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Pelican Rapids school opponent's goal is to dismantle public education

by Mike McFeely

The school bond vote in Pelican Rapids, Minn., is being opposed by a radical out-of-state hatchet man who once wrongly accused an Iowa judge of promoting bestiality (because of a TV commercial for Budweiser ... more on that later) and who admits his long-term goal is to dismantle public education in favor of private schools segregated by religion, race and ethnicity.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Paul Dorr.

 Paul Dorr (Photo: eagleforum.org)

We've mentioned him before on this blog. He is a father of 11 from Ocheyedan, Iowa, who home-schools his children. His web site infers that it is his Christian duty to defeat local school referendums.

He was hired to oppose Pelican Rapids' school bond vote Nov. 5.

Dorr's views go into even deeper, darker corners than that, as revealed by a basic Google search of his name.

A lengthy piece written about Dorr by Minneapolis-based CityPages is a tremendous resource. You can access the entire article here: The Gospel According to Paul Dorr .

In it, Dorr is revealed to be an opponent of taxpayer-funded, public education who wants to return America to a pre-Civil War level of education -- that is, education should be optional instead of compulsory (dependent wholly on parental control) and children should be educated at home or in community schools (funded and run by whatever group of people want to fund and run the schools).

He believes collecting taxes for schools is unconstitutional.

"The federal or state government should not be involved at all, as was the case before the Unitarian and corporate class uprisings in the 1840s and '50s," Dorr told CityPages.

Dorr reveals his desire for a segregated, privatized school system with this quote:

"I would love nothing more than to see a flourishing of private schools run by Protestants, Catholics, Unitarians, Jews, Quakers, Hmong, etc. Let them teach the academics as well as the traditions and let them each provide for the poor in their neighborhoods/communities," Dorr said.

The article also says:

"The tragedy is that the poorest class of society is being harmed the most by it," Dorr says of the public schools. "Their children serve primarily to fill seats needed to secure access to tax revenues, and then their future dependency on the bureaucracy is secured by introducing them to illicit sex, harmful drugs, and anything but a rigorous education."

Dorr believes that if most of the tax monies going to the state and federal governments for education were returned to the taxpayers, the cash flow would be so great that middle-class Christian families could operate their own schools and still have funds left over to help poor Christians to educate their children. ...

Dorr repeatedly talks about how public schools encourage a dependency on the bureaucracy and the welfare system by introducing students to sex and drugs. And he sees no value in compulsory education as a means to create a trained workforce and limit unemployment, poverty, criminality, and other social ills.

"The reverse of the 19th-century slogan used to popularize public schools at the time--that is, 'Build more public schools and we'll build less jails'--has been fully realized," he says.

Instead, Dorr says, after "naturalist and narcissistic" public education gives way to parent-directed and Christian schools, crime will decrease and fewer people will have to depend on welfare. In fact, it's the public education system, Dorr says, that teaches kids a sense of self-entitlement and promotes a naturalist view, which he describes as shortsighted.

Secularists, he says, believe that "the triune God of the Bible has nothing to say about science, math, history, art, etc. There is no supernatural foundational purpose to learning...[public education] teaches self-esteem, self-image, self-awareness, self-actualization, self, self, self. True Christian schools teach Christ and Him glorified in all of your academic and social pursuits."

Dorr is part of the discussion in Pelican Rapids because he was hired a group of local opponents to the school bond vote. The group calls itself PR CARE and is run by local residents Les Rotz and Sue Seifert.

When the Pelican Rapids school district first tried to pass a school bond last spring, PR Care sent mailers to seasonal lake-home residents (the Pelican district includes lakes like Pelican, Franklin, Lizzie and Lida) asking for donations in order to hire Dorr. The mailer took the angle that cabin owners "don't even get to vote" on the referendum, but they could help by giving money. 

"Will you consider giving your generous support of one-half of the first year's proposed new tax on your property? ... Or it may be simpler to send $1,000, $500, $250 or even $100 to our fight?" the mailer read.

Dorr was hired and opponents of the bond were successful. The vote failed by a 61-39 tally. No doubt getting a 51-percent "yes" vote this time will be difficult for school proponents.

But full-time residents of Pelican Rapids should know who is opposing a school in their community. Dorr is a person who attached himself to a variety of marginal causes over the years and once opened a store that exclusively sold Y2K supplies. He protested a play at an Iowa college because he said it promoted "homosexual sin."

One of his more notorious crusades came years ago when he accused an Iowa judge of promoting bestiality because the judge was part-owner of a Budweiser distributorship. Dorr's argument was that Budweiswer was running TV commercials at the time that featured a talking chimpanzee that was flirting with a woman.

Turns out, according to CityPages, Dorr had his facts slightly mixed up. It wasn't the judge who was part-owner, but a sister-in-law of the judge who had the same name.

Another thing the voters in Pelican Rapids need to know: Dorr and his tactics often leave divided communities and distrust in his wake. In an article that ran in the Des Moines Register, Independence, Iowa, superintendent Devin Embray was quoted thusly after Dorr helped defeat a bond vote in that town:

"The community was divided greatly by the bond vote. When he leaves town, we pick up the pieces."

(Mike McFeely is a talk-show host on KFGO-AM in Fargo, N.D. He can be reached at mike.mcfeely@mwcradio.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcFeelyKFGO.)