Ethics Observations On The Antifa School Teacher Scandal

Gipe

A “reporter” (I use the word loosely) for James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas somehow got Gabriel Gipe (above), an advanced placement teacher at Inderkum High School in Sacramento, California, to blather on happily about how he was indoctrinating his students in Marxist ideology and was proud of it. All of this was recorded, as is Project Veritas’s way. Gipe said, in part,

“I have 180 days to turn them [students] into revolutionaries…Scare the f*ck out of them… I’m probably as far left as you can go….I post a calendar every week…I’ve had students show up for protests, community events, tabling, food distribution, all sorts of things…When they go, they take pictures, write up a reflection — that’s their extra credit…So, they [students] take an ideology quiz and I put [the results] on the [classroom] wall. Every year, they get further and further left…I’m like, ‘These ideologies are considered extreme, right? Extreme times breed extreme ideologies.’ Right? There is a reason why Generation Z, these kids, are becoming further and further left…I have an Antifa flag on my [classroom] wall and a student complained about that — he said it made him feel uncomfortable. Well, this [Antifa flag] is meant to make fascists feel uncomfortable, so if you feel uncomfortable, I don’t really know what to tell you. Maybe you shouldn’t be aligning with the values that this [Antifa flag] is antithetical to…Like, why aren’t people just taking up arms? Like why can’t we, you know — take up arms against the state? We have historical examples of that happening, and them getting crushed and being martyrs for a cause and it’s like — okay well, it’s slow going because it takes a massive amount of organization…I think that for [left-wing] movements in the United States, we need to be able to attack both [cultural and economic] fronts. Right? We need to create parallel structures of power because we cannot rely on the state…Consistently focusing on education and a change of cultural propaganda. We have to hit both fronts. We have to convince people that this is what we actually need…There are three other teachers in my department that I did my credential program with — and they’re rad. They’re great people. They’re definitely on the same page.”

Astoundingly, this appears to be genuine. What would ever move a teacher to say all this to a stranger? (His antifa pals are reportedly furious with him.) Gipe must have a professional death wish. The video was posted on August 31, and now he is suspended and almost certain to be fired. Good. But the episode raises other issues.

Observations:

1 Project Vertitas, O’Keefe and everyone who works with him are unethical, and therefore untrustworthy. That does not mean that the information O’Keefe and his henchmen sometimes uncover isn’t valuable or that it should be ignored. Since everything reminds me of a movie these days, think of the 1997 film “Absolute Power,” where Clint Eastwood plays a burglar who mid-heist witnesses the President of the United States beating a woman and having her shot to death by the Secret Service. That the information was obtained though unethical means doesn’t make it less important for the public to be informed about it. Remember, though, O’Keefe isn’t interested in the truth, he’s interested in gotcha’s that expose the political Left, and only the Left. That he has the same lack of ethics as more traditional reporters today doesn’t make what he does any less objectionable. He believes that the ends justifies the means, and while this scoop is legitimate, O’Keefe is fully capable of manufacturing evidence to advance his ideological agenda.

2. As for Gipe, I very much doubt that he is unique among public school teachers. He would fit right in with many college faculties. The video should be shown at school board meetings across the country, and prompt serious attention to who is hired to teach our children. Those who mock claims that teachers engage in political, social and ideological indoctrination can now place paper bags over their heads. If this kind of think has been going on for generations, and I think there is a rebuttable presumption that it has, the apathy and inattention of the public and its representatives is unforgivable.

3. The school issued this detailed letter yesterday, including a series of explanations why Gipe’s betrayal of the public trust wasn’t discovered earlier. Nope, sorry, not nearly good enough. They hired this guy. He was teaching students in their school, and apparently so confident that nobody was paying attention that he engaged in head-exploding stuff like this:

“[Gipe] purchased a series of rubber stamps. These stamps include an inappropriate image of Josef Stalin with an insensitive phrase, as well as other stamps with Fidel Castro, Kim Jung Un and others. These were purchased shortly before the pandemic and their use was likely initially limited due to Distance Learning. The district’s investigation did discover that at least during the 13 days of this school year, he was using those stamps to mark student work as complete.”

Gipe is on paid leave on the way to being sacked, as should every administrator at the school and the school board. Something like this should carry strict liability.

4. Where were the parents? My parents daily asked my sister and I what we studied in school. My wife and I did the same with Grant—that’s why we pulled him out of four schools—one public, two private, and a religious school. We took the time to find out what he was being taught and how. That was our duty and our job.

