Over the years, we have received numerous complaints about liberal Charlottesville City and Albemarle County teachers indoctrinating captive government school students in violation of the respective divisions’ policies.

However, as students and their parents with minority political viewpoints are fearful of classroom and administrative retribution for reporting such infractions, hard evidence has been hard to come by.

But now, The Schilling Show brings you these exclusive and potentially incriminating pictures of Margie Shepherd’s Henley Middle School classroom number 47.

Proudly promulgated in Mrs. Shepherd’s cultivation chamber, is a printed, bingo-like game piece mocking Republican Alaska Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. This derisive display, apparently acquired from the web site, Palin Bingo, ridicules Gov. Palin via association of her likeness with a number of traducing terms and by displaying a banner over her head, which reads, “AIR SPACE.”

How might this inappropriate and partisan political display affect the comfort level of any child in that classroom who happens to support Governor Palin and/or the Republican Party?

In addition to the insulting insinuation that Gov. Palin is an “airhead,” the same classroom is rife with “ecological,” “United Nations,” and “pacifist/peace” propaganda, all posted with no counterbalancing counsel for pupils’ perusal.

The Albemarle County School Board unequivocally addresses the topic of student indoctrination in their policy paper entitled, “Teaching About Controversial Issues,” as follows:

The Albemarle County School Board accepts training for effective citizenship as one of the major purposes of education.+ This includes, in part, recognizing that many important areas of study involve issues on which differing positions are held by individuals or groups.

In considering such issues, it shall be the purpose of the Albemarle County Public Schools to allow the student to do the following:

1. Study any controversial issue which has political, economic, or social significance and which is within the range, knowledge, maturity and competence of the students, and which does not conflict with State Board of Education regulations and the Albemarle County School Board Policies and regulations.

2. Provide resources containing a wide range of views on controversial issues so that students may develop the practice of critical reading and thinking.

3. Study under competent instruction in an atmosphere of freedom from bias and prejudice.

4. Form and express opinions on controversial issues without jeopardizing his position with the school.

The role of the teacher in the presentation of controversial issues is vitally important.+ All sides of the issue should be given the students in a balanced manner.+ The goal is for the students to be taught to think clearly on all matters of importance, and to make their own decisions in the light of all the material that has been presented or can be secured on the issues.+ Indoctrination is not a policy of the Albemarle County Public Schools.

Although the instructional program of the school division includes many facets of the political party system in the United States, the School Board does not sanction as a part of the school program the involvement of students in activities that imply school endorsement of an individual political party or candidate.+ Individual class assignments and volunteer work involving students in political activities are permissible.

This teacher’s classroom “decoration” appears to violate the division’s policies in myriad ways, particularly; items 2 and 3 above are brazenly transgressed.

But, it doesn’t stop there. A document obtained from Mrs. Shepherd’s classroom web site describes a current student assignment entitled “Peace by Piece.” This task requires children to “turn what you have learned about Citizenship and World Issues into a Vision of your idea of a better world, and put that vision into action by using your project to raise money for a project that will make the world a better place.”

There are two components to this assignment:

  1. An essay about the student’s own “vision of a better world.” The instructions read in part: “How could things happen to make the world safer, cleaner and more fair for everybody?”
  2. A “visionary art project” in which students are to make “an artistic creation that will be saleable at our ‘Peace by Piece’ silent auction.” Students are further instructed to make an item that “will produce at least $25.00” and to “make something that other people will want to buy to support this effort.”

Here is the verbatim topic list from Mrs. Shepherd’s assignment worksheet:

Some of the listed topics from which students may choose a subject for their “Peace by Piece” project appear innocuous. However, this list of topics also includes subtle and obvious overtures to potentially anti-American and anti-Christian themes such as disarmament, nature worship, “fair trade,” and globalism, among others, with little-to-no counterbalance offered.

So, who might (or should) be bothered by this bid to brainwash tomorrow’s adult Americans?

Christian families who teach their child(ren) of man’s God-given dominion over the earth (Gen. 1:26) may take great umbrage with Gaia-like intimation in Mrs. Shepherd’s bumper sticker that proclaims “we belong to the earth.”

Patriotic American families who instruct their child(ren) in the Founders’ principles of American sovereignty may dispute the displayed pro-United Nations / One World proselytism as seen in stickers, photographs and posters in Mrs. Shepherd’s classroom.

Those whose families have been liberated by, have served in, or have great reverence for the American military may decidedly dispute the manifestation that “War is not the answer” (because sometimes it is) and the proliferation of pacifist messages in Henley’s classroom number 47.

Given the above documentation, can this classroom learning environment possibly be considered to follow the School Board’s stated guidelines to:

Provide resources containing a wide range of views on controversial issues so that students may develop the practice of critical reading and thinking.


Study under competent instruction in an atmosphere of freedom from bias and prejudice.

Is the Albemarle County School Board’s guideline for teacher presentation being followed:

The role of the teacher in the presentation of controversial issues is vitally important.+ All sides of the issue should be given the students in a balanced manner.

There does not appear to be balance of presentation in Mrs. Shepherd’s Henley Middle School classroom number 47.

To wit:

Where are the references to God, the Creator of the earth to balance the “Mother Earth” and other Gaia-inspired, environmental messages?

Where are the references that speak highly of America; her gifts of freedom and prosperity to her citizens and to much of the world, and the belief, held by many Americans, in “peace through strength,” to balance the globalist United Nations messages?

Where are the balancing political references? While one party (Republican) is mocked (i.e. the Republican governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin), references to the other party (Democrat) are non-existent.

