Fourth-grade students in Illinois are learning that “government is like a nation’s family” because it sets rules and takes care of needs such as health care and education.
So says a worksheet for social studies homework that was distributed to students at East Prairie School in Skokie, Ill, complete with a drawing of Uncle Same cradling a baby that represents the citizens.
Students are then prompted to answer 10 questions comparing government and families, including how their family provides for their health care needs and how the government does the same, and what rules families set and what rules government sets.
The worksheet it titled, “What is Government?” and then goes on to answer that question.
“Government is all of the agencies, departments, organizations, groups, individuals in a nation who make, carry out, enforce, and manage conflicts about rules and laws,” the worksheet says.
“Government is like a nation’s family. Families take care of children and make sure they are safe, healthy and educated, and free to enjoy life. Families encourage children to be independent hardworking and responsible,” it continues. “Families make and enforce rules and give appropriate punishments when rules are broken. Government does these things for its citizens, too.”
A concerned parent forwarded the homework assignment to TheBlaze. The worksheet asks the following questions:
1. How does your family keep you safe?
2. How does the government keep its citizens safe?
3. How does your family keep you healthy?
4. How does the government keep its citizens healthy?
5. How does your family help you learn and become educated?
6. How does the government help its citizens learn and become educated?
7. What kind of rules does your family have for you?
8. What kind of rules does government have for its citizens?
9. How does your family punish you when you break the rules?
10. How does government punish citizens who break the law?
Teri Madl, the superintendent for East Prairie School District 73 in Illinois, told TheBlaze the assignment was not pushing a political message.
“In response to your questions and said worksheet, it is meant to offer a simple analogy that helps children understand that part of a government’s role is to set rules, enforce those rules, and provide safety, security and freedom for its citizens,” Madl said in a statement. “It is not an attempt to include and/or promote a political message. If a parent does have a concern I would encourage him or her to contact the child’s teacher.”