Speaking at Al Sharpton's recent National Action Network conference in New York City, Duncan was asked about the appropriateness of schools teaching students how to protest, as well as bringing students to political protests.
His thoughts are sadly unsurprising, given his boss' background as a community organizer:
EAGnews.org Producer: I wanted to get your comments on the introduction of non-violent protest training activism in the schools with the children, specifically taking children to protests and advocating for their own change in the educational system.
Arne Duncan: Thank you -- that's a great question. I think whether it's, you know, children in elementary school, middle school, or high school, or college, getting our students engaged in the civic life of our country is hugely important. So getting young people engaged -- protest being a part of it -- but creating clubs, participating in service, giving back -- not just being recipients of service but being the givers of service ... The more our young people are actively engaged, I think the more we're going to have a strong and vibrant democracy. And so, I think, having young people at the earliest ages doing things that are somehow non-traditional, I'm a big supporter of. (emphasis added)
It is disturbing that America's top educator (theoretically) would openly endorse utilizing children for political protests and having schools use valuable time teaching such tactics. It sends a signal to every school in America that it is appropriate and it will not be scrutinized by federal educational leaders.