Indoctrination Story // Christine Rousselle // 11.29.2011

Why I can tell you all about gay sex, but I can’t define the word “predicate.”

I have a confession to make: I have no idea what a predicate is.

My excuse for this fact is that I am a graduate of Scarborough High School, the public high school of Scarborough, Maine. The English department there (save Erin Blain, Jon York, and Gerry Hebert) is notoriously awful. It has gotten to the point where it is being ridiculed on Facebook. The Facebook group “You Know Your From Scarborough If…” includes the line, “If you can make it through Scarborough High School and still not know how to properly use ‘you’re.’”

My freshman year of high school I had the highest level of quality teachers during my time at SHS. Sophomore year, however, the educational quality rapidly deteriorated. I was placed in an English class titled Honors Advanced, a class of students who had been identified as “gifted and talented” in previous grades. This was a class taught by Bruce Spang, the current Poet Laureate of the City of Portland, and the author of a chapbook of poems titled The Knot. A review of the book online (which also describes my English class) begins:  “Bruce Spang is gay. It shouldn’t matter, but it does. It matters because he wants you to know, and he goes to great pains to spell it out for you more than once.”

The first day of class, Mr. Spang assigned us to fill out an info sheet, asking us about our favorite books, movies, etc. I had just finished Godless: The Church of Liberalism, by Ann Coulter, and I wrote that book down as my favorite book. I could tell from the crinkling of his eyes that I had made the wrong choice. I knew I was in trouble in this class when Mr. Spang first assigned vocabulary words. I used the word “agnostic” in the sentence, “Atheists do not believe in a higher power, but agnostics are unsure of the existence of one.” When I got the assignment back, the first part of the sentence was circled, crossed out and points were deducted. His comment was, “Yes they do.” I’m sorry, what?

Sophomore English has the distinction of being the first class of mine to have a teacher use the word “f–k,” openly push propaganda on his students, and inform his students that the only reason for their intelligence was due to their family’s wealth. It was also the first class where I ever received a letter from a teacher telling me that I was not only a poor writer, but also naïve due to my pro-life views (thankfully, this remains the only class where that has happened).

The letter criticizing both my writing and my beliefs was the single most offensive thing that has ever happened to me in my academic career. My teacher found it appropriate and acceptable to type out a single-spaced, reduced-margin, ten-point-font letter attacking my writing skills (I’m currently the assistant news editor of my campus paper as well as a writer on TheCollegeConservative) and saying that I was wrong for being pro-life. I was told I was “naïve” for thinking that way, and that he had known “several women who have had abortions” who are all doing just fine. The assignment that prompted this letter was to write a letter similar to Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letters from Birmingham Jail. I made the fatal error of writing from the point of view of a pro-lifer—whoops! Though my parents complained to the administration, it did absolutely nothing to discipline him for attacking a student on a personal level.

Mr. Spang went out of his way to make his students feel uncomfortable, and definitely not in one of those new-age “make your students go beyond their boundaries” uncomfortable. He kept copies of his poetry books on his whiteboard in class; one of his poems was noteworthy for comparing the springing up of flowers to erect penises. He often prattled on in class about how his upbringing was “so different” from ours and how troubled his life was due to his sexuality (never mind that the man grew up in suburban Illinois, went to DePauw University, and was married with children for a while). Despite numerous complaints from the majority of my classmate’s parents, he was able to continue teaching us completely uncensored.

Perhaps the most troubling fact was that Mr. Spang deviated from the set curriculum of books and instead had us read things that pushed his agenda. One book was the paragon literary excellence that is Black Elk Speaks. Its academic legitimacy and the veracity of the account are both questionable, yet it was presented as gospel truth in my class. He also preached that global warming was fact, using the excuse, “Look outside!” on an unseasonably warm day in October (strangely, when it snowed extremely early that year, my interjection of “Look outside!” was not acceptable), and he assured us that none of us had ever experienced any hardship due to our “privileged” upbringing in suburban Maine.

Mr. Spang’s English class is evidence that educational biases have gone beyond the higher-education level and have begun to permeate into lower grades. The American public school has transformed itself from a place of learning into a place of indoctrination. Teachers do not try to keep their own personal biases a secret any longer. I had numerous teachers display Obama campaign paraphernalia during the 2008 election, and one teacher even had a life-size cut out of the president in his classroom after his election. I watched the Obama inauguration with three of my teachers after a midterm exam. One of my teachers began tearing up during it.

I’m especially worried for the next generation of students at Scarborough High. My little brother is a junior there, and he’s currently doing a paper about Bartolomeo Vanzetti (of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial) implying he was innocent. He has been so brainwashed by his classes that he would not even consider any information that suggested they were guilty. One of his friends asked me, horrified, why I thought they were guilty when they were “so clearly completely innocent.” The young children of Scarborough, Maine are being taught to accept everything that is spoon-fed to them in school, and they are discouraged from questioning anything. This worries me.

It’s only fitting to say that my standardized test scores from sophomore year showed a marked decrease in English language and reading skills. This did not surprise me at all. I was far too busy being indoctrinated into acceptance of global warming, homosexuality, and multiculturalism to learn silly things like English grammar.

Christine Rousselle // Providence College // @Crousselle



  1. Completely agree, while I was never put in any situation resembling this, I know plenty of people around my area that attended a LAUSD school who were also spoon-fed nonesense along these lines.

    It really boggles my mind to think the Bible and God were removed from public schools because of the obvious fact that public funds cannot go toward advancing an ideal that is not generally shared, and yet here we are having to sit and take all this garbage being spoken of as if it were an absolute.

    Glad I found this site, I just might stay :)

  2. At least you were able to stick it out. So glad your psyche is still intact after such an assault. You go, girl!

  3. Christine…..I second what Koala said….”you go girl!”
    I am also so glad I found you all. Stay in the fight and try and educate as many of your generation as you can. We don’t have much time. I would also like to say….
    I am sorry we “woke up” at such a late stage of the destruction of our country.
    God Bless you

  4. ps….I wish you all would join us on Freedom Connector. I am in a groupl called 100 Million Patriots Standing. We all could use your inpute and your friends on The College Conservative.

  5. patriot_legion says:

    I found your story amusing and refreshing. Refreshing because you possess a common quality in conservatives (disregarding the various minor flaws we all possess and must deal with).
    That quality is resilience.
    Don’t surrender to the hostility and thought-control.
    ~ from an old conservative.

  6. Gabriella Hoffman says:

    This is horrifying, but, at the same time, enlightening. Cultural Marxism is to blame for such awful teaching and similar propaganda. Kudos for writing about this, girl!

  7. If a teacher’s personal and political preferences are to be left at the door, your must do the same. Your teacher had no right to say that your opinion was “wrong” – that is completely unacceptable and unfair to your personal preferences, to which you are perfectly entitled. Similarly, however, you can’t say that your teacher’s outward support of a presidential candidate or perhaps marriage equality is any different than your preference for pro-life in papers and comments made in class. Either we can all express opinions, or we must all keep them to ourselves. This choice must be a definitive one.

    Furthermore, your use of the Sacco and Vanzetti case proves your point in a very round about way: if you have ever studied the case extensively, you would know that despite
    multiple reviews of the case have agreed that the much of the evidence was either lacking or fabricated. Despite international outcry at the time, many Bostonians agreed with Judge Thayer’s decision to proceed with the executions. So, in fact, your hope for individuals to question history is being fulfilled by your brother’s class and its questioning of a ruling that was unhesitatingly accepted by the majority of the city’s residents at that time.

    In conclusion, I personally am for marriage equality and gay rights, and I add to your point that I don’t believe that ANY agenda should be pushed in our public schools. Still, many individuals who oppose my views demand that I stop “waving the gay flag” – I’ve never done so unless provoked, so I ask that you stop waving your own.

  8. Christine Rousselle says:

    @HS-The assignment was to write a letter from the point of view of a protester who had been arrested for a cause they believed in. The letter did not have to personally reflect your own views, it was just a simple essay assignment. (an assignment you absolutely had to have an opinion on.) Several other students wrote from the point of view of pro-life protesters, but only my letter triggered a response back.
    During the campaign, teachers were told that if they displayed items from one candidate, they had to also display items from the other side. All of the McCain items disappeared the day after the election, and more Obama items appeared. I don’t recall seeing a single piece of pro-George Bush material displayed in a classroom in all of my academic career. (Considering GWB was president for eight years of my education, this is quite a feat.)

    My brother’s class isn’t “questioning” history at all. His teacher and textbook both say that Sacco and Vanzetti were wrongfully executed. The textbook used in American History at SHS has a liberal slant and many factual errors. Recent letters uncovered reveal that they are most certainly guilty, and that their alibis were fabricated. Advanced forensic analysis of the guns and bullets found at the scene have proved that they match the gun found on Nicola Sacco, which is quite literally a smoking gun piece of evidence.

    The problem with Mr. Spang wasn’t his homosexuality; I could care less as to what he does outside of school in the privacy of his own home. His sexual life is not relevant to an English class full of fifteen and sixteen year old students. I had a problem with the explicit nature of the poetry he read us, as well as his deviations from a standard curriculum to push an agenda. He insulted my class several times (not written about in this post) and was generally a very ineffective and rude teacher. The class was not an English course. It was 61 minutes of his personal agenda each day.

  9. @HS As far as teachers are concerned there is a difference that you are overlooking. Students have the right to be prejudicial in a class room because they are not an authority figure. When I speak up in a class as a student, other students can either agree or disagree. When my teacher says something clearly biased and doesn’t make an attempt to hit both sides of the argument the kids in my class take what he is saying as fact and most do not take it on themselves to read up on what the teacher in question is saying. In an academic setting where the emphasis is on viewing issues intelligently and without bias, the onus is on the teacher not the student to ensure that it is a neutral conversation because he or she has the power to influence young minds.

  10. @HS…back to the original point of the article…An English teacher’s job is to do just that, teach English, not to have or express a personal opinion about any of the personal beliefs the students share in class. If the assignment, for whatever reason, included sharing a personal, perhaps even controversial, opinion, the primary end goal of the assignment is still to improve the student’s use of the English language, particularly in writing. That’s it. Having had the experience of learning more about English from my foreign language classes than from any English class in HS, I can relate to the frustration of dealing with English teachers who think that their primary goal is to ferret out the deeper meaning in everything around them, rather than to just teach English. This is particularly sad in an era when so many college students can’t even compose coherent sentences.

  11. Scott Kenworthy says:

    @Mark… perfectly put – thank you…
    @Christine… I enjoyed your article. My nephew a number of years ago in HS had a writing assignment. He discussed his perspective with his father who teaches HS. My conservative brother counseled him to not take a conservative perspective he was pursuing because he was afraid the teacher would mark him down not based on the quality of argument but because of his opposite position. He suggested a topic that was not controversial. He explained It was more important for his son to maintain a top grade to get into a good college than to try to prove a point. Tis a sad commentary on our government monopolized education.
    btw… I am surprised by your throw away last comment “learn silly things like English grammar.” I would have thought you would have learnt and mastered that before going to HS.

  12. David Markson says:

    You are an ignorant, sad, shitty human.

  13. @David Markson Let me tell you something about ignorant, sad , shitty humans, David. They are these liberals that slither their way into these forums of free speech and have literally nothing to say. Who do you think you are to come in here and name call. You have no argument and this is why you resort to personal attacks on people you don’t even know. I hate to get in the mud and start slinging with you lefties but sometimes I just can’t ignore it. So David here is my challenge to you, you ignorant, uneducated liberal lemming, read a damn book and get an argument and then come back and debate me on anything you like. You can find me here I am a contributor. Until then stop wasting the space on the blog and everyone’s time with your pointless chatter.

  14. Very accurate account of Bruce Spang’s English class. While I did not get into any conflict with him (The only thing I fought him on was when I had to correct him when he was teaching incorrect information about the English language, which happened more often than you would expect in a high school English class…), I did have an incident with an AP US History teacher, George Jones. I was the only conservative student in the class, and when the 2008 election was underway, there were occasional digressions from class material to discuss the election. Many of my liberal classmates made very aggressive remarks regarding the alleged incompetence of the entire Republican party. I made one comment about “whiney liberals” that, in context, was honestly more of a joke than a serious comment. He asked to speak to me after class the next day because of the comment I had made in class. When I spoke with him after class, e was satisfied, even relieved, by my explanation that the comment was not meant to be taken too seriously, and that I’m not as far right leaning as Bill O’Reilly or Ann Coulter. While this is true, I couldn’t help but wonder: what if it wasn’t true? Why is it ok for students to be extremely liberal, but not extremely conservative? He didn’t speak to any other students for making much harsher comments against the Republican party. Just another example of biases in secondary education.

