CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Schools, Values and the Family

Jan 28, 2004

Early this year Prime Minister John Howard stirred up a hornet’s nest of indignation when he made some comments about the trend towards private education. He said the reason more and more parents are sending their children to private and independent schools is because of political correctness and a loss of values in public schools, among other reasons. The Prime Minister suggested that our public schools might be short of values while long on political correctness.

While the teacher’s unions and many others heavily criticised the Prime Minister for his remarks, many parents were agreeing with him. Around a third of all children do not attend public schools. And the number continues to rise each year. Lots of parents recognise that kids coming out of our public schools today may still be illiterate, but they know all about drugs, sex and value-neutrality.

Of course there are bad private schools just as there are good public schools. And many public school  teachers are doing a great job, and many do not like the negative trends either. Indeed, many public school teachers send their own children to private schools. As an interesting example, left-leaning columnist Jill Singer recently penned an article chastising John Howard for his school values remarks. Yet she admitted in the column that she sent her own children to private schools!

Lots of parents believe that higher academic standards, better discipline, more common sense and less PC can be found in private schools. And parents are right to be concerned about the direction being taken in many public schools. Various crusades, such as those of the feminists and the greens have been pushed in our public schools for years. Mediocrity, a downwards leveling, discipline problems, lowered academic standards, political correctness, and the push for values that many parents are uncomfortable with, have all led to a mass exodus from public education.

There has been much documentation of these trends. It cannot all be here recounted. But two areas can be mentioned, which serve as alarming illustrations of the kinds of problems found in many public schools today.

The first has to do with the kind of literature and required reading found in many public schools. Many parents have become quite alarmed at the sorts of books and magazines their school children are required to read, or at least are encouraged to read. Values which are out of step with those of the parents are regularly found in public school library books and in classroom textbooks. A number of examples could be cited here.

Interestingly, it was in the Weekend Australian of January 17-18, which appeared just several days prior to the PM’s remarks, that a very revealing example appeared. An article entitled “Porn alert on children’s books” spoke of how child abuse experts were warning that children’s books need warning labels, to filter out hard-core porn. The experts said more and more books which our school children are reading contain material clearly not suitable for young children. Parents around the country have been shocked to find school books featuring graphic descriptions of rape, sex, abortion, murder and drugs.

As one expert said, “We’re more interested in the content of a chocolate bar than we are in the content of what is feeding our children’s brains. . . . This is violent, hard-core porn being disguised as children’s literature.”

The article provided two graphic examples of adult-only reading being offered in public schools to young children. (Reader discretion is advised at this point.) The article told of a 12-year-old girl from South Australia who had to read these edifying words in one school-approved book: “I held her down . . . I had the screwdriver right there . . . I held her down and opened her legs and I made sure she’d never have another child”.

And a 12-year-old Victorian child was given a book to read with these adult-only words: “He used to pull out his dick and make me rub it and play with it. Once he put it in my mouth and he held my nose so I had to swallow this stuff”.

(Please note: If you get angry at reading this sort of filth, good. Only do not get angry at me for alerting you to it, get angry at the schools and teachers and librarians who are cramming this kind of rubbish into our young children’s heads. And find out what your children or grandchildren are reading in their schools.)

Pro-Homosexual Activities In Schools

A second major example of how the public schools are pushing values that most parents are not happy with is in the area of homosexuality. For years now the public school system has been force-feeding our children a steady diet of pro-homosexual propaganda.

A major way in which the homosexual lobby can reach children is of course through school curricula, especially in sex education programs. There are many such programs around the country, taught in many schools, all designed to instill in young children the idea that homosexuality is natural, normal and to be accepted and embraced.

Such programs, and/or proposals for them, have been around for years. These programs have often been justified as part of AIDS education, or more recently, as a means of dealing with bullying. As an example, back in 1987 the Australian Teacher’s Federation called on teachers to educate students on male and female homosexuality as part of basic sex education.

In 1992 an AIDS study commissioned by the University of Queensland recommended that explicit sex education courses be taught in the first three years of primary school. The study said that students should become experts in contraception techniques and STDs before they enter secondary school.

In January of 1995 the Australian Education Union (AEU) called for mandatory AIDS and sex education for all students, beginning in primary school. The course should include “positive information about gays and lesbians,” the AEU said. The AEU argued that not only should these classes be mandatory for even primary school children, but parents who ban their children from attending such courses for religious and cultural reasons should be prosecuted by the law!

At an October 1995 conference on Schooling and Sexualities at Deakin University yet more such proposals were made. Speakers told the delegates that homosexuality should be taught as acceptable to primary and secondary students, and gay relationships should be recognised through school projects.

And pro-homosexual indoctrination is not limited to sex education classes. In 1995 the Victorian Association for the Teachers of English said that AIDS and homosexuality studies should be incorporated into mainstream English studies. It said that the study of English must embrace “the burgeoning field of lesbian and gay studies,” and that teachers need to “promote awareness of homosexual issues”.

And the AEU called for pro-homosexual education to be integrated into all parts of the curriculum. It spoke of the “rights of all teachers to influence curricula in ways that will enhance understanding and acceptance of lesbians, bisexuals and gay men”.

In mid-2002 a pro-homosexual booklet was distributed to every secondary school in Victoria. The 72-page booklet, Alsorts, was jointly published by the Alternative Lifestyle Organisation (ALSO Foundation) and Deakin University. The book, filled with a number of statements that many would consider inaccurate and misleading, is just one of many attempts by the homosexual lobby to convince young people that homosexuality is an acceptable and positive lifestyle.

In another example of pro-homosexual activities in our schools, the Tasmanian Committee for Human Rights Education gave three Tasmanian schools prizes for their “anti-homophobia” programs. In December of 2003, the schools were given the awards after they trialled the six-week “Pride and Prejudice” courses. The schools are now planning to make the courses compulsory, and the Education Department plans to run the program statewide. Gay activist Rodney Croome praised the program, saying that challenging homophobia must be “put in a human rights context”.

The constant push by gay activists to get access to all school children, from the earliest of ages, is a part of the larger attempt to coerce mainstream society to not only accept but welcome homosexuality. The progress they have made has been quite alarming, and all parents should be aware of the pro-homosexual agenda being pushed in our schools.

And as mentioned earlier, increasingly the concept of bullying is being used to push the homosexual agenda. Bullying of course should not be tolerated, and one can counter bullying without pushing the gay agenda. But gay activists are linking the two together. Recently the Victorian Education Services Minister told a gay interviewer that more needs to be done in this area, and she spoke of a recent conference on the issue, and that the department is “ensuring all schools have a code of conduct” on the issue. In the same interview she took a swipe at the Catholic Church, saying their abstinence approach was misguided: “The zero tolerance approach to young people and sexuality is not the best” Thus she is lining herself up with gay activists, and against parents who might have religious concerns about homosexuality and  condom use.

Conclusion

Is it any wonder with this kind of rubbish being force-fed to our children that parents are voting with their feet and sending their children elsewhere? As mentioned earlier, not all public schools are bad, nor are all private schools good. But surely the PM is right to suggest that we have allowed our public schools to impose its own set of values which are often at loggerheads with the values of many parents.

Until public education reigns in the PC and the influence of trendy minority groups, the trend away from public education will only continue.

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