Friday, September 04, 2009

PARENTING AND POLITICS GONE STUPID

Today, all 5 of my kids brought home what is clearly some kind of mandatory letter by the Cajon Valley Unified School District of which I qualify for a place on the board simply because we have like 20% of the school population in our immediate family.

Here's the subject of the letter:

Evidently, the president of the United States of America... the elected political leader of the country in which I live, is giving a speech on Tuesday about education. (I think they expect me to insert a massive gasp here) The speech is supposed to be challenging students, parents, and educators to ensure that every child has an education. They want to encourage us to watch it together as a family.

We are then warned that some teachers may address the speech in class and that some students may even watch the speech as part of a class.

To which they offer these two paragraphs:
As with any significant current events topic, some teachers may choose to include the President's speech as a part of a supplemental learning activity focused upon the importance of education, goal-setting, and college attendance. We will not be encouraging teachers to do so, nor requiring they use any of the suggested learning options from the Department of Education.
Some families may not wish to have their child watch the President's speech at school. If a teacher plans to include the speech as part of a lesson, parents will be informed by the end of school this Friday to allow parents an opportunity to opt out by notifying the teacher prior to the broadcast on Tuesday morning. Students who have opted out will be assigned supervised alternate learning activities out of the classroom during the 20-minute speech and any immediate follow-up discussion
Ok. So... this bugs me on several levels of which I will simply state in the form of 3 questions:

  1. Who thinks it is a good parenting decision to shelter their kids in a public education environment from a public address of the president's opinion on education?
  2. Even if I disagree with everything the president says, isn't this the perfect opportunity for me to talk to my children about what they are learning in school anyway? I mean how many times to actually get to hear the full subject matter of a teacher's lesson in the first place?
  3. When are we going to embrace the value of teaching our children how to interact with the world around it instead of hiding from it and especially with and from the opinions of those who are in leadership over them? Especially those of the President! No wonder we can't get young people to go to the poles and vote.
I believe it is our responsibility as educators and parents to teach our children not what to think, but how to think. The capacity to truly interact with the opinions of others is the difference between a mere follower of the crowd and an intelligent thinker, learner, and leader in our society.

I guess I'd understand the concern if this was a speech about sexuality, the mexican border, abortion, a war, our response to a 911 type event, or some other controversial issue that may not be age appropriate for my 6 to 12 year old kids... but this my friends is ridiculous. I think it's parenting and politics gone stupid.

2 comments:

lucydrake 5:47 PM  

Send the kids or don’t send them…either way, they will find out what was said…with the media and people talking, it will get out…

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