The Second Side

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When you stop believing in coincidence, paranoia is only a heartbeat away.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

School Rules. Literally.

You are looking at a photo of David Parker, a Massachusetts man who was arrested after refusing to leave a meeting with school officials regarding the teaching of homosexuality in his son's kindergarten class. School officials have allegedly told Parker that he has no right to control what his son learns in school. If you're like me, and you believe that gays should have full equal rights and acceptance, you may not have a lot of sympathy for this man. However, the larger and more disturbing issue is the attitude of school officials who believe they have sole authority over school children, not the parents. Would you support your children being taught intelligent design, for example? How about being forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance? Take any issue you feel strongly about, imagine your child being taught the opposite of what you believe without your consent or even notification and you'll see why we should be concerned.
I'm not optimistic about much anymore, but one thing I still believe is that good ideas can prevail. However, the forced indoctrination of children—no matter how noble the cause—is a slippery slope I don't care to stand on.


Anonymous wapiti said...

"School officials have allegedly told Parker that he has no right to control what his son learns in school." WOW. It's amazing to me that teachers, schools, and administrators have beaten parents and guardians over the heads for years for lack of involvement... and when a parent really wants to be involved, he is told he has no right to control what his son learns in school?! Oh, I beg to differ.

Like Jim, I'm all for gay rights and equal treatment under the law. However, I see this father's point of view as well and would be just as upset as he is if, for example, my daughter was taught in school that homosexuality is wrong and immoral. I see nothing wrong with making resources and books about alternative lifestyles or controversial issues available to our kids. Children are naturally curious and want to explore and learn about the world around them. They have questions and, part of my job as a parent, is to help my kids find answers to these questions as they experience their own journey through life. Not necessarily MY answers or the POPULAR answers, but THE answers. There are lots of beliefs in the world and just as many people that would tell you that THEIR beliefs are the RIGHT ones, the MORAL ones. While they are certainly entitled to believe that, I don't necessarily agree with that mantra. Instead, I present different beliefs to my kids and allow them to continue asking questions or come to their own conclusions for what is right for them, knowing full-well that those beliefs and values may change throughout their lives. I hope and pray that my kids have the courage to find their own way and develop their own set of values and beliefs instead of allowing another human being to unduly push them one way or another. While I disagree with this father's moral belief system, I fully support his right, as a parent, to influence the material his child learns in school.

I guess, in the end, it all depends on what experiences we've had to shape our lives and what perspectives we employ... this Dad thinks that homosexuality is wrong and shouldn't be a topic that his child is exposed to in school. I think homosexuality is fine and a normal part of our culture and lives and don't see anything wrong with exposing my children to this alternate lifestyle. Who's to say who is right or wrong? Perspective.

10:54 PM  

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