Thursday, September 21, 2017

Conservative site pulls article on "indoctrination" in public schools over implicit content (that is, personal targeting) problem


Here is an interesting non-article (so self-declared) by Devin Foley of the libertarian-to-conservative site “Intellectual Takeout”, “We had to pull an article on indoctrination”.

A middle or high school social studies teacher assigned the task of writing a coherent essay on a major “social justice” (to use the term loosely) issue.  Foley ran an article on it, and pulled it when the family that had pointed out the article contacted him and feared that their child could be targeted – this is the “implicit content” issue I have talked about before. 

The teacher supposedly apologized and pulled the article.  And Devin apparently rewrote the article to say the same things “without the article”.

Now I think that the teacher’s assignment might have aimed at a balanced piece like something you would see today on a mainstream current events site like Vox, which is pretty centrist and moderate in its positions (it’s somewhere between the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.)  The teacher could have reasonably expected views closer to Hillary Clinton’s than Donald Trump’s, perhaps. But I really don’t see this as “indoctrination.”
  
The non-piece brings up an incident with an article supporting Trump’s transgender ban.  I do not support the ban (I was one of the people who fought to end “don’t ask don’t tell” years before, and with all these natural disasters we need every reservist and guardsperson we have right now) but I am particularly shocked that “activists” tracked down the tagging of a picture of someone in a photo in the article unrelated to the story.  I’ve mentioned before that since about 2010 some people have become more sensitive about being photographed in bars and discos, and this kind of incident may be one reason.  I am careful about this, and often pick artwork with no people in it for blog postings. 
  
Devin’s earlier article on indoctrination is here

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