Second Graders Spend Recess Protesting Ferguson. Are They Too Young?

Jennifer O'Neill, Yahoo! Parenting, December 16, 2014

The 20-odd people chanting “Honk if you want justice,” on a New Bedford, Massachusetts sidewalk Dec. 12 got a lot of attention. They were second graders, rallying against police for the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. While the rest of their class enjoyed 11:30 recess that morning, these 7 and 8-year-old protesters stood by the side of the road in front of the Alma Del Mar Charter School holding signs including one that read, “Please don’t shoot me, Ferguson.”

While the students were eager to get involved in the cause, not all of their parents were so thrilled.

George Borden, the father of one participant and a policeman in New Bedford, told WHDH that discovering his 7-year-old had participated in the protest and finding a flyer in her backpack urging people to join a weekend protest “against the unjust systems that allow police officers to kill Black men and boys with impunity,” was “horrific to me.” He says he only learned about the protest after a friend saw it and called him.

Borden told WHDH his daughter asked him, “Daddy, do you shoot people?” And now he wants an apology from his daughter’s teacher.

Yet Will Gardner, the school’s founder and executive director, stands by the school’s decision to let the kids protest, saying it was allowed as part of lesson in civics. Gardner told The Boston Globe that the class’s teacher had sent a note home with her students Dec. 10 alerting parents that the class would be discussing diversity and “issues covered by the media,” and offering kids an opt-out of the talks if parents so chose. The protest “wasn’t something the teacher planned,” he said. “It was something the kids did.”

“We discourage our teachers from sharing their own political and religious views with their scholars,” Gardner added. “[But] we certainly want our scholars to engage in activities that help them to understand what it means to be citizens and what it means to be a democracy.”


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  • dd121

    I guess they’re just stupid at every age.

  • QD’s Axiom #54:

    Whenever a mass group of young people do something, there is always an old person behind it. If a mass of young men bearing arms take a hill, there is an old man with stars on his helmet behind it. Likewise, when you see masses of young “anarchists,” there is an old man with tenure behind it.

    It should be obvious that seven and eight year old kids aren’t going out there to protest on their own volition. But it’s just as true for the 18 and 20 year olds — There are professors behind it.

  • Thor’s Hammer

    if that little girl asked her father, “Daddy, why do you shoot people” I would bet the farm that she didn’t come up with that lovely little idea herself. We really need to start calling out these communist teachers on their behavior. Probably didn’t get beaten up in the school yard enough when they were 7 and 8 year olds. The lot of them need to be taught that free speech isn’t free. When you spend some time in combat and almost get your butt shot off at least once, then you can spew all the communist bull you want, if you haven’t served, you should have to pay before you run off at the mouth without thinking about the ramifications to other people.

    • TruthBeTold

      Very true. She never would have framed the question like that unless the idea was given to her by others. Would she even be aware of who Michael Brown was?

      This has the fingerprints of activist adults all over it.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        They couldn’t find Ferguson on a map — and I mean the teachers.

      • B.A_2014

        I have a Merit in cultural diversity ( an actual qualification in this part of the UK. ) Believe me when I say I know exactly how these snakes operate.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    The protest “wasn’t something the teacher planned,” he said. “It was something the kids did.”

    I mean, seriously, how dumb does this school think we are? Really, it was the seven year olds and not the Liberal teachers who wanted to protest?

    Indoctrination and lies to cover the indoctrination. Sounds like a standard day in America’s schools.

    • TruthBeTold

      The parents need to sit down with their kids and calmly ask them about who said what.

      There is no way on earth this was the idea of second graders or at least second graders prompted by agenda-driven adults.

    • BlueSonicStreak

      Hang on. Children can be politically motivated.

      Things I did in grammar school:

      -Organized an environmentalist club that hung signs over the school garbage cans reminding other students to use the recycling bins for what they could (yes, the irony of the waste of paper was lost on me at that age). We also asked the school administration (we had a bit of a sit-in at the principal’s office) to include studying the effects of pollution on the environment in Science class, and how governments could address it in Social Studies, but were refused.

      -Organized an anti-bullying watch group that aided volunteer supervisors on our (very large) playground by reporting ongoing bullying that would have otherwise been missed. That endeavor was actually quite successful, and my parents got a nice letter from the school admin that time about my “leadership skills.” (You’d think that would have gotten me labeled as “tattle,” but it oddly didn’t – most kids grew to respect the anti-bullying group, wanted to join, and were proud of their responsibilities to other kids when they were appointed “supervisors.” The anti-bullying group kids ended up with the social status of crossing guards, which was high at my school.)

