With Brighton Area Schools deciding not to consider chartering a new charter school in their district, the group trying to open a tea party-led school in Brighton has had to turn their attention to other places. Pasquale Battaglia, the brainchild behind the project and self-described “landlord” sent a letter to Dr. Craig Douglas, the Director of the School/University Partnership Office at Saginaw Valley State University a couple of months ago, seeking a meeting. This letter, obtained through a FOIA request by Brighton resident Judy Daubenmier, shows that Battaglia is both steeped in tea party rhetoric and ideology and tragically bad at grammar and spelling.
You can read the letter HERE. I have reproduced it – incorrect grammar, punctuation, and spelling intact – below.
There are several things to note in this letter. First, despite Battaglia’s public claims that he is no more than the “landlord” of the proposed Lindbom Classical Academy (now called the Livingston Classical Academy) and his contention that he is not “an educator”, he clearly is more than a landlord. He talks about “our folk” and “our team” and has been proposing this school for several years.
Second, the LCA is, if Battaglia’s letter below is accurate, just the tip of the iceberg. According to Battaglia, they have several teams in Michigan that are “in training” and other schools are planned in North Carolina, Colorado, Florida, and Indiana.
Third, and this is the bit that squicks me out the most, Battaglia explicitly states that the mission of these schools is that they will be used to “train up American Citizen Patriots”. This language is reminiscent of language used by State House Representative Todd Courser when he posted pictures of his children on Facebook holding what looked like assault rifles. Along with these photos, Courser included this comment:
Doing a little modern musket training. Elijah said, “its beautiful! I’m in luv!” I was inspired yesterday. Funny thing is the gun is just one vital tool to train up my four children as the weapons for liberty that will impact the future both for freedom, but also for Christ. The 2nd Amendment is but one important part of our history that every citizen needs to be acquainted with and no one should be afraid of. Trained children equipped in every aspect of the cause of freedom are the bulwark against tyranny.
Here’s is Battaglia’s letter. Since it is the only thing returned from Daubenmier’s FIOA request, it appears that Dr. Douglas decided not to engage Battaglia or to respond to him, at least via email. Once you read it, I suspect you’ll understand why.
From: Pasquale Battaglia
To: Craig Douglas
Sent: Monday, February 9, 2015 8:49:50 AM
Subject: Classical Charters
Dear Dr. Douglas,
As I have previously expressed, I am not an educator. I am blessed to know many, many excellent educators who have lent me their expertise, knowledge and blessed me with their friendship. As a father and grandfather I endeavor to provide for my children and my children’s, children. I can give them no greater gift than to offer them access to the tools to learn under the tutelage of classical educators. And if for my children, why should we not make this gift available to all children whose families wish to partake of it for the tax dollars that they already expend.
What we are proposing is “the” education model that was the binding mortar of the foundations of our American republic. We know that we could very well open private and fill every available seat. To keep this option exclusive only to families who can afford it would be an injustice and in direct opposition to our mission to help train up American Citizen Patriots. We know full well that our students will exceed all metrics and offer an exemplary example of the educational academic program that helped to make American education the “Gold Standard” of the world.
We will be holding an open house for supporters at the Lindbom facility on February 28 from 1-3PM. We fully expect 3-400 families who wish to bring to bear any influence possible to obtain this educational choice. I cannot believe, especially after meeting members of our team and knowing that we are proposing, that you believe we could possibly fail. We have seven more teams in training in MI alone. Charlotte, NC; Grand Junction, CO; Miami, FL Indianapolis, IN are all in process. This will happen. Understanding who a person is, is a large part of how I make my lively hood. I believe sir that you personally are a good fit for a partnership with our folk. It might be worthy of a trip by you and your folk on the 28th. Other than that, If you would like to discuss this in an informal format, I would be happy to break bread with you over a conversation, (I find I can get quite a bit accomplished over a meal. it’s part of my heritageJ).
Sir, before we are put into a box let us not see if we can’t, together show a path back to a better way. A proven way with 2,500 years of refinement throughout history of Western Civilization. Please see the attached article. There are many more facts available to shore up these assertions.
My sincerest regards,
“The true path to the restoration and future of our blessed republic runs right through the halls of our schools.”
Pasquale J. Battaglia, (Pat)
American Classical Academy
16237 Jennings Road, Ste 200
Fenton, MI 48430
Daubenmier, who is the Chair of the Livingston County Democratic Party, released this statement about Battaglia’s letter:
Battaglia’s lobbying of a charter school authorizer is in direct conflict with public statements he has made about his role with the proposed charter school. It should be a red flag that someone who at one time was associated with Christian academies and wants to be involved in educating our children would think it’s OK to make such misleading statements. I don’t think that is the kind of character development that Livingston County parents want for their children. This email shows that Battaglia’s involvement is much deeper than what supporters of the school want to pretend. It seems they realize how controversial his past statements are and have tried to downplay his association with the charter school.
It doesn’t take much of a look at Battaglia’s social media effluvium to realize just exactly why “his folks” would want to distance themselves from him. He has, of course, blocked me personally on Twitter.