Are NC Schools providing guidance and appropriate role models? – #HB2 #ncga

Get your coffee. Sit down. This is going to be a long but necessary article.

Let this set the tone:

Social Justice FactoriesUntil parents stand up and push back, the infusion of social justice BS and indoctrination will continue to crowd out actual academics in our schools. I believe this plays a major role of why school choice, in particular, homeschooling, is booming.
– A.P. Dillon


Another Day Another SJW
If you want more proof of the kind of social justice warrior indoctrination going on in our schools, you have to look no further than Rod Powell of Mooresville high school.

Powell is a Common Core true believer that I’ve had various online debates with.

But I’m not talking about the fundamentally flawed Common Core today. I’m talking about an article Mr. Powell penned at EducationNC and it’s beyond appalling.

The article is titled, Great BBQ is not enough: A teacher and his students take on HB2.

What Mr. Powell did in the article was demonize the legislature and use kids to do it.

According to his article, he had the kids pick ‘media articles’ of their ‘own choosing’ to sit down and which they would use to discuss HB2 in class.  Anyone with even a single brain cell knows that the media has misrepresented HB2 from day one.

The use of articles that are inherently editorialized and slanted as discussion pieces was a slick way of making sure his students came away with the opinion Powell apparently holds on HB2. He doesn’t say it outright but the intent is clear — you’re a fear mongering bigot if you back the bill.

It is unclear if the actual law, in its entirety, was given to them to read because the article says this:

We did a document deep dive and read the text of the law itself, carefully paraphrasing and addressing key vocabulary words.

“Document deep dive” — gag. That’s Common Core “close reading” doublespeak for, ‘we’re going to read something with no context and form a biased opinion of it’.

Did Mr. Powell bother to perhaps try to have an actual legislator come talk to them? You know, get it from the horse’s mouth? Nah. They might hear FACT instead of media spin and “paraphrasing” that way.

Speaking of context, the article also doesn’t mention anything about the Charlotte ordinance, which was the cause of HB2 either.  It’s a safe bet Mr. Powell’s students were not given the ordinance to read. If they had been, maybe some of them would have understood that what Charlotte did was ban single sex facilities of both public and private inside of the city limits. It also violated the state constitution and multiple decency and building laws.

I would be willing to bet not a single word about Title IX was spoken either. Can’t let the kids know that under Obama’s Title IX guidance, anyone can identify as anything and the ramifications are they will have access to their choice of dorms, showers, locker rooms, sports teams, clubs, scholarships — you name it. Nothing is off the table. The students would do well to read the dissenting opinion from the 4th Circuit court of appeals on this topic.

What is clear from the article is that Mr. Powell made sure his students saw it his way. The ones who didn’t agree with him will eventually.

You see, Powell juxtaposed anonymous comments from students in his article and included a few who don’t like the idea of open bathrooms or showers. What the juxtaposition did, whether or not he realizes it, was to signal to those kids: I see you, bigots. 

Seeing as media articles are a big thing for Mr. Powell in class. I’m sure his students will find this article of his, or perhaps he’s already shown it to them.  I’m sure those students who dissented will be made to care now that their teacher has effectively labeled them a bigot in print. Good going, Teach.

Picard WTF BigotTo the kids out there:

You’re not a bigot.

Anyone telling you that you are is substituting an emotional reaction because the facts don’t line up for them and labeling someone a nasty name is the fastest way to get you to shut up.

You have a right to privacy. You have a right to safety. You have a right to your opinion.

If you want the FULL picture, visit my Charlotte Ordinance/HB2 repository. Every related official document is there.

Distraction Heal Thyself
Powell distracts from the real reason HB2 was written, which is  the Charlotte ordinance. He does mention one area that I mildly agree with, only in as much as I think HB2 should have been split into two bills:

But the bathroom issue really isn’t the story. Tucked away inside the inner workings of HB 2 are machinations that limit the rights and abilities of local governments to protect the rights of their citizens (such as protections against unsafe working conditions and unfair wage policies), devices that strip citizens of the right to sue in state courts for discriminatory employment practices, and guarantees that HB 2 will survive any attempt by higher courts to overturn it.

Our leaders have diverted attention away from the real issue by oversimplifying this uncommon biologically and physiologically complex issue and turning it into a bathroom circus.

Mr. Powell, you’re a teacher yet you seem unaware, or at least fail to mention, in your diatribe that municipalities in North Carolina derive their rule-making authority from the state? Kind of an important point that gives a different context to your objections in the passage above.

Local municipalities creating a patchwork of laws across the state is not only dumb, it’s counter-productive given there are federal and state laws already in place for such protections, not to mention the policies of individual companies.   In fact, HB2 allows private business to operate as they see fit instead of be dictated to as they were by the Charlotte ordinance.

As to diverting attention, Mr. Powell, I didn’t see you calling out President Obama for his ‘diverting’ when his DOJ and the Dept. of Ed sent their edict to school chiefs on the matter.

Mr. Powell, the real issue here is the insertion of “gender identity”.
“Gender identity” is being treated as a replacement for biological sex. The ramifications of such moves ripples through every sector of society, legal apparatus and institution. So please, spare me your sanctimony on what the real issue here is.

Mr. Powell wasn’t done demonizing the legislature:

Has the problem been overblown by our legislators? I think so.

This bill is adding a crushing weight to the lack of confidence that our educators AND students are already feeling about our legislature.

‘Lack of confidence in the legislature’.  Oh brother.

TommyLee ReallyGEE.  It’s the legislature who is to blame when the top education officials in the state and in our districts are openly sending mixed messages and arguably just lying to the public about the situation?  What a confidence builder for students and staff?

When the President has his law enforcement and education officials ram ‘guidance’ down our throats,  it’s the Legislature who we should lack confidence in? Really?  

The Scarlet B
The very next section is where his students can be sure that their teacher thinks they are a bigot if they disagree with him:

HB 2 plays on fear and intolerance for its support – two issues that schools in North Carolina are working to move beyond and that need no further inroads into our classrooms.

Got that kids? This is what your teacher thinks about HB2, that it’s about fear and intolerance and you’re better than that. HB2’s not about your safety. It’s not about your right to privacy. It’s about legislators who dared to consider your safety and privacy and acted to protect you– they are the bigots. Wear your Scarlet B, kiddies.

Mr. Powell’s use of his students as foils for his personal opinions on HB2 is beyond appalling. It’s child abuse.  For the love of all that’s holy, have the nuts to write about your OWN opinion.  Don’t use students as a writing tool to take pot shots at the legislature and students who disagree with you.


Won’t Somebody Think About The Children!
This is the lead in to the section where he started to quote his students:

As could be expected, the comments of some students, in the reflection piece and class discussions, were crude and revolved around sexual innuendo.

The statement above is the tone setter for the next few sentences Powell writes (typo included was in the original):

A 9th grade male – “You should use the bathroom for the equipment you got or not like on your your birth certificate.”

Some responses were reminiscent of the fears of sexual predation, rape, and assault expressed by some adults.

10th grade female – “This law increases the chances of perverts/rapists coming into the women’s room.”

12th grade female – “Dangerous ‘cause a guy can dress up as a woman and say I’m transgender and then go in the women’s restroom and take pictures of the girls and women in there.”

This section is followed by a second tone setting statement, “Many questioned the implications and motivations behind HB 2.”  What followed are supposed to be the rational and intellectual responses.

Those responses mostly center around the theme that HB2 is discriminatory. Gee, I wonder where they got that idea, given their main source of discussion was biased and editorialized media articles? Did these kids stop to think that the vast majority of people are being discriminated against for wanting the basic right to privacy in intimate spaces?

In that same general section of the article, on one hand, Powell seems to be making the case his kids are well-informed and worthy of taking on adult subjects.  Yet, on the other hand, where kids were concerned with their safety, their responses were deemed to be ‘reminiscent’ of opinions ‘expressed by some adults’.

In other words, Mr. Powell, not so subtly, makes sure the reader knows those kids are just mimicking what some bigot adult said. Mr. Powell, ever consider those adults you mention are the student’s parents? Awkward.

Mr. Powell’s ability to try to manipulate the reader in his article is impressive. Now imagine that manipulation in his classroom.

Powell closes with one last parting shot at the legislature, again, using his students:

Our students are still forming opinions and views on our leaders, our government, and the adults in their lives.  Are the leaders of North Carolina providing guidance and appropriate role models?

This teacher says “no.”

My response to Mr. Powell is this:

Are the schools of North Carolina providing guidance and appropriate role models?

This parent says “no”.

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About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor at American Lens. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina and is the founder of LadyLiberty1885.com. Her past writing can also be found at IJ review, Breitbart, FOX news, Da Tech Guy Blog, Heartland Institute, Civitas Institute and StopCommonCoreNC.org. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
This entry was posted in Common Core, Education, EXCLUSIVE, LadyLiberty1885, Narratives, Social Justice, The Articles, Useful Idiot, You Will Be Made To Care and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Are NC Schools providing guidance and appropriate role models? – #HB2 #ncga

  1. chl3737 says:

    Dear A. P. Dillon

    Grab a cup of coffee; this will take a few minutes.

    Your article on Rod Powell was painful to read on multiple levels. Unlike you, I believe in full disclosure, so here it is.

    Rod Powell has been my brother-in-law for over 25 years. During that time I have known Rod to be overly fair and interested in looking at all sides of an issue. After hearing all sides he will develop his opinion and still be respectful of everyone’s right to form their own opinion.

    As for my opinion on HB2, here it is. HB2, like the law Charlotte passed, is a total waste. Prior to these laws, people, regardless of physical or emotional gender, were going to the bathroom since the first public bathroom was built. They went to the bathroom that caused the least amount of attention, did their business and left. Regardless of what law is in effect, that will still be what happens.

    That leaves both sides pulling out opinions and calling them fact with some occasional statistics thrown in. The Charlotte law is based on the “fact” feminine guys get beat up if they are forced to use the men’s room. I am almost 60years old, played sports through college, have used public bathrooms multiple times a week, and have never seen anyone beat up because they acted feminine in the men’s room. If anything I’ve seen feminine guys given a wider berth. As far as HB2 goes, I am a father of three, two of which are girls I worry about a lot. Since HB2 was passed there as not been a single day that I have worried less because of the “protection” it provides.

    We have laws in effect already that prevent anyone from harassing, raping, or sexually assaulting anyone else. We do not need laws passed trying to prevent it from happening in a bathroom anymore than we need a law preventing it from happening in the den, kitchen or car. Next law will be sexual assault is not allowed when wearing Nike shoes. Don’t try to persuade me with statistics. Mark Twain already covered them with this statement: “There are three types of lies in the world, lies, damn lies, and statistics”. The other thing I have learned about statistics is that 84% of all statistics are made up to prove a point (yes that was an example of a made up statistic).

