To the editor:
This is in response to Hope Abrams statement published in your paper on March 17, 2022. I’m tired of leftist lectures. They do not have the moral high ground. With each passing day they become more and more absurd. I reject their narrative. I reject their labels. Most importantly I reject their attempt to squash parental rights and hand control of children’s moral development to the government.
I do not fear their hysterical name calling. I can’t speak for my entire Gen X generation but I was not raised to be silent. I was not raised to cower to or join in with the mob. I’m just a retired teacher with an opinion. Schools need to focus on academics. We are woefully behind in all areas. We need a lot more future physicists, engineers and technical writers graduating from our public schools.
Public schools as an extension of government should not dictate moral values. That is the job of each family. I taught for 31 years. The only morality lesson needed each year was that everyone in my classroom deserved to be treated with respect and if that rule was broken consequences followed. I emphasize the word “treated.” No one has to actually respect you or your beliefs but in a civilized society we have to live with it and treat each other respectfully.
Whether the left likes it or not being a free citizen means we all get to think what we want and for the most part say what we want. The left wants schools to decide what appropriate thought is and guide your children to believe in what they believe. As someone who worked with elementary aged children for 31 years, I know how vulnerable they can be to adult manipulation. Anyone who says that conversations around sensitive issues can’t easily turn into manipulation and indoctrination by a teacher or school board with an agenda to push is lying to you.
If I had made it my business to turn my students against anyone, including their parents, most would have turned. Once kids bond with you, they are easy to manipulate. This is why the government needs to keep its nose out of family business. A child’s moral compass is family business. You may not like the values of any particular family but they have a right to hold those values anyway.
There are community members that believe homosexuality is a sin. There are community members that believe women should dress modestly. Neither of these are in my belief system but I defend their right to believe what they want and raise their children accordingly. Public schools have no more right to tell students what wrong-think is than the two community groups I exampled above.
In a free society people are allowed to be racists too. People can’t act on that racism and deny people jobs or yell slurs at them but again we as free Americans have the right to think what we want. The left is free to believe America is systemically racist and raise their children accordingly. They are not free to insist that other people’s children adopt their thinking.
It isn’t a teacher’s job to get the little racists she may encounter from time to time to see the error of their thinking. It’s the teacher’s job to make sure that while the children are in her care they are all treated with respect. As cold as this may sound to some, it’s too dangerous to do it any other way. Once parents give the control of their children’s moral compass over to the schools we are headed toward Khmer Rouge territory.
I retired in 2020. The woke agenda had already infiltrated my school but hadn’t taken root yet. For those parents who favor it, I ask what happens when the next Party has control of your children? Are you still going to be okay with the government controlling what your children think? Whether it’s the left with their gender queer ideology or the religious right who believe such behaviors are sinful, do parents want the political party du jour controlling their children’s moral compass? If the answer is no, it is time to step up because it is happening whether the schools admit it or not and it won’t end until you end it.