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Lessons Not Learned in Publik Skools

By Chuck Muth

If our modern-day government re-education camps, otherwise known as public schools, actually taught our kids about our nation's founding history, perhaps they would come across this quote by Thomas Jefferson: "A person once surrendering reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous."

Government schools, especially those embracing "zero tolerance policies,"
have completely surrendered reason in their operations. Let me give you just three recent examples of "absurdities the most monstrous."

* In DeKalb County, Georgia, two high school honor roll girls were suspended for ten days for using a kitchen knife to cut a birthday cake brought in for a fellow classmate. They girls posed no threat to anyone, yet a teacher ratted them out for possession. As a result, they were barred from participating in their schools baccalaureate ceremony.

* In Bend, Oregon, a 14-year-old girl was given detention for giving her boyfriend a hug in the hallway of her Middle School. A spokeswoman for the school district assured the world that school officials weren't trying to be "the hug Nazis," but said the school had to be careful that students didn't make other "people uncomfortable."

* And in Frederick, Maryland, an 18-year-old senior was barred from attending her prom for being quoted in a local newspaper as saying she might drink alcoholic beverages at a party after the prom. Note: She wasn't barred for actually drinking; she was barred for thinking about and talking about drinking.

And these are just the tip of the "absurdities most monstrous" iceberg being foisted on our children by education apparatchiks in public schools these days.

Everybody knows the public schools suck rotten eggs; however, the biggest problem is that white folks in the 'burbs think it's only the public schools in the ghettos which turn out modern-day Forest Gumps. "Their" public schools are different. Their kids can read and write (sort of). Why, their public school is ranked in the Top Ten compared to all the other schools in the area, don't you know.

Well, here are two major problems with that line of thinking, and the republic is in serious jeopardy until parents wake up to these realities.

1.) Like it or not, for better or worse, our kids live in a global community today. Kids in Omaha aren't just competing with kids in Chicago any longer. They're competing with kids in England, Japan, Korea, China, Germany...and maybe even France. And not only are our kids failing to measure up against these developed-nation competitors, they're lagging behind kids coming out of many third-world countries, as well.

It's one thing to compare your baseball team to the Bad News Bears. It's another thing altogether to be thrown up against the New York Yankees.
Fortunately, our kids still lead the world in one category: self-esteem.
They may stink in math and science, but at least they feel really, really good about themselves.

2.) It's not just learning how to read, write and add two-plus-two (the correct answer is four, no matter how good you feel about yourself) which make up an education - though it'd be nice if the government schools could at least reach that level of competence. It's learning HOW to learn. How to think critically and independently. How to use common sense. And dare I say it, how and when to challenge authority - especially government authority when Big Brother gets too big for its britches.

But as you can see from just the three examples stated earlier, those are decidedly NOT the lessons being taught to our youth in government schools today. Instead, kids are being indoctrinated to submit willingly and meekly to authority. Not to step out of line, not even one little bit. To follow the rules without question. To forsake any notion of independent thought or action.

Our government schools today aren't about mind development. They're about mind control. Sure, many of the kids coming out of public schools in the 'burbs can right...er, write a complete sentence. But that sentence will likely only express ideas pre-approved my the Ministry of Politically Correct Thought. And that is the true danger of government-run schools - be they in the ghetto or the suburbs.

Private school choice, including home-schooling, is no longer an option. It's an imperative. Perhaps then, and only then, will our kids learn about our founding history and the "radical" ideas held by our Founders which made the United States the greatest and freest nation in history. Perhaps then they'll learn of Thomas Jefferson proudly proclaiming, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

In America today, such tyranny is being perpetrated on our youth by government schools, which more than deserve a little eternal hostility.
Perhaps even a revolution.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach. He may be reached at chuck@citizenoutreach.com.