On the first day of classes in 2011:
greater calling than to teach young people.
I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our
school.I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the
ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you,
against your teachers, against your parents, and against our country.Therefore: First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I
could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red,
yellow, or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin
American, Asian, or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the
Mayflower or on slave ships. The only identity I care about, the only one this
school will recognize, is your individual identity — your character, your
scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care
about is American. This is an American public school, and American public
schools were created to make better Americans.If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial, or religious identity
through your school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-,
race- and non-American-nationality-based celebrations.. They undermine the
motto of America , one of its three central values — E Pluribus Unum —
“from many, one.”And this school will be guided by America’s values. That includes all
after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students
based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual
orientation, or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political
correctness. Your clubs will be based on interests and passions — not
blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs
just cultivate narcissism — an unhealthy preoccupation with the self —
while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself.
So, we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music,
astronomy, languages you do not already speak, math, carpentry, and
more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being
interested in are those based on ethnic or racial or sexual identity, that means that
little outside of yourself really interests you.
Second, I am not interested in whether or not English is your native
language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this
school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The
English language has united America’s citizens for more than 200 years, and
it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons
this country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this
school without excellent English-language skills, I will have been
remiss in my duty to ensure that you are prepared to compete successfully in the
American job market. We will learn other languages here — it is
deplorable that most Americans only speak English. But if you want classes
taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.
Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything
in this school will reflect learning’s elevated status. This means, among other
things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many
people in our society dress more formally for a meal at a nice restaurant
than they do for church or school. Those people have their priorities backwards.
Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.
property — whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic
events. If you can’t speak without using the “F-word,” you can’t speak. By obscene
language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission plus
epithets such as the “N-word,” even when used by one black student to
address another, or “bitch,” even when addressed by a girl to a
among the few of your age to distinguish instinctively between the
elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school,
self-esteem will be attained in only one way — the way people attained it
until the state of California decided otherwise a generation ago — by
valedictorian, not eight.Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and
away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring
you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or
global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom-wearing and
teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue.
There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim
because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual, or not Christian.
We will have failed, if any one of you graduates from this school and does not
consider himself or herself inordinately lucky — to be alive and
to be an American.Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the
flag of the United States of America. As many of you do not know the words, your
teachers will hand them out to you. Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.
For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website.www.commonsensejourneys.com
Your comments appreciated
The School house of life