Getting PBS Hate Out of the Classroom |

TBC Staff

Every time that there is any talk of cutting the PBS budget, the massive organization rolls out Sesame Street as its puppet shield. Cutting the PBS budget is tantamount to killing Grover, Elmo, and Big Bird.

While PBS has plenty of money to throw at its top executives and its lefty causes, its licensing payments only covered 10% of Sesame Street’s production costs. That’s why the Sesame Workshop took first episodes of its iconic series to HBO. Meanwhile the PBS leadership got another in a series of huge raises. PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger just signed a 5-year contract extension. The 2017 tax filing suggested that she was earning over $1 million a year. Or 10% of what Sesame Street was losing a year.

But the most toxic element of PBS by far is little known to anyone except some educators and parents. And that’s PBS LearningMedia. You can choose not to watch PBS. But PBS LearningMedia embeds its agendas into school curriculums. The horrifying PBS documentary that you skip past isn’t just used to sell flammable tote bags and DVDs for three months. It also ends up in the educational system where it’s inflicted on countless students.

When PBS aired The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution….Reviews noted that PBS had enlisted murderers, torturers and racist monsters in promoting and whitewashing a terrorist group and a vicious cult. But the protests faded and the documentary endures as a PBS LearningMedia page with lessons meant for teenagers. One of the lessons asks students to apply the “work of the Black Panther Party” to social justice activism today. 

Unfortunately, PBS LearningMedia managed to top even this by transforming Suicide Bombers, its documentary episode on Islamic terrorism, into classroom learning materials with the Dying to be a Martyr lesson plan [which] continues to cause harm by promoting Islamic terrorists in Israel while ignoring their Jewish victims. That’s not just a critique made by pro-Israel groups.

In 2017, the PBS ombudsman noted that, “My own reading of the lesson plan was that the overall tone it projected was more tilted toward understanding the plight of the Palestinians… than to the impact, and especially the immorality, of suicide bombings.” Two years later, Dying to be a Martyr is still providing its one-sided view of Islamic terrorism.

Teachers are encouraged to play a video of Mohanned Abu Tayyoun, a failed suicide bomber, and to, “ask your students why Mohanned may feel that way (Answers may include: Palestinians have less land, fewer privileges, cannot come and go as they please.)” Teaching children to identify with Islamic terrorists is the very definition of radicalization. And it doesn’t just happen covertly, as a result of ISIS brainwashing, but through taxpayer-funded lesson plans.

As CAMERA, a pro-Israel fact checking organization, noted, “They are not instructed to ask students to identify how a survivor of a terror attack feels nor the feelings of family members whose loved one was killed in a terror attack.” Instead the lesson plans encourage identifying with the grievances of the terrorists, even while occasionally decrying the extremity of the methods that they choose to use.

PBS and PBS Learning Media often serve as repositories of pro-terrorist propaganda. After three Jewish teenagers (two of them United States citizens) were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas, PBS Learning Media featured a Voices from Gaza segment of teens from the Hamas territory complaining of Israeli bombings and justifying violence against Israel. “I want everyone in the world to know that we are not terrorists. We defend our country. We, here in Gaza,” one of these read….Indeed, PBS LearningMedia’s lesson plans which whitewash or ignore terrorism against Jews, distort the history of the conflict, and erase the Jewish presence in Israel form a large part of last year’s CAMERA report, Indoctrinating Our Youth. But, beyond the classroom, PBS LearningMedia is widely used by homeschoolers, enabling pro-terrorist propaganda to be embedded not only in classrooms in the system, but even in homes outside it.