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The Littlest Missionaries: A New Christian Plot to Invade Public Schools

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, children, culture, dishonesty, education, ethics, family, freedoms, law, politics, religion, rights, society )

- 2058 days ago -
When he was 15, Jim ran drugs for a cult group. When I first heard his story, I was shocked - not just that the group was running drugs, but that they had directed one of their youngest recruits to do the dirty work for them.

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Kit B (276)
Friday October 5, 2012, 8:09 am
(Photo Credit: |

When he was 15, Jim ran drugs for a cult group. When I first heard his story, I was shocked – not just that the group was running drugs, but that they had directed one of their youngest recruits to do the dirty work for them. Then I learned why it made sense in a technical sort of way: the cult leaders reasoned that the older members, if caught, would face serious sentences and lifetime records, whereas the kids could get away with an unpleasant but not life-altering juvenile detention. It was a matter of using kids to do what the grown-ups didn't want to risk doing themselves.

In a tactical sense, religious fundamentalists in America appear to have taken a page from the same book. The constitution and the law prohibits adults from, say, establishing ministries within public schools aimed at proselytizing to the children during school hours. But a growing number of religious activists have come to realize that it's technically legal if they get the kids to do their work for them. OK, so religious proselytizing is not the same thing as running drugs – but manipulating kids to exploit legal loopholes isn't pretty wherever it happens.

This tactic has been tested and deployed in a great number of situations already in schools across the country. Right now, a large group of fundamentalist organizations and church denominations is making a big bet that they will be able to pull it off on a national scale, starting in 2013.

If you go to the Every Student Every School website, you'll see that their dozens of promotional videos are first-rate. The music is great, the cameras are professionally handled, the sound bites are short and snappy. Their message is very clear.

As ESES's name implies, their idea is to proselytize every student in every public school in America through an aggressive "Adopt-a-School" campaign. And the way to do it is to have the kids do what grownups are not allowed to do – establish full-fledged missionary operations inside the schools. A clever map allows viewers to click on their state and type in their area code, revealing every school in the district and determine whether it has been "adopted" by churches or other religious organizations. Kids from those entities are instructed to conduct daily prayer groups during the school day, distribute religious literature and are given numerous other ideas for practicing or promoting their religion at school.

"We must help our teenagers get serious about sharing their faith with those God has place in their lives," an article on the ESES website advises. According to ESES's Campus Prayer Guide, evangelical Christian students are in a "strategic position" to proselytize "unchurched" peers, and advises these students to "consider every school a PRAYER ZONE."

Who is behind ESES and its sponsoring group, Campus Alliance? It is backed by nearly 60 large-scale fundamentalist initiatives and church denominations, including the Fellowship for Christian Athletes, Young Life, Youth with a Mission, Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) and the Life Book Movement, a project of the Gideons International.

ESES is the fulfillment of a strategy that has been unfolding for the past few decades. It started with student groups rightfully claiming certain free speech rights in public schools. After all, kids can and should be allowed to talk about their religion with their friends at school. It led to a legal distinction by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor that seems more simple on the surface than it is in practice – the distinction between private speech by students and speech that is linked to school authorities or the authority of the school.

This distinction was perhaps too simplistic. After all, when students give class presentations, they don't have a right to express just any views on any subject they choose. Schools routinely restrict student speech – directing kids to speak politely, or speak in turn, for instance – when it makes sense for educational purposes, and even sometimes when it doesn't. This distinction ultimately led to what some fundamentalist activists took to calling a "God-given loophole".

September 26th, for instance, marked the 22nd annual "See You at the Pole" prayer event, in which children nationwide gathered around the flagpole at their schools and prayed in as ostentatious a manner as possible. The event is purportedly "student-led". But at the SYAP I attended, local pastors directed kids in their youth groups to join, told them what to do, loaned them sound amplification equipment, participated in the event and hosted an after-party at a local mega-church, which was staffed with adults wearing t-shirts with the SYAP logo.

These initiatives are "student-led" in the same sense that a pee-wee soccer league is student-led. Yes, it's the kids kicking the ball, but you have to be pretty detached from reality to imagine that there would be kids on that playing field in the first place without the grown-ups organizing and funding their activities, and cheering them from the sidelines.