      -Organized neighbourhood clean-ups where I convinced other kids to pool our little wagons (you know, the Red Flyer kind) to pick up trash.

      Years later in middle school I was involved in getting an activist group for child abuse awareness started. Yes, it was adults who arranged to have me speak publicly about the group, and be interviewed on local television about it…but everything I had to say about it in speeches and interviews was in my own words.

      The fact that there were so MANY kids protesting definitely suggests an adult helping hand to me…but I see no reason to believe that the feeling wasn’t genuine on the part of at least some of the kids, depending on what they understood of the Ferguson situation.

      What concerns me is, actually, the last thing I said there – what the kids understand of the Ferguson situation. Clearly, what they DON’T understand is that Wilson shot in self-defense. The kids might well be in earnest…but are being lied to.

      • throttler


        • BlueSonicStreak

          The clean-ups I did that young. The rest required more organization skills, and I was a bit older. But then, I don’t think these kids organized anything (which is the most implausible part), just expressed their opinions and got help from the teachers on how to do that. So it doesn’t strike me as strange.

          Again, what’s bothersome to me is that they’ve clearly formed these opinions based on adults lying to them. Not that they might want to be politically involved.

  • Fed Up

    No, not too young! Just too BRAINWASHED!

    Ain’t it amazin’, how everyone conveniently overlooks reality. Specifically that (a) the dead thugs were being confronted with criminal activity. (b) they stupidly refused to cooperate, instead fighting with the arresting officer(s).

    Mention that next time some idiot whines at you about police brutality.

  • JustJeff

    Public school is child abuse. Teachers don’t give a fig about education, not when there’re young minds in need of indoctrination in their pet theories.

  • See The Future

    Just like the muslim children that are taught to shoot and kill by the time they are six.

    • DonReynolds

      I was a very good shot at six years of age, without being muslim at all.
      I call it Family Tradition.

  • MartelsGhost

    Child abuse charges should be filed against each and every teacher that encouraged these kids to protest. What is with the left and hiding behind children?

    Seeing as how most of the leftist ideology was created by someone with the mental capacity of an eight year old it seems fitting that they would refer to these future thugs and libtards as “scholars”.

    • BlueSonicStreak

      >>What is with the left and hiding behind children?

      Hmm. Are the anti-abortion activists who have their children standing by the side of the road holding up bloody pictures of fetuses leftists, then?

      Cowards on both sides hide behind children.

      • John Smith

        Religions have also indoctrinated children, so there’s that too.

      • MartelsGhost

        I will agree with that.

        Although with the Anti-Abortion protestors they are using the kids as more of a visual reminder of what the fetus will grow into as opposed to using them as a defensive shield in case of rubber bullets and tear gas which those who identify as lefties tend to do………..

        But yes, cowards will find anything to hide behind.
        Women, kids, puppies, baby chickens, whatever’s handy.

        But then comes the discussion of hiding behind religion, politics, laws, race, gender etc……etc….

  • See The Future

    As there are more female principals in the schools we see more and more stupidity.

    • throttler

      There are plenty of leftist men that are equally stupid. Look at the three white male protesters who were beaten by blacks.

    • DonReynolds

      I agree with you, because I have seen it too often…..the loud, shrill Liberal white female, convinced she is acting with moral authority against evil incarnate. This is root and stem of the white Liberals in this country…..the white male Betas are a small fraction of the total.

  • Conrad

    How about – honk if you think justice WAS served.

    • LeonNJ

      We should wear t-shirts that say, “I can breathe fine, thank you”.

      • Tim

        The cops already have a tee-shirt that says. “Police are here. Breathe easy…”

  • Luca

    Public schools are grooming future liberal zombies.

  • TruthBeTold

    If my kids were used as props in a social agenda project, there would be hell to pay.

    • Tim

      My complaint in an above post was that they were taken off campus and put near traffic….

    • SFLBIB

      Right. You would go to a school board meeting and let them have a piece of your mind. They would sit there and listen politely for your allotted time, thank you for your thoughts, and proceed to do nothing to the teachers they support.

  • A Freespeechzone

    One MORE reason to home school…..

  • TheCogitator

    Even white second grade students are not advanced enough to think of a protest and insist that their teach let them. Only a black or a liberal fool would be stupid enough to say, “It was something the kids did.”

  • Reynardine

    “Daddy, do you shoot people?”

    “No I just shoot n!ggers”

    • RacialRay

      “Early and often, Sweet Pea. Now run along to bed. Daddy’s got business to attend to.”