“I’m outraged. Of course, I’m furious about this,”a parent said at the school meeting about Gipe. “As you guys sit up there behind your bureaucracy – I blame the leadership from the top down.”

And I blame YOU.

“It’s important for us to be able to trust the school system, to trust our teachers to be teaching them the curriculum,” another parent, Dena Burgess said.

Really? These are your children. What do you know about these administrators that justifies your trust? Anything? What do you know about the teachers? Have you been paying any attention to what has been going on in the schools at all?

We have allowed an army of Gabriel Gipes to undermine our rising generations’ belief in core American principles, and now we can only hope that it is not too late to reverse the damage.

_____________________

Sources: KCRA, Project Veritas

20 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The Antifa School Teacher Scandal

    • I confess that my first thought was that this guy is Central Casting’s idea of what a radical leftist teacher would look like and say… and given that O’Keefe et al. aren’t above fabricating “evidence” to support their claims, my immediate response was to raise an eyebrow: does this Gabriel Gipe person even exist?
      It does appear, though, that this is a real teacher and a real idiot. He deserves what’s coming to him.
      As for coverage outside conservative circles–stories on the local NBC and CBS affiliates (political orientation unknown) and one in Newsweek, which I’d say is left of center. It’s not surprising that the right-leaning press is on this faster (they’re going to read stuff from Veritas immediately)… we’ll see what the next 24 hours bring in terms of the likes of CNN or the New York Times.
      Of course, the right-wing press wants to make this one example into a vast left-wing conspiracy (Clinton reference fully intended). With 3,500,000 teachers in the country, you’re likely to have a few jackasses like this guy on the loony left, and probably a roughly equivalent number on the loony right. This does not excuse his behavior, of course, but to suggest this guy is in any way representative of the profession is absurd.
      I’d also support your comment about shared responsibility… the school administrators, school board, parents, even the students themselves: they didn’t make this guy behave so outrageously, but they did allow him to keep at it far longer than should have been the case. O’Keefe is a prevaricating asshole, but in this instance he appears to have done a public service.

      • You’re on the ground in the undergrad faculty, world, Curmie. What percentage of college faculty would you say are as virulently leftist as this guy (who I’d say is no further left than Noam Chomsky). And haven’t colleges and universities been pumping out this sort of anti-establishmentarians for at least two generations, maybe more?

        • O.B.:

          I’m in a very liberal field, theatre. If I’m politically to the left of 95% of the people who comment on EA regularly, I’m nearly that far to the right of other theatre profs. But different departments are constructed differently. I’d guess that our English, Philosophy, and Languages faculty generally lean left; our History and Political Sciences programs are reasonably well balanced; our Phys Ed, Business, Chemistry, and Music departments lean right… and so on. There are, of course, exceptions to all of these generalities, and these descriptions are just about my particular colleagues; the folks at the university an hour up the road might be totally different,

          How many undergrad faculty are as far left as this guy? Maybe 2-3%: higher than the national average, to be sure, but pretty insignificant as a ratio. More importantly: how many would think that the kind of indoctrination he’s attempting is at all reasonable? Far less than 1%, and barely more than that would even come close.

          Again, the same thing happens roughly as frequently on the right, although not often this blatantly. One of my advisees told me last week of a half-hour screed by her PoliSci prof about the evils of the Biden administration’s Aghanistan policy. This level of editorializing would be problematic if the course were about foreign policy (unless he was playing devil’s advocate, but my student is savvy enough to see through that). But the course is in Texas government. What Biden did well or horribly or didn’t do at all is irrelevant. A few years ago one of my students told me he was struggling in a Communications course, but he could get some extra credit by memorizing some Bible verses… this at a state university.

          Please don’t interpret any of the foregoing as a criticism of my colleagues in general. The great majority of them are both good teachers and good people; a fair number more are at least the latter. But there are exceptions. Oh, are there exceptions, and some of them have tenure.

          Bad teaching is bad teaching, and expecting students to parrot political or quasi-political talking points in whatever direction is always bad teaching. Obviously, a case like this is going to attract attention (and it should). But even if there were a 25,000 of these jackasses out there, that would still only be a fraction of 1% of all teachers. That doesn’t change the qualitative harm they do in their little corner of the world, but I honestly don’t see it as a problem of great quantitative significance.