  15. I’m glad to learn that you were able to endure, even to grow in such a negative environment. I’m saddened to learn that your brother hasn’t had the independent spirit that you have. Perhaps he will yet be enlightened.

    I will add that your experience is not new. Just more intense. 40 years ago I survived a very liberal high school as well. Everything was slanted against a Christian/Conservative way of looking at the world.

    I hope that you and your friends will be used to awaken people to the propaganda publishing house that “public” education is.

  16. So… I’m a liberal, and assuming your article isn’t too exaggerated, I must say I agree in that your teacher was excessive in his politicizing. Props for calling it out, because it sounds like he wasn’t presenting -facts- in regards to climate change, or -facts- to refute claims that children raised by gay parents have emotional problems, or any statistics in support of other “liberal” viewpoints. (Black Elk Speaks is not “fact”, necessarily.)

    You’re right, according to your account, he was soapboxing in an inappropriate manner, especially in regards to promoting his own poetry of a sexual nature. Heck, if it was my little sister in that class, I’d be raising hell myself.

    I will say that I don’t disagree with him pointing out that your class may or may not have been pretty privileged – to me, it all depends on the manner in which privilege is called out, and whether or not it was done respectfully or in an over-generalizing manner. I can’t make that call without actually being there or you giving more details on how it was done.

  17. Wow. My daughter, in a NYS high school, is going through a similar English class right now. Her teacher assigned a research paper on controversial topics, then presented the class with a list of about 30 to choose from. The point was to train them to present both sides of an argument and not limit themselves to their own opinion. She then proceeded to read the list of topics, item by item expounding her very liberal viewpoint, ridiculing students who might disagree, and allowing other students to ridicule dissenters, as well.

    Ironically, she then told the class that she fears for her infant son because one day he will be in high school and she doesn’t want some teacher to indoctrinate him against her beliefs.

  18. Marta Soto says:

    This is typical of public education. My opinion is that parents must take a stronger stand. Remove your children from class, period. And take this twisted individual through some legal process. I know they are very protected but make a huge public deal and rock the boat! Enough putting up with these assaults. We have become too “tolerant” in this country.

  19. Kerry the Conservative says:

    I have been through this kind of crap too. I would strongly suggest two small books for conservatives who have to endure this utter sewage comming from so called “teachers”… the first one is called “Confrontational Politics” and the second is “Rules for Radicals” by Alinsky – I suggest that one because we MUST know the tactics of the enemy. I simply would tell these blowhards that I was just as entitled to my opinion as they were and if they tried to hold my grade hostage because I didn’t agree with them, I would go above their heads. I never had to because they knew I was serious.

    Wondering if you guys have legal counsel to help the kids who are being subjected to this. You wouldn’t believe the garbage they are doing in WA state… If I had kids – I would home school them for sure!!!

  20. Your writing skills are great. Did you know that Louisa May Alcott submitted a story to be published, and was told, “Stick to your teaching, Ms. Alcott, because you can’t write.” Hmmm…I would assume he changed his tune after Little Women.

  21. Your article says nothing about the education system, and especially of English classes — you are merely ranting about one teacher who you had in your sophomore year in high school who happened to have different views than you. Yes, he might have been a little bit more extreme than other liberals I know, but in all honesty he was correct in some points he made.

    Please note that agnostics are not unsure of a higher being. Agnostics BELIEVE in a higher being but this higher being is not one that is so specific, as Jesus Christ might be one for Christians. Also note that when your teacher said that you kids were only as intelligent as you are now (and I’m sure he meant “educated” and not just “intelligent”) he is indeed correct. If not for your parents wealth, or for any wealth for that matter, you would not have been able to receive the education that you got. Some kids, even in the United States, are not as fortunate as others; take children going to school in a poor urban city versus those in a more wealthy suburban town. Those students in a poorer urban school are not going to be able to receive the same education in the sense that they might be able to have access to the same technology as the students in the suburbs, thus not being able to receive the same knowledge to an extent. So when your teacher made that comment about your parent’s wealth being a contributing factor to your level of intelligence, he is, in a way, very correct.

    And you stated in your article that your teacher had made a comment about the students not experiencing any real hardships because you had grown up in a suburban environment. This is not even a question. You HAVEN’T experienced any real hardships. You might not even have had to experience doing the bulk of the chores around the house, in addition to your studies, because your parents are both at work trying to earn a living at a low-pay blue collar job for the family to GET BY because they practically had to build their lives in America from scratch because they were immigrants.

    Also, at the end of your article you stated that your learning of homosexuality and multiculturalism was like a bad thing. FYI: This is America. You don’t need a good English class to learn good English; go read a book. Books, you might find, are much more enlightening and might teach you a thing or two about the world (and real hardships) and they might even open up your mind a little more. Highly recommended.

  22. What about Elizabeth Spaulding?

  23. crousselle says:

    @Shelby- AH. Huge oversight on my part. I forgot she was at the high school. She’s a gem.

  24. I think several comments came from people who somehow forgot your first sentence by the time they got to the last sentence. The point isn’t that the teacher is wrong in his thinking or is expressing political opinions. The point is that an English class is not the place to express those opinions. If this were a global studies class and the teacher had strong opinions on global issues it might be a perfectly valid attempt to get students to dig deep and improve their debate skills or inform their opinions. If an English teacher expresses a deep bias for all things Mehlville but no things Faulkner in English class than good on them. But an English class should have nothing to do with the quality of the idea, it has everything to do with the quality of the EXPRESSION of the idea. And if class time is being taken up with a teacher expressing non-English related opinions of any political sort at the expense of learning parts of speech, then there is a problem. Unfortunately, some teachers have gotten clever and give writing assignments specifically designed to force students into a position like, “Write a paper describing the horror of a globally warmed universe” or, “Write a fictional account of a totalitarian government that has complete control over what you do with your body. Compare this the current conservative agenda.” English class is about using the language to perfectly convey an idea, not to perfectly reflect the ideas of the instructor.