    HB2, including the provisions to prevent filing a lawsuit in state courts based on discrimination, is more than troubling, it is wrong. If the state is collecting tax from someone, and making them accept fewer rights than other people it brings up the term “taxation without representation”. Ask England how that worked out for them.

    Now, A. P. Dillon, here are (some) of the points you made in your hatchet article that are completely wrong. The entire piece was written as if it were from a concerned parent/taxpayer. It was not. You are a conservative blogger, and everything you write is to make everyone believe like you do. The problem is you seldom bring up valid points.
    Everything you write is “YOUR STUPID, AND EVERYONE WITH A BRAIN CELL KNOWS WHAT I THINK IS THE RIGHT WAY”. Here are the examples you have of trying to set the table to mentally intimidate anyone from standing up to your totally flawed argument. Please understand I am not passing judgment on what you believe, just your way of presenting it.

    • Until parents stand up and push back, the infusion of social justice BS and indoctrination will continue to crowd out actual academics in our schools. I believe this plays a major role of why school choice, in particular, homeschooling, is booming.
    – A.P. Dillon
    I read this and decided I needed to know who A. P. Dillon is, and what their qualifications were to be quoted to lead off this article. Imagine my surprise to find out A. P. Dillon is the writer of the article. I see people quoting Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, John Kennedy, and Martin Luther King all the time to help prove their point. I am still not sure what your qualifications are than you try to advance your agenda by putting other people down. In my opinion that is a sign of someone with a weak argument. I nearly said anyone with a single brain cell knows that is the sign of a weak argument, but—-

    • According to his article, he had the kids pick ‘media articles’ of their ‘own choosing’ to sit down and which they would use to discuss HB2 in class. Anyone with even a single brain cell knows that the media has misrepresented HB2 from day one.
    What? Rod did not make them choose the articles of his choosing. No one would want to argue with you here, or they would be a person without a single brain cell. The “entire” media is misrepresenting HB2? Really? Do you know if a student picked an article that was for HB2? I will let you answer that. The answer would be “yes”, or “no”, and not some explanation.

    • The use of articles that are inherently editorialized and slanted as discussion pieces was a slick way of making sure his students came away with the opinion Powell apparently holds on HB2. He doesn’t say it outright but the intent is clear — you’re a fear mongering bigot if you back the bill.
    I am pretty sure you said the students were able to pick out their own article. While you say the “entire” media misrepresented HB2, I bet anyone can find an article stating why HB2 is good. In Rod’s article he was so clear on his opinion of HB2 you can only surmise that Rod “apparently holds”. If he was that ambiguous, and you felt the need to corner him on his opinion maybe you should “know” what his opinion is. Call him, e-mail him, or drive to him and interview him. Heavens forbid you do this type of hatchet job on someone and not “know” what he thinks. By the way, I googled “why HB2 is wrong” and came up with 120,000,000 hits. Googling “why HB2 is right” provides 2,320,000,000 hits. Nearly 20 times the hits agreeing with you and you still claim “The entire media is misrepresenting HB2”. I don’t think I can come up with a four letter word that justifies that misrepresentation by you, so I will just say wow.

    • The use of articles that are inherently editorialized and slanted as discussion pieces was a slick way of making sure his students came away with the opinion Powell apparently holds on HB2. He doesn’t say it outright but the intent is clear — you’re a fear mongering bigot if you back the bill.
    You might want to label this as your opinion so no one makes the mistake of thinking you were there when he taught the class. These students must have worked hard to find only articles that were negative to HB2 when those articles only comprise about 5% of articles on HB2. But you really do not know what articles they used, and I don’t either. Then again I am not the one claiming what articles they used.

    • Did Mr. Powell bother to perhaps try to have an actual legislator come talk to them? You know, get it from the horse’s mouth? Nah. They might hear FACT instead of media spin and “paraphrasing” that way.
    If Rod had invited a legislator that voted against the bill to his class, would that have satisfied you? Would it have still been fact if the legislator’s view was different from yours? What facts could a legislator from either side provide on the best way to get people of different genders and identity in and out of a bathroom? Pretty much there are no facts here, only opinions on the best way to handle it. I guess opinions become facts when they agree with the esteemed A. P. Dillon.

    • Speaking of context, the article also doesn’t mention anything about the Charlotte ordinance, which was the cause of HB2 either. It’s a safe bet Mr. Powell’s students were not given the ordinance to read. If they had been, maybe some of them would have understood that what Charlotte did was ban single sex facilities of both public and private inside of the city limits. It also violated the state constitution and multiple decency and building laws.
    I do agree it is hard to talk about why HB2 came about without talking about that Charlotte ordinance. See, that shows I am a sane and reasonable person, and will agree with you when you are right. That is a strategy that actually proves nothing, but I wanted to use it since you tried the same thing in your hatchet piece. I really don’t think that strategy works, but that is just me.
    • What is clear from the article is that Mr. Powell made sure his students saw it his way. The ones who didn’t agree with him will eventually.
    You see, Powell juxtaposed anonymous comments from students in his article and included a few who don’t like the idea of open bathrooms or showers. What the juxtaposition did, whether or not he realizes it, was to signal to those kids: I see you, bigots.
    1. If Rod had not included those comments you probably would have said he intentionally left out any view opposing his, saying to those students their ideas do not matter. See, that is how hatchet jobs work. In what way did Rod make sure the ones who didn’t agree with him will agree with him eventually? Water boarding? Bamboo under fingernails? Physically threatening them? Have you seen Rod (no offense Rod, but it is a short list of people you can beat up)? Have you parented high school students? It will be at least 5 years before they start realizing what they don’t know, sometimes longer. I have seen it take until a person is…..how old are you A. P.? I bet Rod failed each student that disagreed with him. Can you tell me what he did? I mean you know what he did because you talked to his students or parents, right? If not, than surely you talked to his schools administrators. Or you didn’t.
    A. P. you are nothing more than an example of what is wrong with our political system today. You have your view which is fine, but everything you accuse Rod of doing is exactly what you have done. I read Rod’s article and I don’t see where he belittles or calls anyone names. I did find that in your article. What I did not find in your article is anything about what HB2 is, why it is needed, or how it benefits anyone.
    In the future when trying to prove a point, state your case, and give the reasons that make you feel that way.
    Or make baseless accusations, if this is all you have.
    Rick Mack

