Reader David Bellamy sent me two disturbing stories about idiots overrunning the systen of public education in this country.
The first story tells about a initiative by the NYC Department of Education that proposes to ban a list of 50 “bad” words from standardized tests:
Fearing that certain words and topics can make students feel unpleasant, officials are requesting 50 or so words be removed from city-issued tests. The word “dinosaur” made the hit list because dinosaurs suggest evolution which creationists might not like, WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported. “Halloween” is targeted because it suggests paganism; a “birthday” might not be happy to all because it isn’t celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses. . . The word “dancing” is also taboo. However, there is good news for kids that like “ballet”: The city made an exception for this form of dance. Also banned are references to “divorce” and “disease,” because kids taking the tests may have relatives who split from spouses or are ill.
For the full list of the banned words, consult the link. I warn you, you will be outraged.
The second story is just as sad and has to do with legislation that dictates how climate change should be taught in schools:
One such model bill has just passed the Tennessee state legislature, and this one mandates that schools teach climate science as a theory alongside other ‘credible’ theories – like those ones preferred by fossil fuels companies, for example, that hold that global warming is caused by solar cycles and other nonsense. Sound familiar? This is the same structural tactic employed by creationists to try to discourage the teaching of evolution in schools.
DeSmogBlog explains that the bill was opposed by almost every respectable scientific institution – and was passed by a margin of 70-23 anyway. Tennessee joins Texas, Louisiana, and South Dakota in passing such ‘model’ legislation. As a result, children in each of these states are apt to receive a confusing, less fact-based climate science education.
Having read these disconcerting articles, David made the following observation:
There is more and more reason to homeschool to prevent your childrens’ indoctrination, I fear. Next we shall have laws mandating the teaching in public schools that storks bring babies, since children must not have any prompting to think of sex.
I fully agree that the sad joke about the storks is likely to become a reality in the near future. I don’t, however, agree that this – or anything else – is a valid reason to homeschool.
As you all know, I went to school in the Soviet Union. No public school in the US can even begin to imitate the kind of indoctrination we had there. Daily discussions of capitalist evildoers, endless books about Grandpa Lenin whose photograph we all wore in a small badge next to our hearts (I kid you not), regular military marching and singing of patriotic songs, a very carefully sanitized list of readings from which every work of the world literature that was not considered proto-Communist had been excised, stories about admirable kids who ratted out their anti-Soviet parents to the KGB – this is just a small part of the constant brainwashing I was exposed to since early childhood.
Now, if you have been reading this blog for a while, please tell me, do I seem like a particularly pro-Soviet person as a result of all that indoctrination? Have you met anybody who is more critical of the USSR than I am? Not really, eh? Obviously, the brainwashing did not work. A school simply does not have this kind of power over a child.
And do you want to know how often this Soviet indoctrination comes up in psychoanalysis as something that impacted me for life? Never. Because it didn’t. As opposed to the fact that I was kept at home by a bunch of adoring relatives until the age of 7. That comes up a lot because this was a very negative factor in my development and socialization that I’m still, 28 years later, working to overcome.
All of the Education Boards, silly bureaucrats and incapable teachers combined and multiplied by fifteen cannot cause as much damage as an immature parent who resolves his or her issues by depriving a child of normal socialization. The entire process of growing up consists of a gradual separation of a child from her or his parents. The damage that is caused to a child by a parent who wouldn’t let the poor kid out of their sight is so absolutely tragic that a mere list of a few banned words looks like a silly little joke by its side.