Bible distribution programs are pursuing the same tactic. For years, adult missionaries with the Gideons International sought to distribute Bibles in public schools – with limited success, as adults are not allowed to hand out religious literature on public school grounds. But give a stash of evangelical tracts to a kid, and the kid is allowed to do it for them. In the past three years since its inception, the Life Book movement, a "peer evangelism" project of the Gideons International, claims to have distributed over 3.4m evangelical tracts, written with teens in mind, to kids on school campuses nationwide.

In many instances, such activities like this will appear as a nuisance at the margin, one of those violations of the spirit of the constitution, if not the letter, that would seem to be more about symbolism and principle than anything else. But in this case, it would be naïve to imagine that that is the end game. The goal of such initiatives, quite clearly, is to normalize the idea that public schools should be venues for religious activity. Once you've got churches entangling themselves in the schools, it is very hard to remove them.

New York City's department of education found this out the hard way. After being forced by the courts to allow churches rent-free access to space within public schools, a new constituency was created: namely, churchgoers and church leaders accustomed to having state-subsidized houses of worship. Even though the second circuit court of appeals recognized that there was a serious constitutional concern here, the department of education has run into heavy political resistance, which they are still battling today.

Defenders of such religious initiatives call their efforts a fight for "religious freedom." But largely what they seek are special privileges for their religion alone. The normalization of the integration of church and school comes from very particular strands of the Christian faith; not every Christian denomination, or every religion, is involved in this kind of activity. Mainline Christian denominations, to give just one example, are largely excluded. The work of ESES and its friends creates precisely those ills against which the constitutional principle of the "separation of church and state" was intended to defend.

Such mixing of church and school is sure to cause conflict and division – especially among parents who are not represented by the school-churches. It will burden public school officials who already have enough to deal with in terms of instruction and management, and are frankly not equipped to handle sectarian conflicts in school communities. But the groups involved in these efforts won't be deterred by that division. In fact, many of them welcome it. Many fundamentalists simply do not accept public schools as legitimate enterprises in the first place. They see public education as secular education, and therefore intrinsically hostile to their religion.

At their core, they do not accept that we live in a diverse society with a secular form of government. If their activities degrade support for the public schools or even destroy them, they will not be sorry to see them go.
By Katherine Stewart | Alternet |


Kit B (276)
Friday October 5, 2012, 8:20 am

Personally, it doesn't matter to me what religion any one chooses to be affiliated with or that they might make the choice of no religion in their life. It harms me in no way. Though I do not like those who use any form of public facility for the purpose of proselytizing religious beliefs. We all pay equally for public schools, whether that is through Federal taxes, state taxes or property taxes.

When I was in high school we had prayer in school, our school had an equal number of Jewish, Roman Catholic and protestant religions, each day a prayer would be in Latin, Hebrew or English. We didn't know we were not supposed to respect others beliefs. The Principal, a PhD from a ranching family in south Texas had made it clear that should we have even one student that was from any other religion, that religion and or language difference would be represented, and no one could attempt to "sell" one belief over another. That school was one of the top five college predatory public high schools in the United States. All of us were relieved, and quite happy when prayer in school ended, though none as pleased as our principal.

Kit B (276)
Friday October 5, 2012, 8:22 am

***Preparatory...sorry I type too fast and do not always check my spelling! ***

pam w (139)
Friday October 5, 2012, 8:35 am

Just as children must be educated about appropriate language and behavior in school, they must also be educated so they understand that proselytizing is inappropriate in schools, too.

This isn't really a surprise...apparently, it's OK to be sneaky for the savior. Witnesses already litter for the lord in my neighborhood...tracts in my screen.....restrictions don't apply to the religious, it seems.

Thanks, Kit!

JL A (281)
Friday October 5, 2012, 2:29 pm
In CA there has been an extra twist with student Christian groups in recent years (Proposition 8 probably helped motivate) being openly homophobic and making Christians who are not homophobic uncomfortable when attending and on days designated for 1st Amendment Freedom of speech, making anti-gay signs filled with hate as their "free speech"...and administrators being unable to intervene or diminish despite the large numbers of openly LGBTQ students in the student bodies being targeted...

