Berkeley is so left-wing…

…that when 7th- and 8th-graders at an expensive prestigious private school are asked to design their own tiles for a permanently displayed mosaic, they draw a big hammer-and-sickle and declare as their message to the world, “Capitalism will fail.”

The communist message is part of a school mosiac for the Class of 2007 at Black Pine Circle School, which has a reputation as one of the best private K-8 schools in the city. (Most of the other tiles in the mosaic are what you typically might expect from 13- and 14-year-olds: declarations of friendship and personal messages that are generally inscrutable to adults.)

The mosaic can be seen by passersby in front of the school on Seventh Street in Berkeley (and the hammer-and-sickle is barely visible in this photo on the left side between the yellow and green stripes).

Black Pine Circle School is an exclusive private elementary and middle school where Berkeley’s children of privilege are given the best possible education, with highly trained teachers, very small class sizes, a sophisticated customized curriculum and a hands-on learning environment.

The cost of tuition? A paltry $17,100 per student for a ten-month session. A mere trifle!

Each graduating class gets to make a class mosaic, and each year includes a few details that might raise eyebrows. For example, the Class of 2001 had one of its tiles apparently translated into Arabic, while another tile had an anarchy symbol. [Update: Turns out the translated tile is not Arabic, but rather upside-down Farsi (Hat tip: Throbert McGee).]

Elsewhere in the Class of 2007 mosaic, another student was allowed to depict a marijuana leaf as his or her personal statement (keep in mind that this long mosaic essentially acts as an advertisement for the school on its front wall).

Thirteen-year-olds don’t come up with this stuff themselves. They have to learn it from somewhere. But where? From their high-income intellectual parents? From the private school itself? Or just the general ambience of Berkeley? I’m not blaming the kids — they can’t choose their parents or where they grow up or even where they are sent to school. Black Pine Circle’s Mission Statement says,

The ideal BPC student will be maximally free of all the “isms” which pervade most aspects of the world around them: from racism to sexism to the less obvious forms of discrimination. They will have a strong aversion to injustice, plus the awareness to identify the hidden signs of prejudice and the mental and spiritual strength to resist their influence.

They’re free of all “isms” except one, apparently: Communism.

UPDATE: This story was picked up by Fox News on June 25:

‘Capitalism Will Fail,’ Marijuana Leaf Part of California School Mosaic

It was also featured as the top story on the main Fox News site.