Did you ever wonder where the kids you see rioting and attacking police, burning down buildings, tearing down statues, burning American flags, and chanting “death to America” grew up and went to school?  The answer is simple and frightening - American schools located in every part of the country.  The next logical question is, “how did this happen?”  The beginnings of this shift from education to indoctrination can be traced back several decades to a time when academics, especially history and civics became less about facts and events, and more about political correctness and feelings.

The result has been a watered down version of revisionist history designed to fit a present-day political narrative that sees America as an evil, oppressive place built by a small group of devious individuals.  With generations of children brought up through an educational system that drums that message into their heads daily from K-12 and through college, is it any wonder that you see clueless young adults attacking our traditions, monuments, historic figures, symbols of our past and very way of life?

The coup de grace is something called the “1619 Project” which has been embraced by a number of school districts across the country.  Not only is it inaccurate and woefully incomplete, it teaches students that America is an inherently racist country that is irredeemable in its current form.  Never mind that people of every race, ethnicity, creed and gender have lived here and prospered, with a waiting list of 25 million people desperately wanting to emigrate here each year.  This harmful curriculum is doing incalculable damage to future generations of young Americans.

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There is however, hope that the tide is turning.  The American people were outraged at the destruction of sacred symbols of our past and attacks on traditions that are embedded in the very foundation of our country.  Many parents have also reached out to me to express their anger at some of what is being taught in our schools.  As a result, I have recently drafted legislation, which would mandate the adoption of the 1776 Initiative in all New Jersey curricula.  This brilliant plan was developed by the Woodson Institute and emphasizes American greatness while teaching true American history as it actually happened – warts and all.

For America to continue to exist and prosper, we cannot allow future generations to be taught to hate their own country - the greatest nation in the history of the planet.  Keep in mind; no other society or country has a history that is without blemish.  One of the things that makes America so special however, is the enormous strides it has made to right the wrongs of the past.  This effort has been enormously successful, as evidenced by the multitudes from around the globe who want to leave the country of their birth to become a part of the American dream.  No other country offers the promise and freedoms that the United States does for people of every race, ethnicity and creed.  It is time our education system imparted that fact on to the future of our country - our children.

Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger