Saturday, August 20, 2011

No free speech in school

The Santa Cruz Sentinel has a page 1 story about a supposed lobbying scandal:
Under pressure from a lobbying group for the plastics industry, schools officials in California have edited a new environmental curriculum to include positive messages about plastic shopping bags, interviews and documents show. ...

Although the curriculum includes the environmental hazards of plastic bags, the consultant also added a five-point question to a workbook asking students to list some advantages. According to the revised teachers' edition, the correct answer is: “Plastic shopping bags are very convenient to use. They take less energy to manufacture than paper bags, cost less to transport and can be reused.” ...

Among other changes, he also removed a mention of plastic bags as “litter” in the teachers' edition after the trade group's representative complained. “To be clear,” wrote the Ogilvy executive, “plastic bags don't start as litter; they become litter.” Now, when the word litter appears in the text, it is prefaced with “can become” or is used as a verb.
The industry lobbying improved the textbooks. We have schoolkids being brainwashed with a Gaian religion that says that plastic bags are evil, along with coal, nuclear power, internal combustion engines, and many other modern essentials. It should be obvious that the plastic bags have some utility, or we would not be using them. If it were not for these industry lobbyists, the Gaian lobbyists would have succeeded in telling only one side of a story, and it is a radical leftist side.

An evolutionist quotes Politifact and says:
Yesterday, Rick Perry commented "in Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools, because I figured you're smart enough to figure out which one is right." ...

Perry's office's claim (apparently echoed by TEA) that "teachers are permitted to discuss [creationism] with students" if the students bring it up is dubious at best. Teachers are certainly not required to remain mum when asked a direct question, but established law and professional ethics do not require or indeed authorize a teacher to use that question as an opportunity to proselytize for creationism, as Perry suggested Texas teachers do routinely. ...

A discussion of creationism might be acceptable in a Biblical history class if the full range of theological views on Genesis were also presented. But creationism could not be presented as science in a Biblical history class, any more than it could be presented as science in a science class. ...
Perry also said that the theory of evolution has gaps. He was answering a child whose mom was feeding him questions. The video shows her saying to the child, “Ask him why he doesn’t believe in science.”

I don't know what they teach in Texas, and I certainly don't think that Biblical creationism is scientific, but I think that the science lobby is silly to get excited about this. All of the candidates profess Christian beliefs, including the idea that God created the world. It won't hurt schoolkids to learn this, and scientists should not be threatened by it.

UCLA law prof Volokh reports:
A former “teacher of the year” in Lake County, Florida, has been reassigned while school administrators investigate comments posted on his Facebook page about same-sex marriage.... [S]chool officials received a complaint Tuesday about the content on Mount Dora High School teacher Jerry Buell’s personal Facebook page .... CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13 reported that a status post on it said, “I’m watching the news, eating dinner, when the story about the New York okaying same sex unions came on and I almost threw up.”
Same-sex marriage is illegal under both Florida and federal law. If a Florida teacher is opposed to it, then he is in agreement with most of his political leaders. He should be allowed to express his private opinions on his personal Facebook page regardless of whether anyone agrees with him, and he should certainly not be punished for expressing opinions that are firmly within the majority.

A new California law requires teachers to promote homosexuality. Again, leftist propagandists are insisting on brainwashing kids with one side of a controversial story.

No comments: