Day by Day

Monday, January 19, 2004

One reader emailed me about the Oregon School debacle with a rant of their own. Since he makes some good points, I thought I'd post his response.

This was really a piece of amateur journalism. For example, the quote of "...she got all the teachers to go up by the door..." Who the is "she"? A teacher? Someone participating in the "session" slash "artistic performance"? The bus driver? I think this clarification is important to understanding the context of the event.

But that aside, the piece starts off as saying it was a short series of "human rights sessions," but later the principal explains it as being a "theatrical skit" which cannot be pre-screened for content -- this I do not accept.

But which was it? And who was presenting the material and why was this allowed to happen?

If it's a "session," the implication is one of being an educational forum. If it was "theatrical" it implies art form where some latitude may be allowed so far as it remains true to the act.

But whatever the case, once the vulgarities started, one of the teachers, or other school authority figure, should have stopped the "session" and not hold the students captive. I feel further investigation into this event is warranted.

I don't think this event should be brushed off, nor do my instincts tell me this was an isolated event. School is a place for learning language skills, mathematics, history, the sciences, etc. It is NOT a place that we can allow to be used to force a captive audience into accepting liberal (or conservative) ideologies.

It's my belief if we must accept the liberal agenda of secularizing our nation by removing references to God from our long standing institutions (eg, the National Anthem, our currency, de-funding the Boy Scouts, etc), then we MUST NOT allow liberals to use our children's (publicly funded) classrooms as anti-American and socialist indoctrination grounds.

Please don't just write this off as being another case of "oh, gee, they're teaching them awfully young these days", because this, I feel, must be taken very seriously.

My daughter is still a few years away from entering school. I hope when that time comes, I will have the means to send her to a private school where I can have a greater say in the curriculum, and where the teachers are held to higher standards of accountability. Otherwise, I will home-school my child.

Our public schools are an utter failure because teachers are no longer teaching our children how become useful members of society through reading, writing and arithmetic skills. Instead, teachers are spending tax payer's money to teach our children to undermine parental authority, to disregard the rule of law, to question for the sake of interruption instead of intellectual curiosity, to hate their own heritage and country, and to spit in the face of right over wrong.

I'm completely outraged to read of this "skit" in Oregon.


A couple of comments, Kurt. One, don't even bother with public education. Find a decent private school and enroll your child there. As far as I'm concerned, the public school system is an utter and abject failure, where mediocrity reigns supreme, and anyone showing initiative and promise is squashed, browbeaten, and forced to fit the "norm". That goes for teachers as well as students.

The girlfriend has a five year old niece who lives in Arizona. The niece goes to a private school. At five years old she's reading at a third-grade level and can hold complete conversations with adults. Her math skills are at a similar level. She never would have reached that high a level in public schools. To top it all off, her parents pay $7,200 a year to send her to that school.

The national average spending per pupil in public schools is $7,400. That should be all I need to say. It seems you already see the problems in the public school system. Start checking tuitions at private schools.

Second, the entire episode at this school reeks to high heaven. Seminars, art, skits, whatever, if a student is so upset by it that they try to leave, and are RESTRAINED by the staff, that's cause in and of itself for an investigation. But I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that no investigation will ever happen. It'll be written off as "educational license" or some rot like that. You damn near need an Act of Congress to fire a teacher these days. This won't even make the teacher's union blink.

I've given up on the public school system. At this point, I believe it's too far gone to fix. It needs to be completely demolished and rebuilt from the ground up. I just don't see that happening any time soon. Just do your best to keep your daughter out of it.

And thanks for writing!

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