Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Let's Stir Up the Pot

Okay, actually it won't be a mess of pot stirring. But I had to throw in my two cents with this article I saw on Sunday morning.

California lawmakers (a.k.a. professional time-wasters) want to make some changes to textbooks used in public schools. Specifically, they want to "require state schools to teach about the contributions of gay, lesbian and transgender Americans."

Now I've spoken out before about my "stance" (I guess you would call it that) on homosexuality. But this just seems unnecessary. For plenty of reasons.

One, you know taxpayers are footing the bill for these "improved" textbooks if they happen. And that's fair to the people who are raised with completely opposite beliefs because... oh wait. It's not. A person with passionate beliefs against anything at all should NOT be forced to help fund the teaching of those beliefs to children. There's a reason you can't get a Christian education in public schools.

Two, this is just a waste of time and resources at the moment. California is in a stupid amount of budget trouble. A STUPID amount. Why don't we spend our time fixing something like that? Maybe teaching our lawmakers basic math? What you don't have you can't spend? I would much rather see that fixed than have more trouble stirred up for my fellow educators. Because let me just tell you that my friends in the public school systems have some serious STUFF to deal with already. If these "improved" texts happen, parents will blame principals and teachers because that's just how it happens.

Three, why does it even need to happen? Lawmakers are saying that it will help with the bullying problem we've seen as of late. That it will give teenagers with that lifestyle/identity positive role models. I call malarkey. Kids are punks. Reading that a particular politician/inventor/scientist is homosexual will not change that. At least half of these kids are too shallow to care. And the role model thing? Well... isn't that where families are supposed to help out? Maybe I'm outdated, but my parents and other grown family members WERE my role models. Or they at least provided me with positive ones. I'm aware that we have some less than stellar parenting skills out there today. But as a teacher right now, I can honestly tell you we have so much else we're required to do during the day that we should NOT have to list "positive influences" for your child because you can't do it. It's called being a parent, don't procreate if you can't follow through.

I'm extremely fortunate to be teaching at a private school. Blessed beyond words. I am thankful on a daily basis and more so when I come across articles about the state butting in with public schools. At this point, I would happily take the pay cut that comes with a private school for the foreseeable future (and YES, private school teachers tend to make far LESS money despite rumors and misconceptions) in order to avoid the state forcing other peoples' ideas on me and my class.

So, now that I've had my piece, what say you? Especially my friends with school-age children. Has California over-stepped their boundaries? Have they BEEN over-stepping? Gimme your two cents.

1 comment:

MalContent said...

Well, I don't have school-age children on this level of the Tower, but as I do have a number of homosexual relatives and friends, I think I'm qualified to weigh in.

On one hand I can kind of see what they're going for, but I think it misses the point. Those people weren't great because they were gay. They were great because of what they accomplished (or at least attempted); their orientation (as well as their skin color, religious beliefs, nationality or anything else) is and should be considered largely incidental; background data.

Who people are is interesting, but it's what they do, their accomplishments and goals, that give reason to care (and not incidentally, push humanity forward). That's my two cents.