          As to whether “colleges and universities [have] been pumping out this sort of anti-establishmentarians for at least two generations, maybe more?”… well, sort of. Certainly student deferments from the draft during Vietnam are relevant, as is the fact that university faculty generally make a lot less money than their equally educated, equally hard-working, equally intelligent, peers in business, law, or medicine. Universities tend to be a little more liberal than the general population. Those on the right say it’s because of indoctrination; those on the left say it’s because of a better informed population. As my grandfather would say, “what you make on the melons, you lose on the banan.”

  1. I’m disgusted. Look at him, for God’s sake. Nose ring, covered in tattoos, less than wonderful hygiene, there’s no way this guy should ever have even been looked at, leave alone hired. I know, I known we’re not supposed to judge people on their appearances, but, like it or not, your appearance DOES say something about you. Tattoos are becoming more common, I get it, but what you choose to write or display on your body does have some significance. There’s a BIG difference between a former sailor with an anchor on his bicep or “hold fast” tattooed on his hands and someone with a recognizable symbol of hatred, anarchy, or destruction displayed. You have to wonder what someone like that is thinking, same as if you saw me wearing one of my squadron t-shirts with somewhat aggressive slogans or indeed anyone displaying an aggressive slogan of any kind. If someone displays an aggressive antigovernment slogan or symbol or revolutionary slogan or symbol, it’s not just a fashion accent.

    A teacher’s job is to lead students into maturity. How the hell do you look mature with facial jewelry and dressing like a scruffy coffee shop clerk? Antifa flags on the wall? Never mind that infuriatingly facile response that if you’re opposed to what those flags are about then you’re a fascist. A lot more needs to happen. There needs to be a major house cleaning among school staff, a standardization of the curriculum, and a stern warning that ANYONE who gets students involved in revolutionary activity will be fired instantly and forfeit their pension.

  2. Frankly, I’m surprised this guy hasn’t won numerous teacher of the year awards. I can’t imagine he’ll lose his job. He’ll be defended by the ACLU and made a hero. Anyone unhappy with him will be deemed a current day Joe McCarthy.

  3. I doubt that Project Veritas stumbled into this guy by accident. Someone, probably a parent, heard that he was the poster child for wanna-be revolutionaries who browbeat kids into compliance with their radical worldview. If also bet money that the concerned parents tried talking to the school administration, only to discover that the people in charge were more worried about white fragility, institutionalized racism, or the possibility of Trump sympathizers showing their faces than about their teachers’ professionalism (or the lack thereof)

  4. Jack, I agree with your assertion that a large amount of blame belongs with the parents. How is it possible for a person like Gipe to happily go about the indoctrination business? I’ll tell you how:

    1. Parents don’t even bother to ask kids about their day, and their teachers;
    2. They only attend PTA and school board meetings when they are unhappy about something, or somebody has alerted them to an outrage. They can’t be bothered otherwise.
    3. They happily allow their kids to go to these protests and such without even troubling to ask how it came to their attention, why they want to go, or what exactly they are protesting.

    I could go on and on, but the bottom line is clear. Gipe is blameworthy — he was deliberately violating school policy to further his political agenda. I don’t care how radical or not it was, it would’ve been just as wrong if a Christian conservative had his charges protesting at an abortion clinic. Gipe was engaging, for lack of a better term, in child abuse by abusing his position of authority to deceive and befuddle his callow students. Parents should sue him, and the school system — he for damage to their kids, and the school system for letting it happen.

    Then they should ask themselves who could’ve stopped this before it became a problem. They’ll find the answer by looking in the mirror.

  5. The example of the burglar who happens to witness a murder mid-heist is not analogous to what Project Veritas is engaged in. The entire purpose of their deception is to obtain the damning information. How can the information be used without encouraging the underlying unethical behaviour (and therefore getting more of it in the future)?

    • It is exactly analogous for the purpose it was used: in both cases, damaging information is acquired in the course of unethical conduct, but the information must be communicated to the public regardless.

      How? There is no “fruit of the poisonous tree” rule when law enforcement isn’t involved. Unethical people can find out a lot of things that they shouldn’t, but once they do, it’s a lucky thing.

  6. There is going to come a point where it is unethical to send your kids to public schools because public schools are continuing to destroy their own credibility. Teachers aren’t being evaluated and prepared correctly if someone like this can get into the system and do the things he does without any consequences.

