bed with naked young women: his personal doctor, Sushila Nayar, and his grandnieces Abha and Manu, who were then in their late teens and about 60 years younger than him.”?(Guardian))]

That was math. How about English?

Teaching moment gone wrong. My daughter’s English teacher decided to ask this question on a free-for-all jamboard: “The Capitol Building: what is one idea or fact that DID NOT surprise you?”


  • liberals got mad
  • americans are fighting for their freedom
  • All of the hypocrites because this happened before [during BLM?]
  • that liberals would say how bad this was, when they did very violent things during blm
  • it did not surprise me that our soon to be EX PRESIDENT did almost absolutely nothing to control this situation

The teacher acted quickly to condemn “students who wrote inappropriate things.”

In the middle school

6th grader, comparing to elementary: “I like middle school because the teachers are actually helpful and they’re not Black Lives Matter and Rainbow Flag-oriented 24/7.”


  • “Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it” (Washington Post): “Thousands of protesters rushed to the … Capitol Wednesday night, forcing their way through doors, crawling through windows and jamming corridors.” That is how one newspaper described the storming of the Capitol — not the one in Washington last week, but the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., a decade ago. Back then, thousands of pro-union activists — many bused in from out of state — rampaged through the historic building in an effort to stop a vote on collective bargaining reform legislation. … House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised the occupiers for an “impressive show of democracy in action” and tweeted as they assaulted the Capitol that she continued “to stand in solidarity” with the union activists. In other words, Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it.

17 thoughts on “The Capitol coup is a teachable moment

  1. I’m 60. I remember when we taught completely different values in school – united we stand, mutual respect, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc.
    And yet in 50 years things have still descended to the current situation.

    If things are this bad now, I’d hate to see what the level of destruction will be 50 years from now based on adoption of the “woke” culture. Fortunately, I’ll be dead by then.

  2. What “Dr” Philip has taught me is that MAGA men like him can make excuses for anything in support of his lord and savior, Donald Jesus Trump. Why are the Democrats so upset at Trump? I have no idea…

    I want my kids to be taught that DJT does not share our family’s morals. Grab ’em by the pussy! White power! White power!

    When I look at the 10 qualities I most want my kids acquire as they mature, DJT is precisely the exact opposite of those 10 things. Integrity, kindness, intellectual curiosity, etc.

    I took my 8 & 5 year old to DC last year. We were at the Washington Monument, and I pointed to the north and said, “Look, there is the White House. We should go there next.”

    My 8 year old looked down at his shoes, shuffling back and forth. He said, “Dad, I don’t want to go there. The President makes fun of everyone. I’m sure he’ll find something wrong with me and call me a bad name.”

    MAGA! Be proud of all 1,046 excuses you can make in response to this list. I’m sure you’ve got a good Whataboutism for each:

    To me it is easier to just say, “Man, the President is one despicable person, incapable of governing and sharing no values with me. I can understand why the Democrats dislike him.”

    • You should really cut on TV time. It rots your brain. Meanwhile, while tbe talking heads are all about Orange Man Bad, US quickly degenerated into a banana republic complete with oligarchs getting obscenely rich while workung class is becoming destitute because of house arrests and business shutdowns imposed by the oligarchs and their political lackeys. But, sure, Orange Man bad.

    • averros…Right on! All of that happened under trump’s umbrella with his blessing. Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. > English.

    Liberals did indeed get mad! Some of them were sequestered with Republicans by police officers they did not trust!

    Ayanna Pressley just announced that her husband has tested positive for COVID-19, which she blames on being sequestered with non-masked Republican congressmembers while the riot was going on:

    “Pressley tested negative, but she was with her husband, Conan Harris, when they were barricaded in the Capitol complex during last week’s riots alongside several Republican legislators who refused to wear masks. Pressley has been open about her alopecia diagnosis, which is an autoimmune disease. Some alopecia medication affects the immune system, which can lead to a greater risk of complications if infected with COVID-19, according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.”

    She was apparently taken to safety by police officers she did not trust!

    Pressley told reporter Joy Reid the fear she felt during the Capitol riot last Wednesday was “familiar in the most ancestral way.”

