Teach Your Children Well*

Appears that Parents’ Rights is the Republican Party’s latest wedge issue. My how they do love wedge issues. And, this one goes so well with their States Rights. Lot in common, the two. States’ Rights allowed a state to keep doing the same old. Parents’ Rights give parents the right to appropriate their child’s life.

Or, do they? What about Children’s Rights? When does the child’s thoughts, life, become their own?

For some parents, that would be never. Mankind would be caught up in this never ending cycle of each generation reliving the preceding’s. Why even bother? For the species to survive, to thrive, there needs to be progress. Surely, each generation should pass the best it has to offer on to the next; provide the shoulders to stand on; and urge them to go forward from there.

When interviewed the nominally democratic Virginia suburban mothers told CNN that they were upset about the schools’ response to COVID; that this was the reason they voted for the Republican candidate for Governor. Chances are if Virginia had kept the schools open and their children had gotten very ill with COVID and some of them had died the mothers would be very upset about the not closing of the schools. When decisions are made on the basis of best thinking; we can’t ask for more.

More likely that much of the opposition to schools, to teachers, and the teachers’ unions arises from the fear that the teachers will teach their children something that they do not want them to know. Something like the truth.

Raising a child is the greatest of responsibilities. It’s the serious part, the hard work part, of propagating the species. Much of the raising involves teaching them the things they need to know in order to navigate life on their own. Good habits, good manners, good morals, good values, …; survival skills.

If all goes well, by fledging, each child should possess a quite good survival kit. Going forth, with automation doing the labor and knowledge at the nearest google, this kit should include critical thinking. Critical thinking is a most important skill. Here, parent-teacher teamwork is needed. Teachers know this. Most parents do, too. Some parents fear knowledge and critical thinking; see them as threats. What if: The child chooses to believe in a different religion? Loses their soul? Chooses to not believe in any religion? Finds out that their parents had lied to them? That the culture engendered into them since birth was racist, bigoted, and based on lies?

Anymore, seems the grosser the goose or the grander the canard, the more likely people are to get all exercised by it. Especially, if they have underlying anxieties. The real reason for the Virginia mothers’ being upset may have been Critical Race Theory (CRT) which, turns out, isn’t even real except in some universities and law schools, or, hardly so. Anxiety that their child might discover the truth about its heritage may have been the real reason for their voting for the Republican candidate. For six generations now some white southerners have kept alive the fable of the noble south. Mostly by way of engendering it into their children from birth then making damned sure their schools didn’t teach them the truth. Maybe they didn’t want their child to be taught some of the science stuff, either.

Soon the matter will be before the highest court in the land. A court that is now biased in favor of the parents who would deny their child the right of choice.

*Graham Nash