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Unplugged: 'Educators-Know-Best' Video Clip Ordered Taken Down

Group that bought the rights to the video told to run entire meeting, not edited clip

A video of a Michigan educator telling politicians that parents may not know what was best for their children was making national headlines when Michigan Government TV told the people who bought it they were violating terms of the agreement.

The video showed Debbie Squires, the associate director of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, telling a House education committee: “You know, educators go through education for a reason.  They are the people who know best about how to serve children. That's not necessarily true of an individual resident.  I'm not saying they don't want the best for their children, but they may not know what actually is best from an education standpoint.”

The video made numerous national Web sites and was picked up by conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh on Feb 15.

But the video was taken down by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, which posted the video on YouTube. The organization was asked to take the video down by Michelle Webb, the acting executive director of MGTV, a non-profit corporation that is financed through cable subscription fees.

Webb said someone alerted them to the video on YouTube. She said she called the Michigan Association of Public School Academies and told them they had to remove the video or play the entire video “gavel to gavel.”

“We don’t allow our programming to be edited in any way,” Webb said.

The Association had paid $60 for the CD of the meeting.

"We wouldn't have posted the video unless we felt we had a legal right to do so,” said Buddy Moorehouse, director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies. “We still feel we had a legal right to post it, but in this case, when MGTV asked us to take the video down, we decided to honor the request. The only reason we posted the clip in the first place was to highlight an attitude that far too many people in the traditional school community have — that parents don't know what's best for their own children when it comes to picking a school. We strongly disagree with the sentiments that were expressed in that clip. Parents absolutely do know what's best for their children, and they deserve the right to pick the school that works best for them."

The video was the subject of a commentary posted by Michigan Capitol Confidential on February 10. It was put back up on YouTube by another user and can be viewed here.

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See also:

Bureaucrats vs. Parents - Who Should Choose Where Children Are Educated?