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.
Why not spend some of our tax dollars teaching schoolchildren that life really means something—that every child in the womb deserves a chance at life? Let’s face it—if you teach a student that killing an unborn child is acceptable, what’s to prevent that child from growing into a teenager who thinks it’s O.K. to pick up a gun and shoot someone? It doesn’t matter whether the weapon is a semi-automatic or a scalpel—a killing is a killing.
Let’s take some of the leftover cash and spend it on metal detectors. After all, a middle school student’s life is just as precious as a business traveler’s. If we care enough about airborne terrorism to place metal detectors in airports, we should care enough about school-based terrorism to install detectors in schools. It’s a shame that we would have to take this step but, with school shootings becoming a routine part of the headlines, it’s now necessary.
And finally, let’s devote some money for boot camps for teens. It’s the only way to get some teenagers in shape—and out of prison.