Perhaps, Mrs. Shepherd is unaware that there exist alternative viewpoints to those she liberally proffers within her classroom, or perhaps she is unaware of the Albemarle County School Board policy which may apply here. Ignorance of policies or of alternative opinions and beliefs, however, is no excuse for contravening division protocol. In all cases documented here, information representing a “wide range of views on controversial issues”—as required by the Albemarle County School Board’s own guidelines—appears notably absent within the walls of Henley Middle School’s classroom number 47.

Parents, citizens, teachers, administrators, and School Board members alike, you have been informed of a potential policy violation within one of your classrooms. It is now up to you to evaluate and respond, or not.


  1. I can not get my jaw off the floor. Now wonder the area private school population is constantly growing.
    Where is this money derived from coersion going?

  2. Well, like Cville Eye, I am still getting my jaw back up off of the floor! There is so much here that I will have to process it more and write again, no doubt. But here is my first impression: Rob, you have done it again, my friend! This is well written, well researched and fully documented investigative reporting at its best. Thank you.

    Aside from the obvious inappropriateness of the Palin piece in terms of showing blatant and immature disrespect for American candidates and office holders, I can’t believe that a woman would post such an insulting piece of trash about another woman, no matter the other woman’s political views. Ms. Shepherd must think it’s okay to continue the “old saw” about women being “airheads!” I guess to the “Left” it’s okay to perpetuate stereotypes regarding the “wrong” sort of people.

    The link you provided, Rob, for the Palin Bingo illustrates the hatred the Left has for this woman. It’s a vile website and that alone should have disqualified the placement of the “bingo card” in the classroom. Margie Shepherd, when YOU have an 80% approval rating (like Gov. Palin) maybe you can weigh in on Gov. Palin’s attributes and fitness for office!

    Oh, and I know there exists no counterbalance for the Bingo card in Ms. Shepherd’s classroom but one can imagine it might be something like a picture of Vice-president Biden with a big fat foot in his mouth. Inappropriate and juvenile you say? Well that tells you how wrong posting the Bingo card is!!!!!

  3. Message aside – it seems to me she has destoyed City property. I’m sure it’s not her file cabinet.

  4. It appears to me that clearly you (RS) nor the folks who have commented so far, have never met Ms. Shepherd; never been in her classroom; never talked to any of her students; do not understand her peace by piece project; do not understand the curriculum in that class; and especially do not understand (nor care to understand) Ms. Shepherd’s dedication to teaching, to the students or to the beginning of global involvment on a person by person level. ‘Cause, if you did know Ms. Shepherd and her classroom activities, you would be saying different things about her. I do not understand the approach to your issue here, unless it is just to slander a very talented teacher and a very dedicated school system.

  5. Cindy,

    Actually, I have met students from her classes over the years, and they have been insulted by the globalist, anti-American, leftist propaganda to which they were subjected frequently.

    This post has nothing to do with Mrs. Shepherd’s “dedication to teaching,” nor is it slander.

    The documentation posted here is for public evaluation vis-à-vis Albemarle County School Board policy. You are free to draw your own conclusions, but please, respond to the information presented, not your perceived “slight” of the teacher.

  6. Cindy, I have to agree with Rob here. The blog post is about the policy Albemarle has regarding teaching controversial issues in its schools and whether or not Ms. Shepherd is following that specific policy chiefly with her room decor. This has nothing to do with Ms. Shepherd’s overall teaching or her general classroom activities and especially not her “dedication” to teaching. That’s an insult to my intelligence. Your post puts forth red herring arguments and does not address the premise or substance of the original blog post.This blog post has nothing to do with her person so there is nothing “different” to “say about her.”

    As far as the “curriculum in that class” I was under the impression that Ms. Shepherd is supposed to be following Virginia’s Standards of Learning. I’m not sure if she is or not but am curious to see how the Peace by Piece assignment fits in with the S.O.L.’s.

    Oh, and talking to “any of her students” would be interesting since I’m sure many of them do agree with her but also many DO NOT agree with her political views (which are quite obvious) but daily are placed in a position where they have to “grin and bear it.” Maybe if you spoke with them privately and with NO pre-conceived and advertised views of your own they might be honest with you. Don’t you understand that the teacher-student relationship is one of unequal power? Don’t you understand that young adolescents are particularly impressionable and want to “fit in” with the crowd? That is why teachers need to be especially careful about pushing their views and values on students.

  7. I disagree with your assessment that Ms. Shepherd is anti-American and a leftist propaganist. You are assigning descriptions that are wrong. She is not Anti-American.

  8. The money raised will go to the Henley Solar Panel Effort. Students at Henley are very passionate about the environent, and have been raising money for solar panels for about two years. In the past, money raised from the silent auction have gone to causes all over the world, such as building wells for villages, or buying clothes for children in need, and many other ways. I know for a fact that the children are excited about taking action and making a differnce, and they get to do it in a creative way. They are inspired by their vision of a better world, not Mrs. Shepherds.

  9. Also, Mrs. Shepherd promotes peace and “being green” because the other options are certainly not something that we would want to teach students. Would you rather have “Throw your trash in the Ocean” and “Terrorism is the way” stickers on that file cabinet? (Which by the way, we have no idea if it is the schools or hers, don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions.) These students are at a public school so that they can be with different kinds of people, different cultures, religions, races, traditions. It is important to learn about differences so that we can embrace diversity, rather than shy away from it.

  10. One more thing, students were welcome to come up with any topic or idea to be the theme of their project, not just from the provided list.

  11. The list doesn’t say “SUGGESTED” topics or ideas which it should say if students have other choices. It comes off as a very “directed” assignment in eduspeak.

