Holy Cow at the Cartoon a Texas School Showed Kids About Police

In this Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 photo, two masked Ku Klux Klansmen stand on a muddy dirt road during an interview near Pelham, N.C. The KKK and other white extremist groups don't like being called "white supremacists," a phrase that dates to the earliest days of white racist movements in the United States. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

 

There was a time in America when students said the Pledge of Allegiance before school, and firemen and police officers were heroes to many young boys.

These days, it appears, education isn’t presenting the nation as something worth allegiance, much less deserving of a special pledge.

And where the cops are concerned, perception’s definitely changed.

Of course, law enforcement has changed as well. Gone are the days of Officer O’Malley standing on the corner, tipping his hat to old ladies. We’ve seen the militarization of law enforcement as societal threats have grown exponentially. Lately, major city streets are looking like a decades-old movie portraying the dystopian future that will never come.

Surprise, 80’s audiences.

The finer points of proper policing aside, just north of Dallas, one middle school is putting folks on the force in a notably nefarious light.

As reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, young tykes were shown a cartoon likening law enforcement to slave owners.

Oh, and also: to the KKK.

The comic — part of an assignment at Cooper Junior High — depicted five scenes. The first, a slave ship kneeling on a black man’s neck. The last: a cop doing the same. A caption reads, “I can’t breathe.”

Get educated:

So what was the point?

Here’s The Daily Wire:

The cartoon was reportedly meant to teach the students about political satire while they learned about the Bill of Rights…

Unsurprisingly, the National Fraternal Order of Police wasn’t impressed.

On Wednesday, they issued a letter to Wylie Independent School District Superintendent David Vinson:

NFOP VP Joe Gamaldi called the drawing “abhorrent and disturbing.”

He described the present difficulties of policing:

“We find ourselves living in very turbulent times in this country. Amidst the unrest and uncertainty, the brave men and women of law enforcement have made every effort to bridge the gap with our community. Part of bridging the gap is engaging with the youth of our community and reminding them that we are here to help, and should they ever find themselves in need, to call us.

“This interaction with our youth,” he asserted, “becomes increasingly difficult when adults who were hired to educate them, engage in outright divisiveness toward us.”

Joe’s willing to have sit-down:

“We are willing to sit down with anyone and have a fact-based conversation about our profession, but divisiveness like your teachers showed does nothing to move that conversation forward.”

Local Wylie Police Chief Anthony Henderson’s no fan of the cartoon, either. He said as much to the Star-Telegram:

“The last thing we want is for our young people to be scared to talk to us or confide in us.”

And Wylie resident Amber Jennings was aghast:

“Don’t indoctrinate our children to think this way.”

More from the FWST:

Jennings, who has two kids in the district, but not at Cooper Junior High, said she’s taught her children to respect their elders, which includes police officers. But, if one day they want to believe differently about officers, they can make that decision without others forcing it on them, she said.

In response to the hoopla, Superintendent David admitted maybe it wasn’t the best choice for social studies class:

“In hindsight, we say that they could have picked a more balanced approach. Editorial cartoons have a place in education, but try to present a more balanced approach as an educator.”

In case you’re wondering: No disciplinary action’s been taken, and the situation’s still under review.

But…

[O]fficials have met with staff to provide them with better ways to present material under the district’s guidelines.

Yeah, “better” might be…better.

At the moment, rioters are in the streets — waking neighbors, shouting obscenities, and hospitalizing residents. Their accomplishable purpose seems unclear, but somewhere within the chaos lies an evident contempt for societal structure.

How did they arrive there?

Kids have only a few major influencers: Family and friends, civic groups, entertainment, and education.

For its part, I’d say school is up and at ’em. In a very different way than decades past.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

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