(This column is written three days after the Democratic Convention and the night before the Republican Convention)
The talk has been cheap and the sense of maturity even cheaper. I mention maturity because it is usually what we hope for from our kids, let alone our political candidates.
So many have asked what students will learn at school (or virtual school) about this period in US History. Will it be a time where we all came together to battle a pandemic, social injustice, and climate change? – or not. Who knows?
DEFINITELY A TIME OF STRANGER THINGS
We do want students to experience civics in the Right Side Up and NOT
The Upside Down*. It’s up to you to figure out what YOU want.
● Do you want our students to see civility in civics – not sickness?
● Do you want our students to know the facts – not fabrications?
● Do you want our students to see the “we” in politics – not the “me”?
● Do you want our students to expect the consistency of truths – not the necessity of hourly fact checks?
We hope that a fair and truthful presentation of facts will allow our kids to make up their own minds in terms of the political path(s) they choose. But to do so means being real. And being real means being honest. And being honest means being truthful. And truth comes from one place – the heart. It doesn’t reside in temper tantrums, tirades and tweets.
“Objective truth is discovered by a search which is critical of our experiences until sufficient evidence has been gathered. The subjective truth is not always in opposition to the objective truth, but it does depend on the subject valuing their worldview more than others,” said South Florida based Mental Health Counselor Lori Moldovan, RMHCI.
A WAR OF THE WORLDS – AND WORDS
The President has unleashed a war of words against schools, accusing them of indoctrinating children, and lumping them together with the news media as “far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.”
The President said, “our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that they were villains.
The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.”
FIREWORKS AND BRIMSTONE
The President continued his critique about the indoctrination of children in his remarks the following day at the July 4th Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House, although he did not specifically target schools. “We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children, or trample on our freedoms,” he said.
Throughout his presidency, Mr. Trump has derided the nation’s public schools by referring to them as “government schools,” the derogatory term used by the conservative right to describe K-12 public schools. On other occasions, he and Betsy DeVos, his Secretary of Education, have repeatedly used the term “failing schools.” In some cases, they have combined the two terms to label public schools as “failing government schools.”
FAILING IS SUCH AN “F” WORD
How sad that our public-school system is lumped together and called “failing government schools.” That’s almost as silly as saying we have a failing government administration.
Side note: For the 99.9 percent that do not know how Betsy DeVos has tried to help navigate the educational system through the pandemic, the truth is – nobody else does either.
*In the smash Netflix series Stranger Things, The Upside Down is an alternate dimension existing in parallel to the human world.
This column is by Ritchie Lucas, Founder of The Student Success Project and Think Factory Consulting. He can be reached at 305-788-4105 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and You Tube as The Student Success Project. NOTE: Guest contributor Lori Moldovan, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, was unavailable for this column due to her extremely heavy caseload related to the pandemic.