Fox News is mad at a Minnesota teacher


And it’s not me! They’re upset because a St Paul science teacher is a socialist, and not shy about it.

A Minnesota science teacher in the Saint Paul Public Schools district lambasted cell biology lessons, particularly on mitochondrion, for containing “capitalist” propaganda, Fox News Digital found.

Mandi Jung, a teacher at Highland Park Middle School, said, “Lately, there’s been a lot of conversation about teachers indoctrinating students to their beliefs. And I always find this funny because our children are seeped in capitalist indoctrination from like the second they’re born, basically.”

She’s right, you know.

Jung proceeded to provide the “perfect example” of how “capitalist indoctrination” is expressed in her seventh grade science classes.

“Seventh grade science… [is] the year that you learn that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and all this cell biology. So at the end of the unit, I have [students] take a test. And one of the questions is ‘A person says the nucleus is the most important organelle in the cell. Do you agree or disagree, and why?”

“And almost every child says, ‘Yes, I agree. Because without a boss, the cell would be in total chaos.’”

Jung added the students’ responses “cracks me up,” and went on to claim microscopic bacteria were the “original anarchists.”

“Bacteria don’t have a nucleus, and they are arguably one of the most successful classes of organisms on the planet. Bacteria out here being the original anarchists, right? No nucleus, no master. Seize the means of metabolism. I don’t know. It’s funny to me,” she said.

She’s right again! I’d also mention our erythrocytes, which lack a nucleus and seem to function just fine. It’s a good point she’s making, that all the organelles in a cell are functioning cooperatively, without any one running the show.

Fox News makes her point for her, and finds it outrageous that anyone would have an anti-capitalist opinion, and went running to the administration to tattle on her.

Fox News Digital asked the Saint Paul Public Schools district whether Jung’s commentary is part of its curriculum, and they sent over a science unit used in the district. The district did not directly answer the question.

Jung frequently posts anti-capitalist views on her social media platforms.

For example, she shared on Twitter, “You are not a capitalist, you are an exploited worker with Stockholm syndrome.”

The sentence in the middle is revealing: she says these things on “her social media platforms.” She is allowed to hold her own opinions, you know, and she was making a valid point with her test question, even if the anti-science twits at Fox don’t understand it.

She’s been in trouble with Fox before. She dared to hand out a survey in class asking their preferred pronouns.

The questions asked students about their preferred pronouns and names, and whether those can be used when speaking directly with a student’s parents.

Some of the questions included:

“What name should I use when speaking to your parents?”
“What pronouns should we use when we talk about you? (CHOOSE AS MANY AS YOU WANT)”
“Is it okay to use the pronouns you selected above when we talk to your parents?”
“Is it okay to use the pronouns you selected above when we talk to other students or the class?

Are you horrified yet? Of course, Fox News went screeching to the authorities. They got rebuffed.

Fox News Digital reached out to the district for comment, and a spokesperson referred to existing policy which said, “Respect all students’ gender identity and gender expression by honoring the right of students to be identified and addressed by their preferred name and pronoun.”

They go on to complain that she asked these questions of students without telling their parents. They’re keeping the parents “in the dark”! I guess students aren’t allowed to have autonomy, or question capitalist hegemony, or even consider the fact that there are forces that want to keep students in the dark.

I also wish to report Mandi Jung to the St Paul school district…for a commendation. We need more teachers like that.

Comments

  1. F.O. says

    Also, wait till they find out that we are /multicellular/ organism, made up of cells that give what they can and take what they need…

  2. flex says

    Speaking out of my wheelhouse here; but what is cancer other than unchecked growth of cells which take what they want from the body until they kill the organism that supports them?

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    They go on to complain that she asked these questions of students without telling their parents. They’re keeping the parents “in the dark”! I guess students aren’t allowed to have autonomy, or question capitalist hegemony, or even consider the fact that there are forces that want to keep students in the dark.

    Yes, children are the property of their parents until they turn 18.
    Meanwhile, zygotes have the full rights of personhood from the moment of conception.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    “What name should I use when speaking to your parents?”

    I wonder if there are children bold enough to respond:
    ‘Mother’ and ‘Mother fucker’

  5. says

    Did they mention she has dyed hair ? A lot of right wingers seem to consider obviously dyed hair on women the mark of the Antichrist these days.

  6. sparc says

    The master is just gone and they continue what he dictated. Mammalian erythrocytes just loose the nuclei of their precursors and avian ones don’t even loose them.

  7. raven says

    Speaking out of my wheelhouse here; but what is cancer other than unchecked growth of cells which take what they want from the body until they kill the organism that supports them?

    Growth for the sake of growth is the governing principle of cancer cells.

    It is also the governing principle of Capitalism.

    Since there are now 8 billion of us, you could say that it is also the governing principle of humans.

  8. raven says

    OT but related, the right wingnut attack on public schools.

    California school district parents remove right wingnut school board member.

    This happens a lot.
    Some right wingnut gets elected to a school board and starts trying to wreck the school district. They get removed by a recall election.
    This just happened in Paso Robles, California. Which isn’t at all an especially liberal area.

    The headline and story here is slanted and wrong because it came from Fox NoNews media. Enough of the parents of this district wanted him removed that there is going to be another election.
    He was removed for making politically motivated and bigoted comments about Trans children.

    Calif. parents angered over costly, ‘politically motivated’ removal of school board member
    by KRISTINA WATROBSKI | Crisis in the Classroom Wednesday, December 14th 2022
    UserWay icon for accessibility widget

    PASO ROBLES, Calif. (CITC) — A California community is calling the removal of a school board member under fire for comments about the LGBTQ+ community a “politically motivated” waste of money.

