I am heartened by the recent letters of parents wishing to influence what is taught their children. Unfortunately, it seems many want a veto over subject matter they deem unsuitable. One can imagine the havoc this would create for school districts to be beholden to such a “veto.”

A preconception widely held is that the public schools are primarily accountable to parents. Obviously, parents can choose which school to send their kids that is commensurate with their beliefs. The purpose of a public education in schools funded by the public is not to teach children only what parents want them to be taught. It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client of the public school is not the parent, but the entire community. That is why all the voters are entitled to elect school board members, and not only parents.

I marvel that many parents are afraid their children will grow up fearful or tainted if taught a wide range of subjects and shades of opinion. Isn’t such an education necessary for our young citizens to grow up and be equipped to weigh different points of view? It is a disservice to our youth (and their future ability to function in society) that does not provide an education that presents a variety of viewpoints. The mission of public education is to equip our youth to live in a pluralistic society.

I am a graduate of Coronado High School, Class of 1967. I have vivid memories of a school assembly where the student body experienced a unique moment of education. A gentleman was introduced who announced that he was an avowed member of the Communist Party. He presented a long list of reasons why Marxist ideology was superior to capitalism. I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. Such a presentation in Coronado – never!

Then, all of a sudden, the speaker told the students that he was not a Communist, but merely outlining key points of that ideology. He proceeded to offer a rebuttal to the points he had made in his “Communist persona.” I left the assembly intrigued that school officials would allow such a presentation. A student could easily return home and claim communist indoctrination. Instead, the school expected that the student body could evaluate the arguments and come to a conclusion. In other words, teachers trusted us to think.

That assembly helped propel me to study history and political science in college. I appreciated the confidence of school leaders to trust my ability to think for myself. I applauded them in 1966, and I still do today.

VOL. 112, NO. 18 - May 4, 2022

(1) comment

jrainey82

So I guess we need to decide, is the community served well by teaching American kids that their country is a systemically racist Nation, founded by racists, and purposely set up to maintain white supremacy and fundamentally racist systems? Is our community well served by teaching children that their skin color makes them an "oppressor" or "oppressed," not their actions and behavior? Is the community served well by teaching 5-8 year old girls that women can have penises and testicles and they can be a man some day if they choose to? These are but a few of the supposedly important educational milestones being pushed by teachers unions and left-influenced school boards across the Nation. Let's have that debate. Let's have that vote. Let's see where most parents come out on such a curriculum. As far as Coronado's School Board goes, the second they thought up and signed a letter calling our great kids "racist, classist and colorist," they disqualified themselves from any further service.

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