      • Barry Hussein 0bola

        Thank gawd I home schooled my beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde daughter. White girls are being targeted by non-whites more and more in public schools all across our nation. It makes me so angry that my fists curl up and I form a very un-pretty grimace at times because nobody but NOBODY is going to ever harm my family just for being WHITE.

        • RacialRay

          You have your work cut out for you. Raising a couple of strapping (white) lads was fearful enough. I can’t imagine the horrors you face raising a daughter in the cultural sewer we live in. God bless you and good luck!

          • Barry Hussein 0bola

            Thank you, darlin’. She’s a good young woman and she’s a solid conservative.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    “Are They Too Young?”

    They’re not too young for brainwashing and leftist indoctrination…or pharmacology for the non-compliant.

    Will Gardner graduated from Wesleyan University and began his teaching career as a Teach for America corps member in Greenville, Mississippi. In Mississippi… he witnessed that students can be reignited academically when challenged to do rigorous, meaningful and service-oriented work.

    —Will Gardner, Founder, Executive Director

    They should be out protesting Michelle’s lunch program.

  • B.A_2014

    We were all good little communists in our school. We would listen to Chomsky speeches and read Tariq Ali. However the sons and daughters of the hierarchy would come in for a tough time. The son of the Mayor and editor of one of the province’s major papers would make complaints against us and me especially on a regular basis. The mayor himself would make regular complaints about me. I was one of the more right wing students. Some of of us were suspended for our racism and “fascistic” remarks. If you want to imagine what the scrawny piece of sh!t looked like, picture this guy with a mop of ginger hair with an Ethiopian like build.

    Máirtín Ó Muilleoir – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • 4321realist

    “…………..against the unjust systems that allow police officers to kill Black men and boys with impunity,”

    There should be hell to pay for whoever is responsible for this, because it amounts to nothing less than teaching them to hate, and the worst part of it is that it is based on a lie.

    If there are any white kids at this moron’s school, their parents should take them out ASAP. They’re definitely in danger.

    This Gardner’s claim that little kids did this on their own is so stupid no one with half a brain could ever believe that, and it tells many of us that this geek can’t possibly be qualified for his position.

  • Alexandra1973

    I would have let my son participate in such a thing with the stipulation that he hold a sign saying “Mike Brown GOT justice!”

  • LACountyRedneck

    More appropriate: “Honk if you think Whites have spent far too much on negroes.”

  • tjh

    They are teaching these kids to fear the cops, and those are the people children need to trust. No good will come of this, guaranteed.

  • WR_the_realist

    Certainly it’s best for the left to indoctrinate people at an age when they’re too young to reason and question authority. They’d have damn few followers it they didn’t do that.

  • Ultimate187

    These second graders can’t even find Ferguson on a map. They have absolutely no idea what all this means. The teacher who allowed this needs to be fired or at least disciplined.

    • MannyR

      How about beaten on video

  • Yves Vannes

    I left New England in 1980. But even then New Bedford was well on its way to becoming a third world rat hole.

  • John Smith

    Any opinion a 2nd grader has on a political or social issue has been planted there – if they were protesting broccoli, it might actually be legit.

    • Tim


  • John Smith

    Unstructured play is good for children, but it encourages free thinking and creativity, which is exactly what schools don’t want and why children are pushed into conformist, organized activities and why the top universities look for participation in them, so that they can groom “leaders” who will espouse the views they’ve been indoctrinated with reliably.

  • John Smith

    My mother owned a business that made dessert items when I was growing up and she wanted to bring treats for my class on my B-day and other occasions, but was told that she couldn’t unless the whole school got them (which she did). Looking back, this was a way to demonstrate socialism to the children. When I went to public school, I believe the liberal messages were more subtle and most of the teachers were pretty unbiased overall, at least in class, but that’s been a while ago and I hear things are worse, as they are with society in general.

    • Tim

      I recently read a story where a Dad had Pizza delivered to the school for his childs birthday. It was enough to feed her five best friends but not the whole class, so the teacher confiscated the pizza. The Dad found out, went to the school and demanded and got both an apology and his money back from the teacher…

      • John Smith

        I read somewhere about a mom bringing her daughter a pizza at lunch and getting arrested because she gave some to her daughter’s friend w/o obtaining school permission first.

  • Tim

    If I was a parent and fond out my child had been escorted off school grounds and put near traffic without my approval, for whatever reason,there wold be hell to pay…

  • …”…The protest “wasn’t something the teacher planned,” he said. “It was something the kids did.”
    “We discourage our teachers from sharing their own political and religious views with their scholars,” Gardner added…”…

    So the teachers take a back seat to the demands of eight year olds do they? I don’t think so. The teachers were obviously crazed liberals who were planning a discourse to peddle their wares into the minds of young children, hence the ambiguous “note” about “diversity and issues covered by the media”.

