Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Keeping the kids in a bubble

I probably won't mention the Illinois Family Institute very often on this blog. For the most part, their particular flavors of intolerance and woo don't interact with the subjects I like to write about. Once in a great while they'll put up some bland global warming denialism, but mostly it's just politically slanted tripe and homophobia, and there are other bloggers who are really passionate on those topics. My rant is below the fold.

However, Laurie Higgins decided to direct her focus at my kid's school, and in particular at the Challenge Day program they are bringing over. Before I go on, there are two things you should understand about O'Fallon: we are the dead center of the most conservative area of St. Clair County (many residents are current or past Department of Defense workers, as Scott Air force Base is quite close), and our school system has plenty of money (we have 2 new schools built in the past 2 years). So, we really don't need some conservative wingnut protecting our family values, we already have an elected school board that is almost as right-wing anyhow. I'm not going to pretend I have enough information on the program to evaluate its true value, and am skeptical of any week inducing a life-changing experience on people (shy of physical trauma), but if this program was really just some touchy-feely lib-fest, it would not have been funded.

Of course, Ms. Higgins has to pull out some made-for-right-wing expert testimony, and her choice is the book One Nation Under God, a book described as "...a literary version of the thankfully defunct TV show "Crossfire"' and 'They are also waging a dated war against an imagined army of censorious liberals, ... It is culture-wars kitsch'. This of course makes them fabulous sources for a blog devoted to those culture wars.

Fortunately, we get to find out the real problems directly from Ms. Higgins. She quotes from the website:

Challenge Day successfully addresses some common issues seen at most schools during our school programs including cliques, gossip, rumors, negative judgments, teasing, harassment, isolation, stereotypes, intolerance, racism, sexism, bullying, violence, homophobia, (emphasis added) hopelessness, apathy, and hidden pressures to create an image, achieve or live up to the expectations of others....Be challenged to celebrate the diversity of ALL people.

Note that I did not add the emphasis, nor did the goals of Challenge Day. The emphasis is being added by Ms. Higgins, because that's the stuff that's really concerning. Not that she approves of stereotypes, intolerance, sexism, or homophobia. Just because she thinks children should be pulled from school when teh school allows protesting homophobia does not mean she supports it herself, no siree. She just doesn't think children should be exposed to other children opposing homophobia. You know, because being exposed to homophobia-opposition will be so damaging for the kids.

Ms. Higgins, your attention is not needed, productive, interesting, nor welcome.


Chicago said...

Reading, writing, arithmetic and PC tolerance training? No thank you. That is not the public school’s preview. Parents should expose their children to the garbage outside “the bubble” at their discretion and with their worldview explanations -- not public administrators and teachers.

Anonymous said...

"Virtually all organizations committed to legitimizing homosexual behavior seek to use public education to accomplish their morally dubious social goals....They seek even to normalize "transgenderism." And they seek to use public money to advance these radical, subversive, corrosive sexual views."

Well, there ya have it then, eh? Kinda sez it all, don't it?

One Brow said...


Thank you for stopping by. As it says above the comment box, I don't allow personal attacks, so when I ask you the questions below, please rest assured that I am not setting you up to some sort of whipping boy. I do not promise to like your answers, but it will not be turned into a personal attack.

I have a couple of questions. I assume you approve of reading, writing, and arithmetic as public school subjects, and your primary objection was to "PC tolerance training", in asking them.

1) Is there a difference between "PC tolerance training" and other sorts?

2) If there is a difference, do you object to other types of tolerance training? For example, if the kids are making fun of a child who parents could not afford to buy them new shoes, is stopping that behavior a type of "garbage"? What if they are making fun of the child for having a cross around their neck?

3) If there is no difference, does that mean you object to any type of tolerance training?

4) Channel 5 ran a reasonably lenghty report on the Challenge Day today. There were no comments about breaking students down, although there were many about getting them to mix with people outside their usual clique. Is learning to get along with people you usually don't associate with what you consider "PC tolerance training"?

One Brow said...

Well, there ya have it then, eh? Kinda sez it all, don't it?

Yes, I think it clarifies their concerns.