  2. Rick Mack says:

    Dear A. P. Dillon

    Grab a cup of coffee; this will take a few minutes.

    Your article on Rod Powell was painful to read on multiple levels. Unlike you, I believe in full disclosure, so here it is.

    Rod Powell has been my brother-in-law for over 25 years. During that time I have known Rod to be overly fair and interested in looking at all sides of an issue. After hearing all sides he will develop his opinion and still be respectful of everyone’s right to form their own opinion.

    As for my opinion on HB2, here it is. HB2, like the law Charlotte passed, is a total waste. Prior to these laws, people, regardless of physical or emotional gender, were going to the bathroom since the first public bathroom was built. They went to the bathroom that caused the least amount of attention, did their business and left. Regardless of what law is in effect, that will still be what happens.

    That leaves both sides pulling out opinions and calling them fact with some occasional statistics thrown in. The Charlotte law is based on the “fact” feminine guys get beat up if they are forced to use the men’s room. I am almost 60years old, played sports through college, have used public bathrooms multiple times a week, and have never seen anyone beat up because they acted feminine in the men’s room. If anything I’ve seen feminine guys given a wider berth. As far as HB2 goes, I am a father of three, two of which are girls I worry about a lot. Since HB2 was passed there as not been a single day that I have worried less because of the “protection” it provides.

    We have laws in effect already that prevent anyone from harassing, raping, or sexually assaulting anyone else. We do not need laws passed trying to prevent it from happening in a bathroom anymore than we need a law preventing it from happening in the den, kitchen or car. Next law will be sexual assault is not allowed when wearing Nike shoes. Don’t try to persuade me with statistics. Mark Twain already covered them with this statement: “There are three types of lies in the world, lies, damn lies, and statistics”. The other thing I have learned about statistics is that 84% of all statistics are made up to prove a point (yes that was an example of a made up statistic).

    HB2, including the provisions to prevent filing a lawsuit in state courts based on discrimination, is more than troubling, it is wrong. If the state is collecting tax from someone, and making them accept fewer rights than other people it brings up the term “taxation without representation”. Ask England how that worked out for them.

    Now, A. P. Dillon, here are (some) of the points you made in your hatchet article that are completely wrong. The entire piece was written as if it were from a concerned parent/taxpayer. It was not. You are a conservative blogger, and everything you write is to make everyone believe like you do. The problem is you seldom bring up valid points.
    Everything you write is “YOUR STUPID, AND EVERYONE WITH A BRAIN CELL KNOWS WHAT I THINK IS THE RIGHT WAY”. Here are the examples you have of trying to set the table to mentally intimidate anyone from standing up to your totally flawed argument. Please understand I am not passing judgment on what you believe, just your way of presenting it.

    • Until parents stand up and push back, the infusion of social justice BS and indoctrination will continue to crowd out actual academics in our schools. I believe this plays a major role of why school choice, in particular, homeschooling, is booming.
    – A.P. Dillon

    I read this and decided I needed to know who A. P. Dillon is, and what their qualifications were to be quoted to lead off this article. Imagine my surprise to find out A. P. Dillon is the writer of the article. I see people quoting Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, John Kennedy, and Martin Luther King all the time to help prove their point. I am still not sure what your qualifications are than you try to advance your agenda by putting other people down. In my opinion that is a sign of someone with a weak argument. I nearly said anyone with a single brain cell knows that is the sign of a weak argument, but—-

    • According to his article, he had the kids pick ‘media articles’ of their ‘own choosing’ to sit down and which they would use to discuss HB2 in class. Anyone with even a single brain cell knows that the media has misrepresented HB2 from day one.

    What? Rod did not make them choose the articles of his choosing. No one would want to argue with you here, or they would be a person without a single brain cell. The “entire” media is misrepresenting HB2? Really? Do you know if a student picked an article that was for HB2? I will let you answer that. The answer would be “yes”, or “no”, and not some explanation.

    • The use of articles that are inherently editorialized and slanted as discussion pieces was a slick way of making sure his students came away with the opinion Powell apparently holds on HB2. He doesn’t say it outright but the intent is clear — you’re a fear mongering bigot if you back the bill.

    I am pretty sure you said the students were able to pick out their own article. While you say the “entire” media misrepresented HB2, I bet anyone can find an article stating why HB2 is good. In Rod’s article he was so clear on his opinion of HB2 you can only surmise that Rod “apparently holds”. If he was that ambiguous, and you felt the need to corner him on his opinion maybe you should “know” what his opinion is. Call him, e-mail him, or drive to him and interview him. Heavens forbid you do this type of hatchet job on someone and not “know” what he thinks. By the way, I googled “why HB2 is wrong” and came up with 120,000,000 hits. Googling “why HB2 is right” provides 2,320,000,000 hits. Nearly 20 times the hits agreeing with your view A. P. and you still claim “The entire media is misrepresenting HB2”. These students must have worked hard to find only articles that were negative to HB2 when those articles only comprise about 5% of articles on HB2. But you really do not know what articles they used, and I don’t either. Then again I am not the one claiming what articles they used.
    I don’t think I can come up with a four letter word that justifies that misrepresentation by you, so I will just say wow.

