New Public School Policy

By:  Brian Farmer
New Public School Policy

Schools in this country, from the university level down, were generally meant to produce moral, literate leaders. Now they aren’t. What changed and what can be done?

“The battle for mankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new ─ the rotting corpse of Christianity and the new faith of humanism.”

— John Dunphy in The Humanist magazine, January-February 1983

Those who finished their formal education before the 1980s came along might very well be stunned by the opening quote to this article. The only inkling we may have that the present situation in public schools is very different from those pre-1980s days would probably come from our children who return home from school and share their experiences with us. It is becoming increasingly apparent that what our children learn in church on Sunday is being more than neutralized by what they are learning in the public schools and in college classrooms from Monday through Friday. This is particularly true if a student is a conservative who is politically active and outspoken. To be an open conservative in the world of academia nowadays is likely to invite hostility, intimidation, and abuse from teachers and professors, even if the student is at a fairly young age.

Intolerant at Any Age

One particularly shocking example is that of Benji Backer, a 15-year-old high-school student in Appleton, Wisconsin, who was featured in the local newspaper. When it was revealed that he was working the phones in support of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker during last year’s recall election, Benji found himself on the receiving end of intense verbal harassment from several angry teachers. But the bullying had been going on even before then. In a commentary he posted on the Internet, Benji described some particularly unpleasant experiences:

Just before the 2010 Midterm election, I was on the front page of the local newspaper for my political volunteer work and my teachers noticed. One of my seven teachers made it very clear that she disapproved of my civic engagement. In a period of two months, my Geography teacher frequently would take me aside after school for a few minutes and tell me how stupid, wrong and misguided I was for being Republican. The harassment with this specific teacher got so bad, I had to switch schools halfway through the year. At this time I was only 12 years old. To my knowledge, this teacher was not disciplined at all for her actions....

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