A crisis is not a tragedy. A crisis is a crossroads, a crossing, a time when careful, thoughtful management and making difficult choices are required. The current crisis in teaching kids has to do not only with history but also with values and beliefs. We have seen the great divide in the USA between those who hold one set of beliefs and values in contrast with another group with an opposing set, as well as the concomitant behaviors accompanying each of those two groups.
It is hard, if not impossible, to remain neutral and not lean or come down on one side or the other. The simple separation is whether you believe the last presidential election was legitimate or whether it was, in the words of others, “stolen.” That is a great point of separation. Of course, it’s much more than that but that line is a clear demarcation between the two groups that is apparent at the highest levels of government and flows to every citizen who must make important decisions, whether or not well-informed.
Parents most often want their children to believe what the parents believe and even in the face of normal, natural, teen-age rebellion, parents continue to hold the line and weather the conflict as best they can. Kids are heavily influenced by social media, MSM and their teachers in schools at every grade level. The kids reach a point where they want to make up their own minds and make choices for themselves. When those choices are in direct conflict with parents or in direct conflict with teachers, that situation can reach crisis proportions. Tough times require tough choices.
Imagine being a teacher in today’s highly charged political environment and fractured society and following your passion for teaching kids regardless of the subject – history, literature, math, science, and all the related topics including current events. Or imagine the parental responsibility of loving your kids in spite of any differences of opinions that might be expressed in the home. It is not an easy time for many, in either home or school environments.
For teachers, it is critical that they have the requisite support and resources at their disposal to do a credible job without interference from outside influences that may have a not so hidden agenda to change the narrative. We are seeing school boards being challenged by partisan interests for this very purpose. The First Amendment’s religious establishment clause, known as “separation of church and state” provides a legal separation between church and state. It would make sense, IMNSHO, if there was a similar separation between politics and education. That is not the direction these things seem to be moving and that causes a deep and genuine concern among many educators, and many parents.
For parents, the job is to provide a safe, healthy, supportive environment for their children so that they can grow and evolve into responsible adults. For teachers, the job is to provide a safe, healthy, supportive environment for their students so they can learn and grow into responsible adults. When those groups disagree on how that should look or what the content should be and there are serious differences and conflicts, that is a crisis for kids as well as the adults.