    • Did Mr. Powell bother to perhaps try to have an actual legislator come talk to them? You know, get it from the horse’s mouth? Nah. They might hear FACT instead of media spin and “paraphrasing” that way.

    If Rod had invited a legislator that voted against the bill to his class, would that have satisfied you? Would it have still been fact if the legislator’s view was different from yours? What facts could a legislator from either side provide on the best way to get people of different genders and identity in and out of a bathroom? Pretty much there are no facts here, only opinions on the best way to handle it. I guess opinions become facts when they agree with the esteemed A. P. Dillon.

    • Speaking of context, the article also doesn’t mention anything about the Charlotte ordinance, which was the cause of HB2 either. It’s a safe bet Mr. Powell’s students were not given the ordinance to read. If they had been, maybe some of them would have understood that what Charlotte did was ban single sex facilities of both public and private inside of the city limits. It also violated the state constitution and multiple decency and building laws.

    I do agree it is hard to talk about why HB2 came about without talking about that Charlotte ordinance. See, that shows I am a sane and reasonable person, and will agree with you when you are right. That is a strategy that actually proves nothing, but I wanted to use it since you tried the same thing in your hatchet piece. I really don’t think that strategy works, but that is just me.

    • What is clear from the article is that Mr. Powell made sure his students saw it his way. The ones who didn’t agree with him will eventually.
    You see, Powell juxtaposed anonymous comments from students in his article and included a few who don’t like the idea of open bathrooms or showers. What the juxtaposition did, whether or not he realizes it, was to signal to those kids: I see you, bigots.

    If Rod had not included those comments you probably would have said he intentionally left out any view opposing his, saying to those students their ideas do not matter. See, that is how hatchet jobs work. In what way did Rod make sure the ones who didn’t agree with him will agree with him eventually? Water boarding? Bamboo under fingernails? Physically threatening them? Have you seen Rod (no offense Rod, but it is a short list of people you can beat up)? Have you parented high school students? Have argued/debated with one? It will be at least 5 years before they start realizing what they don’t know, sometimes longer. I have seen it take until a person is…..how old are you A. P.? I bet Rod gave a failing grade to each student that disagreed with him. Can you tell me what he did? I mean you know what he did because you talked to his students or parents, right? If not, than surely you talked to his schools administrators. Or you didn’t.

    A. P. you are nothing more than an example of what is wrong with our political system today. You have your view, which is fine, but everything you accuse Rod of doing is exactly what you have done. I read Rod’s article and I don’t see where he belittles or calls anyone names. I did find that in your article. What I did not find in your article is anything about what HB2 is, why it is needed, or how it benefits anyone.
    In the future when trying to prove a point, state your case, and give the reasons that make you feel that way.

    Or make baseless accusations if that is all you have.

    • A.P. Dillon says:

      Thank you for the lovely set of insults. You’ve basically said, “she did it right”. I especially liked this part:

      Everything you write is “YOUR STUPID, AND EVERYONE WITH A BRAIN CELL KNOWS WHAT I THINK IS THE RIGHT WAY”.

      So cute.
      Here’s a little about the “RIGHT WAY”: Teachers should not be influencing their classes one way or the other. Mr. Powell has straight up said he did when he commented, “It wasn’t meant to be a political indoctrination lesson. But I am who I am politically and it comes through.”

      I linked to his article, I cited large portions of it. I deconstructed was he said, the materials he used and lined up how this affects the students. Yet, I am the villain and didn’t include enough of it? Get over yourself. What this amounts to is that you didn’t like what I wrote because I called our brother in law out on the carpet — and I did so accurately and deservedly so.

      This was nothing more than an opportunistic, social justice moment wrapped in an common core close reading assignment. It was inappropriate in content, materials and execution from start to finish. Not including the Charlotte ordinance was apparently an oversight that Mr. Powell says he will remedy for ‘next time’. This implies he intends to teach this lesson AGAIN. Will the parents be notified this time? If it was my kid, I sure as Hell would want to know.

      You make a lot of assumptions about me and arguably your reading comprehension is colored by your personal relationship and therefore questionable. None of the points you make are actually points, they’re complaints about me, personally. Actually, to use your own terms, you’ve made “baseless accusations” rooted in emotion, not actual fact.

      And you did so from TWO email accounts as I see the comment posted twice. Jeez.

  3. S. H. Jackson says:

    Ms. Dillon-

    I have the distinct pleasure of knowing Rod Powell personally and he is a colleague of my husband at Mooresville Senior High School. I can assure you, your assesment and the comments from your followers below could not be further from the truth. Mr. Powell is of the highest integrity and has followed the letter of common core to the exact specifications the State of North Carolina (you know, his employer) mandated. To do less would be called insubordination in the corporate world.

    You disproved yourself in the opening paragraph of this article where you state the students selected an article of their choosing – yet you state Mr. Powell is forcing his opinions on his students? It sounds as if Mr. Powell gave giving his students a real life scenario: making choices. Mr. Powell presented the law as it is written – ALL aspects of the law then had the students compare the law to the media articles that followed. How can you accuse him of forcing his beliefs on the students when all he did was present both sides of an argument?

