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Beware the hand that awards you

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By Brad Bowman

Eminence Independent School District recently received an award along with three other school districts for their academic success by the Bluegrass Institute as ‘Diamonds in the Rough’. Any school district that is recognized for their work and success given the lack of state and federal funding should be congratulated.

EIS and Henry County both should be commended for what they have done in creating opportunity for the students in the county.

The award was presented to EIS in a press conference atmosphere with superintendents and principles from LaRue, Mason, and Graves County attending to receive their awards and share what they had done at their own schools to continue performing academically.

Once I met the people from the Bluegrass Institute and they handed me their card I felt something was amiss. On the back of their business cards it has three bullet points: free-market capitalism, smaller government and personal liberty.

I couldn’t help but look into them. I didn’t understand why a political group would be presenting an award at a school unless it somehow was in their interest to do so.

What I found was not only shocking, but terribly offensive.

Digging into the institute’s website, I found a video titled The Seven Pillars of Freedom.At the end of this video, they explain how people are like wild “pigs” that eat free corn the government lays out for them. Everyday when the “pigs” come back to feed the government puts up another piece of fence until the “pigs” are trapped and can’t get out. The pigs just continue eating the government’s free corn. The president narrates the video while they show a toy pig eating the corn. I was shocked. Did neither the superintendents nor anyone else look into who these people were giving them an award?

As I said, the districts have my respect for their performance, but were these educators so hypnotized by the award this organization dangled in their face they forgot to see what they stood for?

I wouldn’t send my children to a school where they are taught to think of people as pigs — especially those that need government assistance. Is this not morally wrong?

What if every student at Eminence Independent Schools with their MacbookPro decides to look at this institute’s website and sees the video where they compare people to wild pigs that eat free corn left by the government? What kind of message does that send to a student?

Is it not a double standard to keep religion out of school but allow political organizations to come into your child’s school and tell them poor people are like pigs living off of the government? Why didn’t this organization warn the students receiving free and reduced lunches that they would grow up to be fenced in pigs? It is equally ironic and insulting that on the back page of the study they gave everyone in attendance there was a donation form.

I don’t condone degrading people and there is no academic place for it. Historically, it doesn’t look good either. The institute boasts as supporters of sound government policy. I don’t see anything sound about a parable of pigs as policy.

An award from this organization is not only an insult to our hard working educators, but the children that learn from them. 

The video can be viewed at at: www.vimeo.com/35712456