Jae A (316)
Friday October 5, 2012, 2:52 pm
Rather reminiscent of Hitler's youth moment for me...only worse !!

pam w (139)
Friday October 5, 2012, 4:14 pm
Their Jesus would be so VERY proud of them......wouldn't he?

Kit B (276)
Friday October 5, 2012, 4:31 pm

No, I don't believe he would be, not the one I read about.

Yvonne White (229)
Friday October 5, 2012, 8:11 pm
In the 60's & 70's we went out of our way to be nice & inclusive of all religions in school - while slowly being alienated from ALL religions as the Vietnam War dragged on...I was fine with that - to be or not to be "religious" was somebody elses' problem. Then I had 3 boys & it became my problem to explain why it's okay to believe some things & not others & at what age you figure things out yourself & how you must respect other people's myths, etc.. kids are NOT tools or complete fools - they learn whether you want them to or not & I think these grand manipulators may be surprised when they grow up to destroy the Crystal Palaces of vanity..can I get an "Amen"????;)

Kit B (276)
Friday October 5, 2012, 8:17 pm

You got it, babe!

pam w (139)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 12:09 am
Hey, Yvonne.....AMEN!

Janet R (38)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 5:55 am
Something else to worry about. This is why there is separation of church and state. Those groups should not be allowed in public schools.

paul m (93)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 6:22 am


Kit B (276)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 6:23 am

Baby Warriors for god, out there on the front lines spreading the word of indoctrination. It's abuse of children to filled their minds so completely myths, it also burdens them with something they shouldn't have to consider for many years.

Janet, I am not sure this country respects the ideals of freedom for religious choice, the wall of separation seems to be in rubble..

pam w (139)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 8:23 am
Right, Kit! Does anyone remember "Jesus Camp?"

At a tender, vulnerable age, these children are being indoctrinated into a life of terror, sin, hell fires and eternal torments. Instead of playing games and riding bikes, they're being pressured to change the lives of their friends. Instead of just enjoying school, their being brainwashed to manipulate their classmates' ideas.

Nice....really nice.

Freya H (357)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 8:33 am
Fill these tender heads with gobbledygook when they are still innocent and impressionable, and it will be a lot harder to enlighten them later.

Kit B (276)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 8:37 am

Or they may rebel against this as they become a little older, exposed to the real world, and as all thinking humans do, begin to formulate questions.

pam w (139)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 8:39 am
One hopes the meantime, how much damage might they do to their friends?

bob m (32)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 9:07 am

In my province .. little bibles (Gideon) can no longer be given privately to children who request one.. when I was a little boy I had mine always with me .. my choice..
My Lord (suffer the little children type).. is no longer welcome in our schools it seems while catholic institutions are bending over (literally?) to legal requirements that islam be coddled in ways to encourage prayer daily and probably facilitations built as well... this being a cult of long standing dawa (school indoctrination).. which is at its' root by definition anti christ. ..
As to burdensome things like Jesus ...and my childhood... "my yoke is easy" burden is lite" I pray that more billions of little children learn of His tenderheated prescence.
..Now Kit.. do something different for a change.. look into dawa.. and tell us all about it... .. you know .. muslim brotherhood . ties and killing Christians everywhere today as always dawa sensibilities.. it might alleviate some of your hard heartedness and bitter pursuit of Christian foibles long enough for you to realize the you too are loved by God .. I hope so.

Carola May (20)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 9:59 am
My my, Kit, if someone posted an article criticising the way the Muslim Brotherhood's US front group, CAIR, had gotten US school textbooks starting with the 7th grade to completely whitewash out all the ugly Islamic history of its violent spread, and paint Mohammed as a Christ-like man of love and peace, you would call them islamophobes and bigots, as would many here on Care2.

Why is this incredible lie and religious brainwashing in our schools not a concern too? It's far more sinister and dangerous than this story.

