It seems a group of eight year olds in Virginia took a current events theme for a school event back in October and it has caused a dramatic uptick in the cacophony of voices in certain heads.
A song written and performed by area third graders has gone viral and has conservative bloggers nationwide outraged. The song, performed by Kid Pan Alley at Woodbrook Elementary School, is called "Part of the 99" and references the Occupy Movement. Conservative blogs are buzzing, discussing what they call "an indoctrinating sing-along" with an Occupy Message. In one blog, Weasel Zippers, writes "to have third graders sing about class warfare and rail against the one percent is evil and a violation of the trust parents put in them [schools]."First of all, if you're going to call yourself "Weasel Zippers" you can't really expect to be taken seriously and second, unless living in your parents basement, working part time as a pizza delivery person and calling yourself "Weasel Zippers" suddenly qualifies as being in the one percent, you probably should reexamine your positions vs-a-vs income equality in this country.
Students write the songs and school officials are standing by the lyrics."They don't censor what the kids write. They don't shape what the kids write. It all comes out of the kids own mouths and the kids own words," said Albemarle County School Board Chair, Steve Koleszar.Now, speaking as educational technicians ourselves we really have to say we understand some of Mr. Zippers' concern here. It has long been a fundamental precept in the more cognitively dissonant pedagogies that if you teach students to think, you can no longer control what they think about, hence the need to transmit to them only certain pre-approved curricular dogma such as the literal truth of the bible, philosophical aphorisms like might makes right, and social lessons such as everyone different from you is bad.
"Does this also include religious content of lyrics? Would it include profanity? Does the school at any point say this content is inappropriate for an eight-year-old?," questions Jefferson Area Tea Party Chair, Carole Thorpe.Well, lord knows kids that age like nothing better than to talk about farts and boogers, but it has been our experience that when you tell them adults will be listening they tend to clean up their act a little, at least until they get to high school.
"Just as I wouldn't promote a Tea Party song in a third grade class, I think the same is true for any song of political ideology." says Thorpe.Hmm...You know Ms. Thorpe, you might want to rethink that. We've seen the way third graders spell, and we're thinking if your group and a bunch of eight year olds got together they just might be able to help you out.