Ohio High School Accused of Promoting Political Agenda in Classroom

Published February 03, 2010

| FoxNews.com

An Ohio high school teacher's giving students job applications for a Democratic organization that included suggested radical reading material has raising concerns of indoctrination in the classroom.

The government teacher at Perry High School in Massillon, Ohio, handed out forms recruiting students to intern for Organizing for America, a grassroots organization with direct ties to the Democratic National Committee and the successor organization for Obama for America.

Included on the forms was a suggested reading list that included Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and Organizing for America's mission to build on the "movement that elected President Obama by empowering students across the country to help us bring about our agenda of change."

No Republican equivalent was offered to the students, according to Perry schools' Superintendent John Richard.

In an interview with FoxNews.com on Wednesday, Richard acknowledged that distribution of the forms violated school policy and said they were never submitted to school administrators for approval, but the teacher remains on the job.

"We don't take sides politically, nor should we, and we certainly would not support students being indoctrinated politically or religiously or anything along those lines," he said.

Richard said the social studies teacher, whom he did not name, had no intent of proselytizing his students and was "given the material by another person." Richard said he "addressed" the issue with the teacher, though he declined to say what disciplinary action, if any, had been taken.

"The teacher should have looked through this material," Richard said.

Reaction to the forms, first posted on the conservative blog site, Atlas Shrugs, has sparked national outrage, particularly in the blogosphere. Some bloggers called it a "sick intrusion" and said it was nothing more than an attempt to indoctrinate students, while another, Elliott Cook, wrote: "This is all voluntary!!! No one is forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to do."   

One blogger claiming to be the parent of a girl in the class, wrote that students were given no option of signing up for a Republican internship. 

"The only handout was this one," blogger Gracenearing wrote. "My daughter even asked if there was anything else."

The school also has been bombarded with e-mails calling for Richard to be fired, along with Perry High School principal Don Gregoire.

"I've been told to go apply in Cuba for a job," Richard said, adding that angry e-mailers have labeled him a communist.

In a Feb. 1, 2010, letter obtained by FoxNews.com, Gregoire apologized to parents, saying the incident was "not acceptable."

"We apologize that your son or daughter was given this information without approval," Gregoire wrote. "This error in following Board Policy has been addressed and has been clearly communicated to staff."

Click here to read the letter.  

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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/03/ohio-high-school-accused-promoting-political-agenda-classroom