In some California schools there have already been court approved 2 week indoctrination courses written and produced by Muslims for kids to 'learn about Islam' - for 2 weeks!? Parents sued to stop them and the PC courts OK'd this brainwashing missionary effort! The kids take Muslim names, read the Muslim propaganda on Mohammed and peaceful loving Islam and how people just flocked to it because it was so thrilling and wonderful. They read the early abrogated/cancelled nicer verses from the Qur'an only and skip the 109 verses of hatred toward all non-Muslims that replaced them. Where is your outrage over this kind of religious missionary work.

US texts have been changed into Islamic missionary tools and some schools have even started to stage long Muslim produced Islamic missionary brainwashing courses, yet a teacher there was sanctioned for posting the Ten Commandments on his room wall.

I oppose all religious missionary efforts and propaganda in all public schools, but I find it very disturbing how the mighty efforts at Muslim infiltration in our schools' textbooks and teaching aids seems to be completely ignored by you who only seem to get upset if it is Christian fundamentalists trying to have some influence. If this was about Islam you'd be condemned and called a bigot, but those who would do that seem to revel in criticizing and being 'bigots' toward these people. That would be called Christophobia - but that's OK, isn't it?

There is a serious disconnect from reality with some of you people here. It's called hypocrisy.

Gillian M (218)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 10:20 am
In Florida it is known that CAIR is regularly invited to teach Islam in high schools yet no other religion is. Why are you not screaming about that? Carola is quite right, there is one attitude to Islam and another to all others. I am against any indoctrination of any religon especially extremism, but you must be even handed. Object to all or be quiet.

I look forward, with great amusement, to the idea of Kit objecting to anything Muslim.

Kit B (276)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 10:34 am

Is it really asking too much for you to read the thread and then make a comment about the topic?
The least accepted religion in the US is Islam, any fool knows that.

Gillian M (218)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 12:05 pm
I read the thread and the article, I am far more literate & better educated than you as well as more widely read something you obviously need to do. And, as for being a fool, from the UK it is very clear just how well accepted Islam is in the US. My friends in America complain how little of the atrocities committed by Muslims are in the media or even trackable through the internet. So, how aware are you really? Does your bias shut your eyes to the truth?

If Islam is the least accepted religion in the US then why are so many Muslims advising Obama? Why does cair talk to schools in Florida (& presumably elsewhere) and no othe religion?

Cair receives funding from terrorist organisations and is fronted by known terrorists.

CAIR’s lineage goes back to a key Hamas leader (Musa Abu Marzook), and that CAIR has long been connected with, and “exploited” the 9/11 attacks to raise money for the Holy Land Foundation, a Hamas front group.

CAIR is heavily supported, financially and otherwise, by suspect Saudi and UAE-based individuals and groups.

cair has forced access to fbi training on how to spot terrorists so that they know how to circumnavigate the very people who protect you.

There are something like 1.3 billion Muslims in the world (& growing). If 10% are extremists........#

Kit B (276)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 12:20 pm

Gillian said: I am far more literate & better educated than you as well as more widely read something you obviously need to do.

I wonder why it is so necessary to be so aggressive, and look so hard hard for a fight. Wrong person Gillian, I don' t have a desire to fight with you nor you gang of tag a longs. I don't know what you think you know of me, my education or even my reading skills, so as usual you make things up as you go long.

You are right about one thing, I rarely bother to read what you or your gang blather on about.

Kit B (276)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 1:14 pm

I would prefer that public money be used for teaching the course of instruction, and not myths. Students can learn all about religion from their church, synagogue, mosque, or from family. No religious instruction for any one religion belongs in schools funded by public money.

Gillian M (218)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 1:44 pm
"Is it really asking too much for you to read the thread and then make a comment about the topic?
The least accepted religion in the US is Islam, any fool knows that."

You claimed that I hadn't read anything and when I make it clear that I have you get defensive and then attack. You then write insults which are routine when you find that you cannot counter evidence presented which in this case is that Islam is well ingrained into America. Boring.

Lydia S (71)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 2:12 pm
Vlasta wrote: "I would rather have little Christians to promote Gospels and Sermon on the Mount than little Muslims promoting the supremacist ideology of Islam. Jesus was a good guy who promoted love, while Mohamed was a pedophile polygamist who married Aisha, one of his 12 wives, when she was 6 and he was 51 and had sex with her when she was 9.

