‘Cannibalizing the Bodies and Minds of Urban Children’: Video Shows Prof Ranting Against GOP Education Bill

Timothy Dionisopoulos, Campus Reform, June 26, 2013

Education reform legislation currently pending in Michigan is “racially motivated” and designed for “cannibalizing the bodies and minds of urban children,” a prominent professor from Wayne State University (WSU) said at a rally at the state capitol on June 19.

Thomas Pedroni, associate professor of curriculum studies and critical policy at the public Michigan school, made the comment in reference to the legislature’s passage of HB 4813, which would allow the state treasurer and school chief to dissolve school districts in severe financial trouble.

“Whether it’s Africa a hundred years ago, or Detroit or Flint or Highland Park today, it’s about greed,” he said, naming three of Michigan’s blighted urban communities.

“It’s about convincing the rest of the world that you go in with the white man’s burden to save savages, when what you’re really there for has nothing to do with salvation or education but only your own enrichment by feasting, cannibalizing the bodies and minds of urban children for the public education money you see in them,” he added.

The bill would permit officials to dissolve school districts if they do not possess the financial resources necessary to complete the coming year.  Students would be displaced to neighboring districts.


Earlier in the speech Pedroni also compared the current financial predicament in Michigan to modern day colonialism.

“You want us to believe that this lying, stinky skunk district is helping the children of Detroit?” he asked. “We’ve all seen this script before and it’s called extracting public wealth from the poor. It’s called naked, self-serving colonialism.”

Pedroni’s “skunk district” comment was a reference to the “Skunk Works” education policy group comprised of staffers from Governor Snyder’s office who worked with outside experts to come up with policies which would lower the costs of public education, according to the Huffington Post.

[Editor’s Note: The professor’s comments are about 35 seconds into the video]

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