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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Friday, January 24 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterTotalitarianism in public education

(Eighth in a series.)

The greatest irony in American public education is its totalitarian attitude and doctrine. One of the recent examples, among an endless stream of them, publicized on my other web site, Xnmp (December 18, 2002), was the case in which a student had to sue her Boulder, Colorado, school for the right to write her book report on the book of Exodus, from the Bible. I found the same monolithic close-mindedness in the Palo Alto, California, schools when my daughter was told the class would be celebrating Hannukah, but there would be no mention of Christmas. Hannukah, you see, is "ethnic," but Christmas is "religious." I had no problems with the Hannukah program, but found it totalitarian—downright fascistic—to not give every group at least equal time, if not proportional time.

No doubt the Boulder sixth grader would have been commended if she'd chosen to report about a biography of a violent gangsta rap musician or someone advocating sexual anarchy. She found a public interest legal group willing to take her case, and of course she won, as these cases almost invariably do win. But the schools keep trying to stifle any expression of Christian values.

This totalitarianism, which often excludes anything outside what's "politically correct" in the liberal mainstream, is ironic, because it reduces public schools to stifling rather than encouraging independent or creative thinking while they're frequently touting the elusive and undefined god of their own religion, "excellence." Such "secularism" is as religiously all-embracing as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, or Christianity, but it holds all the power, which it abuses freely. It's ironic too because at least in urban environments like my current home city, San Jose, "diversity" is the liberal shibboleth expected to open every sesame. But the diversity referred to is so superficial—you could say it's only "skin deep"—that it hardly tolerates anything critical of the school establishment or the pop culture "thinking" that dominates network television and MTV music.

I'm convinced that it warps young minds, kills dreams, kills spirits, and that's the worst irony, the ultimate hypocrisy the so-called public education system is perpetuating.

(Disclaimer: Of course in this vast nation there are many good "public" schools, even some excellent ones, and there are countless dedicated tireless teachers, many whom have been praised here in previous entries. If you or your school are among them, I commend you.)

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 Women's studies


And last but not least:


—Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for the day

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

—Leonardo Da Vinci

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