    Kenneth Enney was appointed to the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) Board of Trustees in October. Shortly after joining the board, a Facebook post where he seemingly ‘rejects’ transgender individuals surfaced.

    “Remember that LGBTQ is really 5 classes, or groups, of people. I know, and am accepting, of people that fall under the ‘L’ and ‘G,’” the post reads. “…The ‘T,’ however, I reject.”

    The words upset many in San Luis Obispo County, and a petition with hundreds of signatures calling for Enney’s removal was filed with the San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder’s Office in November. With the majority of those signatures now validated, Enney has been removed, and a special election is in the works. continues

  9. hemidactylus says

    I think it wrong to read ones politics into cell biology whether right wing Spencerian or left wing Kropotkinian.

    That being said ATP is the gold standard of cell energy. And early acting genes set the stage for future development. The latter isn’t necessarily reflective of a hierarchy in the human sense. And ATP isn’t $ as Ayn Rand would have wanted.

  10. imback says

    @15, you think it’s wrong to make a political comment on twitter related to cell biology? It wasn’t like she said it guided her understanding, it was just an offhand observation.

  11. steve oberski says

    Seems like Fox News Digital is the adult (I use that term advisedly) version of “I’m going to tell Mom and Dad what you did”.

  12. says

    On the TV series WKRP, Tim Reid as DJ ‘venus flytrap’ successfully teaches a streetwise black teenager to remember about the atom by likening the protons, neutrons and electrons to street gangs. Is that evil? Not if it helped interest that teenager in science. I hope the ghost of Eugene V. Debs haunts all the dreams of all those Crapitallist, bigoted Fux Snews Aholes!
    YES, we need more teachers like her.

  13. says

    @11 raven: Growth for the sake of growth is the governing principle of cancer cells.
    It is also the governing principle of Capitalism.
    YOU nailed it. Crapitallism is one of the most virulent and destructive forces in society!

  14. jenorafeuer says

    shermanj@18:
    I remember that episode all right. All done after Venus having phrased it as a dare, “If I can teach you about the atom in five minutes, you promise to go back to school.”

    (I also remember the teenager’s reaction to Les Nesman’s ‘Office door’ routine. “What’s he on?” Venus: “Ovaltine.”)

  15. says

    May I gently point out that the attack here is not on capitalism at all, but upon authoritarianism? That’s the “no boss” issue. And the less said about “directors” of capitalist corporate entities — especially in places like Germany (with a higher proportion of professing religious folk than the US), where teh proles have formal representation on the biggest boards — and their factional struggles, the better.

    So the conclusion I would draw is “the success of organisms with cell nuclei means that authoritarianism is unnatural”… which, now that I think about it, would upset FauxNews and its nucleusboss even more.

  16. bcw bcw says

    Aren’t we all just incubators and feeders for our gut bacteria anyway? They’ve steered us to evolve the perfect environment for our e-coli and it’s anarcho-syndicalist-communal bacterial brethren.

  17. bcw bcw says

    @22 and of course strange gram-negatives lying in pancreal alveoli tossing bile salts is no basis for a system of government

  18. says

    Growth for the sake of growth is the governing principle of cancer cells.
    It is also the governing principle of Capitalism.
    Since there are now 8 billion of us, you could say that it is also the governing principle of humans.

    And now we see the violence inherent in the system!

  19. says

    I think it wrong to read ones politics into cell biology…

    Actually, as the article states, it was the students who read their received politics into their understanding of cells; and the teacher was only responding to that misunderstanding of how cells work. (No, the nucleus really isn’t the “boss” or “brain” of a cell, even though that’s kinda what I was taught too, based only on the fact that the nucleus contained all the DNA.)

  20. whheydt says

    Re Raging Bee @ #25…
    One could say that the nucleus is the storage closet (or file cabinet, if feeling kind) of the cell. It’s where the instructions to make a new cell are stored.

  21. chrislawson says

    hemidactylus@15–

    I don’t think she was deeply invested in an anarchist model of mitochondria, I think she is pointing out how the real world doesn’t fit the capitalist propaganda that children are steeped in. Obviously mitochondria are not really anarchists any more than the nucleus really being the “boss” of the cell (which is stupid anyway, if we have to anthropomorphise, it’s closer to being a combined librarian and production co-ordinator).

  22. hemidactylus says

    @27- chrislawson
    Well my allusions to ATP and control or regulatory gene hierarchies were a bit tongue in cheek too.

    Imposing a human socially constructed political dynamic upon cell biology regardless of bent has shortcomings. As shorthand that makes the material parseable or interesting it’s ok if it doesn’t mislead too much. When I was studying development I was struck by how important cell-cell interaction was (via signal transduction?) and how genes act to subserve that dynamic and during differentiation and due to epigenetic factors, genes may merely STFU. At the time I was railing against the so called evolutionary gene concept sensu Dawkins, though he implicitly undercut himself with the rowboat metaphor.

    In one sense of anarchy (the overly chaotic rebellious kind), mitochondria as Hobbesian state of nature bacteria have instead integrated into society (Leviathan?) by giving up autonomy and cancer cells rebel by staging an eventually self-defeating revolution. They might refuse suicide orders relayed by T cells or NK cells. Still fraught with shortcomings.

  23. hemidactylus says

    Biology aside Jung’s “You are not a capitalist, you are an exploited worker with Stockholm syndrome.” is apt.

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