If you are looking for signs of "creeping fascism' in the United States, you need look no further than the response to the Opt Out movement from school authorities. We see Intimidation, bribery, abuse of children, authoritarian behavior on a grand scale- all directed at children, families, and teachers who decide to let their conscience dictate their actions on one of the most important issues of the day. Children who Opt Out of Tests have been subject to a wide variety of punishments including "sit and stare" policies; exclusions from arts programs, teams and school trips. ; Worse, yet some have been denied mandated services, and have been lectured and threatened without their parents present to get them to change their minds., Teachers who support the Opt Out movement have been warned not to communicate their viewpoint to students and parents under threat of suspension or termination; principals with similar views have been told that high Opt Outs could affect their schools funding .
This behavior is not confined to any one state or school district. We see it everywhere. From New York, to Florida, to New Mexico, Colorado and California. It not only reflects poorly on dominant education policy, it provides a window into how we as a nation treat children and how we deal with dissentinng voices in our communities and institutions.