AMAC Exclusive – By The Gallic
As a longtime educator, long enough to be working with the children of many of my former students, I know the impact a teacher can have on kids, particularly elementary school-aged kids. So it is with dismay I see that there are some in our culture today who are attempting to inculcate young minds with dangerous and harmful ideologies. Whether it’s Critical Race Theory, gender theory, or some other radical concept, the basic problem is clear: in addition to being at war with reality itself, these ideologies all seek to tear apart the family unit and deny parents their rightful place as the primary teachers of their children.
This latest crisis in education is hardly the first. Common Core, No Child Left Behind, Back to Basics, and many other ideas cooked up by bureaucrats and college professors musing in their ivory towers have come to trouble the nation and keep us awake at night. But while previous programs like these had an academic basis, today’s fight is over the very soul of the children being subjected to the teachings of this latest educational fad.
The primary goal of those pushing Critical Race Theory and like-minded ideologies is to relegate parents to the back seat and fill students’ heads with ideas that contravene the worldview of the parents. They claim it is part of education; that we need to offer the students a different perspective, and that they must choose for themselves what to believe.
Yet we know that young children need to be reminded to brush their teeth, to treat others with kindness, to pack their lunch, to shower, to change undergarments. Hopefully you get the picture – a child, by definition, lacks the maturity to make serious decisions, and parents are required to help them. If a child lacks the ability to take care of basic needs, and needs to be told what to do, then they are clearly not equipped to make value judgements about what is being taught to them by adults whom their parents have taught them to respect and believe.
To ask a grammar school student to “decide” their gender or determine how much “privilege” they have is wrong and cruel. Even if one were to clearly explain to the child what racism is, and what gender is, the capacity to understand the relevance of these concepts in the broader context of our modern world simply does not exist for young kids. They are quite simply pre-rational; they are not irrational, but they struggle, for example, to understand the connection between homework and good grades. They will do nearly anything for candy, with no understanding or care that it will rot their teeth.
What kids need instead are the basic building blocks of education, not a graduate level social construct theory. They need to learn how to read, write, do arithmetic, and be children. By teaching children to simply respect everyone and treat each other as they want to be treated – the fundamental principles that used to be the basis of a good education – we lay the foundation for a better world.
The grammar school age children I have taught are much more interested in the worms squirming on the parking lot after a heavy rain than the color of the skin they have. My own child, who goes to a very racially diverse small inner city Catholic school, describes her friends by their names: Cheryl, Alice, Veronica, Joe, John, Xiamora – not by their skin color. She doesn’t have black, brown and white friends, she just has friends.
Those who wish to push Critical Race Theory in schools would strip these children of their unique individual identities, instead teaching kids to view one another only according to race and imagined hierarchies of oppression. Indeed, the prevailing belief among CRT advocates is that children as young as five years old have “anti-black bias.” Racism for them is not a learned trait, but rather a default setting that all children are guilty of possessing. It’s no wonder we see so much division in our society today – it’s all many children know.
Because children accept what they are told by adult authority figures, it is imperative that parents know exactly what their kids are being told in school. They have the right and the duty to do so. One benefit of COVID was that upwards of three times the number of mothers were home with their kids. When classes were held on Zoom, these mothers were able to see what was going on in their kids’ classes, and in many cases were appalled by what they saw.
When a child comes into this world, they come without the ability to read, to write, to think rationally, and to care for themselves. Their parents will be the first to provide them with care and nourishment and will introduce them to the world. This inescapable reality universally applies throughout history and across cultures. It’s about time that our education system respected this truth again and let parents once again take charge of teaching their kids what to believe.
The Gallic is the pen name of an educator with over 30 years of experience, who spends his time helping schools get better at teaching their students and parents happier at sending them to those schools.
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