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Opinion: PragerU’s Bias Infiltrates State Education

Conservative videos twist historical narratives, spreading false information.
Graphic by Will Gaffey

PragerU is an “educational website” known for releasing short, 5-minute videos about topics ranging from history to financial literacy.

However, I would say this organization is the furthest thing from a well rounded education.

It was founded in 2009 by a conservative talk show host named Dennis Prager whose goal is to advocate for conservative viewpoints and “change young Democratic minds.”

Despite its status as an educational website, the information it releases is biased and unreliable. It publishes videos that attempt to pass conservative propaganda as unbiased education, and distributes incomplete or even false information.

Although PragerU is not a reputable educational source by any means, it has recently been approved for the Florida Education Curriculum, meaning that Florida teachers are allowed to utilize its videos in order to teach their students about educational topics.
This approval will not only harm the Florida education system, but it will have a major impact on the students getting taught this biased information.

Teaching students with bias makes it unreliable information and therefore should not be taught in classrooms. Students will ultimately be unable to differentiate disinformation from unbiased presentation, and will not develop critical thinking skills.
It is absolutely ridiculous that an educational website meant for kindergarten through fifth grade students has any political affiliation in its “About Us” section. If there was an education website that was presented to kids that had “liberal” in the “About Us” section, then conservatives everywhere would be outraged. The hypocrisy of their party really shines through when talking about how to educate children.

In videos like “Leo and Layla meet Fredrick Douglass,” they start off the video with a bitter introduction about the Black Lives Matter protests and overused stereotypes about liberals constantly advocating for the movement. This completely diverts from the point of the video and it causes students to associate the Black Lives Matter protests with negative things because that is what they are learning in classes.

In addition to this, later in the video PragerU has Fredrick Douglass say that slavery was a “compromise” in order to benefit America. This false representation of slavery is extremely disappointing and scary to think about. To call slavery a compromise is offensive and allows students to create a misconception about the extent of slavery and its cruelty.

Other controversial videos on their website are videos like “How To Embrace Your Femininity” and “How To Embrace Your Masculinity.” The video that talks about femininity tells girls that being a woman consists of looking pretty and smelling good whereas the masculinity video simply tells the boys watching to “grow up and be a man.” These stereotypical viewpoints on gender roles and what each gender is supposed to look like completely ruins the work that people have put in to erase dramatic gender roles. It rejects the idea that people can express themselves however they want and that a person does not have to conform to the appearance of what is expected out of them.

Other videos on their page consist of opinions like “Make Men Masculine Again” and “Gun Rights are Women’s Rights”. The simple fact that these videos are headlines on a student education website is absolutely absurd. If a website is going to be taught in kindergarten classrooms, then they should not have controversial topics like these on it, especially with opinions like theirs.

PragerU has also spread to places besides Florida, including Oklahoma. This expansion of PragerU throughout other states is even more terrifying than originally thought. Florida has always been known for its extremists or radical viewpoints, so to have PragerU approved for their educational system is disappointing, yet not surprising. However, the fact that it has now spread to less radical states, like our northern neighbor Oklahoma, means that their extremism ideology is escalating.

Besides Oklahoma and Florida, Texas is also in the process of approving PragerU in their education system, however some Texas educators are trying to prevent this development. Thankfully, the pushback is causing a delay in the approval process.

PragerU has showcased its ability to present information in an unbiased way through its videos regarding money management and mental health. However, the overwhelming number of PragerU videos contain bias and prejudice that spread conservative ideology rather than helping students.

Other educational websites, like BrainPOP, are able to cover the same topics without the bias, making them a more reliable source.

Overall, PragerU offers educational content on important topics, but its biased lessons and distortion of facts to promote a conservative agenda have caused their videos to be unreliable, especially in a classroom setting. The approval of PragerU in Florida and Oklahoma classrooms will ultimately cause the students to be taught with unreliable information and will have negative consequences such as a deterioration of critical thinking skills among students.

About the Contributor
Libby Howell
Libby Howell, Features editor
What are you looking forward to on the staff this year? Being able to make new friends with the staff! Who are your favorite music artists? Drake, The Lumineers, and Zach Bryan What causes are you passionate about? Gun control and women's rights