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Jewish World Review July 17, 2001 / 26 Tamuz 5761

Linda Bowles

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The other half of the wretched school failure story -- THERE was a time, let's call them the good old days, when parents could send their little children off to school with full confidence they would be in good hands.

Sadly, the good old days are gone.

It is appropriate that most of the criticism of government schools deals with academic failure. But that is only half the wretched story. Contrary to what many parents think, most of those responsible for the education of our children are not socially and politically neutral. They are ideologues with an agenda.

While a good case could be made to say we are on the verge of being overrun by an avalanche of academic ignorance, it would not be accurate to say our kids are graduating empty headed. Perhaps it's time for another updated review of some of the important things our children are learning in government school classrooms.

While Johnny and Jill may not be learning how to read, they are learning that: teachers are underpaid, G-d is irrelevant, big business is ruining the environment, the Bible says driving an SUV is a sin, rewards should be based on need rather than performance, bisexual individuals are under the command of unstable genes, the Alamo was a great Mexican victory, society rather than the individual is responsible for crime, saving the sucker fish is more important than saving farmers, teachers' pay should be doubled, a diversity of cultures and languages is America's strength, Thomas Jefferson was a racist, two plus two equals whatever, competition is destructive, the right to be wrong makes wrong right, the Boy Scouts are a hate group, Ronald Reagan is responsible for the disappearance of the dinosaurs, the Catholic Church is a hate group, defending yourself promotes violence, the government is the source from which all blessings flow, Southern Baptists are a hate group, high taxes are good for America, equality is more important than excellence, carbon dioxide is poisoning the world, cops hate black people, putting a condom on a cucumber is child's play, the Salvation Army is a hate group, the Constitution is obsolete, G-d is a homophobe, porpoises are smarter than people, the Constitution requires the government to censor religious speech, taxes are the same as charitable contributions, boys and girls are exactly the same except girls are better, the toleration of evil is a virtue, moral discernment is a hate crime, cutting taxes is like stealing from poor people, American Indians would not have polluted the environment even if they had known how, George Washington was a racist, rich people enjoy stomping on poor people, the condom is mightier than the conscience, Christopher Columbus infected the natives with syphilis, one person's opinion is as good as any other, the American Constitution was written by racists and sexists, Ronald Reagan is responsible for the spread of AIDS, teachers should be paid as much as NFL quarterbacks, sex between consenting children is inevitable, all sexual orientations are created equal, religious people are bigots, in the beginning there was a big explosion, a family is any collection of oddballs living under one roof, the right to kill babies is in the Constitution, it is un-American to have more than someone else does, the only hope of the world is for workers everywhere to unite, and it is the constitutional responsibility of government to provide jobs, housing, clothing, condoms, hot lunches, living wages, family leave, child care and band-aids to all citizens.

It is little wonder that more and more parents are frightened and frustrated as they watch their children grow away from them and become like strangers, full of strange ideas.

It is time to face the wretched reality that the American classroom has been appropriated by liberal ideologues. Their goal is to strip away all vestiges of religion, and fill the vulnerable psyches of children with the secular mind-sets, ideas and philosophies that will resonate with a hedonistic and socialistic society.

One answer to the problem of education in America is school choice. A better answer is complete privatization, with a high wall of separation between state and education. This will subject schools to that tried and true, all-American, marketplace competition, which demands results, instills discipline and accountability, relentlessly drives toward excellence, and puts customers (parents and children) first.

It is time to return to parents control over the education and "upbringing" of their own children. When and by what authority did the government take charge of the children? Whose children are they, anyway, and why, in the land of the free and the brave, has it become necessary to ask such a question?

Comment on JWR contributor Linda Bowles' column by clicking here.

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© 2001, Creators Syndicate