Fox News host Gretchen Carlson did not hide her disdain for students in Colorado on Thursday for walking out to protest proposed changes to their history curriculum.
"What's up with these punks?" she asked correspondent Trace Gallagher at the start of a segment concerning the protests in Jefferson County, which have reached their fifth day.
Hundreds of students have taken part in the walkouts in response to a proposal by conservative board of education members to overhaul the curriculum to minimize "civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law" in favor of "patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system," and "respect for authority."
Gallagher said that board members were concerned that "instead of teaching that the pilgrims did amazing things in talking about their accomplishments, they would teach that the pilgrims used capitalism to exploit people." He did not specify whether this was actually part of any lesson plan.
Carlson then complained that the students were "still living in the United States of America" and wondered how promoting patriotism could be seen as negative.
She also said that, "ironically," the proposed new curriculum emphasized individual rights like the right to protest, while opposing the students for exercising that very right.
"Don't get me wrong, I'm all for freedom of speech and the ability to gather and state your claim," she argued. "But, quite frankly, if you don't like it here, and you have a problem with promoting the basic freedoms that men and women have died for — protesting for the rest of us and protecting us — then get out."
Media Matters reported that, earlier in the day, Carlson's colleague Elizabeth Hasselbeck did not press board president Ken Witt on his suggestion that the protests were being fueled by teachers using students as "pawns" in a contract dispute.
"What concerns me is that what I'm hearing from you -- and correct me if I am wrong -- is that there is someone else behind this planting it and using these students for their own gain," Hasselbeck said, without asking Witt for proof.
Watch Carlson's commentary, as posted online on Thursday, below.