    That’s fantastic that the money sounds like it is going to good causes and that students are excited about helping the environment and people around the world. Still has nothing to do with whether or not Ms. Shepherd is providing “balance” in her class presentation (decor/focus, etc.) That’s what the original blog post is about.

    No one is suggesting that there should be anti clean earth or blowing up the earth type of posters or stickers in her room but YOU, gardengirl. That’s ridiculous and like someone said above, you are insulting my intelligence! It’s also a shame that you would jump to that conclusion. The Mother Earth stuff is referenced because it is Gaia inspired whether Ms. Shepherd knows it or not, hence politically charged and probably needs some sort of balance according to the ALBEMARLE SCHOOL POLICY. Rob offers at least one alternative view to the Pacifist/Peace messages seen everywhere in Ms. Shepherd’s room which is the commonly known message “Peace through Strength.” Maybe there’s more. You don’t mention all the globalist/one world stuff but there are several ways to balance that if Ms. Shepherd chooses to do so.

    This could be a good discussion of worthy issues; if only posters who are defending Ms. Shepherd would deal with the substance of the original post and not with implications and personal statements.

  12. Okay, I have to deal with this from gardengirl: “It is important to learn about differences so we can embrace diversity, rather than shy away from it.” Are you kidding me?! That’s the whole POINT of the blogpost!!

    Read the original post carefully…Rob is asking readers to discern if the school policy regarding teaching controversial issues is being followed when it appears that only ONE side is liberally being presented in Ms. Shepherd’s classroom, i.e., gardengirl, there is little to NO diversity present in the classroom materials. The policy is clear and well written and offers students the chance to learn about and embrace ALL kinds of views. It’s sad that Ms. Shepherd seems unable to allow her students clear and balanced access to several alternative views when it is her job to do just that as a teacher in the Albemarle schools.

    Take off your political hat for a second and review the evidence. Just because you may happen to agree wholeheartedly with all of Ms. Shepherd’s classroom decor doesn’t make it “diverse.” Her focus and classroom decor is NOT “diverse” when it basically presents one viewpoint and obviously, Ms. Shepherd is the one who is “shying away” from diverse views—the kids are the losers here.

  13. I am a high school student who had Mrs. Shepherd for 8th grade Civics. I would describe myself as more conservative than liberal. As a matter of fact I plan to go in to ROTC in college and become a Marine Corps officer, hopefully Special Forces.

    I’m wondering if all of you would be creating an issue if her classroom only had conservative bumper stickers in it. Would you be calling such a teacher un-American?

    Mrs. Shepherd loved having debates so that everyone could hear both sides of an issue. I loved her class, and it never felt like she was trying to impress her views on us. It felt like she respected us for having different views. She knew I wanted to go in to the military and she encouraged me.

    As for the Peace by Piece project, it was great and gave us the opportunity to make things with our hands and that year the proceeds went to a school in a third world country. Before you start saying that world peace is a bad thing, go live in Somalia or Sudan for a year and then come back and talk to me.

    As for her being Anti-American – she actually embodies what America is all about – free speech and anti-oppression – she encouraged us to exercise our right to think and express what we thought without concern about persecution.

    So now you have heard from one of those students you are so concerned about. I can assure you that Mrs. Shepherd has been one of my favorite and best teachers and I never once felt pressured to agree with her – quite the opposite – she wanted us to have our own opinions about things and always question what we heard and not take things at face value. In my honors history class this year, I usually take the conservative viewpoint during debates, so fear not for my conservative soul.

  14. Ok, you are both right, I didn’t enitrely address the original topic of the post. Thank you for correcting me. I can tell that we are all very passionate about this topic, and I’ll be the first to admit I can get slightly carried away. However, I have been a student in Mrs. Shepherds class, and I have done the Peace by Piece project. Therefore, I know that you are not limited to the listed topics. There have even been kids who sanded/painted or built furniture, and then sewn a small pillow to go with it. The theme? “Some people need to just sit back, relax and enjoy the world.” I don’t see relaxation on the list. ANY view of a better world as long as it is justifiable is perfectly acceptable. Anyway, back to the topic of the post, what I ment by “It is important to learn about differences so we can embrace diversity, rather than shy away from it” was simply that sometimes we need to be open to opinions that may not be our own, such as being a supporter of the military, versus a supporter of peace, or vis versa. It shouldn’t be bad to have a poster in a classroom just becuase not everyone agrees with it. Anyone who has not been in Mrs. Shepherd’s classroom has only seen these pictures, who were probably taken by someone who was offended by the posters/bumper stickers pictured. Also on Mrs. Shepherds wall? (Remember I have been in her classroom) The Preamble to the Constitution, how a bill becomes a law, Responibility, Citizenship, Ways to help out in your community for community service (such as walks/ runs for cancer, Trash pickups etc) Debates, or other political events coming up on T.V. or in Charlottesville. Also, For more than half the year, for every class Mrs. Shepherd puts a thoughtful quote up on the board. These quotes are to be responded to, and can be shared to the class if the students choose to. Also, these pictures are simply pictures. They are not videos of lessons or activities done in class. In class I remember studing elections, and looking at differences in view points, and disscussing them. We viewed informative video clips and disscussed and responded to those too. While Mrs. Shepherd may be opinionated, she absolutley loves it when her students have an opinion as well. She would much rather have a conservative republican, pro-war tree hater speak up and have a good conversation with her than a student who simply follows the crowd, and I have seen it. The kids do not just sit in a classroom and look at posters. We learn, and I remember every kid in that class enjoyed her style off teaching, as it was realistic, encouraging, and informative.

