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Did School Promote Communism over Capitalism?

By Todd Starnes

Jeff Travis owns a small business in Des Moines and he is absolutely furious at a classroom flier that his son received from his high school social studies teacher.

The flier, given to students at Roosevelt High School, features a cartoon and slogans that seem to promote communism over capitalism.


“Communism stands for equal sharing of the work according to the benefits and the ability, but in capitalism an individual is responsible for his works and if he wants to raise the ladder,” the flier stated. “While the profit of any enterprise is equally shared by all in Communism, the profit in the capitalist structure belongs to the owner only.”

The cartoon represented capitalism by featuring an overweight businessman smoking a cigar while his workers were shackled. On the communism side, the cartoon showed happy workers earning loads of cash.

“I’m a businessman,” Travis told Fox News. “I took great offense. I don’t smoke big stogies. I don’t have a big gut. My employees are not shackled. If this was a fair representation, where is the fence around the workers on the communist side? Where is the guy holding a gun to their heads saying either comply or die? Where are the bodies that Stalin and Mao put in the graves.”

Travis said he spoke to the principal of the school and asked for an explanation. It’s been nearly a week and so far – he hasn’t received one.

“I couldn’t believe how slanted it was,” he said. “It wasn’t given as an example of propaganda. It was given as an example of capitalism and communism. I can’t believe they would hand out something like that.”

Travis showed the flier to a customer who happens to work at WHO Radio – a Fox News Radio affiliate. That customer gave the flier to Simon Conway, who hosts a local talk show.

“The flier seems to promote communism over capitalism,” Conway said. “We’re all horrified. We don’t want this stuff taught in our schools.”

A spokesperson for the school system confirmed the flier had been distributed in a classroom. However, additional questions were referred to another staff member – and so far – calls to that individual have not been returned.

However, school officials did post a statement on their website Friday afternoon, accusing WHO of misrepresenting the flier.

“It is unfortunate that a talk show host decided to mislead his listeners in order to generate false criticism of our schools and our teachers,” the statement read.

School officials also provided a link to what they said were additional documents given to students. However, the link was not activated – and a school official told Fox News that the web materials were not yet available.

As for the flier that students in the social studies class received, the school said:

“Furthermore, the class, 20th Century History, was studying the Cold War and propaganda, looking at some of the arguments both sides made about why their system was best on a range of topics, including their economies,” the statement read. “The handout simply highlights the differences between capitalism and communism, and some of the arguments made during the period of the Cold War.”

Conway said local residents are outraged.

“We ended up doing a full hour on this topic,” he said.

Travis said he never wanted to cause the school or the principal grief or frustration. He said he just wanted his questions answered.

“I’m concerned about the slant I keep seeing in the school and I’m tired of it,” he said.

Last year, Travis said an Occupy Wall Street protester was invited to speak to 12 and 13-year old children at his son’s middle school. When Travis found out, he asked to sit in the classroom.

“I was amazed they would allow someone like that to come in and talk to the students,” he said. “He came in and said how evil the military is and how he used to respect the police and how he doesn’t respect the police anymore.”

Travis said it no one was there to refute the Occupier’s allegations.

“I told the principal I thought it was pretty egregious that they would bring someone like that in but the principal didn’t think there was anything wrong with it,” he said.