  25. As the editor of a student paper, I believe you have the responsibility to look up the word “predicate” yourself. The fact that you don’t know it’s meaning speaks more of your own lack of initiative than it does of your teachers lack of instruction.

  26. Great article! As far as indoctrinating youth via our school system goes, you might find Ayn Rand’s essay, “The Comprachicos” interesting. It’s in her book titled, “The Return of the Primitive.” She makes a very good case that our school system is systematically destroying a child’s ability to think and act for themselves (or at all). In the context of her article, “comprachico” has been adopted as pejorative term used for individuals and entities who manipulate the minds and attitudes of children in a way that will permanently distort their beliefs or worldview.

  27. @Peg, you’re suggesting that she shouldn’t bother looking for English instruction in an English class?

  28. I understand exactly what you’re saying. When the time comes, I’m sending my child (or children) to a private school, or just homeschooling them. There was a sophomore at my high school who thought the Nazis were Hitler’s enemies. I’m just grateful I already graduated.

  29. Hello, I am a very liberal person, but I can openly say the mans’s tactics were unjustified. However, in this article you do nothing to show his side of the story, with no references by other teachers, or anything possibly from him himself. I’m not bashing your story, I completely agree the way he taught was wrong, but please also coincide; that even though we all have differences it is important to find a balance and get along. I mean no offence to you personally, but when I look though the comments on this article I feel very threatened by all the hatred against other people they don’t even know because of their beliefs. I can respect the fact that you are pro life, just as I would hope you could respect that I am pro choice. I think one thing that we could all take from this article is that judgment of other’s stances on things is wrong, and has no place in the classroom, just as the stances themselves should not be taught. If we are to make this world a better place it is going to have to take everyone’s efforts, and standing together.

  30. Collin Driscoll says:

    Sounds very similar to my experiences in college as a History Major. I came to discover that they don’t want people to question, because they never bothered to. This became readily apparent when I would challenge their statements and grown adults with Ph.D.’s had no response. They could not defend to a student they were responsible for educating why certain things were or why they believed what they believe.

  31. Just A Guy says:

    If you blame your lack of knowledge about something on your school being bad and you think that is indeed a legitimate excuse, that means you forfeit all right to blame poor inner city students for failing intellectually if their schools are bad. They are no longer culpable for this. Like you say, they have an excuse. It’s the system’s fault.

    If you’re going to use one high school as proof of liberal bias in education, than any single example of conservative bias serves to prove a point about all conservatives. Your logic accepts taking the part for the whole. This means you’re now wedded to every argument that says because one conservative had radical views and tried to kill somebody all conservatives have radical views and want to kill people. (And please don’t respond by saying that you’ve seen lots of high schools like that, this is again terrible statistics/social science and still mistakes taking the part, albeit a bigger part, for the whole.)

    If you don’t want to have to permanently accept the kinds of fallacious arguments you make in this essay, then presumably the only argument you are making is that you had one bad professor in one high school. That sucks. Don’t try to make this a liberal/conservative thing. You equate being taught liberal ideas to the education system being flawed. If being taught not to question things is the problem, then the fact that what they’re being taught has a liberal bias is irrelevant. Even if it had no bias your critique should still hold. What you really mean to do is critique the banking model of education. Go read some Freire and take an introductory level logic course and try again.

    Also, for the sake of good political discourse, in the future try to realize that the argumentative types you are using in this essay are flawed and that had these sorts of arguments been used against a conservative viewpoint you would have been disgusted. Think harder about the logic you’re employing and how you would react if the “liberals” used it.

  32. @Peg, I think you are completely missing the point of this article. For the record Bruce Spang is a horrendous excuse for a teacher, and having endured the Scarborough School system I can sympathize. One of the points I think she was trying to make (and correct me if I’m wrong Christine) is that Bruce Spang is only one of the many incompetent teachers that unfortunately will imprint a not just wrong but bias way of thinking onto future generations.
    According to the 2000 NAEP assessments, only 32 percent of 4th graders are proficient in reading, while a dismal 26 percent are proficient in mathematics, 29 percent in science, and sadly 18 percent in history. Now while these statistics may not pertain to high school students, they do pertain to our failing education system, and Scarborough High School is no exception. Personal views and experiences aside, what could be a fantastic educational institution due to its higher income tax base instead is only what I could describe as akin to a cloning facility with teachers imposing their own views on students as Christine mentioned in the case of the 2008 election.
    Don’t get me wrong, I fully support both teachers’, and student’s rights to freedom expression, and personally could care less if Steve Truncellito proudly displays a cardboard cutout of Obama. But the second a teacher says to the class that Obama, Bush, Clinton or any other president, is right or wrong, then comes the problem. Teachers are not judges, but mentors, and should do nothing more than to place the student on the path that they alone must choose to walk. It is because of the lack of this ideal that our education system is failing, and will continue to fail unless a major adjustment of the way we teach future generations is made.

  33. guyin11222 says:

    To say that a “Liberal Teacher\Education” is to blame for your lack of knowledge sounds like you are trying to duck your own personal responsibility. Did you credit your teachers for passing AP Calc? Would you have blamed them if you failed? If you felt that your teachers were failing you why didn’t take the initiative to do better? There was nothing saying you couldn’t pick up a grammar book and learn what you feel you missed out on.

    Considering that you now have at least one semester under your belt you have had opportunities to learn what you might have missed out on. Your school has tutoring and writing labs available for people such as yourself. There is no reason that you couldn’t have learned this by now if you’d actually cared. You might want to consider that your time would be better spent in the library learning instead of planning Communist dinners with free wings.

    Just a suggestion.

  34. @guy-Communist dinners huh? First of all I think the author has proven herself in the realm of intelligence. You are straying from the point here. What these “teachers” are being blames for is pushing their own agenda in a class where it is in no way related. Why would it be the students fault they didn’t learn if the “teacher” spent the whole time in English class railing on about their own political beliefs and try to sway young impressionable minds. I think when Reagan said government is the problem not the solution, he had public education in mind. As for the free wings, sounds fun. I’ll chill with some Communists if there are free wings involved. All we need then is a good hockey game.

    -Mark Mayberry

  35. Awww, that’s so cute. A young girl talking about the education system with little experience actually working in the education world. Your info above is solely based on your experience from your perspective with your own biases. Research can help to inform you a bit more about the broken eduction system. Want to learn something besides speaking based on your very conservative, very biased view? Read “Savage Inequalities” by Johnathon Kozol. Ok that’s it. Your article only deserves 20 seconds of my life. Thank you.

