Editor’s note: Columbia County school parent asked that a letter she recently sent to the Columbia County Board of Education be shared as a letter to the editor.
Dr. Flynt and Board Members,
Over the last few years I have steadily watched national trends expand their footprint in my children’s schools in Columbia County, Ga. I watched as Critical Race Theory heroes such as Ken Shelton were brought to our county to train teachers at the Peach State Summit. I have also watched $16,000 of taxpayer money get wasted as the school board and administrators finally cancelled their contract with Panorama Ed – after parents brought to their attention that it was filled with invasive personal questions for students and data mining concerns. However, these national trends have now evolved into globalist influences penetrating Columbia County schools, brought in through the curriculum choices of our Board of Education and CCSD administration.
Climate change, child activism, and equity have somehow become a part of nearly every subject my children learn about in school. Even knowing this, I was quite surprised to learn that my child was taught that eating bugs is good nutrition, and that bugs are the future of protein because they are an “eco-friendly food.” To be precise, the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt textbook currently used in 4th grade states the following: “lots of bugs are nutritious, tasty, and perfectly safe to eat” and “attitudes about bugs are already changing… if we can get over the “Gross!” factor, bugs could one day become part of our daily diet.” This is followed by activities telling children to “provide strong reasons why people should eat bugs, supported with evidence from [the story].” This lesson is taught in the context of teaching children to identify “eco-friendly foods” and to be aware that “beans that are produced locally using oil-based fertilizers and plowed by diesel tractors” may not be “eco-friendly.” Apparently, this theme is also found in the iReady reading materials, though I am not able to view my child’s work in that program to verify (yet another transparency issue in itself).
Interestingly, though not incidentally, the World Economic Forum (WEF) supports these exact concepts and for the very same reasons – climate change and the need for a new global protein source. In their article entitled Why We Need to Give Insects the Role they Deserve in our Food Systems, the WEF states “Insect farming for food and animal feed could offer an environmentally friendly solution to the impending food crisis.” They also proudly proclaim that mealworms have already been approved for human consumption throughout Europe and even have their own startup company Ÿnsect ready to provide farmed bugs for this anticipated “demand.”
As I watch our school board vote to expand this curriculum, I have to ask… is this the best we can do for students in Columbia County? With only 60% of elementary students reading “at grade level target” in our county, is this the curriculum worthy of our taxpayer dollars? Our district must think so, since they and the Board of Education intend to expand Houghton’s footprint in our schools by adding the 6-8th grade curriculum as well. Between this and the CRT-focused Savvas company, I can only conclude that our district and school board agree with these agendas and reject classical curriculum options such as those provided by Hillsdale College. I ask that the school district and Board seriously reconsider the direction they are taking our children with their curriculum decisions.
Our teachers don’t want to teach these agendas. Our children don’t want to be taught them. So again, I must ask… why is our school district teaching our children to eat bugs?
Katie Allen, Parent and Taxpayer
Well written article. Let’s see if the school board will respond in kind. Usually, their replies never quite address the issues directly.
Hitler, Lenin, Mao, and their successors realized that control of the education system and youth indoctrination programs are crucial steps to implementing totalitarian state that imposes their ideology and agendas. It’s happening in the USA and most parents are oblivious to it or support it. If I had school age children, they’d be home schooled. I hope parents in the CSRA read this letter and react to protect their children and our nation.
It all starts with all these new people attracted to our area with new jobs etc. that we have encouraged to move here from the NORTH and WEST! They bring their attitudes and ideas that are not SOUTHERN, so we end up in battles like this. I guess it won’t hurt to teach our kids how to survive on bugs when the other food sources are no longer available because of the WARS during the soon to start END TIMES.
Eliminate pesticides and exterminators I guess!
Ok, so the textbook talks about eating bugs. You haven’t explained why alarms should be going off. I understand the distastefulness many people would find with this idea, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t viable. Japanese and other cultures already do it, and not necessarily because they’re mired in poverty. Is it not true that we can’t provide 8 billion people enough meat to eat three times a day, which is becoming the norm here? The first thing people in emerging economies want, before they buy a house or car, is increased access to meat. It’s a growing problem, and our kids deserve to know about it.
It isn’t about bugs per se, it is about WOKE environmentalism.
But it IS about bugs. It’s hard to think of a reason not to eat them (other than yuck).
This got me thinking about what entices kids to read, since the editorialist correctly states that our kids aren’t good readers. There isn’t a 4th grader around that wouldn’t be fascinated by this topic. And it isn’t new. Remember the book, How To Eat Fried Worms, by Thomas Rockwell (Norman’s son)? Kids have loved that book for decades. Turns out it’s often banned for encouraging socially unacceptable behavior. What would Norman say?
“It’s hard to think of a reason not to eat them”
What are you having for dinner tonight? Any bugs on your menu this week? If you have no reason to avoid them, why not?
From my perspective, the issue isn’t the information but the advocacy the curriculum engages in. It’s one thing to tell kids that bugs are edible, but creating a topic of concern then instructing children to develop their own arguments in favor of one side of that issue is ideological conditioning, not education. This is a central feature of conscientizing strategies laid out by Paulo Freire in “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and “The Politics of Education.” Those are freely available as PDFs and I highly recommend reading them. So much of the failures of modern education makes sense after you see the terrible ideology so much of modern “education” has been built on.
“The first thing people in emerging economies want is increased access to meat.”
Yes, when people aren’t poor, they don’t want to eat bugs. Unless we’re preparing kids to be poor, we don’t need to be teaching them about impoverished dietary options.
