If there was a course on your child’s school curriculum called Bigotry 101, would you want them to take it?
A safe place to express their dismay that the U.S. elected a black president (though President Obama had a white mother, he is black enough for our needs today). A course that would teach them being gay was an abomination, even as some of their friends and even family members wrestled with something they had no more control over than the colour of their eyes.
A class that made it clear their god was the only god, and for anyone to have the wrongheaded audacity to worship another or –gasp – none at all was evil.
Textbooks could perhaps come from Texas, where they have thankfully been allowed to rewrite history to makes themselves look and presumably feel better.
Texas offers up another solution, too. Sick of all those kids with mental health issues clogging up the doctor’s offices, the hospital beds and the bridges? Let’s remind them, as the chairman of Texas’s Board of Education has successfully done, of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” when it comes to “teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.”
Yes, let’s tell them an inability to cope in a cesspool of a world they didn’t create and most adults can barely navigate is their fault. Let’s encourage them to not come to us when they are overwhelmed, hurt or terrified. I’d far rather they banded together with similarly confused or distraught friends and created their own solutions.
Gay people are bad. It’s time they understood that you don’t know anyone who is gay and will never meet someone who is gay. The gays are good at hiding, because they never know who took this class. Even more importantly, it is crucial that your child, who might actually be gay, knows early on that he cannot ever turn to you. That she may forever be a non-entity in your family in making this “lifestyle choice”.
At least in this program they’d be safe from Sex Ed. We all know that abstinence programs have been such a roaring success.
I’m a huge fan of having religion in our school systems. But there’s a catch: it’s called Every Religion 101, and it is not interwoven in a science class, where I value the work of men with microscopes more than men in sandals. I’m okay for my children to be taught that there are people who believe in such things, however, and they should be respectful towards them.
There are places of worship all over the place where you can teach your children what you believe, and those places should be independent of our school system. Period. We need one strong public school system until you can tell me that our population neatly divides itself to accommodate every single person’s religion and intolerances.
The fact is, I don’t care what you pray to. I don’t care whom you sleep with. I care that you are kind. I care that our children are raised in an environment where they have the freedom to ask questions, even questions that might make us uncomfortable.
Perhaps we should just put a revolving door on classrooms, to help the steady stream of students whose parents want them to get up and leave if certain topics are on the table, then presumably return when they get back to algebra.
I have a better idea: allow your children to bring up the topics at dinner that night, and as a family, discuss them. That’s a good process, actually. Get your kid used to the idea that you don’t run the world, and teach him how to deal with ideas and beliefs that differ from your own. If you really want to impress me, let him make up his own mind. Well, he’s going to anyway, even if he never tells you.
There are always books being banned or forbidden. We would promptly run out and read those books. How I wish parents would understand you cannot edit and censor a world to fit your own beliefs; your power is in having excellent communication with your children so they can make decisions that are good for them regardless of the situation they are in.
Perhaps your faith would be better placed in your children, and your relationship with them.