  15. On another note, I invite everyone to attend the Peace by Piece Silent Auction, which is this Wednesday, June 3rd, from 5-7 pm. There will be tons of great works of art there, including furniture, paintings, quilts, pillows, original music played by students bands, floor mats, birdhouses, planting boxes, mosaics, food, and more. Henley would really appreciate it, even in the midst of all of this.

  16. Garden girl, I appreciate your thorough response and the “insider” view you offer. However, I have to ask, are you saying that “conservative Republicans” are “pro-war” and “tree-haters?”

    I, like many others, also do not consider the display of the Constitution or The Bill of Rights as “balancing” types of messages. They are America’s founding documents. They should simply be there in a classroom where history, especially any type of American history, is taught. Actually, not to get too far afield of the original post, it’s a bit disconcerting that you would equate the founding and foundational documents of America with “political viewpoints” illustrated by such slogans as “Peace through Strength” or “War is Not the Answer.”

    I also am of the school where I think students should not really know what opinions the teacher holds. You say that Ms. Shepherd is “opinionated” so obviously she didn’t (doesn’t) hide her opinions from her students. I think students grow more when teachers play the “devil’s advocate,” shift their viewpoints and challenge students to defend their views without telling their actual opinions. The student-teacher relationship carries overtones of power and influence and a student should never feel like his or her (within the realm of normal) opinion isn’t acceptable to the teacher. Let me be clear, I am not saying Ms. Shepherd made students feel this way but the risk is higher when a teacher is “opinionated” that a student may feel marginalized by not holding the same view as the teacher.

  17. It isn’t “bad” to have a poster in Ms. Shepherd’s classroom that “not everybody agrees with.” Au contraire, that is a GOOD thing in the CONTEXT of having a balancing message or two. Again, that is what the original post is about. I have to hand it to the Albemarle School Board(?) who I guess wrote the policy in question. It is very clear and thoughtful and provides for an excellent learning environment. I don’t believe the policy is being followed in Henley classroom #47 and no tortured examples of founding documents changes that fact.

    The kids would greatly benefit from posters showing ALL or least a variety of representative views of the subjects Ms. Shepherd thinks are important to expose students to. It’s unfortunate they are NOT being exposed to a variety of viewpoints as intended by the Albemarle policy.

  18. Oh believe me, Mrs. Shepherd certainly doesn’t tell inform us of her political opinions,other than the stickers on her file cabinet,any teacher knows that isn’t always the best idea. Everyone has an opinion, and it is impossible to keep it completely a secret, but that never affects classroon learning or lessons, becuase Mrs. Shepherd doesn’t speak about personal things directly with the class, but rather on a personal level with a student who might have a “what if” question and the only way to answer is to simply speculate what you think may happen based on your opinion.
    Also, I would never say that about that “conservative Republicans” are “pro-war” and “tree-haters.” I was simply exagerating by saying that she would rather have a good disscussion with someone with very opposite views from her than someone with no opinion at all. I wouldn’t generalize a group of people to that extent.
    I know plenty of people who have different view points than I do, but that just makes disscussions more interesting. I’m also not saying that founding documents balance anything out, I was simply saying that there are other things in her room,and not just liberal stickers, which these pictures fail to show us.

  19. Mrs. Shepherd’s students do see all different viewpoints and opinions, but what I’m trying to say is that they are not all represented by a poster. We learn these different sides in other ways too, in magazines,books, videos, and the internet. The pictures only show one side: posters.

  20. Thanks for clarifying the comment about Republicans. I’m not a Republican but I’m sure someone who reads this blog must be and probably wouldn’t take that allusion too kindly.

    If students in Ms. Shepherd’s classes are exposed to a variety of viewpoints via magazines, books, videos and the internet that’s great. Unfortunately, those things can be transient while posters and stickers are constantly in the students’ faces and provide a constant information source. If Ms. Shepherd simply would put up a few balancing posters or stickers in her room then, in my reading, she would be complying with the Albemarle policy. The whole blog post was not about whether she has “other things” up on her classroom walls but if she has a balance of views represented in her posters and stickers. No one has said she has this.

    Also, even if you don’t consider the founding documents a “balance” the circling of the wagons in the school division has begun and the history coordinator for the County (who should know better—I was embarrassed for her) stated on the news that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights fit the description of “balance” that the Albemarle policy intended. Really Ms. History Coordinator? The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are merely political viewpoints or opinions on specific issues? News to me!

  21. One thing that I think that we are all over looking is the fact that these are bumper stickers were are talking about. No child is going to be influenced by a bumper sticker that says “War is not the answer.” We are getting ready for high school, and have been forced to make important desisions already. I know so many intelligent and wonderful students, many of them would be ready to vote in the next election without a doubt. These are not textbooks we are being forced to read, and then being told they are true,but rather, they are bumper stickers. Everyone knows that bumper stickers are simply ment to decorate your car (or file cabinet) in a way that describes YOU. It is fun, but have you ever had your mind changed from a bumper sticker? I would hope not. During elections, a huge percentage of cars have bumper stickers on them supporting one party or another, but that doesn’t convince you that that is the right candidate, does it? While we are only in 8th grade and still have alot to learn, we have also learned alot, and are very capable of having strong opinions that even a teacher cannot change. We are not 1st graders who will change our mind for a piece of candy. That is one thing I have learned in Mrs. Shepherds class-educate yourself on an issue and make your own desision. A sticker will not change that. That is why I am an 8th grader commenting on this blog. I truly care about what is being written, and I have an opinion on the issue. Mrs. Shepherd is a great teacher, and has taught me more than I could ask for.

