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Was The Boston Tea Party Terrorism? Texas Schools Are Teaching Just That (And More)

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In less than a month (December 16th), we will mark the 239th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. This well-known protest against "taxation without representation" is almost universally recognized as the moment that sparked the American Revolution.

In many Texas public schools, the Boston Tea Party is now being taught as an example of an act of terrorism.

Here's an excerpt from a Texas school system's World History / Social Studies lesson plan. It purports to be helping teachers become more efficient, but many people are upset with the content of the lesson and the lack of parental review. In this specific instance, teachers are instructed to read the story to their classes as if it were a news report that had just happened within the past hour:

News report: New Act of Terrorism

A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation's busiest port. Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities. It is believed that the terrorist attack was a response to the policies enacted by the occupying country's government. Even stronger policies are anticipated by the local citizens.

Later in the curriculum, teachers are instructed to reveal to students that the event described above the historic Boston Tea Party. Here's a screen capture from the actual lesson and what should be done after the story is read:

Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was Terrorism

Image: Screen capture CSCOPE's website

For the record, this lesson comes from a non-profit group called CSCOPE. They are an offshoot of an educational program that traces its roots back to 1965 when the state established media centers / Education Service Centers (ESCs) throughout each of the state's 20 school districts:

In 1965, the 59th Texas Legislature authorized the State Board of Education to establish media centers throughout the state. Two years later, the State Board of Education divided the state into 20 regions, assigning each media center to begin operations and serve in each region. In 1966-67, Title III of the U.S. Elementary and Secondary Education Act provided funding for start-up costs associated with establishing supplementary educational centers.

These "media centers" are reported to have received $25 million in funding last year.

Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was TerrorismJust a few years ago, 19 of the 20 centers formed a non-profit entity call the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC). And TESCCC owns the Cscope Curriculum Management System. CSCOPE defines itself on their website:

CSCOPE is the source for an all-in-one approach to a quality curriculum system. CSCOPE is a comprehensive, customizable, user-friendly curriculum management system built on the most current research-based practices in the field.

TheBlaze has reached out to CSCOPE in hopes of clarifying a few of the issues being raised by parents. As of this writing, no calls have been returned.

One of the major issues we expect to discuss with CSCOPE's directors is the complaint raised by several parents about the lack of transparency at the schools. Several parents from different locations in Texas have independently confirmed that parents are not permitted to access the lessons being taught in the classrooms. There is a "Parent's Portal" available online, but the content differs greatly from the lesson plans we have seen.

For example, the lesson on terrorism shown above is part of the curriculum that correlates to this section in the Parents Portal:

Texas Schools Teaching The Boston Tea Party Was Terrorism

Image: CSCOPE web site

Several parents and teachers have written to TheBlaze stating that they were denied access to the lessons being taught using CSCOPE materials. This apparent denial is apparently in direct conflict with Texas law.

From Texas State Constitution:

Sec. 26.006. ACCESS TO TEACHING MATERIALS. (a) A parent is entitled to:

(1) review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent's child;

If schools using CSCOPE are not allowing parents to review education materials, it would appear they are violating one of the state's constitutionally protected rights. Our initial investigation into CSCOPE has also uncovered some other questionable lesson plans. In order to properly vet these stories, TheBlaze is investigating further and will report back on Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.




Ok, I know its from the Blaze (Glenn Beck) but wow, I can't believe Texas schools get away with teaching that.  Thoughts?

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 5:37 PM
Replies (51-56):
by Libertarian on Nov. 21, 2012 at 9:15 AM

 Regardless of what Merriam Webster has to say on the matter, I do not consider the Boston Tea Party an act of terrorism, though I do believe the Patriot Act and NDAA would prevent something like that from happening today...which is pretty fucking scary.

We are owned by the government, and fear-mongering terms like "terrorism", laws passed against its broad and all-encompassing activities, and socio-political conditioning within the public school system aim to prevent us from ever again embracing the spirit of the revolutionaries who made this country in the first place. Hell, there are ladies on this site who would no doubt support the British over those greedy right wing "tea-bagger" colonists who didn't want to pay taxes. THINK about it...

"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

by Ruby Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM

OK, well, I'm going to stick with my opinion.  I do not find the evidence of a few websites compelling that teachers are refusing to answer questions about what is being taught.  Nor do I believe the kids can't bring home school work (done at school or at home) and show their parents, or talk with their parents about their lessons.

Finally, I don't find this lesson to be a bad one, and by the way if it was so secret how did they get the info?  

I say meh.  

Quoting tooptimistic:

Its just what a few webslites are saying.  Parents in some areas are not liking it all.   It seems some kids aren't being sent home with homework.

Quoting stacymomof2:

I honestly don't get it.  Are there really teachers refusing to say what they are teaching children?  Is there a homework monitor who stands between you and your kid while they do their homework?  Do the kids sign a confidentiality agreement as well, so they can't answer your questions?  

I'm gonna have to call bullshit.

Quoting LauraKW:

 I think we've stumbled into a conspiracy theory.

Quoting stacymomof2:

How are parents "not allowed to see their children's homework materials"?

Specific question.  How are parents not allowed to see their kids homework?  Can't they just look over their shoulder?

by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 3:39 PM

well, that's technically true.  and it incited the start of a war.  we americans have been terrorists since the beginning.  just ask the natives.  

by Bronze Member on Nov. 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM

In my mind terrorism implies potential bodily harm and/or death, I think the worst the Boston Tea Party could be called is vandalism.

by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Back then it was probably would have been considered a terrorist attack. Hell, if it happened now days it would be considered a terrorist attack. I never viewed it that way but whatever. I'm trying to figure out when people will figure out that history books are biased.

by on Nov. 21, 2012 at 9:21 PM

sad part is that they are teaching these kids this is an act of terrorism so that they are too scared to stand up for themselves when the government starts to overstep it's bounds.  

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