    Sarah Groh, Pressley’s chief of staff, told the Boston Globe that the panic buttons in the congresswoman’s office had been ripped out of the walls and that, she, Pressley and Harris were escorted to a secure location by officers they “did not know or trust.”

    I think this is a very interesting phenomenon. Ayanna Pressley is one of more “revolutionary” members of the House of Representatives, and she apparently does not trust the security apparatus in the Capitol. I wonder if it’s right to say that the insurrection riot was rebuffed in part by a different group of revolutionaries who were *already elected to Congress*.

  4. I wonder where that math teacher’s profanity-laced sociopolitical condemnation of his students and their parents falls in the high school math curriculum? Is that before or after they learn the Chain Rule? Does he also teach a special Political Indoctrination cohort? He’s up to that challenge!

  5. Comrades! Someone should send these folks a copy of Merle Fainsod’s (Harvard Univeristy) article from The American Political Science Review, 1951. I’m sure they’ll find it invaluable throughout the rest of the academic/political year. No profanity, though! Back in 1951 people knew how to write without dropping the f-bomb every 280 characters or less.

    (P.S. JSTOR is available free to everyone for 100 articles a month “in these times” thanks to their expanded access during COVID! Just sign up! )

    “One of the most striking characteristics of modern totalitarianism is the conscious attention which it devotes to the organization and indoctrination of youth. The Soviet dictatorship is unique in having set the pattern of such activity; it has carried it on at a level of intensity and over a span of time unmached by its now defunct Fascist and Nazi rivals. A third of a century has passed since the Bolsheviks rose to power in 1917; the membership of the Communisty Party is today overwhelmingly composed of a generation which not only came of age since the Revolution but which also largely served its apprenticeship in the Young Pioneers and Komsomols. And waiting at the threshold of power is a new generation of approximately 10,000,000 Komsomols and 13,000,000 Pioneers, from whose ranks the Communist élite of the future is to be recruited.”

    • > Pioneers, from whose ranks the Communist élite of the future is to be recruited.

      Elite that led SU to colaps.

  6. Politics, religion, etc must be kept out of schools. I do not want any of my kids teachers talk to them about ANYTHING outside the actual subject. Not republican nor democrat. Not LGBTQ nor straight. No BLM nor racism.

    Only English, Math, Science, etc. Teachers must not express their values even if they are asked about them. They must be absolutely neutral and agnostic of anything and everything

  7. How come teacher using s and f words is still teaching? I assume it was a public school? And why it was not math related? Parents should take it up, no teacher union can help it. Or is it private school run by “flower children” ? I have seen social studies material that falsely instructed students that voting was a responsibility and not a privilege. And winners of some kind of scholastic award are “rewarded” with fellowship in not theirs state Democratic politician office in far municipality despite very active accessible and communicable state Republican politician who outreaches to all is local. That’s about all teachers union undue influence on receptive students that I have so far noticed. S and f word teacher who does not teach subject would be history after few weeks in my school district.

  8. Philg – when are you going to flee your socialist welfare state for Texas, Florida, or perhaps your spiritual Covid response sister state to Sweden, South Dakota? By all your accounts, it sounds unbearable.

    • SenorP: Now is not the time to move away from Maskachusetts! We are going to be showered with Federal tax dollars extracted (by force, if necessary) from the working class in states that voted for Trump. All of our core industries are in line for massive subsidies. The cash will flow directly to Big Pharma (see Moderna, as a recent example, located in our old AI Lab building in Technology Square, Cambridge), Big Higher Ed, and Big Health Care (helicopters to bring in the Medicare and Medicaid patients from surrounding states, for example, then unlimited payments for whatever our big hospitals feel like doing, no matter how unlikely these advanced procedures are to help anyone other than the hospitals and specialists). The cash is flowing indirectly to the Big Tech remnants that we have left here. A year of shutdown has made anything related to the Internet more valuable and President Biden promises more shutdowns to come. Congress may hear our prayers and give us a massive tax cut soon by making state and local taxes deductible (thus injuring those who live in low-tax states while helping us).

  9. If Donald Trump was a Democrat the democrats would love him and make excuses for his poor behavior.

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