Rebecca Hagelin
As our children head back to school, parents need to teach them this truth: Words matter.

Many public schools, whether purposely or not, promote the liberal agenda through curriculum choices, print and video materials, and guest speakers. As we head into election season, parents can expect to see the same thing happening on a magnified scale, as teachers and schools insist that students use only politically correct speech. The NEA and the leftist non-profits swarming around public schools will see to that.

The words chosen by teachers and administrators to describe sensitive cultural issues shape students' perceptions of those issues. Teachers know that. They have tremendous power to influence the children-your children-who are under their care.

Teachers who buy into the liberal agenda eagerly foist the liberal world view on their students by modeling politically correct language. When necessary, they will correct a student's choice of non-politically correct words, all in the name of sensitivity and tolerance. Even good teachers, who believe in Biblical morality or perhaps lean conservative, may fall into the politically palatable word trap. They've been persuaded that using certain words-and avoiding others-is the right thing to do. Deviation from the approved script might offend someone or appear culturally insensitive.

Free speech becomes "favored speech." Some words are preferable to others. And the use of "unfavored" spells social death.

Once the favored speech and word choices of liberal activists creep into a school and become part of the official lexicon, students feel enormous social pressures to conform. As a result, students from religious or conservative backgrounds will find themselves using the language of the left, whether purposely (to fit in and avoid ridicule) or unthinkingly.

How to Save Your Family: Take a Vocabulary Test!

Encourage your children to use charitable, respectful language in all circumstances. But urge them to be strong and clear about the truth. Use the language of reality-God's reality-to describe culturally sensitive issues. Provide a strong example yourself, too!

Ask your children to explain their understanding of politically correct words and phrases. Correct their perceptions as necessary. Consider the two examples below, but be alert for other phrases that demand explanations!

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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