A police officer is facing an internal investigation after she supported her daughter and her friends' right to form a political club at their Chicago public high school. Ammie Kessem, a 20-year veteran police sergeant with the Chicago Police Department who serves as the Committeeman for Chicago's 41st Ward, heard about the formation of a TPUSA chapter at Taft High School from her daughter, and posted on Facebook that she was proud of the students for thinking for themselves.
As a result, she is being investigated internally by the Chicago PD, the Chicago Sun Times reports, and the principal of the school, Mark Grishaber, issued a letter to the school community saying he was "disturbed" by students' efforts to start a conservative political club at the school.
Grishaber wrote that "staff and administration at Taft will never tolerate the formation of any group that does not support" the core value of the school, which is the mission to "educate global citizens to create a better world."
"Our diversity is our strength," he said, "and we are proud to celebrate it in our classrooms and school organizations." But clearly this is a complete and outright lie, because Grishaber supports a diversity that is only skin deep, that is shallow and based on appearance, and has nothing to do with the more essential form of diversity in education: ideological diversity.
Grishaber seems to believe that TPUSA's beliefs, namely that the "United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world;" that "the US constitution is the most exceptional political document ever written," and that "capitalism is the most moral and proven economic system ever discovered" are racist and intolerable views.
"Some brave students will be creating this Chapter of Turning Point USA tomorrow at Taft High School which is located on the Northwest side of chicago [sic] in the 41st Ward," Kessem wrote. "I could not be more proud of them. In a city where Liberal Progressives have continually and unjustifiably attacked the characters of conservatives, including myself and my children, by calling us 'Nazis', 'White Supremists' [sic] and outright 'racists', I am certain these students realize that this will almost certainly be scrutinized by the administration at this school which seems to embrace the Marxist views of a substantial amount of the Chicago Teacher’s union members. Please help support them and their cause by posting some encouraging messages on this page. I will be sure to pass it along to them. We must not give up on our youth. Please and thank you."
For this, she faces an investigation, Fox News reports. Kessem is no stranger to advocacy on behalf of her children's education. In the summer of 2021, she reported an Antifa teacher who claimed he was "proudly anti-fascist" and supporting police defunding. This teacher had also posted a photo of Kessem and her children at a pro-life rally, labeling them "Nazis." A petition was launched for this teacher's removal, which was backed by many current and former police officers.
Kessem wasn't the only one who had an issue with the refusal of the school to allow the group to form. At a school council meeting on December 14, a man identified as Robert S. spoke up during the public comment period. He said that disallowing the formation of the group is "kind of contradicting if you're shutting down a group of individuals based on their opinions and viewpoints. It definitely goes against the mission statement of Taft."
A graduate of Taft from the class of 1968, Art Ellingsen, said "students need to hear the other side of the discussion, the conservative point of view."
For the students' efforts, they were effectively painted as racist white supremacists by the school administrators for even wanting to form the group, who then shut down their plans to form the chapter. Principal Grishaber slammed the students, their supporters, and TPUSA based on his own leftist bias. He is the one who is intolerant, biased, and unwilling to allow his students to explore ideas that he believes are opposed to his own. One wonders if he even looked into TPUSA before making his sweeping generalization or simply believed what he was told without conducting his own independent inquiry.
Grishaber made assumptions that TPUSA is opposed to diversity and is racist, and so too did the Chicago Sun Times, relying on reporting from the Washington Post and The Coloradoan to try to link TPUSA to white supremacists. The former paper notes that TPUSA was pro-Trump, while the second reports on a protest by white supremacists at a TPUSA event, which Charlie Kirk, co-founder of TPUSA denounced fully.
TPUSA opposes ideas of "white privilege," or using the idea that are specific traits associated with specific skin colors as a means to remake society. The group opposes dividing the nation by race or ethnicity, believing fully in the founding documents of the United States that say outright that all men are created equal. Kirk upholds the ideas of Martin Luther King Jr., and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that enshrined in the US that every man and woman of any race or ethnicity is equal under the law.
"Taft High School Principal Grishaber is either ignorant of the work TPUSA does, or he is intentionally misrepresenting the facts by smearing the organization and its amazing student members," Andrew Kolvet told The Post Millennial, speaking on behalf of TPUSA.
"This is unacceptable behavior by an adult entrusted with safeguarding America’s next generation. Contrary to his public statement, Principal Grishaber is the one failing to uphold Taft’s values of 'diversity and inclusion' by blocking a conservative student group on a campus dominated by progressives. Unlike Principal Grishaber, TPUSA remains committed to welcoming all students, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, or background and the organization will continue working to form a chapter at Taft in the weeks and months ahead."
The progressive left believes they are both correct and infallible. That is how Grishaber could simply decide that students are not permitted to create a conservative political group on a campus that has dozens of groups, including LGBTQ groups, a club devoted to mindfulness, bellydancing, and so many others.
They are under the delusion that their views on life, faith, the nation and the world are entirely irrefutable. But on this, and so many of their perceptions, they are wrong. They are wrong about Kessem, they are wrong about the students who endeavored to understand alternative ideas, and they are wrong about TPUSA.
Aimmee Kessem and Mark Grishaber were reached for comment.
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