On April 23, distribution of the April issue of The Ventriloquist was forcefully shut down by Cedarville University president Dr. Thomas White and VP of Student Life Jonathan Wood.
As usual, distributors were set up outside the DMC to pass out copies to students leaving the university’s mandatory chapel service. Before chapel was dismissed, White and Wood walked around the distribution stations confiscating papers. Wood forcefully removed papers from the hands of at least one distributor.
When queried, White and Wood stated that The Ventriloquist required prior permission to distribute the issue. Per the student handbook (available online in PDF format here), the only activity that specifically requires prior permission is a “demonstration.” The handbook does not provide a definition of “demonstration,” but The Ventriloquist has distributed twelve issues in similar fashion over the course of the last four years with no warning or retribution from university staff.
As an alum, I am sad to hear about this and about the drift to the far right which seems to be gripping the school.
Also, I can relate to the students who write for the paper. When Paul Dixon became president of the college during my time there, he appointed the public relations department to oversee the paper’s content. In essence, this shut down the school paper because the newspaper staff resigned in protest.
It can now be revealed that I was co-editor of an underground paper published stealthily to replace the absent newspaper. We printed the paper secretly and distributed it literally in the middle of the night. After awhile, the papers started disappearing from where we left them (mostly in the student mail room) and we had to get creative in ways to spread them around. What goes around comes around I suppose.
When I first went to the “Ville” in 1975, men were not allowed to grow beards or mustaches and long hair for men was forbidden, women could not wear pants to class, and movies and dancing were prohibited. I got into some hot water for playing Stairway to Heaven at the new student talent night. Music preferences were monitored. Generally, I pushed the rules as far as I could. As a relatively new Christian, I didn’t get the legalism. In years following graduation, Christian rock and pop artists were featured in chapel and other kinds of moderation followed. Before coming to Grove City in 1994, I had an informal interview at Cedarville.
However, I received a pretty good education and I know there are fine people still teaching there. I am disappointed to think that the school could be returning to a stifling rigidity and legalism that marked the early days.
This is pretty silly.
Joan Landes is a “clinical mental health therapist” from Utah. She has a master’s degree in counseling, and as far as I can determine, no particular training in neuroscience.
In this video, you will learn that common core causes kids to use emotional words that will harm their brains, that the Columbine and Sandy Hook shootings were related to modern changes in children’s literature, that reading information is not necessary because children can use Google and get facts when they are teens, that Common Core emphasis on emotional words could create an “Arab Spring” (“just takes one trigger and you have a national mob”), and that Common Core will create a generation which is easily manipulated by those in power.
Landes correctly describes Piaget’s stages at one point but does not explain how a child who reasons concretely will be harmed by the Common Core language curriculum. She tries to describe the Asch conformity experiments but gets the results wrong. She then claims Common Core is trashing established psychological research but doesn’t say how. Some of what she laments about schools were true before Common Core came along (e.g., teachers have a great influence over children).
At one point, perhaps realizing how outrageous the claims were getting, the video host suggests that perhaps all of the ills outlined by Landes are not found in the language arts curriculum. Then another woman says that is perhaps true but since the Dept of Education secretary Duncan talks about social justice, the concerns are still warranted.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like a lot of the emphasis on teaching to the test one often sees in schools. However, as I understand Common Core standards, teachers have some flexibility in how they are implemented (I know that is true in my own child’s school). I also think there are some legitimate criticisms of Common Core standards but this video really misuses psychological language and research to generate fear and outrage.
I am not surprised that Landes is appearing with David Barton at anti-Common Core rally in Alabama in January.
The Institute on the Constitution did not succeed in getting their course on the Constitution in the Springboro (OH) school district but they may have found a way into a public school in Florida. According to posts on the IOTC Facebook page, director of IOTC and League of the South board member Michael Peroutka spoke to the American Club at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, FL. Watch:
According to the young man in the video, the club wants to work more with IOTC. Here is a bit more about the IOTC plans at Spanish River. I suspect there will be some folks in the area who will not be excited about the prospects of IOTC in the high school.
For more on IOTC click here.
Spanish River Community High School was in the news back in February when the school principal stopped a presentation by Bradlee Dean, founder of You Can Run But You Can’t Hide. The same club — the American Club — was involved in that Dean was invited by the students in that club to speak at the school. According to World Net Daily, Dean was eventually allowed to give his speech after a letter from Liberty Counsel claiming discrimination was delivered to the school. Jake MacAulay used to work for You Can Run but now works for Michael Peroutka.
For the last two weeks David Barton has been on the Andrew Wommack Show talking about Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. There have been so many things worthy of a post but I just don’t have time.
On the last broadcast dated 11/29 but online now, Barton continues his attacks on Christian colleges and their professors. Watch:
I asked the Barna Group and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities about Barton’s claim that half of students at Christian colleges leave Christianity. Both organizations denied knowing about any such research.
I did find this study summary which found that only 7% of Christian college students renounce their faith but that is all I can find. Steven Henderson’s study involved nearly 16,000 students and found that CCCU students, in particular, showed gains in religious commitment during their time at Christian college.
I wonder if anyone will ever hold him accountable on these claims. Mr. Barton, if you have a source, could you please enlighten us? If we know the source, we can stop assuming you are making it up and then we can evaluate how credible or accurate it is.