  22. Exactly what idea is that woman trying to get across to her students by displaying the Palin Bingo poster? To what item in the Virginia Standards of Quality does this poster address? What has this woman done in order to apply “balance” to whatever idea she is promoting by displaying this poster?
    Would this woman allow a student to display a poster, say, depicting a fetus in a jar with a scapel stuck in it? What would happen if a student wanted her to display a poster of a trucker protesting against NAFTA and globalism? How about a poster with President Obama reading Chairman Mao’s The Little Red Book? Would she display it as long as she displayed Palin Bingo?
    I am appalled that her supervisor bent over backwards trying to defend these actions when she knows that this kind of behavior from a supposedly professional educator deserves upper level scrutiny and evaluation. I doubt seriously if her statements will cause this issue to go away quickly.
    If this kind of thing is tolerated in the Albemarle County schools, I would suggest parents take a visit to their child’s teacher’s classrooms several times a year to *really* find out what’s going on.

  23. Gardengirl, I appreciate your passion and your obvious love for your teacher. I also am very impressed that you have held your own with the adults on this blog .

    However, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the issue is still the policy and whether or not Ms. Shepherd is following it. I think it’s pretty obvious she’s not. You may think a bumper sticker here and there is harmless, but the classroom contains a plethora of stickers and posters and they all point to one side of issues. The Albemarle policy regarding teaching controversial subjects clearly states that a variety of viewpoints should be presented/offered to students. You make think this makes no sense because a bumper sticker “doesn’t convince” students of anything. Maybe that is something you would want to bring to the school division and try to change the policy (?)

    Personally, I think the classroom is pretty boring due to the fact that it looks like there is only one side presented regarding some complex and controversial issues. I would hope to see different views posted that would spark thought and debate. Maybe you have lively discussions already but I think they would be more so with a more balanced presentation on the walls. And lest you think that classroom decor doesn’t matter to students, educational researchers have found it does influence students’ thought and engagement. With the hundreds of students who have come through Ms. Shepherd’s doors over the years, I’m sure some of them were negatively affected by the decor and/or focus even if you have not been.

    Now, Cville Eye, your point is well taken. I, too, was appalled, disappointed but not surprised by the County School’s reaction. I think they were caught off guard and not pleased about it. It’s the end of the year and they just want to get on with it. I also wonder if they do not relish calling Ms. Shepherd “on the carpet” for not following the, in my opinion, clear and fair, policy on teaching about controversial issues. My guess is Ms. Shepherd is a popular teacher who does, in her own way, challenge students and she has been in the field for YEARS—i.e., she may get “special treatment.” They should investigate and evaluate this further but if they will do so only time will tell. And, I agree, the Palin piece doesn’t belong in a classroom, period.

  24. I should have said “personally, I think the classroom LOOKS pretty boring.” Whether or not it IS boring I don’t presume to know and that is in the experience of the students anyway.

  25. She’s a good teacher…
    She’s nice to us…
    She wants us to have an opinion…
    She promotes peace…
    We learned a lot in her class…
    We’re smart enough not to be influenced by a sticker…
    The Preamble to the Constitution is posted on her wall…
    The money’s for a good cause…
    We’re helping people…
    You wouldn’t complain if they were “conservative” messages…
    You just don’t understand…

    Nary a word about whether policy is being violated.

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    Or, as Clara Peller would have said, “Where’s the beef?”

    Circling the Wagons

  26. In reference to all of this “globalism” and such, take a look at the ABEMARLE POLICY: “Prepare all students to succeed as members of a global community and in a global economy.” (http://esb.k12albemarle.org/Reference_Library/ESB_Policies_and_Regulations/Policies//AE_0505.pdf)
    So, what does this mean? At least in this way, Mrs. Shepherd is definitly following the policy. Yet it is still getting her in trouble. America is a world power, therefore it is our job to know about other countries so that we can work with them in the future. Mrs. Shepherd used to teach geography. She loves the world, and the students learn about it as well, so that we can be prepared for a global economy and community. (See above)

    OK I will admit, Mrs. Shepherd could put a Peace through Strength sticker on her wall, but is that it? Is that all we are talking about?

    And The United Nations Poster? Really? The United States of America is in the United Nations, therefore, teaching us about it would be very American. And as someone said above me, Mrs. Shepherd is so very American, she exercises her right to free speech regularly, and is a responsible citizen. But I can tell you again, despite Harvard studies and such, her bumper stickers do not affect any of her students in a negative way, she has never directed our attention to these stickers or brought them up in class, they do not determine our lesson plan, they are just there. And by the end of the week, most of these posters will probably be gone, you know why? Because the last day of school is on friday. The newsman must be pretty bored, becuase this is not a story worth reporting, and I have seen the story change so much over the past 3 days. Just take everything you read with a grain of salt.

  27. Here is a simple question – what would you like to have happen in Mrs. Shepherds classroom right now?

  28. “But I can tell you again, despite Harvard studies and such, her bumper stickers do not affect any of her students in a negative way.” There are HUNDREDS, probably thousands of students who have been taught by Ms. Shepherd. Do you really want to bet the bank on the fact NO STUDENT has been affected by Ms. Shepherd’s focus over the years she has been teaching? Not possible. How would you have felt about seeing the Palin Bingo piece every class session if you were a supporter of Gov. Palin? Have you seen the website it comes from?

    One thing about America is that we protect the rights of minorities. Even if a handful of students were bothered by her unbalanced choice of room decor this is a problem and, thankfully, the Albemarle County Schools at one point seemed to understand the need to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for ALL students—hence the policy.

