For two years students in West Palm Beach, Florida have participated in a project to create a nine-hole mini golf course.
The course, a collaboration between the math and visual arts departments, is entirely student designed and built, with some chaperoning by teachers. While this may seem like a great opportunity for students to express creativity, one of the designs allowed by the school is raising eyebrows.
The questionable design from students at Oxbridge Academy, a private high school founded in 2011 by billionaire business man Bill Koch, was a communism-themed hole which included cut out images of Karl Max and Vladimir Lenin accompanied by the hammer and sickle, the popular Communist revolutionary symbol later adopted by the USSR. This design was approved by the school and among those on the course opened for use.
This is another example of how students are becoming increasingly unaware about communism and the history behind the ideology. According to the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation annual report on U.S. attitudes towards socialism, millennials have very little education on communism.
Some interesting findings from that report include: Millennials are the least unfavorable to communism, seven in ten millennials along with Americans as a whole either don’t know the definition of communism or misidentify it, millennials opt for socialism over capitalism when asked which type of country they preferred, and seven out of ten underestimate the number of people killed under communism. Communism is responsible for approximately 100 Million deaths since the 20th century compared to 25 million killed by Nazism, which was another form of socialism itself.
While both ideologies are equally repugnant, the two are not perceived as such both by students and school administrators, despite being ideological cousins.
While it goes without saying no educator or school would approve a design including swastikas and cutouts of Adolf Hitler, the same is apparently not true about communist-themed designs, despite being responsible for nearly four times as many deaths.
A local CBS affiliate reporting on the school project showed footage of the communist course multiple times but awkwardly didn’t comment.
Oxbridge Academy declined to comment on the design, or what information their students are being taught about communism.
Thanks to all who came out to support this project! Thank you to The First Tee of The Palm Beaches for supplying the putters and balls for our grand opening. Congratulations to Sarah Knouse, Sheri Viggiano, Rochain Burrell, and Jamie Reedy and their classes who worked hard to make this course a reality.
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