posted on Nov, 2 2008 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by cognoscente
I guess the hope is that the simple act of signing their names on that pledge card will stick with them for years to come. It's quite an
optimistic idea, however ineffective it may be.
An optimistic idea, and an optimistic hope. But both are better than the pessimistic variety.
I remember when I was just five years old, in kindergarten, having my entire confidence in my own existence thrown out from underneath me as my
peer would proudly exclaim there was no God and I was a fool for believing in one. I think children have a greater social understanding than we might
expect. But in the end it only strengthened my conviction, and helped me understand why he said what he did. Though when it comes to sexuality, I
completely agree they are incapable of understanding the implications of any one personal choice regarding its conduct. I just think it's the
principal that counts.
Ah, and here you mention the thing that I believe public schools do well in the social arena: they toughen you.
Just as your faith was strengthened by the need to justify it, other children are strengthened as well. The weak and the different will always be
treated as outcasts from society; that is not the exclusive realm of children. But to have the opportunity to deal with others of your own peer group
at an early age gives one the ability to learn to defend themselves and their beliefs and lifestyle, in preparation for the greater bigotry that
society always seems ready willing and able to serve up.
I am a redneck. I have always been a redneck at heart, not due to racism or bigotry, but due to the toughness I possess in will and character. That
toughness was forged in the fiery heat of oppression throughout my youth, and it made me stronger, not weaker. I once was a 98-pound weakling with a
nose that seemed to always find its way into a book. Now, as an adult in later life, I can look back at those early years when I was tormented and see
how that same torment made me the man I am today. When it was time for my children to venture out into the world of knowledge, I made a conscious
decision to send them to a public school, albeit the safest one I could find. I wanted them to find out that others would disagree with them, that
some others would mock them, and that a few others would harm them if they allowed it. My plan appears to have worked. Both are people I would be
proud to call 'friend', even if I couldn't call them 'my kids'. They survived the fire. I feel great pity for those who have never been given the
opportunity to experience a little heat.
Yes, we should try to maintain our schools, as much as possible, free from oppression and slurs. But some will always get through, and it is those
that will make us stronger and better than we were before.
Can anyone say the same thing about signing contracts?