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Parents claim Veterans Day presentation at Lehi elementary school got too political

Posted at 9:10 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 08:31:40-05

LEHI, Utah — An elementary school in Lehi is receiving backlash on social media as some parents claim a Veteran’s Day presentation got too political.

Dry Creek Elementary School teacher Katie Sandberg told FOX 13 News that the teacher who gave the presentation has spoken in the assembly for the past three years. She said he’s a veteran who typically shares stories of his experience. She said on Monday, he included more information than years prior.

“He explained to the kids the reason we have veterans people in the military is to protect our country from bullies,” she explained.

She said that teacher went on to show pictures of Adolf Hitler, Kim Jong-un, and other “bullies.” She said he then went on to list “bullies of today.”

“Hitler is a history thing. There’s just a lot of political heat around the present day and the people we don’t agree with how they run their country,” Sandberg said.

Taylor and Youngsun Roberts weren’t there for the presentation but say their kindergartner was.

“Our kids are of mixed race, obviously, so we’re just kind of concerned that there’s some pictures shown that were of some Communist leaders who are Asian,” said Taylor Roberts. “Our son’s Korean so he came home and said, ‘He’s Korean like me.’”

FOX 13 News was only able to obtain one picture of one of the slides. The slide features a collection of bullet points about socialism, saying, “Many college students think socialist/communist ideas sound appealing.” The slide also talks about freedom, teaching students “the truth about our Constitution,” and includes a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

Dry Creek Elementary’s principal, Patrice Worlton, sent an email to parents Wednesday afternoon, writing, “There have been some inaccuracies shared about the content of our recent Veterans Day assembly. We want to reassure you that the education and safety of your students is our top priority. Moving forward, we have put appropriate protocols in place for our assemblies to keep them age appropriate and politically neutral. We especially appreciate the dedication of our veterans and everyone who participated in the assembly. Thank you for supporting us in the wonderful things that are happening at Dry Creek.”

The Roberts’ believe the presenter had good intentions but think the content wasn’t age appropriate. They think parents should talk about the subject with their kids at home.

“Just the way you say things can affect them. You show a picture of an Asian and talk to little kids about it, it’s going to affect how they perceive other kids and their race,” said Roberts.

In a statement, the Alpine School District said, “In remembrance of Veterans Day on November 11, schools throughout Alpine School District are honoring veterans this week. As in previous years, schools are holding special flag ceremonies and assemblies to honor parents and grandparents of students who are veterans and to offer thanks to those who continue protecting our freedoms. An isolated incident that occurred on Monday at an elementary school is unfortunate, concerning, and is being investigated by school and district administration. District policy prohibits political advocacy.”