    I challenge all of you to survey the students of this lesson to see if they felt they were indoctrinated or influenced in any way to agree with Mr. Powell’s internal beliefs. I guarantee they will say “No”. Their opinions were already made by what each and every one of them learned at home. It is highly doubtful that Mr. Powell could trump the beliefs pushed on these kids in the home setting.

    If anything, you have proven Mr. Powell’s lesson beyond a shadow of a doubt: anyone can publish any article and it will be believed as the gospel truth – as shown by the readers comments below. Having the privilege of knowing Mr. Powell personally I can assure you, he gives me the respect of being able to agree to disagree and still remain civil. Never, not once, has Mr. Powell tried to force me to believe what he believes. Unlike you who is using this article to do exactly what you accuse Mr. Powell of doing.

    I encourage your readers to think for themselves, investigate beyond the article and think twice before basing their opinion on anything that you write. I challenge you, Ms. A. P. Dillon to actually post my response as written without editing it to fit your narrative. You know-fair and unbiased.

    • A.P. Dillon says:

      Ms. Jackson
      Thanks for your input.

      Yes, I am biased on this topic. I’m a parent and I’m fed up with the social justice narratives being pushed in our schools. I am unapologetic on that front.

      I’ve had multiple interactions with Mr. Powell. I know he is a good teacher, which is why his article stunned me.
      It was not written from a point of unbiased academia. It used his kids to justify his own position, which was quite clear in his article.

      Mr. Powell and I have clashed on the topic of Common Core as well and this ‘close reading’ assignment was a stark reminder of why. Common Core close reading is built on the premise of narrative driving and reinforcement. The fact he left out the Charlotte Ordinance is supportive of that assertion. One cannot fully understand and form an opinion on HB2 without understanding WHY it was necessary. By not including it, the full picture cannot be seen. That seems to be the function and point of ‘close reading’.

      Where he and I agree is on testing. There’s too much of it and it’s to over-emphasized.

      You said, “You disproved yourself in the opening paragraph of this article where you state the students selected an article of their choosing – yet you state Mr. Powell is forcing his opinions on his students?”

      I think you seriously underestimate the approval seeking of kids from their teachers, of whom they spend more time with during the week than their parents.

      And what selections did these students make? What suggestions of sources are there beyond the NC media who has polarized and inaccurately reported on the topic of HB2? You seem to think our media has told the truth. Far from it, they’ve labeled, demonized and misrepresented it from day one. So spare me the indignation about bias.

      And yes, he did force his opinion on them with his article. It’s abundantly clear his position in it. Now his students are in the awkward position of not only being used to prove his position, but if they disagree they likely will be silent about it.

      Thank you for your narrative letter, Ms. Jackson. It’s a case study in close reading.

      • S. H. Jackson says:

        I firmly stand behind my statements above in support for Rod Powell in the classroom and this lesson. Rod is a fair, compassionate, humble, brilliant man who would never do the things you have accused him of in this article. You have taken numerous words of his out of context, given your political slant and narrative to them and given your readers an unfair representation of the man. Do you not think for one second if the events had unfolded as you described there wouldn’t be a massive parental uprising in our conservative little town? There was no uprising because the events – as you have depicted them – simply didn’t happen. I would also challenge your followers to actually read the article Rod wrote before judging him. Rod’s article clearly states the underlying problem of legislature combining issues: bathroom laws along with discrimination in the workplace. There is a difference in students knowing what a teacher believes in and that teacher strong arming, manipulating and coercing his students. I have been around long enough to know what is believed in the home weighs far more on the lives of students that what is learned at school. To accuse me of underestimating a teachers influence once again proves – you do not know a thing about me. If you would have fairly reported ALL of the student quotes in your blog – not just the ones that fit your narrative – your readers would have seen the varied and diverse responses the students provided. I am a conservative Christian who has definite concerns with the bathroom issue but is staunchly appalled by workplace discrimination simply because someone chooses a different lifestyle than myself. In your response to me you said “I believe the media is true”. You are putting words in my mouth which could not be farther from the truth. You do not know me so please, do not speak for me.

        I realize you get paid for this blog. I realize you probably get a little spare change for each visit and each reply and it is apparently your God given right to stir up dissention based on your interpretation of an event. That’s fine. But realize by writing such a slanderous and contentious blog entry such as this, you are no better than any liberal group stirring up unnecessary trouble among good people.

      • A.P. Dillon says:

        Madam, you doth protest too much.

        “You have taken numerous words of his out of context, given your political slant and narrative to them and given your readers an unfair representation of the man.”

        Name them and explain how I took his own words out of context.

        “Do you not think for one second if the events had unfolded as you described there wouldn’t be a massive parental uprising in our conservative little town?”

        I think if any parents knew about it, then yeah you might have seen push back.

        “You are putting words in my mouth which could not be farther from the truth. You do not know me so please, do not speak for me.”

        Oh really? I didn’t write about YOU, ma’am. I responded to your rather rude diatribe. You do not know me either, so do not speak for me.

        “I realize you get paid for this blog”

        No, I don’t actually.

        I get it. You don’t like I called your pal out on the carpet. You don’t like that I nailed it and in the process, nailed your pal using his own Op-ed. This was a common core close reading assignment that frankly was INAPPROPRIATE in content, delivery and in execution.

