Now I say the following as someone who believes in a handful of doctrines: If you’re a parent fearful of indoctrination at your school system, teach your child/children to see through indoctrination. Teach the boys and girls to think—critically and with a healthy dose of suspicion. Most kids already have the interrogative foundation for critical thought: they ask “Why?” and “How come?” to every statement some supposedly learned person makes.Personally, this is how I was taught, and when I asked questions I was always given explanations by my parents. As a student I learned to sift arguments and draw my own conclusions based upon evidence. However, I do want to say that a lot depends upon the child and his temperament. Some children, in spite of their parents' best efforts, are more easily daunted by what is going on around them in the classroom. They are more easily swayed by peer pressure. It does not mean they have weak characters. It is just that different personality types have different approaches to learning and different ways dealing with the world. I have seen children from the same family react in totally unique ways to the same methods of education. Some children find it harder not to be absorbed into the system and for them nonconformity is more of a challenge. Therein lies the struggle which many parents already have for the souls of their children
Kyle links to a post on the blog The League of Ordinary Gentlemen which brings up some points about the aforesaid law in California which show it to be impractical as well as unacceptable. How does one teach about the historical contributions of "gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans" when before contemporary times there were no such categorizations. In the past there only men, women and acts of sodomy. Sodomy included several behaviors, same-sex activity being only one aspect of sodomy. Mr. Likko says:
What grade level would you aim the curriculum at? Are we going to spend a lot of time questioning the personal sexuality of people like Eleanor Roosevelt and J. Edgar Hoover? Neither of them ever came out of the closet. We often assume Ms. Roosevelt had a longtime woman lover, and rumors of Hoover’s transvestism have become something of a pound-on-the-coffin joke. We have no idea and no way of knowing if James Buchanan and William Rufus King were lovers, although that seems a credible theory. But, Buchanan shouldn’t be anyone’s idea of a heroic President; the only significant legacy of this Presidency was a Civil War he did nothing to prevent. The evidence for Abraham Lincoln’s purported affairs with men at various points in his life strike me as rather sketchier than the evidence for Buchanan.Simply because in the past the private lives of famous people were indeed private, we have no way of knowing if they were truly homosexual or not. Even Walt Whitman's homosexuality has been debated. I do not know how many people at the time were aware of his alleged proclivities, his poetry being shocking enough for its earthiness. I remember reading Whitman in high school but I never noticed the sexual overtones; it was not pointed out to me and I was too innocent to pick up on it. I was nevertheless able to appreciate his genius and originality and still do. So are Whitman's intimate inclinations going to be emphasized to small children in California, as if his work was about nothing else? What purpose is there in having small children indulge in lurid speculations about the boudoir habits of well-known historical figures? Isn't the human person more than a set of inclinations which may change over time or be reined in if self-control is exercised?
To this notion, it seems to me that Abraham Lincoln, James Buchanan, J. Edgar Hoover, and Eleanor Roosevelt are all worthwhile enough historical figures to study for their public lives and public achievements, and by comparison their private lives are relatively uninteresting. The rebuttal is, “It’s useful to teach our kids that it’s fun speculate about the sex lives of powerful people long dead. Gets them interested in history!” but whether J. Edgar Hoover liked to get his frack on with other dudes or wear pantyhose under his dickies is frankly not nearly so important as his fifty-year history of blackmailing the entire U.S. government into keeping him in his role as America’s top cop.
What the Fair Education Act is really about is exposing children to squalid information about the private lives of adults. It is information that they do not need to have in order to appreciate the life work of outstanding historical characters especially since it is material mostly based upon rumor and hearsay. When the classroom becomes filled with too much unnecessary and confusing knowledge then a genuine opening of the mind is hindered rather than fostered. Share