Thank you Vlasta, for expressing so well what most folks with some common sense understand, but the islamo-defendors FAIL SO MISERABLY in understanding.

The Gospel of Jesus -- which was love and tolerance, and respect for women and children -- has been the foundation for all that is good in Western Civilization ... the abolition of slavery, child labor laws, the emancipation of women, the Bill of Rights, etc., all were inspired by the gospels & teachings of Christ!

In the meantime, the teachings of mohammed continue to inspire carnage and bloodshed: 1,400 years after it's unfortunate spawning ... violence against women & children, child brides, Female Genital Mutilation, Acid Burning, Terrorist attacks -- yup, you name it, they do it,

But, the Kits of the world, continue to pander to the islamists, by being very useful to their campaign of misinformation! Way to go, Kit ... and -- NO, I do not note nonsensical drivel such as the above!

Green stars to all those who GET IT! An invitation to educating yourself -- to those who DON'T!


Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 2:27 pm
I looked up my town on the map, and they've sure targeted many schools here....fortunately, not the one attended by my grandkids. Prayer was removed from schools before I hit first grade, so I spent my public school years happily unaware of religious distinctions....other than the usual holidays. My kids went through school in the 80's and 90's without religious interference. I just hope enough parents today are informed about their rights and fight back against these creeping groups. And, I agree with others' comments that very often indoctrinating kids at such a young age makes them rebel against it later.

monica r (41)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 2:39 pm
I strongly support separation of church and state.

That said, check out and their detailed instructions for converting student to islam. Clearly no religion has a monopoly on this practice.

In all honesty, most kids in the public school district I work at are fairly open about stating what religion they follow if the subject comes up in conversation among themselves, The vast majority at least claim they are Christian, though they certainly don't all act like they are. They aren't proselytizing though (there's occasional references such as playing b-ball at church, otherwise it pretty much rarely comes up). And my atheist students are staunchly atheist, so I doubt they could be swayed regardless.

I don't talk about my beliefs nor do I ask students about theirs. School isn't the place for that. Yes, the occasional phone call home ends with a parent or guardian wishing me to "have a blessed day" but I don't find it offensive, nor do I see it as an attempt to proselytize. I see it as them exercising freedom of religion. It IS their right, last I checked, regardless what anyone else thinks of it.

Kit B (276)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 2:56 pm

Gillian, and now I am addressing you. I do not consider your information about Florida public schools to be worthy of discussion. I did look it up, and read many of the sites there. I do not consider, Florida Family Council, atlas shrugged/ Pam Geller, zion trumpet, the blaze, Jihad Watch or any of the blogs posted about this issue to be credible sources. Some of the individual schools districts have invited some Islamic speakers, there is no requirement for any one show up and listen. Beyond contemporary generalized religious acknowledgements, there is no standard of teaching Islam in the public schools of Florida. Though they do in fact, have many private religious schools for all faiths.

If you think it was nasty or mean to ask you to address the topic of the article, then maybe you should read some of things you do say to others.

Each of us have opinions, Gillian and some are gained from spending time to learn facts, while others are formed from other influences.

pam w (139)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 5:30 pm
How in BLAZES did this turn into a "let's bash Kit and Islam all in the same thread" topic?

As Kit says, "No religious instruction for any one religion belongs in schools funded by public money." And that's right. There's no question that Islam also tries to brainwash do Christian evangelists...WHICH WAS THE TOPIC OF THIS THREAD.

Carola, since I live in Californai and was unaware of your "court-approved 2-week indoctrination in Islam" claim.....I went to Snopes.....look here.....

Kit is one of the most literate, intelligent and well-read people I know.....I don't understand this blatant attack. Don't respect it, either.


Antonia Windham (6)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 7:06 pm
From what I can see, the anti-Kit field appears overrun with amateurs. You've strayed badly out of your league, munchkins.

I've no love for sending out waves of tiny Christian missionaries into tax-supported institutions. Our public schools're not there to create new Soldiers for Christ. This's nothing new, unfortunately, since lovers of the supernatural've always tried to insert their sticky little fingers into the public pie here in the U.S.