    Teaching students to be citizens in a global society is great. Seeming to propagate that exclusively is not. Notice I said “seeming to.” That’s what is communicated by the exclusive choice of room decor that focuses only on globalism and the United Nations. As I said before, if you have an issue with the policy in terms of how “balance” is interpreted and shown in classrooms I would contact the School Division.

    Yes, America is in the UN but America’s involvement in the UN is VERY controversial (and getting more so every year) and certainly deserves a balanced presentation in every way. I think students should be very aware of the controversies and the reasons for debate so they can think cogently about the subject.

    I hope when the posters go back up next year there are more of them (meaning adding variety and balance.) Keep the originals—just balance them!

    Patriotic student: I won’t rehash all the posts—read the posts. Personally, I would like to see Ms. Shepherd follow the letter and spirit of the Albemarle policies she is working under. I can’t speak for anyone else except Rob wrote he would like readers to look at the evidence and the policy wording and then evaluate the situation for ourselves.

  29. ChiefCookan finally answered my question as to what do you want to have happen: “I hope when the posters go back up next year there are more of them (meaning adding variety and balance.) Keep the originals—just balance them!” Thank you. Knowing Mrs. Shepherd, were this discussion to have come up earlier in the year, she would have used it as a teaching tool – asking her students to closely examine the classroom to see if there were an imbalance, and to come up with posters and bumper stickers that represent opposing viewpoints. She would enjoy the discussion.

    I have read all the posts and would like to comment on Mr. Schilling’s “circle the wagons” post. Mr. Schilling’s original post and subsequent reader posts went way beyond the question of a balance of displays in the classroom and also questioned the motives of her Peace by Piece project and implied she was anti-American and anti-military. Many comments and innuendos were made about her, so those who expressed their support of Mrs. Shepherd were simply responding to those posts.

    To all the rest who have not answered my question – what do you want? A balance of posters? Mrs. Shepherd run out of town? No posters? I have no problem with a balance of posters if that is truly the case. The photos may only show some of what is in the classroom, so I cannot tell if there is a balance right now. I have not been in her classroom lately. Maybe the policy is being violated. If so, please answer my question as to what you want to happen if that is the case.

  30. PatrioticStudent, you haven’t answered mine either. Perhaps you can answer this one: What happens to the student’s grade if his parent does not want to financially support the cause of the year and refuses to donate anything for the auction?
    What would I like to have happen? I would like the county’s central office to tell that woman to take down any materials that are promoting her personal political views. Period. And, if that woman can not figure out those materials, have central office staffers go in and tell her. That way there will be nothing on display that needs to be “balanced.”
    It is clear to me that the political group, Center for Peace and Justice, has adherents proselytizing in our local school system.

  31. Patriotic Student: This is what I would like to see happen (as written in the post above): “Personally, I would like to see Ms. Shepherd follow the letter and spirit of the Albemarle policies she is working under.”

    I hope you are not referring to me when you write: “subsequent reader posts went way beyond the question of a balance of displays in the classroom and also questioned the motives of her Peace by Piece project and implied she was anti-American and anti-military. Many comments and innuendos were made about her…” I never wrote or implied that Ms. Shepherd is anti-American and I have seen little to no reference to the American military from anybody (American policy about political affairs is not “the military”).

    I DO think it shows poor judgment for Ms. Shepherd, a woman, to prominently display something that perpetuates a worn-out stereotype about women, i.e. being an “airhead.” This is not an innuendo but something I personally believe: The choice to post the Palin Bingo card shows no common sense at best and also is disrespectful of an American elected office holder and political candidate. Again, I will ask: have you seen the original website that made the card? The website and card parrots all the radical Left propaganda against Gov Palin during the last election. It’s not funny and it’s not harmless. Imagine seeing that everyday if you, as a student, supported Gov. Palin.

  32. Oh, and a true “balance” of viewpoints in Ms. Shepherd’s classroom decor (that would fulfill the letter and spirit of the policy) probably doesn’t exist because the County spokesperson could only come up with things like “The Constitution” and the “The Bill of Rights” as examples of “balance.” Those are founding documents and not political slogans or viewpoints as I stated above. The County spokesperson was trying to defend Ms. Shepherd and she couldn’t come up with anything valid.

    It’s not difficult to find posters and bumper stickers representing all sides of various issues if one wants to acquire and post them.

  33. […] Middle School regarding one-sided political messages displayed in this classroom. The blog post documented the complaints with photographs of the material and contrasted them with references to Albemarle County School Board policy, which […]

  34. Ok, just to set a few things straight.

    1.I asked Mrs. Shepherd today, while we had camera men disrupting our class (because THAT’S SO GOOD for the children, right?) and she does in fact own the file cabinet-she bought it.

    2. That Palin bingo card? It was posted on a billboard about PROPAGANDA and POLITICAL CATOONS, becuase it was a prime example of propoganda and political cartoons. Also, while I cannot say who posted it because it could jeapordize their job as well, I can 100% garuntee you that Mrs. Shepherd did not originally print it out and post it, but rather a much younger “student of sorts” who thought it was funny. The only reason she kept it up was becuase it was a good example of the rest of propoganda and political cartoons on her board.

    3. My brother can be an airhead too. Just becuase she is a woman, does not mean that you have to support her, becuase in some cases that can blind you from proper judgement. Same with supporting based on race, gender, hometown or favorite color.

    4. I’m sure that Rob will make some friends on Fox tomorrow, becuase Fox is just as “Right” as these stickers are “Left.” Rob Schilling has also never been inside of Mrs. Shepherd’s classroom, or spoken with her, yet he is speaking about it on national television. I’m not trying to hurt your feeling’s Rob, I’m just stating the facts that so few people know.

