“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Those thought-provoking words are from Martin Luther King’s contribution to his 1947 Morehouse College newspaper entitled, “The Purpose of Education.” His words encapsulated what many would come to define as education’s essential functions. After all, wasn’t it the dream of every parent to see their children achieve that which they themselves could not? As a result, for many years, we have entrusted our offspring to a system of learning with teachers who could take our children beyond our own limitations.
At one time, most of us took solace in leaving our kids in the hands of a system we trusted. Yet, over the last quarter-century, the trust has wained. Today, a great many parents are not so certain the U.S. education system is “building character.”
The NY Post Reveals A Stark Classroom Reality
In a recent article by the NY Post, editorialist Paul Sperry offers this: “An elite Manhattan school is teaching white students as young as 6 that they’re born racist and should feel guilty benefiting from “white privilege”, while heaping praise and cupcakes on their black peers.
Bank Street has created a “dedicated space” in the school for “kids of color,” where they’re “embraced” by minority instructors and encouraged to “voice their feelings” and “share experiences about being a kid of color,” according to school presentation slides obtained by The Post.” Meanwhile, Sperry goes on to write, “… white kids are herded into separate classrooms and taught to raise their “awareness of the prevalence of whiteness and privilege,” challenge “notions of colorblindness (and) assumptions of ‘normal,’ ‘good,’ and ‘American’” and “understand and own European ancestry and see the tie to privilege.”
In her 2020 New York Post opinion piece, “Public schools are teaching our children to hate America,” Mary Kay Linge quotes education scholar Michael J. Petrilli: “In many schools, you are more likely to encounter the 1619 [project] or [Howard] Zinn version of history than anything positive,” he said. “We’re telling our young people that America is racist and oppressive and has only failed over the years to do right by the most vulnerable, rather than that we were founded with incredible ideals that we have sometimes failed to live up to.”
Are these articles anomalies? Should we be concerned? Is there any correlation between these “teachings” and the rise in youth violence?
When it comes to such questions, the answers are no, yes, and absolutely
According to Childrensdefense.org:
- In 2019 – 696,620 children were arrested in the U.S.
- A child or teen was arrested every 45 seconds despite a 62 percent reduction in child arrests between 2009 and 2019.
- During the 2015-2016 school year alone, there were over 61,000 school arrests and 230,000 referrals to law enforcement, largely overrepresented by students with disabilities, Black students, and Indigenous students.
- The prioritization of police over mental health professionals in schools often leads to the criminalization of typical adolescent behavior and fuels the school-to-prison pipeline. Today, fourteen million students attend schools with police but no counselor, nurse, psychologist, or social worker.
For the future of our children, the writing is on the wall.
Many of us as parents have allowed those teaching erroneous and revisionist history to taint the baton of academia long before even passing it on. As Kevin Jackson explains, leftists look at history in retrospect. They teach about an oppressive America, leaving out the context that created an amazing country.
Somewhere along the way, we have made the tragic segue from teaching children how to think as Dr. King suggests, to telling them what to think. This is not training our children to think for themselves as future adults. We can no longer pretend to fool ourselves. This is not teaching and strengthening our children’s minds; this is indoctrination that cripples young minds.
These are the world’s contributions to the delinquency of our minors. The question now remains – are they yours?
Lawrence Johnson, Sr. of SeekingEducationalExcellence.org