Oh, boy. Here we go.
It seems like the parents of Texas can’t stand what their kids are learning these days. The theory of evolution by natural selection? False. Human-caused global climate change? Debatable. Abiogenesis? Inconclusive.Since we, the closed-minded parents (of increasingly open-minded teens), reject these concepts, we will reject them for our children, too.
Who could imagine that knowledge obtained from novels discussing controversial subjects could possibly be useful in one’s life? Since topics like abortion, rape, addiction and racism are unessential to understand in the real world, we might as well pretend like they don’t exist.
A few miles south of Highland Park, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, is Southern Methodist University, and prominently placed on campus is the George W. Bush Presidential Library. While I will not launch into a political tirade, I will say this: history is stripped of its significance when it is dumbed down to fit within the narrow ideological scope of a Presidential Library. It would seem fitting that the ignorance of such an institution would seep into the surrounding community, clogging up channels of discussion.
Parents are given the right to make countless decisions for their children. However, limiting the exposure of their children to controversial topics, in my opinion, should not be one of them. Though
staunch social conservatives some parents feel uncomfortable discussing sex, race, drugs, etc. with their kids, not all parents sympathize; it is a violation of the academic freedom of the teacher, as well as the guarantee of a comprehensive education to the student, to ban such learning.
Highland Park is a very red school district, and it is logical to assume that many community members are strongly pro-life. However, a general consensus does not equal an end of discussion. If anything, abortion should be discussed in schools, as students are taught to form their own opinions.
The adults that attended the school board meeting discussing the banning of the seven books from the school’s curriculum raised many concerns, reading aloud “excerpts of sex scenes, references to homosexuality, a description of a girl’s abduction and a passage that criticized capitalism.” They worried that “students should not be exposed to some of the hardships and controversies of adulthood.”
It is evident that the parents of Highland Park (that were in attendance, at least) do not wish for their children to question the world they live in. A high school diploma, to them, is not a symbol of worldly knowledge, but rather a stepping stone to a six-figure salary. Sex, gender, race, economics, and religion are facts of life that every human in today’s world encounters, and pretending that they are not is a disservice to the adults of tomorrow. Parents may choose what they discuss within their home with their children, but they should not be able to determine the education of others’ because of their personal beliefs.