Opinions, Editorials and Essays

Censorship In Schools Will Stifle The Learning Process

Disclaimer: The opinions stated here are posed by the author of the web site and may be considered controversial. The opinions stated are only of the author and not of the sponsors.

Schools should be free to teach the child, but it is the responsibility of the parent to impose the moral education.

Schools have become watered down learning holes filled with a politically correct agenda. The moral right want the children to look at the big world with blinders on by limiting points of views so they are not able to think logically on any issue. The left want to paint a picture of a PC world where the white man is responsible for all the evils of the world.

When you have the far right and far left people imposing a morality code upon the masses, it is doomed for failure due to the fact that everyone is arguing over what should be taught and not enough time is spent actually teaching the basics. Sometimes the basics need to be taught in books that may be controversial.

When it comes to morality issues, that belongs in the home. I don't want some teacher, whose only responsibility to my child is for that year only, to teach moral principles to my child that my child and I must deal with for their lives. I would rather teach my children about sex, morality, the use of drugs, and tolerance for others than to have the schools do it. If they wish to bring up the topics at school, I would like to be informed so I can put in my two cents to my children when they come home and have my values count in the grading process.

For instance, if a school were to teach that no one unmarried should have sex [as if that were to happen, but again this is about moral issues and not facts] and the test they were to take was on that topic. I would want to counter such logic and say if you choose to have sex you should use protection or face the consequences and tell my children what could happen. So if the test at school were to ask under what circumstances should one have sex, I would not want my child marked wrong because I place a different value than the teacher taught. You cannot really grade morality or values.

However, if the sex education is about the biology of sex, disease, the birth process and such, it is a definite science filled with factors that can be measured and logically studied. As a parent, my job would be to set up the rules and morality of sex - this is not the school's job.

While schools should all have a tolerance for everyone with different views and lifestyles, it is not the job of the teachers to teach about every single possible differences a child will face in life. Every possible difference in the world a child could face would take too much time to teach. Schools should punish other children who bully others who are different, but that is the job of the parent to teach and impose upon them tolerance.

School time should be for teaching a child how to read, write, think and so forth. The classroom should not be a socialization camp - save that for recess! At class time, let the kids learn what will help them compete in the global market. Sometimes the skills a child needs to learn is within the books and ideas that people do not like for religious or moral reasons.

When I was a kid raised as a Jehovah's Witness, I got to see first hand how a mind can be deprived due to censorship. In school I was not allowed to participate in any school assignments involving evolution, holidays, patriotism, or other religious histories. Granted, this type of censorship was self-imposed due to the fact that I was more afraid of my mother and God than the board of education, but it does go to show what happens when ignorance and fear of the unknown can limit a person.

Do you know how hard it was for me to overcome a lot of socialization issues because I could not relate to nor understand others who were taught what evolution was about, the history of our nation, religions of the world, and believe it or not, I first learned to say the Pledge of Allegiance when I was 21 along with well known holiday songs.

A child deprived of points of view based on fear and ignorance limits how far that child can go or will make it so that child will have to work harder as an adult to catch up.

While most people do not experience this extreme, we are throwing our children in a similar fate. Why is it most of the world, even in third world countries, know more about US history than we do? Why is it we know little to nothing of the history of other parts of the world? By teaching a US-centric PC view of the world, we still miss the point of why most of the world stands in awe of the US while they hate us at the same time. We even get our children to feel guilty over every misdeed which was made to create our country without so much as a tribute to what they did right.

Why not expose the children to more reading material with many different points of view? Reading is fundamentally the most important skill to teach your child and by reading on different topics with a chance to discuss it can broaden your child's horizons. If the book presents a Christian viewpoint, follow it up with the viewpoint of an atheist, Muslim or any other spiritual path. If the book presents a Republican point of view, follow it up with a book that presents a Democratic or Independent view. One sided issues due to censorship limits how far the child can reason that there is more than one way to see the world.

Children need to learn more about math, economics, science, and health. When it comes to history, there are many ways people see the past and all ways need to come forth. The PC police have history where the evil Europeans did nothing but kill, slaughter and take over the world without much respect for any of the good they did in history. Even touchy topics such as Holocaust denial should be broached in schools so kids will not be swayed into the agenda of neo-Nazi cults who will twist minor points of the Holocaust and make it look like a conspiracy that never happened at all or that perhaps it happened, but taking 2 million lives isn't really all that bad as claiming to take 6 million lives.

A teacher should not be stifled in teaching important lessons from a book considered controversial. Usually such controversy is over a minor point within a book and not the whole book itself. This is throwing out the baby with the bath water due to the fact that some small minded person cannot get past a minor point in the book to see the whole picture.

About 100 years ago in Tennessee there was a big controversy over censorship. A teacher wanted to expand the minds of his high school students and teach them lessons they would need to know to catch up with students in other parts of the country to allow them the same chance to enter college. He chose an unfortunate topic - evolution. Evolution was illegal to teach in Tennessee. Anyone caught teaching such things to children could not only get fired, but face some stiff penalties and jail time.

It was argued whether the man was merely breaking the law and needed to be punished or was the law unjust and imposing the freedom of speech. After all, evolution is looked upon as a real science in most of the civilized world.

When scientists in the past challenged religious notions of the world and how it worked, they were also treated as heretics, but if we listened to the religious zealots, we would not have all the advanced technology today. This teacher was merely trying to keep up with the other schools and trying to do right by giving them an even edge with others.

Teachers try to let children read books that are only to the advantage of the class. Most teachers do want the children to learn something important. If a parent has a problem with the topic taught, a parent should reinforce their personal values on their children in addition to the lesson going on. This leads to a well rounded education.

When it comes to a child's free time at school, that is a totally different matter. A child needs time to explore different ideas and find out how to relate to their peers. This is where freedom of expression and speech is stifled.

If a child wants to pray or read a book of holy works, they should be allowed to do so on their own time. If a child wants to surf on the Internet, they should be supervised in a school library as they would at home by an adult.

I am not saying a child should be watching porn on their free time. It is ILLEGAL for children to go to porn sites. But if a child wants to explore other topics which are legal, they should be allowed to explore all the ideas out there and in the presence of an adult be challenged to look at other points of view.

One cannot be a thinking person unless they can see the point of view of another side. By totally censoring what can be taught in schools, we are robbing our children of a good education. Even a PC based education is robbing a child of social skills. The heart of a big problem in schools today is being politically correct. It has nothing really to do with politics or being actually correct, just another way of saying Orwellian Doublespeak.

Most will agree it is not nice to call people names out of anger, rage, disgust, or just because you feel like hurting someone else's feelings. Like all other trends that try to legislate morality, taste and behavior, it misses the point and makes the underlying problem worse. In order to attempt to make people feel better about themselves, the public at large must now censor their speech so as to not hurt anyone's feelings and have them sue you or at the very least make you the center of the medium of the PC police (thought police.)

In schools, it is not PC to hold a child back because they may be labelled "stupid" and hurt their feelings and they will lose self-esteem. Instead, they would rather put these kids in the same room with the brilliant kids in hopes that they will catch up. Unfortunately, what happens is the learning process is halted so the ones behind can catch up and the ones way ahead get bored and lose interest in school.

We need to teach our children to respect other people. That is the parent's job. The school has the right to enforce rules of respect. But is it really respectful to all the children to lower the teaching standards and let everything be fair and without much of a challenge? For the smart kids, you are robbing them of their full potential. For the slower kids, you are not helping them prepare for the real world.

A school needs to tempt a child to want to learn more and it needs to be free in finding new ways to reach into those young minds. By limiting access of materials which are not approved by everyone, we are limiting our children's reach for further knowledge. The teacher is not the sole responsibility in teaching your child. In the end it is the parent. If you find your child is being taught something that offends you, explain your point of view and set down the rules with your child on the morality of the issue. Just because you find it offensive does not mean it isn't helpful to someone else.