Indoctrination: Is It A Problem?

Young minds are impressionable. Children soak up what they are exposed to. Often, they hear only one side of an issue and not all sides which can manipulate how they should think.

One place where people may feel they are subjected to indoctrination is in politics. Political indoctrination happens all over social media and in school.

“Indoctrination comes from the people in higher authority,” Ryker Cook. ‘21 said “The power dynamic that churches, schools and political figures have can influence and make people believe whatever they want. When it comes to children, it is mainly from the parents. Parents are getting their information from the media, politicians or their religious figures. Political indoctrination happens to both sides from fake news being shared. Politics is one of the main things influenced by indoctrination. If there is too much indoctrination in the world, the parties will become very one sided and it will become even worse. We need a leader who is independent, influenced by both, a middle between the two parties so we can reunite again and stop teaching only one-sided view points.”

Media can cause indoctrination in the system as well. With many miscommunications in social media, it can be hard to receive all the information on a topic.

“Indoctrination plays a prominent part in the media, especially over news and social media platforms,” Amira Hakim ‘22 said. “Social media platforms are programmed so that when you like something you see more of it because of the algorithm. This way, the one-sided information that teens see continues to be biased. Another reason social media makes indoctrination a bigger issue is because some people believe anything they read. Some refuse to further their research and believe whatever they read.”

While most people agree there is indoctrination all around, some recognize the word is used loosely. Indoctrination has been embedded in the world for years.

“Indoctrination is being taught the dogma of a belief system,” Jeffrey Lopo, social studies teacher, said. “Essentially, an indoctrinated person is expected to believe something without questioning it.  The word should not really be used loosely. It tends to refer to the teachings of religious, political or social philosophy by an organization in an invasive and pervasive way. There have been far left and far right movements in the U.S. throughout its history. Often, however, demagogues have used the threat of radical indoctrination to promote their own agendas that, in fact, threaten our democracy.”