Busting Heads for Character Ed?
Does your school district have a Character Education program?
Five school districts in the Jefferson County area - Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Palmyra, Milton and Whitewater – planned to hold school assemblies on March 23 and 24. The students were to watch "The Power Team," a group of body-building athletes who present a message of positive character traits, giving advice on morality, drug abuse, teen pregnancy and violence.
Sounds boring? It’s actually quite a show. It might also include ramming their heads through blocks of ice, smashing stacks of flaming cement blocks, swinging large broad-swords, exploding soda cans in their bare hands, ripping telephone books, breaking baseball bats, and bending steel bars in their teeth.
Yes, I’m sure the kids would love it. If we asked, they’d also love Twinkies and Coke for lunch and ideally the assembly should keep them out of class all day.
But like the junk food, what else would they get with the message? The show would have an amplified sound track playing only Christian rock and rap music. Why? The Power Team is also a team of ordained ministers! They were lured to the schools by the efforts of Faith Community Church in Fort Atkinson.
On the same days as the planned school assemblies, as well as the weekend, the Church rented the facilities at Fort High School at night. There, the Power Team will lead a five-day series of evening revival meetings, featuring the same circus stunts mixed with tent-show evangelizing. The Power Team’s primary goal and business, as stated on their web site and in their literature, is to boost attendance at churches. They are a marketing firm for their brand of religion.
As you might be able to tell by this point, I was no fan of the Power Team.
I created a web page describing what I found in a few hours of research on the web, with links to video clips on YouTube, links to other news stories, and more. (Link below.)
In other communities, controversy has erupted after Power Team assemblies. Many people didn’t like linking positive values with cartoon testosterone as if “might makes right”. Some didn’t like the blatant promotion of religion in public schools. They use a “scared straight” approach with tales of incest, abortion, suicide and murder. (Read the news stories.) Others didn’t like the way they promoted the evening religious events, either with verbal invitations or paper literature.
I spoke once during public participation at a school board meeting. I sent emails to school board members in all five districts.
And amazingly, all five districts cancelled their planned assemblies a week later.
I can't help but wonder if the Power Team plans assemblies in other schools in SE Wisconsin.