Thursday, April 10, 2008

Public Schools Education Replaced by Indoctrination

Students not concerned about the censorship of conservative ideas because they view conservative thought as hateful...

From "Censorship and Public Schools" by Laurie Higgins, posted 4/9/08 at Illinois Family Institute

I recently attended a town hall meeting during which an impassioned public debate ensued regarding the very controversial decision of our public high school superintendent and school board to permit the exceedingly obscene, pro-homosexual play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes to be taught in some senior English classes.

During this debate, the issue of censorship was brought up several times, following which I made the point that if the community were genuinely concerned about censorship, they would be in high dudgeon about the pervasive censorship of conservative ideas and scholarship on the topic of homosexuality. I pointed out that in our school, students cannot make it through freshman year without being exposed to liberal views on sexual orientation, and yet they make it through all four years without ever being exposed to conservative scholarship on this topic.

Following the community discussion, I spoke with a high school student who was covering the story for the student newspaper. I asked her what her peers would think about the censorship of conservative ideas on this topic and was discouraged to learn that high school students would not be offended by this pervasive censorship because they view conservative thought as hateful.

That is tragic and frightening. It's tragic because these students have likely never read the ideas of conservative scholars. They have not read intelligent, compassionate, erudite arguments, and yet they've formed judgments. And it is frightening because it reveals a profound indifference to the process of intellectual inquiry which is essential to ascertaining truth and portends a future of disturbing ignorance.

Moreover, to censor the ideas of conservative intellectuals who are thinking deeply and writing intelligently, cogently, and eloquently is a pedagogical travesty and simply dangerous. Who decides which ideas embody truth and wisdom? Critical thinking cannot take place in an intellectual vacuum. And thoughtful, well-informed, challenging intellectual debate cannot take place without all positions being fairly presented. On the issue of sexual orientation, public schools are neither educating nor cultivating critical thinking. Activist ideologues are indoctrinating using the most superficial of ideas.

Read the rest of this commentary.