Alabama teacher Gene Ponder is clearly well-versed in conservative and libertarian knowledge, and he wanted to impart that knowledge onto his students. A long-time Republican activist, he assigned a reading list of books to his students that immediately caused a great deal of controversy.
Ponder assigned a list of books for his AP Government/Economics students including “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto,” “End the Fed,” “No They Can’t: Why Government Fails-But Individuals Succeed,” “Great Myths of the Great Depression,” and “The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope.” The good cross-section of libertarian and conservative views represented in the list was meant to counterbalance the liberal indoctrination known to dominate public school curricula.
Spanish Fort High School brass was not pleased by Ponder’s actions, and immediately forced him to pull the list.
“Mr. Ponder’s reading list that is going around on social media has not been endorsed by the school system,” Superintendent Eddie Tyler said in a prepared statement. “The list has been removed by the teacher. Baldwin County Public Schools has a process to vet and approve reading lists so that a variety of sources are used. I expect all employees to follow our processes, procedures and policies.”
Top-down control and crushing the independence and discretion of teachers are common hallmarks of the public school system, and it is no different at Spanish Fort High School. Any thought that runs counter to the leftist narrative is to be suppressed at all costs. The destruction of Ponder’s list could be seen as the precursor to a book-burning.
Although Ponder was forced to remove his list from circulation, that didn’t stop it from going viral instantaneously on social media. Americans throughout the country have been alerted to liberal thought-control in Alabama, and Ponder has risen to the status of folk hero amongst certain conservatives.
“Imagine that – a conservative public school teacher! Sweet mercy, America! Miracles do happen,” FOX News host and author Todd Starnes said in his op/ed about the situation.