The Next Big Thing?

I don’t care for hype and hyperbole by and large.  In a culture where media constantly shouts at us in capital letters and exclamation points all day long, people are desensitized to a certain extent to anyone who makes too big a deal about something, and skeptical as well.  Another pitch.  Another angle.  Someone else trying to make a buck or get me to do what they want me to do.

The question should be asked how do you get people’s attention in an environment where they are so used to being constantly shouted out that they tune out most everything and everyone?  It’s a fascinating – and frightening question.
I came across the site www.parentalrightsus.org  a week or two ago.  On August 16 a brief article/blog entry was published there.  I tried linking directly to it but my hosting site doesn’t recognize the direct link as a valid address.  You should be able to search for the August 16 article though under the title “Whatever Schools Teach, Parents Have No Rights”.   The article deals with the issue that public schools are being given rights through the courts to teach whatever they deem appropriate, and parents are increasingly being denied the right to opt out.  Even traditional parental notifications of topics that have traditionally been deemed sensitive – particular issues of sexuality – is being eliminated.  
They’re putting together a DVD on this issue.  It looks like it’s going to be quite the drama-infused production.  As it should be – this is a massively important topic.  But I fear that the DVD and the concerns it represents will be dismissed by many as exaggeration before they take the time to listen to what it is talking about.
If you are more interested in less drama, you can read some court briefs that are quite sobering and eye-opening.  The concluding paragraph of this case, Fields v. Palmdale is instructive, as are bits throughout the whole brief.  If you’re really having trouble sleeping, Parker v. Hurley is more intricate and dryer reading.  
Some will argue that this is no big deal – the public schools were created to educate our youth and they should be permitted to do so.  The issue becomes whether or not the public schools are viewed as an extension of the parental right and duty of educating their children – an auxiliary of the child’s parents ultimately responsible for being responsive and respective of the rights of the parents, or whether a public school operates as it’s own entity outside of and beyond parental influence.  Does the public school system in broad strokes represent the will of the parents of the children that attend, or does the public school system represent another, less well-defined entity that seeks to teach and condition children outside of regard for parental rights?  And is the concept of parental rights illusory, as some would seem to be arguing?  An what does that mean, if they are illusory – unprotected explicitly by the Constitution?  
All of this is of course rather moot in a best case scenario, where schools and parents are working in harmony.  But it would seem far from moot if there is a disagreement between schools and parents about what their children should be taught, or how, or when.  
Yet another strong case for home schooling in my opinion.  But perhaps that’s just exaggeration on my part….

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