        No one is forcing you to read anything I write.
        What you’ve repeatedly done is make personal attacks claiming a ‘narrative’ is being pushed yet have not demonstrated once how I have done that or what that narrative is.

        I will continue call out social justice slanted crap and common core in our classrooms every day and twice on Sunday. I don’t care who is teaching it.

        Nothing I have written here is “slanderous” either. You might want to stop throwing insults that are frankly embarrassing for all to read, because you see slander is spoken or oral, libel is something published or in writing. And I didn’t libel him either.

        If you wish to continue impugning me personally, then you can go pound sand, ma’am. It would be just as effective.

    • A.P. Dillon says:

      Perhaps you might want to close read the comments:

      “I hope my efforts next year are less politically slanted and motivated. It don’t think you can separate political thinking and teaching. Teachers are human and our views come out as we work with our classes. But you’re right, we need to make a conscious effort not to bully or intimidates students with them.”

      “I think the best way to educate a mass of people if through free public education that represents the values of the country.

      And remember, you can counter the indoctrination at home as a parent. That way your children can be exposed to a different viewpoint at school and be shown how wrong it is at home. Or better yet, ask to speak to your child’s class to provide a different viewpoint.”

    • Tammy says:

      Ms. Jackson,

      By Mr. Powell’s own admission, he was teaching an elective law class and was attempting to educate his students about the legislative process by “examining federal, state, and LOCAL governments” (emphasis mine). The Charlotte City Council is a local municipality that derives its governmental authority from the state. The ordinance the Council passed was illegal in that they added marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes. To put it simply, they had no authority to supersede state law by elevating these groups to protected status, which is why the state was obligated to step in and reverse the situation before the ordinance became effective April 1st. From a legal perspective, this puts HB2 into complete context and is critical to understanding the purpose of the bill. Regardless of how you or anyone else feels about LGBT issues, this was a golden opportunity to educate students with regard to both the NC Constitution and local governmental authority, yet it was completely overshadowed by political rhetoric.

      The irony in all this is that, by your inability to accept a difference of opinion of a co-worker’s op-ed, you have clearly demonstrated a bias. It is obvious more balance is desperately needed in the classroom. In order for children to develop critical thinking skills, it is crucial that they are provided with as much information on an issue as possible (whether the teacher agrees with it or not).

      Your response has only offered more proof of Ms. Dillon’s conclusion that North Carolina schools are not providing appropriate guidance or role models, at least in the case of HB2.

      • S. H. Jackson says:

        Thank you for your input Tammy. Before we have further discussion on your response, did you read the original article written by Rod Powell? That is a very important part of this discussion. Also-I am unclear as to what coworker you are referencing. Rod isn’t my coworker. A. P. Dillon isn’t my coworker. Who has the opinion in which I am refusing to accept? If you could clarify I would appreciate it. Meanwhile, I will be over here pounding sand as I have so eloquently been instructed to do.

  4. Tammy says:

    That’s a pretty stunning admission for an educator, Mr. Powell. To omit key information from a lesson in order to shape your student’s opinions toward your political slant is not “educating the masses,” it’s outright indoctrination. You, sir, are an embarrassment to the teaching profession. I’m shocked that you haven’t been fired by now.

    • Rod Powell says:

      It was an honest omission in a hurried fast paced classroom. The Charlotte Ordinance will be there next fall.

      I will say I my defense that I try to learn from mistakes and better my teaching.

      My firing might happen sooner the you would imagine. I have never bought into the data driven testing culture at my high school and am very unpopular with administration because my test scores are poor according the Value Added Measure developed by the data gurus at SAS.

      But thanks for the words of support for a 30 year NC teacher who’s poured his heart and soul into his craft. It’s what we’ve come to expect.

      • A.P. Dillon says:

        You and I have had our differences and things we also agree on, Mr. Powell.
        You know I back you on the over-testing/VAM front and we differ on Common Core.

        Not including the Charlotte Ordinance is beyond an honest omission. One cannot fully understand HB2 without it.
        I’m sure you had a lesson plan for this. Can you share it? How about the sources the students chose their articles from?

      • Tammy says:

        Although I would agree with you on the overuse of testing, I simply have no tolerance for attempts to rewrite history. The Charlotte ordinance puts HB2 into context. The Charlotte City Council is a local municipality that operates under state statute and it completely overstepped its authority with their illegal ordinance. No municipality has the right to supersede state law, which is why the General Assembly had to step-in. They were warned multiple times prior to passing this ordinance that if they did so, there would be consequences. They knew what they were doing and they did it anyway. Your omission appears to be supporting the media narrative, which is extremely concerning to me. I wonder, would you teach a lesson about America’s involvement in WWII without discussing Pearl Harbor? Of course, I’m in no way treating these two events as equal, but you understand the importance of presenting the full picture in order for students to make an informed opinion about the decisions that our leaders had to make in the aftermath of these events, do you not?

  5. Rod Powell says:

    End of school craziness slowed my reply down.

    Not a perfect lesson at all. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll try to be more balanced next fall and in other lessons.

    We did not read the Charlotte ordinance. That would be a great addition to serve as background for HB2 when I revamp and do the lesson again in the fall. Time constraints and looming exams were a factor this spring.

    We did read the actual law itself in pairs and as a class – all of the provisions.What struck some of my students were the issues unrelated to the bathroom component of in the bill – like the employment and the denying of the right to sue in state court provisions.

    The close reading really helped students grapple with the issues unrelated to the bathroom part. We also talked about points of view for the writers of the law and their supporters.

