Rush Limbaugh Children’s Books and Politics in the Classroom
When I was in sixth grade, my teacher would put Rush Limbaugh on the radio and sometimes we students would listen to it as part of our “current events” class. I don’t remember much about what we heard, except that I assumed Limbaugh was some kind of comedian. In the more than two decades since, Rush Limbaugh’s influence has grown and he has tried to branch out his “media empire,” most recently into children’s books.
According to The Atlantic, Limbaugh took a call on his show from a woman named Ivy who teaches third grade somewhere out in the heartland of America. What makes this call notable is that she praised Limbaugh for his books and explains how she uses his book about Pilgrims to introduce the Civil War.
Actually she just read the book to kids for fun, and only used the Author’s Note, which details Rush’s feelings on American exceptionalism, as a way to “introduce the Civil War because [Ivy and her class] were about to enter a discussion on the time when slavery existed in our country but because of what [Rush] said in the book and the way [he] explained the Founders’ passion for our country, it was because of that that slavery inevitably was abolished.”
What’s troubling about this is that the Pilgrims had little to do with the founding of this country which had little to do with the eventual end of slavery. Teachers are people too, so they have every right to filter their worldview through the lens of their political ideologies. Yet, they have the trust of their students that what they teach in history or science is fact.
If Ivy taught tenth graders, perhaps this wouldn’t be such an egregious violation of that trust, because kids of a certain age are better equipped to understand the nuance of political belief. Third graders, on the other hand, aren’t.
Image via TwoIfByTea.com