Tuesday, March 22, 2005

How do we prevent this?

Edwonk and many others are asking this question in regards to the shooting in MN.

The danger signs were there. School administrators knew that this young man was a potential threat to the community. The better question is: Why didn't somebody do something to prevent this?
Our society is based on the premise that people are good until they are bad. We do not arrest someone on the suspicion that they will commit a crime. We wait until a crime is committed. That is the way a free society must operate. Thinking wrong thoughts is not a punishable offense on its own.

Does that mean that nothing could have been done to prevent this tragedy? That depends on your worldview. A worldview that accepts all beliefs as true will provide fertile ground for the thinking that will lead to this type of tragedy. A worldview that believes that truth is not relative will challenge other forms of belief to resolve conflicts for the betterment of society.

The schools have chosen the first course of action. They cannot truly challenge the thinking of a young man such as Jeff Weise about his beliefs because they must then provide a counter argument that would show his to be false. This would require absolute statements that the schools are unwilling to make. This is the tragedy of the public schools. They cannot say wrong is absolutely wrong because they cannot say what is absolutely right.

Jeff Weise wrote in an online post

"The only ones who oppose my views are the teachers at the high school, and a large portion of the student body who think a Nazi is a Klansman, or a White Supremacist thug. Most of the Natives I know have been poisoned by what they were taught in school."
The teachers opposed his view but were paralyzed by the belief that a school must be neutral. Thus, real truth could not be presented that could have challenged and possibly changed his beliefs. Instead, the student was emboldened by their opposition rather than challenged by it. Jeff Weise went on to say,

The public school system, he wrote, "has done more harm than good, and as a result it has left many on this reservation misled and misinformed."
Jeffery Weiss might like to have known tht he was not the first to think this. Fisher Ames wrote in Palladium Magazine in 1801
"We have trouble in the classrooms, we are putting in new text books. Nothing wrong with new books but we are spending more time on them than the Bible; it is drifting to the back of the classroom. We cannot tolerate this in American education. The Bible's morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble."
Who was Fisher Ames? None other than the author of the First Ammendment. One has to wonder what he might be thinking today.


(Also read: Homeschooling Isn't Enough)

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