  36. @DH- I find it funny that you mention bias right before you mention Kozol. You Kozol, the bleeding heart Communist who draws most of his examples for the Chinese and Cuban school systems. Haha if this article on deserved your twenty seconds, your response is obviously way over time for me.


  37. crousselle says:

    The “Communism Dinner Party” was to educate my fellow students here at Providence College about the horrors of communism via a guest speaker. The wings were a motivating factor to get students to attend the event. (I’m in college. People like free food.) I’ve learned a lot about writing after joining the newspaper staff in school, and definitely have improved as a writer, but I was far behind many of my peers when I first entered. That’s not good.

  38. Just A Guy says:

    Christine, since you’re clearly still reading the comments on this bad boy. Mind responding to my comment. I actually think political discussions can be productive. I don’t just like sniping at people from my high horse over here. I’d like to see if I’m missing some perspective up here.

  39. guyin11222 says:


    I disagree that liberal teachers are at fault in this. At the end of the day you are the only one who can be faulted for what you did or did not learn. I doubt things have changed that much since 2002 and most of use who graduated at that time knew these things you blame liberals for failing to teach you now. Oddly some of those very same teachers being there now as when I went there. Blaming a teachers politics for you doing poorly is a fairly sorry excuse and I suspect that paper you turned in was sub-par and didn’t meet the criteria of the assignment.

  40. @guyin11222 Interesting point about the same teachers being there for a long time. Yes it is true that many of the same teachers still teach at Scarborough High School since your time there in ~2002 However I fail to see why this changes the validity of Christine’s argument. All this proves is a failure in the system to check incompetent teachers. You say that “at the end of the day you are the only one who can be faulted for what you did or did not learn.” I hate to break it to you but not all of us are Warren Buffets who have the psychological aptitude to do and learn anything we wish. If your point about self education was truly correct college would instead be called “independent study”

  41. I have hope for the future, as long as there are Christines in it.
    And for the English instructors who proselytize socialist claptrap, they should be bound to a chair and forced to learn Ithkuil for a fortnight.

  42. Christine Rousselle is as cute as a bucket of buttons.

  43. Marilyn Bridges says:

    @ Christine- What a breath of fresh air you are! Keep up your excellent work. There is hope for America yet!
    You are absolutely correct that this type of teaching is inappropriate, ineffective at producing the intended results, and just plain wrong. Expressing opinions carefully is appropriate for teachers, but not at the expense of crowding out the expected subject matter, and not to the denigration of the students.
    @ David, DH, Just a guy, guyin11222, Peg, et al-
    No one appreciates the name-calling and put-downs. Your attitudes are what is wrong with America. You need to go back and learn the very first lessons about freedom that you obviously missed: that, while you have the right to say what you will, others have just as much right NOT to have to listen to it. In other words, your right to hit me in the nose STOPS just BEFORE you actually connect with it.
    Christine is referring to poor teaching, which is entirely separate from the opinions being foisted upon the students in the name of education. MEB

  44. Christine,

    You’re an excellent writer. Stay strong.

  45. @JustAGuy: But “liberals” DO use these sorts of arguments and fallacies, EVERY DAY. And if you are arguing that they don’t, you’re not paying attention. (Just look at the treatment GWB received for eight years, whether you believe it was right or wrong.) For example, a typical article in the New York Times discussing this very topic (only in reverse, because liberal bias in the classroom is not something the NYT would report on) would probably quote (at most) 3 people, all from the same neighborhood. These three anecdotes would then be used as “proof” that of insidious conservative indoctrination in the classroom. So frankly, this young lady has the same level of skill and journalistic integrity as any reporter or editor at the New York Times.

    @Peg: Sixty years ago, ALL classrooms had the same technologies in them: books, blackboards, and teachers who were actually expected to teach the subjects they were supposed to be teaching. So does your argument at that point in US history hold true? We consistently hear that test scores today for math and science, as well as literacy rates for high-school graduates, are all decreasing in that time. What’s changed so that today’s students are coming out of high school less well-educated than their peers of 60 years ago? Just the technology?

  46. @Peg, really? You may want to correct Wiki on your personal defs. Though I don’t find wiki 100% accurate, my understanding from previous research landed squarely in theirs. Can yours? “Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable.[1][2] Agnosticism can be defined in various ways, and is sometimes used to indicate doubt or a skeptical approach to questions. In some senses, agnosticism is a stance about the difference between belief and knowledge, rather than about any specific claim or belief. In the popular sense, an agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves there is a God, whereas an atheist disbelieves there is a God”

  47. crousselle says:

    @Judy, my teacher circled the part where I said “atheists do not believe in a higher power” and wrote down “yes they do,” taking off points. Not the agnostic part.

  48. The constant liberal abuse you must withstand seems to have made you stronger. Can you imagine how many times Ann Coulter has experienced such assaults?

    Here’s my story about teachers abusing kids:

    My daughter was 13 when Reagan deployed Pershing missiles in Europe in 1983. She – like you, a high achiever student — wrote an essay supporting Reagan’s decision. Her teacher berated her for that, in front of the class. Of course, she was devastated (she’s always been very shy). I wrote complaint letters, but no action was taken against the teacher.

    My point is that liberals have controlled our education system for a very long time.

    Here’s some relevant info you may not be aware of:

    The “2000 Profile of College Bound Seniors,” a report from the College Board which administers the SAT, tracked what majors 10,280 Michigan high school students chose in college. The highest SAT scorers shunned education majors, the lowest scorers chose education majors. Of the 6 percent of students who selected education as a major, their average math score was 35 points below the state average and 26 points below in verbal scores. Would-be teacher majors tied with “home economics” majors.

    I wish you luck.

  49. Christine, you remind me of the one reason I am glad we did not have children. I would have been ‘talking’ with the school administration and your alleged teacher on a weekly, if not daily basis. I would have been supporting you to constantly challenge that dim-bulb in a researched and documented manner.
    Shame on your parents for not doing more and double shame that they have permitted your brother to grow up in a manner that he could even possibly believe that S&V were not as guilty as sin. Be Strong, Grow Strong… I know I will see more of your work for many years to come.