    Next fall I hope to invite parents, community leaders, public officials, and business leaders to talk about this bill and other controversial topics. I’m wondering what dinner table discussions that lesson sparked at home for my students.

    I hope my efforts next year are less politically slanted and motivated. It don’t think you can separate political thinking and teaching. Teachers are human and our views come out as we work with our classes. But you’re right, we need to make a conscious effort not to bully or intimidates students with them

  6. Freya Heflin says:

    Having worked in the Governor’s office (constituent services) for 2-1/2 years, I can assure you the students are being indoctrinated by these liberal teachers. Leesville HS was once of the worst. They are learning about social issues vs. math, GRAMMAR, American history, etc. It is very depressing and everyone should think about this in November when you vote. The liberal agenda must be stopped.

    • Rod Powell says:

      As a history teacher, I don’t think you can separate social issues from history education. Civil rights, women’s struggles, slavery, and many more all started as social issues that became political. I hope my students can see connections between the present and the past. Teachers are human. It’s tough to separate our political thinking and our teaching. But we do have to guard against how we try to influence and our ways of discussion.

      • A.P. Dillon says:

        I can understand this position. I think they best way to guard against influencing discussion is not to influence it at all. Especially not in an op-ed.

  7. Cherise Dixon says:

    Good Morning! Just read your article, shameful what teachers are doing to our kids.

    I was invited to Ava’s dance performance on Friday and just to say wow. First, there were students of 6th & 7th grade. The teacher, who I’ve not met before was nice and told me she was not involved in the dance choreography or theme of the dance, nor the vocabulary word associated with one dance. Can you guess the word of the first vocabulary dance? Muslim! After sitting through those dances (science words, social studies words), my daughter’s dance, about a girl’s dream, 3 good fairy’s one turns bad, try’s to kill the girl and the other fairys. There were dances of bullying, kidnapping, etc. Dark themes. I just know in the past year it has gotten so much worse, my kids are calling me racists if I call mention something black, etc. they are super cognizant of words, such as transsexual, transgender, Caitlin Jenner, and their show, Clarrence.. His best friend has lesbian parents. It’s a cartoon. This is the new norm! Thanks for listening… >

    • Kim says:

      Bless your heart, Cherise, but this is not the “new” norm unless you sit on your behind and do nothing about it. You need to get yourself in gear and start speaking up for your brain-washed children and against your indoctrinating school. YOU are the parent, YOU are the taxpayer and YOU need to organize others and STOP this nonsense.

      LadyLiberty–this post is fantastic and the timing of Cherise’s letter could not be more perfect. When, folks, are we going to start pushing back against this agenda?! Is everyone really getting the implications of Obama’s Title IX overreach?! The Charlotte ordinance/HB2 saga is nothing in comparison. THIS is the true end game — complete and total anarchy and the destruction of societal norms as we know them. Think about it…. Are we going to teach biology in school any longer — or just skip over that little thing called DNA? What will be the implications for girls’ sports (say good bye to them, you liberal clucks)? Envision a locker room of hormonally-charged girls and boys. How will any of this chaos be managed? Who is protecting YOUR child? Why is not every single parent completely ripped that THIS crap is what is being taught in schools and NOT the ABCs? Where are the Church leaders … the Dioceses of Raleigh and Charlotte, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, anyone? The silence is deafening.

      What will it take, folks, for us to stop this madness??

      And, for the record, we need to vote out each and every legislator who has not stood up for HB2, starting with Senator Richard Burr in November.

      • Rod Powell says:

        I agree. I would love to have had parental involvement with that lesson as a counter point or as support for students who might have been afraid to speak out for fear of my authority. That would be a perfect opportunity for parental pushback. I can’t speak for other teachers, but I’m not a control freak and think it’s important for students to study opposing viewpoints and opinions and hear from other adults.

    • brackenkaren says:

      And you continue to send them to these indoctrination centers? We need to pull our kids out or one day they will be turing you in to the gestapo.

      • Rod Powell says:

        I’m going to quote Thomas Jefferson on the value of educating the public:

        “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people…they are our the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty”

        I think the best way to educate a mass of people if through free public education that represents the values of the country.

        And remember, you can counter the indoctrination at home as a parent. That way your children can be exposed to a different viewpoint at school and be shown how wrong it is at home. Or better yet, ask to speak to your child’s class to provide a different viewpoint.

      • A.P. Dillon says:

        I’m going to quote from G.K. Chesterton:

        “Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.”

        You said that, “I think the best way to educate a mass of people if through free public education that represents the values of the country.”

        And what values are those?
        I think the best way to educate a mass of people through free public education is through actual academic subjects. Values are to be taught in the home, not to be shaped by public education.

        You also said, “And remember, you can counter the indoctrination at home as a parent. That way your children can be exposed to a different viewpoint at school and be shown how wrong it is at home. Or better yet, ask to speak to your child’s class to provide a different viewpoint.”

        I admit, I was a bit stunned and wondered if you weren’t being facetious in that first sentence. Parents shouldn’t have to counter indoctrination. It shouldn’t be happening.

        Being exposed to different viewpoints it part of learning, however, offering specific viewpoint seems to be what happens more often than not in the social justice infused classrooms we have today.

        The fact that parents are often blocked from finding out what is going on in their child’s classes is a problem. How are parents to speak in their child’s class when they’re often shut out? I speak from personal experience and my kid is only in elementary school and I’ve had the displeasure of finding out about activities that went on months after they’ve happened. Were the parents of your students informed prior to this close reading of HB2?

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