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Passing Parade: No Safe Spaces

Nelson A. Pryor: Guest Columnist

There’s a climate establishment, and Miss Gwen Beatty, a high school junior, of Wellston, Oh., is not in it.

It all started for her, when a Fellow of the Alliance for Climate Education, started to teach at her school. That Alliance had recruited climate change advocates, charged them up, and sent those “students/fellows” out to teach, as focused advocates, propagandists really, to alarm and disturb high school students, about global warming.

One of those Fellows, James Sutter, had just received his degree in science education, from that Alliance for Climate Education. Sutter’s fellowship degree required a three-year commitment to teach in a high-needs Ohio school district.

The June 5, 2017 New York Times (NYT) p. 1 story, entitled: “Obstacle for Climate Science: Skeptical, Stubborn Students,” tells of the confrontation between teacher Sutter, and 17 year old Gwen Beatty.

Some twenty states, following Common Core directives, have recently begun requiring government school students to learn that human activity is a major cause of climate change. The Alliance for Climate Education, has “just received new funding from a donor who sees teenagers as the best means of reaching and influencing their parents.” The “donor,” federal money or otherwise, was not named. It is promoted as a kind of science-focused Teach for America “good cause.”

Gwen’s Story

    Gwen Beatty, a high school junior, has a story. She was a straight-A student. She would have had no trouble comprehending the evidence, embedded in ancient tree rings, ice, leaves and shells, as well as sophisticated computer models, that atmospheric carbon dioxide is the chief culprit when it comes to warming the world.

Thinking it a useful soothing device, James Sutter assented to Gwen’s request that she be allowed to sand the bark off the sections of wood he used to illustrate tree rings during class. When she did so with an energy that classmates said, increased during discussion points with which she disagreed, he let it go. When she insisted that teachers “are supposed to be open to opinions,” however, Mr. Sutter held his ground.

“It’s not about opinions,” he told her. “It’s about the evidence.”

“It’s like you can’t disagree with a scientist or you’re denying science,” she sniffed to her friends.

“It was just so biased toward saying climate change is real,” she said later, trying to explain her flight. “And that all these people that I pretty much am like are wrong and stupid.”

Classroom Culture Wars

In the A. P. class, Mr. Sutter took an informal poll midway through: In all, 14 of 17 students said their parents thought he was, at best, wasting their time. “My step dad says they’re brainwashing me,” one said.

By the way, the NYT was not impartial in this piece. The party in the wrong is made out to be: Miss Gwen Beatty, 17 year old, high school junior. Talk about bullies! How would you like to be 17 again, and have the world know you, as some sort of ding-bat because you have been singled out by the NYT, which, after all, only prints: “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”

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