    Any apporiate questions that will help change your mind and not be an invasion of privacy, just ask.

  35. There are really two separate issues at work in this story about Ms. Shepherd’s middle school class. First, the Palin Bingo game. This is indefensible. That school district probably has an anti-bullying policy. If used for anything, the Palin Bingo game could demonstrate the bullying of Sarah Palin that has been carried out by the extreme Left and the mainstream media. That sort of blatantly partisan activity has no place in a classroom. How about having kids do milk shots every time Obama says “uh” during a speech?

    As for the rest, I think we should take caution. While I find many of the signs and stickers to be dopey moonbat nonsense, the key is how she handles issues in the classroom. If the teacher allows dissent and does not belittle the conservative students while encouraging dialogue, I would have no problem with the posters.

    I am also a teacher and I am a conservative. I also post signs in my classroom, but I do try to avoid specific political issues. My signs come from a variety of sources. Yes, the majority come from people like Reagan, Madison, Jefferson and Locke. But, there are also quotes from Daniel Moynihan, John Kennedy, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others. The quotes support ideas and do not attack certain individuals.

    The project reported in the article also did not seem objectionable. As a Conservative, I immediately thought of a number of good ideas for projects that would fall within those topics and probably drive the teacher a little nuts. How about showing someone with a conceal-carry permit stopping an assault (non-violence)? How about depicting Hunters for the Hungry (end to hunger)? Maybe children using vouchers to attend a private school (fairness to children)? How about celebrating clean water with fisherman cooking up their catch? Of course, this teacher has Leftist ideas in mind with her choices. However, parents could certainly help their children teach her that those concepts are not owned by the Left. If the projects are given bad marks because of the conservative content, then there would be a problem. If graded fairly, it would be a learning experience for all.

    My experience has been that teachers who do not (or claim to not) tell students their own political views often present one-sided issues as fact. The lesson speaks for itself, so they don’t have to state their own opinion. These are typically Leftist teachers who provide a steady diet of “global warming,” “social justice,” “living constitution,” and “war for oil” punctuated with films by that award-winning documentarian Michael Moore. Some kids will see through it and some will not. Personally, I trust a teacher who puts their cards on the table, as long as room for debate and mutual respect are recognized.


  36. Palin Bingo?…

    ODBA blogger Rob Schilling has a scoop – Sarah Palin mocked, “globalist” indoctrination promoted in Albemarle County middle school classroom. He starts off with:…

  37. Just because the cabinet belongs to the teacher does not mean it is appropriate that she uses it to proselytize her students. Would it be okay if she also display nude pictures on the outside of her purse?
    Was there some kind of annotation on the Palin poster that indicated that it was to serve as a fine example of propaganda, so that the students visiting her class would also understand?
    Face it, the woman has made some bad decisions that she has been able to get away with because she is in the position of power in that room and she obviously is surrounded by a lot of like-minded people.
    When I went through Lane High School, none of that junk was allowed on display in the entire school, with the exception of one picture of G. Washington hanging directly over the head of the teacher. No, she was not saying she agreed with our first president politically; she was saying that she, the teacher, looked like him! That’s why it stayed over her head.
    No, teachers’ political beliefs do not belong in the classroom. I remember my nephew being quite upset back in the sixties when Dr. Martin Luther King died. His government teacher said to her class the next day that that’s what happens when people behave as he (MLK) did. When I called her, she apologized to me, saying, that she did not believe that the majority of her (white) students were upset. I asked her if she would like for me to form a demonstration of parents in front of the school to indicate otherwise or would she apologize the next day to her students for that remark? She said she would apologize. Instead of apologizing for bringing her personal opinions into the classroom, she apologized for upsetting some students. I accepted that. Would I have complained if a student had voiced the same opinion in a discussion in class? Absolutely not. Nor would I have complained if a student presented that Palin poster during his presentation. Teachers, however, are in a particular position of power over young minds and need to exercise a great degree of restraint.
    “My brother can be an airhead too.” Would your family appreciate a poster in a teacher’s classroom stating that fact? Of course not.
    The local cameras could not have been in the classroom without the school supervisor’s permission. Maybe they will give Fox the same privilege so that they can see the room for themselves. I know that letting the press in is not sweeping the issue under the rug.
    However, I doubt if Rob Schilling will become “friends” with the people working for FOX because they will not have time to really get to know each other.

  38. This was posted on the June 10, 2003 edition of C-Ville:

    Margie Shepherd

    In the name of higher teacher’s compensation, eighth-grade civics teacher Margie Shepherd has been a major pinprick in the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors’ sides for years now. As President of the Albemarle Education Association, she’s not afraid to come out kicking.

    At the March 12 Board of County Supervisors budget hearing, Shepherd, who teaches at J.T. Henley Middle School, stood before the large crowd and screamed into the microphone, “We get awards for excellence in our schools and you get awards for being too tight-fisted to give budget increases?” When it comes to bread-and-butter issues, Shepherd has a long history of yelling the loudest.

    “You find the money,” she hollered at the Supes, referring to the 2003-04 fiscal budget. “It’s all in the priority!” The next month, they approved the 2003-04 school operations budget exceeding $104 million and coming in at $4 million above the previous year’s budget.

    Victory is sweet, but Shepherd will continue to fight, she says.

    “I think that the County School Board is headed in the right direction,” she says, “but the Supervisors are more concerned with keeping the budget low than they are doing the right thing by the students and educators.”

