Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson calls JeffCo student protesters ‘punks’

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Fox News host Gretchen Carlson called Jefferson County students protesting over a school board proposal "punks" in a segment on her show on Sept. 26, 2014. (Credit: Fox News)

JEFFERSON COUNTY — “What’s up with these punks?”

That’s what Fox News host Gretchen Carlson asked prior to a story on the hundreds Jefferson County high school students who have for the last week been protesting a proposal to review the new Advanced Placement U.S. history curriculum that many conservatives feel is unpatriotic.

At times in a segment following the story, in which she offered her take on the protests, Carlson articulately echoed the rallying cry being voiced by many critics of the JeffCo protests.

At other points during her minute-long prepared diatribe, she showed what could be described as a general lack of understanding about the circumstances that led to the protest.

“How can being patriotic or learning about patriotism be a negative?” Carlson asked. “And what does it say about our young people and the teachers joining the protests that patriotism is now a negative?”

That is a question that many have raised on FOX31 Denver comment sections and Facebook posts about the JeffCo protests.

The following conclusion to Carlson’s take has also been voiced by many in response to the JeffCo students’ protests:

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freedom of speech, and the ability to gather and state your claim,” Carlson said. “But quite frankly, if you don’t like it here, and you have a problem with promoting the basic freedoms that men and women have died for protesting for the rest of us and protecting us, then get out.”

However, some of Carlson’s comments in between her introduction and conclusion suggested she might not fully understand the proposal for a review of the AP U.S. history curriculum made by the Jefferson County school board, which sparked the protests in the first place.

“Ironically the new curriculum being proposed is all about promoting individual rights – like protesting,” Carlson said.

That’s true. Or it least it seemed true of the new AP U.S. history curriculum to JeffCo board member Julie Williams. In fact, the idea that the curriculum might promote protesting was part of the reason Williams proposed a committee be assembled to review the potential lesson plans.

In explaining her proposal, Williams even went so far as to say she would champion an amended curriculum in which things like civil disobedience were discouraged.

Carlson continued her take by suggesting the new AP U.S. history curriculum would “also encourage that there be no disregard for the law.”

“Isn’t that why we have laws on the books?” Carlson asked. “Or have we come to the point where breaking the law is now an admirable choice?”

Those questions have also been raised by critics of the JeffCo students’ protests. However, there is nothing in the curriculum that would force teachers to instruct their students to be respectful of the nation’s laws.

That also troubled Williams, who suggested that a respect for the law is a lesson she would like to see added to the AP U.S. history curriculum.

Williams’ proposal is yet to be voted on by the school board. Fellow board member John Newkirk has also said the “most controversial” language in Williams’ initial proposal has been removed from the amended proposal that will likely come up for a vote at the board’s next meeting.

25 comments

  • Anonymous

    Teachers Union scum are behind this mass truancy. Scum like Democrat state senators and union hacks, Andy Kerr and Jeanne Nicholson.

    • shootmyownfood

      Are you seriously suggesting that these students – advanced placement students – cannot think for themselves? Really? The teachers’ union does not promote truancy to students, nitwit.

  • Anonymous

    99% of what fox news is for I’m totally against. Just watch those people sometimes. Some clowns and losers watch it 24 hours. a day .
    Those idiots don’t know of anything else,thus the well-known low info voter, what a bunch of clowns and losers, no wonder the repups are dragging this country down with them!

  • Jamie

    Faking Sick is a dischargeable offense in any industry

    These HS kids really do not care about how or what they are taught in American History. Students didn’t care 10 years ago, or 20 years ago.

    this is about immature teachers complaining that they cant get a bonus even if they are rated as below standards.

    Future teachers – in case you haven’t heard, you only work 9 months of they year and you only get paid for 9 months of they year …..

    Current teachers – did you not know the pay scale when you decided to be a teacher, or did someone force you to be a teacher?

    • shootmyownfood

      Do you find it admirable that teachers are paid some of the lowest salaries among those with college degrees? Should that be acceptable? I cannot understand the lack of respect people have for teachers and the unwillingness to give their opinions weight in the area for which they are trained.

      • Glenn Hefley

        I find it to be the most short-sighted heinous situation we have going on in our country right now. Fact is however, is that the Koch brothers and men like Ron Paul are bent on doing away with public schools. Through massively funded propaganda tactics and situations exactly like this, they are pushing for a weaker, more inept public school performance, while pressing for private learning and home schooling. Texas is the the poster child right now of their efforts. Larry Krieger, the same man causing all of the trouble here, convinced Texas not only to drop the AP History program, but also to drop the whole Core program. Now the State Education Board is developing new text books which fit the ideals of their State Education Board members. Here is where they are at right now : http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=Social_Studies_campaign_review_materials_release

    • Anonymous

      How about you ask a student if they care about their education? Because I know that my piers and I are standing up for our educations. Understand it before you comment it, please and thank you.

  • Robert

    Oh yes, we need to teach the youth to be more “respectful of authority, promote patriotism, citizenship, positive aspects of the United States…”.
    “The ultimate purpose of education is to fashion citizen’s conscious of the glory of country and filled with devotion to the national cause.” – Hitler’s view on the purpose of education and the purpose of the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany.

  • stephanie perkins

    I’M SORRY SOME OF YOU FEEL THAT “ITS THE TEACHERS PAY”, BUT THAT WAS COMBINED WITH THE HISTORY BEING CHANGED. PEOPLE, THIS IS JUST ANOTHER WAY OF CENSORING THINGS, AND THE KIDS ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING. I PERSONALLY HAVE 2 KIDS IN JEFFCO, AND WHAT THEY WANT TO DO IS WRITE OUT SLAVERY AND A FEW OTHER PEOPLE TO MAKE CAUCASIAN FOLKS SEEM LIKE NOTHING HAPPENED, AND THEY DID NO WRONG. FOLKS, THIS IS AMERICA, WE ALL GOT HERE SOME TYPE OF WAY, AND IF YOU THINK THAT FOLKS CAN JUST WRITE OUT “SOME” TO MAKE OTHERS LOOK BETTER IS NOT THE AMERICAN WAY THIS WHOLE NATION WENT DOWN. PEOPLE SHOULD BE HAPPY THAT THE KIDS EVEN READ.

  • Carol

    It is so sad that civil disobedience will be down played or cut from the AP curriculum all together. Seems like that sounds like Communism where everything was censored from education, newspapers, radio, TV, etc.

    • Norma

      Thank you, Carol, for your comments. If it weren’t for protests and civil disobedience, Gretchen Carlson would not have the Fox news host job she has now and the liberty to express her views. Men would be the only ones allowed to work in Fox news, which is bad enough already. I’m sick and tired of how this new board of education is trying to control teachers and students. I say, get rid of this school board and get new board members who are educated and have students and teachers best interest at heart. It would be terrible if students didn’t learn about the Sand Creek Massacre that took place in Colorado. Is it even being taught in current history books? History is history and we cannot change it. We need to learn from it and if it’s bad history, learn from its mistakes. To the students, THANK YOU!

  • John jones

    The FOX news people are not the brightest people in kindergarten. I guess you can say they took this AP class since they have new no clue what the issue really is. What really Gauls me about this is the FOX “news”person has NO clue about the issue yet purport have an opinion on it. I mean how ignorant do you have to be ????

  • Anonymous

    This ignorant bimbo should be fired. As a reporter she should read what she’s reporting. Yet another reason why I don’t listen to Fox News.

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