  50. Peter stricker says:

    In Mr. Spang, you’ve just described someone just as fanatic as Ann Coulter, just at the opposite end of the ideological continuum.
    Good luck

  51. If you desire the Historical, factual, truth of the real founding of this nation, by whom, what their intended agenda has been since the 1400’s I suggest you purchase a copy of “The Grand Design Exposed” by John Daniel. The whole world is deceived just as Jesus Christ stated! All follow Babylon “MYSTERY” Religion / Lucifer “SUN” Worship / 666.

  52. Paleo Conservative says:

    I’ve advocated the abolishment or voluntary high school for many years. High school robs many people of four years during which they could otherwise learn a trade or prepare for college. The cost per pupil in most areas is obscene especially when compared to the final product. Your article describes a microcosm of what is wrong with our obsolete system. Thanks for sharing.

  53. I’m homeschooled :D

  54. Your points about a teacher’s agenda not intruding on classroom teaching are valid. Your assertion that this one example shows that “The American public school has transformed itself from a place of learning into a place of indoctrination” is completely absurd. You sound like Ann Coulter, if that’s what you’re going for…just saying something to get a reaction, not something that makes logical sense.

    “Teachers do not try to keep their own personal biases a secret any longer.” This is simply not true. SOME teachers may be guilty of this but how can you sit here and make a generalization about all teachers…there have always been teachers like this and there always will be, but you are a college student and obviously have the intelligence level to know that your assertion is simply invalid.

    You cite watching the inauguration of Obama as evidence that teachers are pushing personal bias…would you have the same opinion if McCain had won? Stop trying to turn every little thing partisan, the inauguration of a president is not a partisan issue; it is an important event that all school age children SHOULD be aware of and SHOULD watch, not a teacher trying to brainwash their students into a liberal perspective.

    It is obvious that you are well spoken but if some of the things that you stated are what you actually think and not just intended to provoke a reaction then I find that troubling. I know that you are writing for a website with a clear viewpoint but you should still try to keep things as balanced and objective as possible to come across as credible…some of the assertions that you make really call that into question.

  55. As a retired public school teacher I am convinced that our only hope is to rescue our children from the public (government) schools and raise a godly generation.

    Please see “Call to Dunkirk” at

    Public schools cannot be redeemed. Saying we should not abandon them is like saying the passengers of the Titanic should have stayed aboard because the band was playing good music and the captain was a good man.

    Please also see IndoctriNation at

    Please also see


  56. Jonathan Cooksey says:

    “It’s only fitting to say that my standardized test scores from sophomore year showed a marked decrease in English language and reading skills. This did not surprise me at all. I was far too busy being indoctrinated into acceptance of global warming, homosexuality, and multiculturalism to learn silly things like English grammar.”

    Christine, I was basically with you up and until this last paragraph. It is obvious that with your use of English grammar and syntax that you have a more than adequate grasp of rudimentary reading and writing skills. What is equally obvious is your arrogance and ignorance towards issues that will make you a well-rounded human being.

  57. “I made the fatal error of writing from the point of view of a pro-lifer—whoops!”
    I am sorry to read of your passing. Does this imply that you are now a ghost writer or just another primadona with poor grammar?

  58. I really like your blog post. I am a student at umass and I regularly question the far-left principals of my professors who will often imply that I am a republican or conservative, which I am not. When I take courses at more right centered, elite campus of Amherst college when I question those professors they insinuate my views are liberal.
    The sad thing is that America is so entrenched into the two polar ideologies of the left and right it is impossible for them to consider opinions outside of the spectrum. I believe this heavy polarization between two factions clouds and impairs the judgement and ability for individuals to clearly make the best decisions based on the facts in support of the optimal outcome and instead focus most of their time on rejecting whichever side and seeking facts and data to support their current views.
    Anyway I liked your post and I think you have a knack for being able to immerse your readers. Also I think you’re beautiful!

  59. Big Mama Elle says:

    You are also quite old enough now (and then, to be honest) to take on what you find wrong in the educational system; you should have filed complaints in terms of his inability to be subjective, kept true to your opinions, and plugged on with taking steps to be graded and treated fairly. No, he should not have ever told you your opinion was wrong or criticized your material due to your conservative beliefs but you cannot attack his choice of materials which he chose as part of his curriculum; one’s best work often comes from disagreement. I am speaking from experience, however, as I had a similar experience (opposite, though, I’m as liberal as humanly possible). During my senior year of school, I encountered a teacher who could have proved to be a negative influence on my education but I challenge him, including filing formal complaints. It was a rough first half of the year but he saw the error of his ways (whether from the school board or my persistence) and I was finally free to mature in and explore my writing without being penalized. And, once I was graded accordingly to the content rather than subject of my assignments, I ended the year as the top student in my AP English class. And this was in Maine, too.

    Seriously, be proactive. If you feel there needs to be a change, if you feel that honestly people’s opinions are being put down or cause for suffering grades, then do something about it. You weren’t at the time, so do something to help your brother if you feel he is really in educational harm. There comes a time in life when, to put it bluntly, you need to stop merely whining and go get your hands dirty to accomplish change.

    I do have to say, though, that your choice of cultural area in which you now live makes me literally laugh out loud. Considering I grew up in that area for the majority of my pre-teen life, I think there are only about two other areas more liberal in America. Good luck not encountering a plethora of liberal-leaning professors.

  60. Big Mama Elle says:

    And by “do something” I mean more than just getting parents to file some complaints. You need to actually go UP the ladder and bust your ass. If all anyone did was complain on a local level and not move up the chain of command or go public, you wouldn’t be in college or have the right to vote.

  61. As another former Scarborough High School student, I have to agree with Christine’s opinion of Bruce Spang’s class. The problem here is not the fact that he is homosexual. The problem is that he was unable to separate his personal life and his work life. He is not getting paid to vent out to his students about why his life is so hard because he’s different than everyone else, he is getting paid to teach classes and prepare students for the real world. Heterosexual or homosexual, it doesn’t matter, it is both inappropriate and unprofessional to try and sway students into a certain point of view and push them to conform to one’s own views in what is supposed to be a safe learning environment for all.

  62. I graduated from Scarborough High School – and while I wasn’t there with Mr. Spang, and cannot comment on your experience with him – I had two classes with Mr. Hebert and can say he was a great teacher. I fail to see in your post why you feel like he was a poor educator. Why name him if you aren’t going to back up your statement?

