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School Wars: Who Will Win?

By Tammy Drennan


Note: If you’re a combatant, please give some thought to the following. If you know a combatant, please share this with him or her.


You probably know there’s a war going on regarding public schools. It’s been going on since the mid-1800s, but it’s taken on new proportions of late.


It’s a complicated war consisting of many fronts. A few big examples include:


·         Evolution vs. Creationism1


·         Abstinence vs. “Comprehensive” sex-ed2


·         Alternative lifestyles vs. traditional families3 

·         Then there’s whole language vs. phonics, social studies vs. history, battles of religion and ethics and literature and math instruction, and phys-ed and even lunch menus.


You may have taken sides. Or maybe your stance is a compromise that embraces everyone’s preferences.


It doesn’t really matter because very few people are about to back down, and most are willing to try to use the power of the state to force others to submit to their view of what public schools should be.


The various activists all tend to enjoy an occasional victory and some setbacks from time to time or place to place. The victories fuel their fervor; the set-backs bolster their resolve.


The victims are the children, tossed with the winds and whims of adults who relegate them to state schools then shoot at one another through them, injuring many, even killing a few.


It’s not that a lot of adults don’t have good motives. Many do (though many do not). But they’re all willing to keep children in harm’s way while they fire at one another.


Do you think the war will ever end? Do you think that school choice is the answer – that it will be able to wrestle politics out of the schools? Do you think that private schools accepting public money will waltz along unencumbered by government regulation?


Do you hold high hopes that the views you hold dearest will prevail in public school curriculum, that some court will end the war once and for all with an irreversible ruling?


Whose side will win the school wars? What action will end the war? Will the children you know be able to dodge the bullets unharmed, step cavalierly over their injured peers, and emerge to take up a gun themselves? Is that what you want for the children you love?


This is not a war of independence or liberty. It’s quite the opposite – a war to enslave others to a point of view by way of the authority of the state. This is a war that a free people should not be fighting.


There is a better way. We could end the war.


It may be hard to believe, but if we can support the monolithic system we now have, even after all the money that goes to layers upon layers of government agencies and all the money that pays for layers of government regulation, we are perfectly able to support the option of freedom, which is cheaper, more efficient and more effective.


Ending the war will entail a few things:


·         Parents must understand that their children’s minds and morals are literally being formed by politicians and those who use them to access children for various causes.


·         Parents must believe that they have the right and ability to choose and provide for their children’s education.


·         Parents and all who care about children must care enough to take action


·         Parents, philanthropists and entrepreneurs must turn their attention to creating more and better options for education. What better or more exciting cause?


There’s one more important step we’ll have to take, maybe the hardest of all. We’ll have to redefine education and ourselves. At the moment, we live under the shadow of government and bureaucratic definitions of education that have made us the people we are.


We must take back our brains and define ourselves and our hopes for the future. Our founders created a government and handed it to us to manage. Over time, that government brought about a role reversal so that now it defines us through its schools.


While the opportunity still exists, we must choose freedom. If we continue to turn our children over to the state for their formation as people and citizens, the battle will be lost.


We can end the school wars by choosing to walk away and create better options. We can choose freedom.


End Notes


1. The Battle Over Evolution vs. Creationism [back] 


Evolutionists and Creationists Butt Heads Over Proposed Legislation

Creationists try legislation to promote their cause

(Full article available only to subscribers)


The end notes listed here contain a long list of links to legal battles over the teaching of evolution and creationism in public schools.



2. The Battle of Abstinence vs. "Comprehensive" Sex-ed [back]

This letter to the chairman of the U.S. Appropriations Committee gives you a picture of the debate and efforts of both sides to promote their particular agendas



3. The Battle Over Alternative Lifestyle Teaching [back] 


Schools Teach Elementary Kids about Homosexuality, Bisexuality and Other Sexual Orientations


Links to numerous legislative battles over what lifestyles get taught or promoted in public schools





This article is copyrighted by the Alliance for the Separation of School & State. Permission is granted to freely distribute this article as long as this copyright notice is included in its entirety.

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Last updated March 26, 2010