  7. “Like, why aren’t people just taking up arms?”
    You say you want a revolution? Be careful what you ask for.
    Regarding citizen involvement in the schools: In my very conservative county, parents and other involved citizens like me have organized to regularly monitor our school’s curricula. We haven’t found any evidence of attempted CRT or socialist indoctrination yet, but we keep looking and they know we are watching. I can only imagine the school board meeting after such evidence was found. It would get ugly.
    I was recently in a conversation with the school board member for my district, where my elementary school alma mater was destroyed by a tornado in 2011 and has not yet been replaced, despite repeated promises by the school board to do so. This board member is already on thin ice with me and many other voters in the district. She asked me, rather dismissively, “Now, you don’t actually have any children or grandchildren in our schools, right?” I replied, “No, ma’am, but my actual tax dollars actually attend every one of your actual schools, and I have an actual right to expect you to actually be as accountable to me as if I actually had kids in every school in the county. Please remember that and never ask me that question again.”

  8. I’ll give Karl Marx a lot of credit for diagnosing problems in capitalist society. That said, he didn’t offer any workable solutions, and his followers today haven’t come up with one in the meantime.

    I’m still working on an article about where utopias go wrong that should hopefully make it clear that people need a better idea what they’re aiming for than “all the good people unite, beat up all the bad people, and establish a good society full of niceness and sharing.” (Tell me you don’t know how civilizations work without telling me you don’t know how civilizations work.)

  9. If this kind of think[ing] has been going on for generations, … which it has, certainly in the public schools of the post-war era (late 40s/early 50s). My parents placed me in P.S.25 for a year, on purpose (the excuse was “so you will know your friends – the neighborhood kids I played with — better.” I was lucky to have experienced it. They were right about their reasoning too. I learned the basic disciplines of useful things like standard test-taking, diagramming sentences, making bird-houses, note-passing, not dying of boredom when seated alone in the hall, and a few social niceties, such as ignoring being called ‘Christ-killer,’ ‘kike,’ and so forth, and neutralizing bullies by offering to help with their homework (though not to “do” the homework: my parents forbade that).

    We did most certainly learn about slavery , who did it and why, and the simplified reasons for the Civil War. The facts of white/black racism (on BOTH sides) were made apparent. We knew what war was. I doubt if anyone in the class hadn’t had at least one family member directly involved, either as a refugee or veteran, living or dead. And anyone who thinks “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is pro-slavery has never read it. Black people today hate it and whites follow along, but it just ain’t so, Flo. It is an abolitionist tract for its time. The woke are not the only ones who can’t understand context.

    The sad part about that book, and others — there was a Landmark history series that covered the period, and of course, the much revered Mark Twain adventures — was that “the South” as a whole was denigrated. And the use of just one word, ‘savage’, to describe American Indians is enough to bring down the wrath of those who have long since destroyed the books that used it. (It wasn’t necessary to “ban” the books; they were simply not reprinted.) Except that I don’t remember the word “savage” being anything but enjoyably challenging — today’s Google scary synonyms didn’t apply; it meant rough and rustic, wild and unrestrained, something we were called when our play got out of hand.

    High school meant returning to a familiar system that encouraged scholarship, imagination, free thought and constant debate. History was looked at a bit more closely, with first-hand reports included . “The South” was still on an unsympathetic side thanks to Faulkner, O’Connor, Wolfe and Hollywood … until we were presented, on our Junior year mandatory reading/discussion list, with Ralph Ellison’s ‘The Invisible Man,’ at which point the (small, private) school exploded with young lifetimes’ worth of unsupported opinion that nearly divided the parents and destroyed the school. But the Civil Rights movement was well underway and the ACLU of the time was a (quietly) radical, racially mixed group that supplied speakers, usually for adult groups but that in this case because our principal was an active member, sent four members (two young couples – one of each) who came to answer questions and then to raise them. It was eye-opening for the parents (those who had read the book were invited, and sworn to silence!) as well as all of us. … Three years later I found myself living in Colorado next door to a Souix family whose oldest son, a Korean vet, became a close friend, and three years after that I embarked on my greatest journey, in Japan, on a faculty of three, one of whom was a “4B” an “Alabama-born, bred and branded boy” and one of the few loves of my life. I miss both of them terribly, but I am glad they’re not alive to see what a mess this country is in.

    P.S. I learned about “sexism” and “homophobia” too, at home (not from mother) and in elementary and high school both, and still get flack for having attended an off-the-grid “girls’ school.” What’s happening now is not new. Only the rhetoric preaching real separation and fear of one another is spreading fast, destroying the lessons that were slowly but surely being used to heal and help.

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