    As a graduate of Scarborough High, I don’t feel like I was forced into a mindset. Yes, there are followers; it’s high school! I never felt as though there was a liberal conspiracy against the students. In my experience, the school tended to be more conservative than liberal.

    To mirror what others have said; education is a personal responsibility. If you felt like you weren’t getting an education, you should have spoken up and been switched into a different class. It’s also possible to learn from someone you don’t agree with; and take those lessons to bolster your own opinion. You get out of education everything you put in; and if you don’t feel like you’re getting anything out of it then you’re not working hard enough.

  63. This kind of thing and much, much more is in a new film:

  64. This problem of homosexual indoctrination is more widespread than most parents know. It is unlikely to be stopped until it overwhelms the entire K-12 public education system. A moral vision for educating children has departed. The only hope for our children is for responsible parents is to leave the public education system behind and do it yourself. Take a look at the 3 minute trailer at and order your own copy.

  65. Pete Sullivan says:

    I just visited the SHS Facebook page you mentioned. Based on a quick scan of the submitted photos, I’d say you did very well in spite of or because of the challenges presented in English class. I would appear that the rest of your colleagues are mainly interested in getting drunk.

  66. High School Teacher says:

    Christine, I am a high school teacher. You were not in my class, but I wish you were. If you had been, you might have learned about the dangers of making broad generalizations based on assumptions. You also might have read To Kill a Mockingbird, a book that portrays what can happen when people make judgments based on false assumptions–when people assume universal truths about the world based on their limited experiences. Instead of postulating truths about the state of American education based on your personal experiences in one small, rural high school, you might consider that you “never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” You clearly learned to write well, but you certainly did not learn to consider things from more than one point of view. In that, perhaps we teachers have indeed failed you.

  67. A public school English teacher says:

    Despite what some others are saying, your writing still lacks proficiency. Besides not knowing what a predicate is, here are some other lessons in grammar from which you could benefit:
    1. Plural possessive use of the apostrophe: You should have written, “inform his students that the only reason for their intelligence was due to their families’ wealth” NOT “inform his students that the only reason for their intelligence was due to their family’s wealth,” unless all the students belong to the same family. Similarly, “the majority of my classmate’s parents” should rather read “the majority of my classmates’ parents”
    2. Comma use in independent versus dependent clauses: You write, “that I was not only a poor writer, but also naïve.” “Also naïve” is a dependent clause, so a comma before your conjunction (“and”) is rendered extraneous.
    3. Pronoun-antecedent agreement: You write, “Though my parents complained to the administration, it did absolutely nothing.” The administration consists exclusively of people, so the pronoun “they” would serve better than the pronoun “it.”
    4. Correct word usage: In your phrase “paragon literary excellence that is Black Elk Speaks,” you should include the preposition “of” before the word “paragon.” Furthermore, since paragon means “a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence” (, it is redundant for you to then use the word “excellence
    5. Active wording would greatly help your overall syntax.
    I’m an English teacher in a public school and would hate for you to live the rest of your life without these grammar skills due to your lack of education. By the way, a predicate is the syntactic unit of the sentence that includes the verb and all the words governed by the verb or that modify the verb; it’s the part of the sentence that is not the subject.

  68. I took Mr. Spang’s class last year and everything highlighted in this article is fact. He was also a very “touchy” person. For example if you asked a question about something he wrote on your paper (which is practically impossible to desipher due to his pathetic hand wrtiting) he would practically massage your back as he answered your question. This made me not want to ask questions, because I didn’t want to be physically touched by an older man. He also wrote a heart on my final. I don’t know why and I asked my fellow students if they percieved it to be a heart and they did. Another scarey fact was while a group activity was taking place I was standing up and happened to notice a rum bottle in a cardboard box leaning against the wall. I was mortified to see that the bottle was half consumed and I wouldn’t have been suprised if he had been teaching under the influence. He sure seemed out of the ordinary at all times. He always carried a little metal container. Everyone in the class was always curious as to what it contained since he carries it with him eveywhere. It was attached to his car keys. This year is also very rough with an English teacher who thinks she’s a social studies teacher….what I’ve learned this year in English….Nelson Mandela and Apparthied, Space missions being cancelled and minning gold in other countries…very productive work. All in all Scarborough went from good to bad to worde as my high school years have progressed and I’m worried my sister won’t get a proper education due to the situation getting worse. Mr. Spang is also the head of the Gay Straight Alliance which has posters all over the school….and we aren’t even allowed tosay the pledge of allegiance because the word “God” is in it. While they can hang posters in the school that say “Animals don’t judge sexuality, why do we.” Well I’ll tell you most species don’t have gay relations and most species have brains the size of a peanut.I’m glad to be leaving this sad excuse for a school next year.

  69. LOL^^

  70. Bob has other problems, aside of Mr. Spang, that need to be addressed professionally.
    I think it has become clear that Ms. Rousselle would have gotten a C-, at best, from any English teacher had she turned in this diatribe as a serious classroom assignment. Being a mouthpiece for the Republican party may not be the most promising career path for her to be choosing.

  71. CRhasfatarms says:

    Christine Rousselle’s ham-arms and fat face are the true horrors of this “piece.” For the love of all that is sacred and holy, do not reproduce, for then the true potential of your republican noxious-hate spewing body shall be realized with gelatinous mounds of fat that shall multiply and be fruitful upon your helpless frame.

    for the tl;dr crowd: stupid fat ass is stupid and fat.

  72. @Kris: Did it occur to you that the point of the article is to show that the education system is failing? And did it occur to you that the article is just her complaining about her one very liberal teacher? She doesn’t actually write about the education system, but rather tells of her ONE experience. Also, by the time students are in high school, they don’t learn about grammar anymore. Students typically learn writing techniques to build their own writing skills. This may include building one’s creativity. Aside from writing skills, students are instructed to READ. You know, to be more knowledgeable of classic literature and to be exposed to different types of literature?

    @Mark: Yeah, you live in America but did you know that Communism was built on good intentions? Maybe you should consider reading more into the ideology without depending on the nation’s news networks to feed you that ideas that Communism is evil just because of a few nations that exist today and run it poorly.

    @Marilyn Bridges: There’s no real name calling or letting down being done. It’s called educating the ignorant.

