Here is a scoop for a few folks out there: 6-year-olds do not have the reasoning ability or a sophisticated enough view of the world to be polical activits. However, they are, given their lack of sophistication, perfect subjects for political indoctrination and great pawns for media-savvy advocacy groups looking for a little airtime.
I saw this story on Fox News today about a group of 2nd graders manipulated by their activist public school teacher and the Rainforest Action Network to protext at Chase Manhattan in New York against logging and oil drilling. Apparently unable to get anyone with a high school education or a adult reasoning level to support their cause, the RAN turned to first and second graders:
"I celebrate the world, I celebrate the rainforest, and I care [about] the reality of what is happening with my students, which is only fair, and I let them make their own choices," said teacher Paula Healey.
Right. Six-year-olds are in the perfect position to formulate their own opinion on sophisticated issues. Even if the kids did have adult decision-making faculties, I would bet a gazillion dollars that Ms. Healey never brought any contrary opinions into the classroom, exposure to which is necesary for most of us to "make their own choices".
This is entirely inappropriate at this age in the Public Schools. In my mind, this is just another reason for school choice - if there are parents who disagree with me and consider it a good use of a first grader's time to carry a picket sign about issues s/he can't possibly comprehend at a NY bank, then they should be able to send their kids to a school that so specializes, but the rest of our kids can be left alone to learn trivial stuff like math and reading.