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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2008 Gary Hardaway
700 words


By: Gary Hardaway

As a former long-time resident of California, I was appalled – but not surprised -- by a recent court edict that home-schooling parents must be state-certified to teach their own children.  Especially pernicious was Justice  H. Walter Croskey’s opinion that “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children.” To which one must shout back, “O yes they do!” We’re talking here about unalienable parental rights.

Happily, the decision was almost immediately blocked and kicked up to a court of appeal. However, in California, the legislature and the courts generally seek to impose secular ideology wherever possible. Home schoolers can’t yet rest assured of protection from intrusive state meddling.

Meanwhile, in public schools, a sort of psycho-political training goes on continually, indoctrinating students to develop automatic reflexes to complicated issues like purposeless evolution, global warming, world peace, and sexuality.

For instance, on April 25th, an estimated 5,000 public schools around the nation observed a “Day of Silence,” sponsored by the Seattle-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. These schools implicitly promoted a “gay rights” agenda. Simultaneously, they signaled disfavor to religious students in the biblical, Judeo-Christian tradition.

In Snohomish, Washington, Mount Si High School Principal Randy Taylor described the day of silence as “consistent with the school's mission for students to reach their full potential and to respect individual differences.”

"The Day of Silence,” he said, “sends a powerful message that all students have a right to be respected.” But the event doesn’t serve “all students.” It selectively focuses on “gay, lesbian, transgendered persons.” It exerts coercive pressure on students not only to treat homosexual individuals respectfully, but to endorse – or even praise -- their sexual behavior. The tacit policy treats deeply held religious convictions as hostile and oppressive.

Participation in the day-long silence is voluntary. But Mount Si junior Landon Wilson told a Seattle Times reporter that “he was slapped by another student during the Day of Silence two years ago for wearing a "straight pride" T-shirt.” He also claimed that he was “criticized for not supporting the event.” Another student reported that a teacher didn’t speak during class. Apparently education was not much of a priority that day.

What’s going on here? British Christian writer and professor, C. S. Lewis diagnosed the situation over sixty years ago. In a powerful little book called The Abolition of Man he observed that teachers of the past “initiated” students into a civilization with a rich heritage of values and traditions.

“Where the old initiated, the new merely 'conditions.' The old dealt with its pupils as grown birds deal with young birds when they teach them to fly; the new deals with them more as the poultry-keeper deals with young birds -- making them thus or thus for purposes of which the birds know nothing. In a word, the old was a kind of propagation -- men transmitting manhood to men; the new is merely propaganda. . . .”

Exactly. Increasingly a powerful phalanx of culture-smashing activists use schools to brainwash kids into accepting ideas and attitudes “of which the birds know nothing.” Children are being unconsciously prepared for membership in a “Brave New World,” a culture bereft of the virtues, disciplines, morals, and habits of ordered liberty and principled self-government. 

Lewis described the outcome of this “poultry” operation.

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ [the heart or soul] and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Parents -- NOT GOVERNMENT – must control the educational process. Parents are the primary guides of their child’s intellectual, moral, and social development and should not permit their children to be subjected to government conditioning. This year, 500 Mount Si students sent that message to the school administration. They stayed home. 

I have two grandchildren in the Snohomish School District. To them and their comrades I leave some words borrowed from one who was battered and eventually beheaded for his faith. “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong.” [Note: I Cor. 16:13]


Gary Hardaway is executive director of Summit School of Ministry in Northwest Washington. He holds a Ph. D in foundations of education and is a member of the National Association of Scholars.  He has taught in universities in the USA, Lithuania and Canada. "Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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