    @crn: Clearly you haven’t been to enough poorer school districts. Don’t comment on the technology in classrooms being the same in America, PLEASE. I can, because I have seen these differences in classrooms first-hand.

    @judy: That’s great that you can rely so greatly on for your information. Yes, agnostics believe that there is no real truth in the existence of God, but that does not take away from the fact that agnostics DO believe in a higher but are unsure of its existence.

  73. fukin a ya fatass’ gotta get ya hik asses’ of da right wing

  74. Jack Sullivan says:

    Mister Spang cannot teach, and his fashion is quite offensive. His sweaters make me cry. I had him last year, and ended with a 101 in his class. Yeah, I sucked up. Yeah I told him what he wanted to hear. But don’t you be fooled; I’m still a conservative, just pretending to be progressive just to pass high school.

  75. Having gone to SHS, I can assure you that one Mr. York, one of your proclaimed saviors of the english department, was among the worst educators I had the misfortune of meeting in my four years there.
    Additionally, I agree with those who previously stated that if you believe that you are entitled to write a piece about your own views on social or political issues, you must respect others right to display their own opinions, even if it means they supported President Obama.

  76. This is ridiculous, and as a 2011 graduate of SHS, I can say that their english program is very strong indeed. It is also unfair to this teacher to write something so horrible. I never took his class so I do not know if the facts about him are true. But global warming and multiculturalism does not have to do with SHS and a lot of Christine’s statements are FALSE. Horrible article. I’m disappointed after the Walmart one. Her talent’s slowing dripping down the drain.

  77. I wish all of you who do not know Christine Rouselle could meet her. There is no question a lot of what she is saying is either fabricated or exaggerated. Even if they were true, I’m sure her true concern with writing this article would be to create a forum to talk about herself rather than bring up a debatable issue. I find it sad in public she cannot defend her arguments, yet continues to hide behind her writing.

    Listen, I know her on a personal level and I find it quite comical that she criticizes Scarborough High School for pushing ideas and claiming their students fail to question these ideas. From a young age, Christine’s parents pushed these radical right-wing philosophies upon her which left her unable to ever see the world with an open mind.

  78. Mike Hunt says:

    Get off your high horse you whiny bitch. Life is full of things your not going to agree with but sometimes you just have to put your head down and push through. It’s one thing to stand up for what you believe in but complaining about one english teacher who has some minor faults and some conflicting views is pointless. You’ve brought up 2 minor situations in an attempt to make the whole school look as if it is being run by liberal extremists which is far from the case. Your a gross tittied bitch who needs to keep her retarded opinions to yourself.

  79. I completely agree with you. I am a student at Scarborough high school and I have a civics teacher who refers to the Republican party as the “white christian power structure.”

  80. Pat Legrere says:

    The statements about Mr. Spang are very exaggerated. I had him and never one time did he talk about gay sex. Stop making other people look bad so you can try to feel better about yourself. You’re stuck up and share the same views as most people’s eighty year old grandparents.

  81. Pat Legrere says:

    Since you erased my comment I will write it again. This article is very exaggerated. I had Mr. Spang and never once did he talk about gay sex. You share the views of an ignorant senior citizen. And I am not a liberal.

  82. PubEdSurvivor says:

    Greetings. I have read Christine’s article and the many comments posted in response to it.

    I do empathize, but Christine’s failure to achieve subject mastery was not the teacher’s fault. Learning is the student’s responsibility. The teacher does have a responsibility, but to demonstrate mastery of the subject is the student’s responsibility and in spite of whatever obstacles there are, achievement of that goal must retain priority.

    It is unfortunate that the teachers we have in secondary school at times do not engender our respect. My entire secondary school experience took place in sports-centered government institutions where only a handful of the teachers beyond the Freshman level were very good. The rest seemed to be there merely to rubber-stamp favored athletes’ academic metrics to assure their continued participation on the varsity teams. Such teachers did not, in some cases, even seem to know the subject matter in which they were supposed to be guiding and inspiring us to achieve mastery and they did not engender my respect. Nonetheless, I was required to feign respect and to achieve mastery scores in the subject matter if not because of such teachers, then in spite of them.

    I agree that unless I am hoping to have sex with a person, whether or not that person is a heterosexual or has some other orientation is utterly irrelevant, especially in a classroom setting. Two of the absolute best teachers I had in high school were homosexuals. It was no secret, but they did not advertise it, either. They had the good sense to focus on the subject matter of the courses they were teaching, and cultivated an atmosphere in their classrooms of mutual respect. They genuinely seemed to enjoy teaching those courses and interacting with the students in a professional, yet friendly and approachable manner, and gained everybody’s respect in the process.

  83. As a student at Scarborough High School, I would like to shed some light on the situation. Mr. Spang may not be the best teacher, but he is a nice man. The points mentioned in the article are over exaggerated (the “look outside” comments were a part of his dry humor with the goal of lightening the mood of the class. Many of Christine’s arguments are his jokes taken the wrong way, which is very hard to do). In regards to the lack of grammar knowledge, high school isn’t about teaching grammar. It is about learning to read, analyze, and understand intricate peices of literature. Punctuation and sentence structure should have been mastered in middle school.

    I would also like to mention that novody is being spoonfed anything. Being a friend of Christine’s brother, I know he is old and mature enough to make his own decisions. As an aspiring attorney and Captain of the Scarborough High School Mock Trial Team, i feel knowledgeable enough in the subject to say thatevidrnce can be interpreted in many ways. Her brother believes it to prove the accused innocent. Just because his views do not allign with Christine’s, she has denounced his opinions.

    I feel that this article is an attack on Mr. Spang, and not the Scarborough school system. This article is misleading, slandering, and appalling. Im wondering If Christine thought before writing this garbage.

  84. I would like to highlight that the teacher that had the Obama cutout also had McCain and Palin cutouts as well. I noticed she left out many details to unjustly further her point. That shows the basis of this article. Deceit


  1. […] homeschool, after all, we have great schools that help our kids fit into the real world, right?  Here is an article you need to read and share with the skeptics.  I chronicled my own experience with just this sort of thing but, sadly, to many parents this […]

  2. […] my colleague, Christine Rousselle, pointed out in her article “Indoctrination Story” here at TheCollegeConservative,  political agenda-pushing in the name of “diversity” begins […]

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