Eco Lawsuit Kids could use a Social Studies Lesson

This week 21 kids stood outside a federal courthouse in Eugene, Oregon to explain why they were suing the United States government. The reasons were varied: a lack snow for skiing in Oregon, beach erosion in Florida, horses dead from dehydration on a ranch in Arizona. The kids’ attorney, Julia Olson of the environmentalist groupOur Children’s Trust, gave an impassioned speech earlier in the courtroom before Federal District Judge Ann Aiken to explain how one Jayden Foytlin (age 13) had lost her home to the floods in Baton Rouge this summer. The cause of all of these tragedies could of course be none other than climate change and the U.S. government was to blame for letting it happen. Furthermore, since the U.S. government had failed to take action the young plaintiffs wanted the Court to order an end to fossils fuels.The debate over climate change goes on. Now I am not a science teacher so I am not going to revisit the ongoing flaws in linking fossil fuels to global environmental collapse. Rather, as someone who has been  teaching high school social studies teacher for the past 18 years, I was struck by how little these kids know about history and government. The lawsuit shows an astounding lack of understanding on how the separation of powers is supposed to function and what Constitutional rights these kids seem to think they have but, actually do not not.This lawsuit against the government to stop oil drilling for the purpose of stopping climate change is truly a cause for concern. Not only because it repeats the tired old phrase of global annihilation just around the corner but because it plays fast and loose with Constitution. By asking the Court to take such a broad, and quite frankly, ridiculous interpretation of our founding document, this lawsuit threatens what truly does matter for these kids’ future. What these kids will benefit from most is a system of checks and balances where rights are found in the Constitution and not manufactured and the separation of powers is preserved by judges that judge and not make laws.

NAACP Betrays Black Students

Throughout America, charter schools have had enormous success at educating students and especially students of color. 60% of charters are serving at-risk communities and their successes have resulted in higher test scores, safer schools, motivated kids, and satisfied parents.So why the opposition by the NAACP and other groups like Black Lives Matter that claim to represent the interests of minorities? The answer is, simply put, control. Charter school have the freedom to innovate, the freedom from government (and the political Left’s) control.

Disrespect the Flag; Disrespect Democracy

Much has been made of Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem. And yet, we forget that every school days thousands of public school students refuse to stand during the playing of the star spangled banner and/or the recitation of the pledge of allegiance. A few refuse out of principle, most out of apathy. In the second half of the twentieth century, showing disrespect for the flag became just another form of protest. It is not. Showing disrespect for the flag is not an attack on the actions of the American government but on the fundamental concepts of democracy and liberty that form the foundation of this nation. Colin Kaepernick may only be one man, but his public action will only serve to inspire thousands of young people to do the same. He, and other like him who show disdain for the flag and it’s anthem, have take chisels to the foundation of America.