    I can tell you what kind of news they won’t be discussing or protesting about…..not least because any teachers found holding contrary views to the mainstream will be out of a job, hounded down as racist. It seems Mr Gardner is okay with political action, providing it is the “correct” political action.

    What weasel words these people offer.

  • TomIron361

    The powers that be will live to regret this attempt at brainwashing – “The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go asunder.”

  • Ayatollah Obama

    In some sense this is more repugnant than the actions of the media after the shooting. The news media doesn’t have to be right, they just have to attract viewers. But a teacher should have a little more objectivity than the news media. After my experience in public schools, I can tell you that most of them absolutely don’t, and should not have the freedom to deviate from a curriculum set up by people who are smart. And I can smell the “bitter spinster” on this “teacher” from a mile away.

  • Whiteplight

    I am reminded of a “Little Rascals” episode where a very young Buckwheat is pulling a wagon up and down the street saying, “Ah demand, Ah demand,”…

    Most of any societies problems are linked to brainwashing done on children by adults.


    “…we certainly want our scholars to engage in activities that help them to understand what it means to be citizens and what it means to be a democracy.”

    That’s fine if there were a roughly equal number of signs that supported the police. If there were none [as I suspect], it is not teaching about democracy; it is indoctrinating the students into thinking there is only the liberal side of an issue.

  • Just another example of a decaying society.

  • Ella

    I think Japan and China spend an extra 2300 hours additionally in both math and science over their entire educational curriculum unlike US students! These students were coached by some chanting teacher, “Oh, how nice that would be to organize your own protest so we can skip spelling today!”

    • DonReynolds

      That teacher needs to be reprimanded or dismissed.

  • Paleoconn

    They don’t even know the meaning of civics. Protesting law enforcement on behalf of black thugs? The liberals in New England should invite Ferguson’s citizenry to live among them and be blessed with the charms of the diversity.

  • DonReynolds

    Yahoo! Parenting has become incredibly radical in its coverage. They also had an article today about a “single mom” who demonstrated at the McDonalds (where she works)…..demanding 15 dollars per hour, because she needs more money for her two small kids. This is the new parenting? Demanding a pay raise, using your kids as human shields or excuses? Encouraging Second graders to demonstrate on the side of the road?

    In my estimation, the teacher needs to lead the Second graders back to class and do the work they pay her to perform…..hopefully before any of them are harmed. If McDonalds does not pay you enough (about two dollars an hour over the minimum wage), then you need to go find another job elsewhere.

    • BlueSonicStreak

      Because $15 an hour is an outrageous wage, amirite?

      The whole concept of the minimum wage when conceived was that it is a minimum LIVING wage. I figure most people who have tried to live on min wage and keep their power on can tell you that it’s not a living wage today.

      If we accept that not all people have the same intelligence or potential, then we have to accept that some people need to be paid a living wage to flip burgers, even if we don’t think the work is worth that much. Because they are not CAPABLE of a “better job.”

      Unless we’re also okay with lowering standards for said better jobs. Which, so far, I guess we are.

      • DonReynolds

        There is nothing magical about 15 dollars per hour. For some occupations it would be considered too low and for other occupations it would be too high. You seem to believe wages should be based on what YOU think you need. Fortunately, that is not the case and never has been.

        Living wage is a Leftist issue, which is discussed by almost no one else, because it does not exist. You also seem to think that society should just pay them anyway, even if they are not capable of a “better job”. Nonsense. And if that does not work, we should just lower the standards for better paying jobs. Yeah, why have any standards at all? Just abolish the plow and give everyone a digging stick…..then we will have utopia!

        40 percent of the people who have a job in this country are paid $20,000 OR LESS…..which is very close to the $9.75 mentioned by the McDonalds worker……so do not tell me that is not a living wage, since 40 percent of those with jobs actually get paid less than that amount.

  • DonReynolds

    Since when do Second grade students get lessons in Civics???????
    Civics without History…..while barely able to READ!

  • Exactly my point. Who is going to believe that eight year old pupils thought up and arranged this?

    They are taking people for fools, especially when the children brought home slips for permission to generally be brainwashed by this kind of nonsense/

    And even if they did come up with it themselves (!), what kind of school and what kind of teacher is it that takes their cues and orders from eight year old kids? The teachers are are supposed to be in the driver’s seat – not the children.

    The whole thing smells fishier than what’s under the Brooklyn Bridge.