    She has other fights up her sleeve, too, like extra planning time for teachers. “There’s been an increase in demands with no increase in teachers’ time,” she says. For the 2003-04 school year, Shepherd plans to add mentoring projects to her busy schedule—including a project for new teachers to be managed in conjunction with UVA.

    That doesn’t mean she’ll lose sight of her core concern. Where advocating for teacher’s salaries is the matter, she says, “It’s definitely not a done deal!”

  39. A Google also revealed this goody (http://george.loper.org/archives/2008/Sep/933.html):


    I have my own questions for Sarah Palin, but they are not so nice and policy focused. All mothers know that, although labor might last a while for the first kid, by the fifth they come fast and furious. Also, that after the amniotic sac breaks, you don’t travel anywhere for fear of infection and possible serious damage to the baby.

    So – how does she get away with trying to make people believe that she was pregnant with Trig, gave a speech in Texas after her water broke, then boarded an 8 hour flight for Alaska, and took a 2 hour ride to some remote spot to have her baby. And then go to work three days later, like nothing happened, with a flat stomach?

    No way that baby is hers.

    So, the question is, is she crazy? delusional? or just lying?

    Margie Shepherd (Electronic mail, September 9, 2008)

  40. Gardengirl wrote: “Just becuase she is a woman, does not mean that you have to support her, becuase in some cases that can blind you from proper judgment.” Ummm, it was NEVER stated that Ms. Shepherd should “support” Gov. Palin because they are both women. That is a willfully gross misreading of my comments. What I wrote was that a woman should know better than to perpetuate outdated stereotypes of women in general.That it shows poor judgment for an ADULT to keep up posted materials that perpetuate stereotypes. You still have not said whether you have seen the website or not. Anything from that website should not have been posted.The materials are not funny and not harmless.

    Just because a UVa student teacher placed the Pailn card on the wall does not absolve Ms. Shepherd from responsibility. Ms. Shepherd ultimately is responsible for all materials posted in her room. Also, the student teacher was in that room in the fall and the Bingo card was still up in the Spring. Indefensible and unnecessary.The election was long over and “your side” won. Be a “good” winner.

    It’s getting disconcerting that supposed “students” don’t seem to care whether or not other students in their room may feel uncomfortable with posted materials such as the Palin piece. It is beginning to sound a little like bullying behavior where those in majority don’t think it’s necessary to consider minority viewpoints. NOT an enlightened stance for sure.

    Am I alone in beginning to wonder about “gardengirl?” She seems to know an inordinate amount about Ms. Shepherd and the circumstances surrounding all issues in this case—much beyond what an eighth-grader would know and write about….. I’m beginning to smell a “plant.”

    Oh, and Waldo (I know you read this blog) Rob is not “attacking” a teacher. That is a ridiculous characterization and shows no ability to critically read just an ability to insult someone you don’t agree with in general and have playground, junior high level “beefs” with. Come on.

  41. Edgycater wrote: “My experience has been that teachers who do not (or claim to not) tell students their own political views often present one-sided issues as fact. The lesson speaks for itself, so they don’t have to state their own opinion.” I respect your experience and can see where that could happen but that’s not always the case. Teachers who consciously do not reveal their political views often take the stance that students should be exposed to a variety of viewpoints without having their own personal perspective as a potential influence. That’s what I would like to see in classrooms.

  42. The issue from the original post boils down to this: Does Ms. Shepherd’s room decor indicate she is following the policies regarding teaching controversial subjects AS WRITTEN NOW of Albemarle County or not? Not whether the policy is good or should be changed or removed all together.Not whether the file cabinet is hers. Not whether she is “Anti-American.” Not whether she fairly allows a variety of viewpoints in discussions. Not whether students get to see a variety of viewpoints in magazines.

    People are getting wayyyyy off on tangents here that are far afield of the original post. It’s a good discussion, however. BUT, none of these tangents should be ascribed to Rob’s original post.

  43. As a public school teacher, my view is that this particular lesson could have been a bit more balanced. But it is also inaccurate to draw the more general conclusion, as Rob does in his piece on the pool, that public school students are “indoctrination hostages.” You have an obligation, Rob, to back up generalized statements like this with more than a few grainy photographs taken in one teacher’s room on one particular day. What data have you gathered, Rob, to support the statement that our kids (that is how we public school teachers lovingly refer to our students) are indoctrination hostages? Please tell us that you have more than a few isolated incidents. Please tell us that you have some data to back up this accusation, because my daily observations of classrooms and students suggest that the vast majority of public school lessons are in fact quite balanced.

    I would like to thank Ms. Shepherd and the hundreds of other local public school teachers for all their hard work that goes unappreciated, the countless hours put in before school, after school, and on weekends when Rob isn’t taking photographs, and for all the balanced lessons you provide each day to challenge our public school students to think and problem solve critically.

  44. “Please tell us that you have more than a few isolated incidents.” If these “isolated incidents” are tolerated or even encouraged by the school system, then Rob doesn’t have to go out and find another 500 instances to add credence to his words.

  45. […] The Schilling Show Blog » Sarah Palin mocked, “globalist” indoctrination promoted in Albemarle … http://www.schillingshow.com/2009/05/31/sarah-palin-mocked-%E2%80%9Cglobalist%E2%80%9D-indoctrination-promoted-in-albemarle-county-middle-school-classroom – cached page #RSS 2.0 – all posts RSS 2.0 – all comments The Schilling Show Blog » Sarah Palin mocked, “globalist” indoctrination promoted in Albemarle County middle school classroom Comments Feed The Schilling Show Blog Dig our theme song More music from your host Rob Schilling on Fox News Channel NextGEN Gallery RSS Feed — From the page […]

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