Let them eat bugs! (who said that? Marie Antoinette?) No, it might be educational to teach kids what bugs NOT to eat! Like the kid who ate a worm on a dare and is now paralyzed.
MUST HAVE STOPED TEACHING ARITHMETIC TO DO THIS, OTHER DAY FAST FOOD PLACE WITHOUT AUTOMATIC CASH REGISTRY BILL WAS 16.09, GIVE YOUNG LADY (COLMBIA COUNTY STUDENT) A 20 AND 9 CENTS EXPECTING TO GET BACK 4 ONE’S. SHE HAD THAT DEER IN HEADLIGHT LOOK AND COULD NOT DO IT, HAD TO GIVE ME BACK 3.91
ALSO MUST NOT TEACH LOCAL GEOGRAPHY ETHER, HAD A CONVERSATION ABOUT GA WITH A FRIEND OF MY GRANDDAUGHTER (16 YEAR OLD EVANS HIGH STUDENT) SHE COULD NOT NAME A SINGLE STATE THAT SURROUNDS GA INCLUDING S.C. 6 MILES A WAY NOR COULD SHE NAME THE CAPITOL OF GA AND THIS YOUNG LADY WAS IN 10TH GRADE.
My take on the problem: It isn’t that those things aren’t taught in class, it’s that kids aren’t developed in grade school to be able or have a desire to retain that information. There’s no wrote drills or memorization of anything anymore, it’s all just bits of information we’re passing through on our way to the next grade. Instant access to information doesn’t help either, but the practices of education are broken.
This might seem a simplistic view on this editorial, but so be it. I am a former high school English teacher. Most school boards today refer to it as “Language Arts.”
My goals for everyone of my students were to help them learn to communicate EFFECTIVELY verbally and in written word; to understand what they read (whatever the subject); and by understanding what they read, be able to decide if the material was helpful or not helpful, useful or not useful, etc.
But these were high school students that I hoped would graduate with these skills as they entered “life.”
They were not 4th graders! Asked to formulate reasons for promoting bug eating, 4th graders are simply going to regurgitate what they just read. And all the statements above, excepting Ms. Aurora’s, reflect what that leads to—controlling young minds!
We keep electing and re-electing professional educators for School Board that came thru the indoctrination over the last 30 years. Their credentials look good and they seem to have financial backing and be supported by the politicians. We need to elect Board members that are representative of the community. Let’s elect fathers, mothers, and grandparents whom have children in the school system.
Only so much time in a day. With the poor academic results of our schools, why waste time on a stupid subject like eating bugs? How about geography instead. The classroom should be used for practical studies that prepare students for the real world. PRACTICAl! Stop this far out nonsense.
I’m thankful to the Augusta Press for publishing this Letter to the Editor so that we could have a community discussion about this topic. I think we can all agree that wastefulness is a bad thing, that polluted air and water are harmful to all, that fresh food is better than fast food, etc. There were plenty of good things in my daughter’s textbook to soften the effect of the globalist agenda being brought in. After all, that’s how marketing works. We’ve all seen infomercials… they sell products that seem to solve every issue known to man, and from the commercials alone you would never imagine they didn’t work. That is how these HMH textbooks are. They put enough “good stuff” in there to make parents believe everything is great. And everything “appears” to be great… until parents look deeper and start to see the recurring themes of climate alarmism, climate footprints, eco miles, etc. Even my daughter’s writing assignment following this lesson required her to write a paragraph discussing eco miles and eating food grown close to home. To claim that these lessons do not change attitudes in our children is to intentionally ignore evidence to the contrary.
On a personal note, I come from a family of wheat and cattle farmers. We’ve farmed the same land in Kansas for generations, and even to this day my children have been raised to know and respect the hard-earned food on their plates – because they have seen how it got there. When I look at the vase of Kansas-grown wheat decorating my kitchen counter, I think of home movies with my grandmother young and smiling – combine rolling in the background – thanking God for a good harvest and her beautiful family around her. Does my daughter still look at that wheat and think of combine rides with her great-grandfather? Or does she now think of food miles and climate change and the evils of diesel engines? Who gave the school district the right to erase our family’s heritage and taint my children’s memories of their family farm?
This brings us to the ultimate point… this is not about the merit of eating bugs, or even the merits of the theory of climate change. That is merely the context that this discussion was placed into as a result of this HMH textbook. The discussion is that regardless where one’s personal beliefs lie on major societal issues, is a 4th grade reading book the appropriate place for the conversation to be presented? Clearly there is more to the discussion of changing a nation’s entire food supply than simply whether or not crickets are palatable. The text markedly did not address the concerns of the topic, such as who would be making money from this new product, which industry would be out of a job, allergy concerns, labeling requirements, etc. In fact, when I attempted to research the topic on my own, I could find nothing except website after website doing exactly as this textbook did – singing the praises of crickets as a new food without ever mentioning a downside or discussing the 2nd- and 3rd-order effects of changing an entire nation’s food supply. This should be concerning for all of us when we see an apparently homogenous opinion being marketed comprehensively – and simultaneously – to adults and children alike. Some would even call it “groupthink.”
As we enter the final decade of Agenda 2030, I think it would be wise to engage in dialogue with our fellow citizens to research these issues independently and learn to recognize globalist agendas in our community. Thank you again to the Augusta Press for making this discussion possible!
Link to FB post with pictures from textbook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/525683045717194/posts/720407609578069/
Link to referenced WEF article: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/07/why-we-need-to-give-insects-the-role-they-deserve-in-our-food-systems/?fbclid=IwAR2qQG87VQhemZV4CJo-DmTKNVdfHWwgaXw8sUuQjY88quTYtt1koTzHod4