Paul Gordon Collier- All across America, last week and this week, parents prepared to send their kids to the start of another school year. For the overwhelming majority of Americans, that meant sending your kids to a public school, or, to put it another way, a school that is run by government.
That government-run school is run under an avalanche of laws, rules, regulations and mandates that start at the very top, the Federal level, and trickle down to the local level, with our local school districts having what could be argued is the least amount of say as to how our kids are taught and exactly what those kids learn.
Most parents are wondering how well their kid will do this year and how well they will do with socializing. Will Johnny get good grades? Will Suzy continue to be popular at school? As our kids get older, we also start to worry about things like drugs and sex. Will my kid find the wrong crowd?
All of those are concerns for me as well, but more pressing in my mind is the knowledge that I am sending my child off to an institution that is not a reflection of the values, the beliefs of the community she comes from, but rather is largely the product of selective group-think from a small panel of education engineers who have never lived, worked, or even experienced the community my daughter is growing up in.
For those of us who have the same beliefs, or similar beliefs, as the government-designed school programs are now presenting, for you, sending your child off to school is like sending your kid to a safe place where you know your child will be fed the same values, the same beliefs, more or less, that you hold.
For those who have very different beliefs to the ones held by those select-few education engineers from Washington DC and, to a lesser extent, our state capital (in my case, Harrisburg, PA), when we send our child off we have to wonder about things that are far more pressing, far more existential in nature even than grades and socializing. Will my child come home my enemy?
To be sure, even under the best of circumstances, our children may very well become someone completely antithetical to who and what we are, but when we know we are sending our child to a place where education engineers have designed a program that intentionally seeks to convert our children to their particular worldview, this becomes a whole other level of threat.
Parents such as myself have some choice, but not very good ones, unless we have more wealth. You see, if I want to take my child out of the public school system, I will have to not only pay for whatever program I will use to replace the public school system, I will also continue to have to pay as if she were still going to public schools.
The cost for me to send my child to school, if she does not go to public school, could easily top $10,000 a year, and that’s before I add the Real Estate and School Taxes I will continue to have to pay. Of course, I could decide to homeschool my child, which would cost me less than sending her to a private school, but, in terms of lost hours to make money for my family, this could still end up costing our household over $10000 a year.
Since I cannot afford to send her to a private school, and I do not have the resources to homeschool her, I feel forced, against my will, against the choice I’d like to make, to remove her from an institution that is seeking to create in my child a worldview I am adamantly opposed to.
To help you understand the dilemma people like me face, imagine you held to these views, that there is no God, that evolution is settled science, that government is a necessary and good way to make sure we are all equal, that the planet is more important even than people. Now, imagine that the government school you have to send your child to happens to believe there is no God but Allah, that evolution is a lie, that the only good government is one that follows Sharia Law. Or, imagine you live in a world where the government believes that all individual thought is a distraction from the glory of the state, that only the right kind of race is a good race.
I could go on, but hopefully you get my point. So long as we have a system that is so heavily designed from the top down, so long as we have a system that has assigned more and more worldview-building responsibilities to our public schools, with little real opportunity for a choice to opt out of that system, we do not possess real freedom, real liberty to raise our children, to educate our children, to teach our children the values WE choose to teach them, the beliefs WE choose to pass on to them.
We will create what we have, a government institution that is seeking to mold our children into people we don’t want them to be. We have no longer a partnership with public education, but an adversarial relationship. We, as parents, must be ever vigilant and make efforts to UNTEACH what these schools will try to teach.
Sadly, in America today, there is little choice left for the average citizen to avoid these public schools, schools that are not just teaching worldviews that perhaps a minority in that community don’t hold, but they are teaching worldviews that a MAJORITY of people in that community don’t hold, especially if more folks in that community knew what was really being taught.
We do not teach our kids the basics. We do not teach our kids how to learn. We teach our kids WHAT to think and HOW to think it. This is not liberty, this is indoctrination.
As we send our kids off to school, we who do not agree with the current worldview of this government’s education engineers, it is urgent that we teach our children to discern truth on their own, to be critical of what is ‘taught’ them, to know that these schools are not simply teaching facts, they are preaching a worldview.
If my child comes to that worldview on her own, so be it. But as a parent, it is my duty to give her the best opportunity to make the decision on what her worldview will be, based on a wide range of facts and opinions. It is my duty as a parent to help my child learn critical thinking and to actualize certain core values, like the sanctity of every individual life, like the critical truth of individual liberty for all, given to us by our creator.
If she chooses, then, to reject these truths, so be it. But she will be armed, mentally, so she will have to own her choice and not be a mere byproduct of an education engineer’s masterwork. In other words, she will not simply be what the government school WANTS her to be, a useful part of an engineered machine.