These are the nights when schools around America are filled with Harry Potters, soldiers, Draculas, and Disney princesses—at least those schools that still observe Halloween. There may be parades, parties, and picture-taking—and enough candy to keep dentists’ chairs occupied for the next year.
But this Halloween I find myself contemplating something scarier than any Halloween fright mask—even a Nancy Pelosi “Speaker of the House” mask. It’s the thought of how money is spent in the name of educating the next generation.
A survey cited by National Public Radio in 2004 showed that 47 percent of schools teach something dubbed “abstinence-plus.” The theory behind this sexual school of thought is that, while abstinence is best, some students will simply refuse to abstain, so schools should teach kids about condoms and contraception as well. But, at a time when technology is advancing faster than our hands can fly across a computer keyboard, should we really be spending part of the school day teaching kids how to put on condoms? If parents are responsible for ensuring that their children are potty-trained by kindergarten, shouldn’t it be up to parents to make sure their offspring learn about the birds and the bees?
Or consider this: A national poll reported by CBS News two years ago indicated that Americans don’t believe in human evolution. Fifty-five percent said God created humans in their present form, i.e., no apes were involved in the creation of man and woman. And yet, school districts throughout the U.S. continue to waste their precious resources teaching children that man evolved from monkeys. It seems to me that, if a child believes that he or she has an ancestor who’s an ape, he or she is more likely to behave like one.
And then there’s the biggest money-waster—the failure to teach children the difference between right and wrong. The fancy name for the problem is moral relativism. It’s a concept that’s preached in the mainstream media everyday: “No one should force his or her moral values on anyone else…That’s your truth, but not my truth…Don’t post your Ten Commandments here.” There is a religion taught in public schools—it’s just not the Judeo-Christian kind. It’s a religion dedicated to the principles of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Education Association. God is irrelevant; the state is divine; and everyone should take an oath of “tolerance”—meaning an acceptance of whatever kind of deviant lifestyle is being promoted at the moment on television.
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