And it's boring, boring, boring to see so many stories irrelevantly hijacked by the anti-Mohammedan crowd when that's not the subject. Like it's just as boring when they're irrelevantly hijacked by the pro-Mohammedan crowd when that's not the subject. The story's not about Mohammedan infiltration into our schools. It's about Christian infiltration. Most of us who've no liking for public school preaching've no desire to see either Christianity OR Mohammedanism pushed on our kids (or any one of the zillion other supernatural fellow travelers). Stupid to've equated criticism of one to be tolerance for another. Tossing 'em all out's much more to the liking of most sensible people.

Thanks for the Snopes link, Pam. I've a liking for Snopes and I'll check that one out.

pam w (139)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 8:27 pm
You're welcome! It doesn't talk much effort to verify some of these claims.

Anyone who knows me knows I HAVE NO LOVE for Islam! Anyone who stands for womens' rights and welfare MUST speak against it.

But....this thread is about something completely different, and I'm bothered by the idea that people came here to accuse Kit of "hypocrisy." THAT sounds pointedly personal.

patrica and edw jones (190)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 10:19 pm
People should respect each other's beliefs. That way we might all enjoy 'getting along together' regardless of one's faith. It makes no difference to God/Jesus which faith we belong to......they are impartial. Ed and I have no religious denomination - so arguing about religion per se does not bother us in the least. Thanks for the article Kit.

Suruna WTF (38)
Saturday October 6, 2012, 11:52 pm
To the cadre of you who attempted to hijack this thread, shame on you for your oh so convenient disregard for the very values you quote; and, "..., the Bill of Rights(?!?), etc., all were inspired by the gospels & teachings of Christ!" Wrong. Check your history, a good many of our "founding fathers" were agnostic and atheists, eschewing the "Christian religious teachings". Hence, the inclusion of the protection of "separation of church and state". You can pound your bibles and condemn others til you're blue, doesn't change the Mother Facting truth!

Religious instruction or enticements do not belong in our public schools and should not be tolerated. I really liked Monica R.'s share of her experience, noting casual references on campus and thoughtful good wishes from parents, no proselytizing or attempts to enlist 'lost' souls, hallelujah! Folks simply living their lives and tending to their own business.

The stark comparison between the attacks, accusations and creative misinformation by the zealot interlopers as compared to the quality sharing and patience shown by those here to respond honestly to the topic, well, true intention reveals itself.

Past Member (0)
Sunday October 7, 2012, 5:39 am

Eternal Gardener (745)
Sunday October 7, 2012, 5:25 pm
Very scary... indoctrinate them while they're still young and pliable. My mind automatically jumps to images of the Hitler jugend and also other forms of fanatic extremism... this never is a good thing.
What a vile and amoral thing to do, coloring the minds of a very vulnerable age group with propaganda that serves to create an "us" versus "them" feeling, aka; hatemongering/war/terrorism!
What kind of a sick world do we live in?

Eternal Gardener (745)
Sunday October 7, 2012, 5:29 pm
Another thought, what lies at the heart of this returning/relentless link between christianity and child abuse?

Yvonne White (229)
Sunday October 7, 2012, 5:46 pm
LOL! Eternal, just read the thread & see how Easily one subject gets hijacked into several other subjects & all sorts of accusations without Proof - the World is a sick place...made sicker by those would-be "saviors" who can't leave well enough alone.. Hypocrits are people who profess one religion (etc.) while not practicing it I'm guessing they don't own mirrors?;) While people like Me don't burn other people's churchs, mosques, or sweat lodges just because we don't believe the same thing - so we can't be hypocrits, but I surely can be bored to tears hearing LIES repeated by FAUXS News "bloggers"!!

Cynthia Davis (340)
Tuesday October 9, 2012, 3:54 am
I really enjoyed reading this post, and all the comments here. (TY Kit) But I have to say that some of you as John Stewart would put it...."are so far up bull shit mountain you have lost site of reality." Our forefathers were for the separation of church and state, to see it any other way is mind boggling to me no matter how religious you are or what religion you come from. Using children to get prayer in schools is shameful in my opinion.
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