Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Prager's first hour today was devoted to the increasing subjection of schoolchildren to what amounts to political indoctrination by school teachers. I have a personal experience with this sort of thing which I would like to briefly recount.

During my 10th grade year in 1985 at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, CA, I was enrolled in a Hebrew class. One day during the class a teacher introduced a guest speaker who proceeded to take over the class and gave a talk about how Israel should withdraw from the territories it originally conquered in the 1967 Six Day War and how that would result in peace for Israel with the Arab countries in the Middle East. I have to say that, being even then substantially opposed to such notions, I was not amused. Fortunately, few people in the class (except, of course, the teacher) agreed with the speaker and his attempt at indoctrination ended in failure.

Of course the main point here is that the incident recounted should not have happened at all. As Prager correctly pointed out on his show, regardless of the whether the political views presented are right or wrong, "left-wing" or "right-wing," this sort of thing simply has no place in school. The students at that age generally do not have the knowledge or intellectual means to properly understand the issues involved. Perhaps if students were properly taught logic and rhetoric, then as part of a debate class some analysis of political positions might be appropriate during the last years of High School. But the reports that I've read on the web and the calls on the Prager show indicate that these are not attempts at debate or logic at all and the target audience appears around the age of Middle School and younger. Apparently the situation in schools has only gotten worse over the last 18 years. Yet another reason why my wife and I will homeschool our child.

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