Looking For Common Ground

A Dialogue About Public Education

Taking an opportunity to defend teachers and public education on a Conservative radio show with hostility towards “government-run schools.”

Carl J. Petersen
Dialogue & Discourse
7 min readApr 26

Do we ever think we’ll see a day when the government will get outta the education business altogether?

– Lynn Shaw

The hosts of the State of the Nation show on TNT Radio are clearly on the opposite side of the political spectrum from me. This did not dissuade me from accepting an invitation to appear on the show as I felt that it could be an opportunity to have an informative dialogue about the public education system. The resulting conversation probably did not change any viewpoints, but at least I was able to introduce some concepts that should be universally important, regardless of one’s location on the political spectrum:


Bryan ‘Hesher’ McClain:

That’s right. It is a conversation that we have to have and we have to have it ongoing, especially when it comes to what’s going on with schools, with education, and with the kids. It’s one of the worst things. You know, I, as, as a full-fledged adult, I’m okay with whatever they want to do to society. Right? I’m, I’m not okay with it, but I can deal with it. But when I see the cultural manipulation being aimed specifically at education, specifically at kids, when they start building things into educational programs to do with identity politics, I don’t care what piece of culture war, identity politics it is, it’s not meant for children. It’s a form of indoctrination. It’s a form of assault and abuse flat out. We’re going to be joined by Carl Petersen right now and this is a man that has had to fight for services that his kids deserve. Carl, welcome to State of the Nation. I’m here with Lynn Shaw. I wanna thank you for joining us and telling us your story today.

Carl Petersen:

Thanks for having me.


All right, well, that’s probably a good place to start. So, for anyone that’s unfamiliar, why don’t you kind of give us your story?



Carl J. Petersen
Dialogue & Discourse

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com