Friday, October 06, 2006

Harry Potter and Parents

Mom wants Harry Potter out of the school.

Laura Mallory is not a Harry Potter fan, and she isn't giving up the fight to have the popular character taken out of elementary school. She says the series may encourage reading, but it also encourages witchcraft and evil.

"They are my most precious thing in the whole wide world to me and I don't want them indoctrinated into a religion whose practices are evil," said Mallory.

I admire her convictions, but honestly if she's worried about Harry Potter in her elementary school just wait until high school. Read the account of this recent high school graduate,

[S]chools now avoid mentioning Christianity like the plague (that is unless it is being added that Christianity is responsible for racism, sexism, imperialism and homophobia). But they are not cleared of religion in general, inasmuch as public education is now submerged in the religion of liberalism and militant secularism.

[T]he effect that the hegemonic liberal ambience had on the students is undeniable. But hey, at least now we all know how to put a condom on a banana.

Teachers aren't so willing to just give in to a parent's demands just because they're your children either. According to this high school teacher, parents like Mallory need to understand the pecking order.

I -- like so many teachers, parents, and administrators -- have a vested interest in what's best for students in today's public school systems. What I discovered during my recent stint teaching high school English, however, is that students and their parents frequently ignore or, worse, harshly question this interest.

[P]arents, somewhere along the line, they seem to have gotten the implicit or explicit message from administrators that, because they pay taxes for their child to attend public school, they are somehow entitled to unprecedented influence over what their child will learn at that school.

Rather than seeking meaningful teacher-parent dialogue, they seemed intent on rejecting my plan, and that of the State of California, to teach their kids.

Lovely attitude for a teacher of your children isn't it? But remember parents, the fact that you gave birth to them doesn't give you the compelling interest in their education any longer. You're just one interest among many. How dare you question the teacher! The ninth circuit court believes that anything that is in the best interest of the state is in your child's best interest too. Since the Supreme Court refused to hear the case on appeal this week, that's the legal precedent schools will now follow -from practicing Muslim prayers to Harry Potter. (HT: Laura)

My advice to Mallory if she's going to keep her children in the school is to teach them how to reject such things, not demand that the school reject them for her. They won't. She's much too low on the pecking order and Harry Potter is just too popular. Of course, there's always the homeschool option.

In other education news,

Lawmaker wants teachers to carry guns in schools.
A state lawmaker, worried about a recent string of deadly school shootings, suggested arming teachers, principals and other school personnel as a safety measure and a deterrent.
I can't see this ever passing. It's ironic, in the good old days all you had to do was hang a paddle on the wall and that stopped most kids from misbehaving. Maybe they ought to try that again. (HT: Jodi)

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