Two stories today highlight how public schools have become a political and culture-wars battleground in which winners take all and losers are vanquished.
First, the culture-wars story courtesy of the Daily Signal, a conservative news source associated with the Heritage Foundation:
Parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, are outraged after discovering that thousands of books were placed in classrooms across the school district this year as part of a new “Diverse Classroom Library Initiative.”
While most of these books focus on introducing kids to different cultures and ethnicities, parents began to discover that an alarming number of the books focused on “sexual diversity,” contain sexually explicit language, including “frequent descriptions of underage drinking, fondling, masturbation, orgasms, oral sex, sexual intercourse, sexual abuse, statutory rape, incest, and rape.”
Even books at the kindergarten level promote LGBT ideology through books such as “My Princess Boy,” designed to introduce 5- and 6-year-olds to the harmful idea that they can change their gender.
Second, an article in the Washington Post about privacy-invading technology, also in Loudoun County, as it turns out:
When Christian Chase wants to take a bathroom break at his high school, he can’t just raise his hand.
Instead, the 17-year-old senior makes a special request on his school-issued Chromebook computer. A teacher approves it pending any red flags in the system, such as another student he should avoid out in the hall at the same time, then logs him back in on his return. If he were out of class for more than a set amount of time, the application would summon an administrator to check on him.
Heritage High School in Loudoun County, Va., introduced the software, called e-Hallpass, in September as a way to track trips to the bathroom, the nurse’s office, the principal or other places on campus. It collects the data for each student’s comings and goings so approved administrators can see pass histories or look for patterns.
Bacon’s bottom line: My point here is not to argue the rightness or wrongness of either Loudoun County school policy. Rather, I ask the question: What happens if you don’t like the way your child’s school teaches sexual morality or if you don’t like your school tracking your child’s every movement?
You’re SOL. (And I’m not referring to Standards of Learning).
Your first unpalatable option is to go political, vote into power a slate of school board members who share your views, and enact policies that suit you but make some other guy unhappy. Winner-take-all is intrinsic to Virginia’s top-down educational system, which allows little breathing room for dissenters. Exercising immense control over local school districts, the Virginia Department of Education imposes considerable uniformity. Likewise, city and county school boards set policy for schools in their districts, imposing uniformity in those areas not dictated by the state. Local school boards don’t like to share power any more than the educrats in Richmond do: Of nearly 2,200 public schools in Virginia, only nine were charter schools.
Alternatively, you could move to a different city or county with a school system governed by a different philosophy. That’s just great — assuming you can afford to move into a new district. And assuming you can find a district where a majority of the electorate shares your views and somehow has withstood the assaults of federal regulators, state regulators, and ACLU lawsuits to maintain its distinctiveness.
A third option is to recognize that in a diverse country, people have diverse views and values, and try to accommodate those views as much as is practicable. More charter schools, more vouchers, more home schooling. More freedom. Who could possibly be against more freedom? Only those who seek to impose their views on everyone around them…. who, unfortunately, seem to run the show these days.There are currently no comments highlighted.