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New Hampshire "objectionable material" law passed


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Since we are homeschoolers, the issue does not pertain to us.

 

It does if my DH is a ps teacher in NH.

 

Oh, and my kids will be going into ps next year. And I'm genuinely interested in what happens in my state, regardless of if it directly affects me or not.

 

ETA: The law is about much more than objecting to something. It means that a parent can tell the teacher he/she cannot teach something and must use X curriculum in its place.

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It does if my DH is a ps teacher in NH.

 

Oh, and my kids will be going into ps next year. And I'm genuinely interested in what happens in my state, regardless of if it directly affects me or not.

 

ETA: The law is about much more than objecting to something. It means that a parent can tell the teacher he/she cannot teach something and must use X curriculum in its place.

 

We are interested in what goes on. Just as a homeschooler in MA, all the homeschool laws came out of court cases not legislated law so the public schools here had no interest in allowing homeschooling. So any law where the parents can have say is a step in the right direction. As I put in my previous post, other states allow parental objection. This law is just an extension of other state laws.

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We are interested in what goes on. Just as a homeschooler in MA, all the homeschool laws came out of court cases not legislated law so the public schools here had no interest in allowing homeschooling. So any law where the parents can have say is a step in the right direction. As I put in my previous post, other states allow parental objection. This law is just an extension of other state laws.

 

I guess I don't trust that this is a parental rights issue, which is largely why it passed. I think there are ulterior motives here by the state government. The House recently passed a motion to look into the abolition of the Dept of Ed in NH. That is what I think is at work here.

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That's an interesting point about the single curriculum of a one room schoolhouse. I agree that this one size fits all model is not working, but in a one room schoolhouse, you had not only kids working at different levels, but kids working at their own level - you didn't have to finish topic X before summer because you could come back to it. This law is more about content and philosophy, but I think it is true that managing different materials is much harder than managing different levels or expectations or even enrichments.

 

Yes it could be harder. Right now, many schools have break out classes for enrichment. They may find that something similar may be needed. IIRC in elementary school, we had science class only once a week and it was in a separate science classroom. They may find that they can combine two classes in the same grade, or even two grades, and split them accordingly without causing much of a disruption to the way things are currently done. They may find the same for reading. Have a break out class - to the best of my knowledge all schools offer remedial reading classes - to accommodate a different learning styles. They may find that they need more teachers' assistants or others to make this work, and that of course would affect budgets. I know a public school which gets all their extra help from parents. They volunteer their time and it seems to work very nicely. I know this isn't an option for all parents, but it may be a partial answer. As I said, hopefully they will put in a lot of time brainstorming and come up with something that could work.

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Which part of this whole thing are you calling forced "ignorance"? Are you calling a belief in creationism "ignorant"? I could swear we just talked about this in another thread recently... ;)

 

I think she is saying that preventing kids from learning about other theories is forced ignorance. Ignorance is not belief; it is a lack of knowledge.

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It's just another religiously-motivated attack on science, attempting to put creationism and ID on the same level as actual science rather than leaving them in church, where they belong.

 

If this passes, the courts will shoot it down immediately as a clear attempt to introduce religion into public schools. It's just a shame that all of the taxpayers of New Hampshire will end up paying the costs of the legal battle that will ensue.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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So then preventing kids from learning about ID by teaching evolution exclusively is also a form of forced ignorance, correct?

 

No. A theory is what a hypothesis becomes when it is supported overwhelmingly by observations and experiments, without a single one of those observations or experiments proving the hypothesis false. Creationism and ID are not theories, because they have zero evidence supporting them. Creationism and ID are not even hypotheses, because neither is testable or falsifiable.

 

Evolution is science. Evolution is both a theory--because it is supported by millions of experiments and observations done by hundreds of thousands of scientists over 150 years without even a single observation falsifying it--and a fact because we can actually observe it occurring.

 

Creationism and ID are religion, period. Neither is supported by any evidence whatsoever. To the extent that either makes falsifiable predictions (which is not much), those predictions have been falsified. Nor does any scientist worthy of the name--including evangelical Christians like Francis Collins--give any credence whatsoever to either creationism or ID.

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I don't think parents will focus on ID vs. Evolution. I think parents are going to try their best to get rid of Everyday Math or any type of Chicago style math and try to get phonic instruction taught. As a Christian, I could care less if they teach evolution. It is not something that is taught daily like math and reading and knowing how other people believe is not a bad thing. It is very easy to have students who's parents do not want them taught evolution, to leave the room and do busy work for a couple of days. I use to have to do this with students who weren't allowed to participate in Holliday activities. And what is wrong with teaching both. I want my dc to know both because understand what people believe is important.

 

I think this is an excellent start to allow parents to have more controll over their dc's education.

 

I don't understand why parents and teachers can't come together and choose the curriculum taught at the schools. It would be very easy to have a vote yearly on what curriculum to use. That way if test scores plummet, you could get rid of what caused the problem (like whole language and EM).

 

What makes me sick, it the article someone posted here about a school who went against what they were allowed to teach and used Saxon Math. The test scores soared, but the school still got in trouble and the parents had no way to make the school keep using Saxon. This is what I think the Tea Party people are trying to fight for: parental say. We as parents aren't stupid and KNOW what they are teaching in most schools is crap.

Edited by Tabrett
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Plus, it makes me sad that wealthy parents will now be able to pick and choose which parts of school to replace so their kids can have a better education than everyone else. A wonderful thing for the wealthy families, yes, but not so much for the poor kids who are stuck with a substandard education because their parents can't afford to pay for the expensive phonics program, and that just shouldn't be happening in the public school system. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to a good education.

 

With only reasonable people to utilize something like this, it wouldn't be a big deal, but there are a lot of wackaloons around.

But that's nothing new.

 

And also sounds like the argument I've heard against homeschooling...that somehow ps is *owed* my children, b/c it's unfair that they're getting an education others aren't, and the ps needs involved parents.

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I guess I don't trust that this is a parental rights issue, which is largely why it passed. I think there are ulterior motives here by the state government. The House recently passed a motion to look into the abolition of the Dept of Ed in NH. That is what I think is at work here.

 

I think abolishing the DOE would be one of the best things that ever happened to education in this state/country.

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No. A theory is what a hypothesis becomes when it is supported overwhelmingly by observations and experiments, without a single one of those observations or experiments proving the hypothesis false. Creationism and ID are not theories, because they have zero evidence supporting them. Creationism and ID are not even hypotheses, because neither is testable or falsifiable.

 

Evolution is science. Evolution is both a theory--because it is supported by millions of experiments and observations done by hundreds of thousands of scientists over 150 years without even a single observation falsifying it--and a fact because we can actually observe it occurring.

 

Creationism and ID are religion, period. Neither is supported by any evidence whatsoever. To the extent that either makes falsifiable predictions (which is not much), those predictions have been falsified. Nor does any scientist worthy of the name--including evangelical Christians like Francis Collins--give any credence whatsoever to either creationism or ID.

 

 

I think I just fell a little in love with you. :D

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What happens the day after it gets abolished? I've never heard that explained and I'm genuinely asking.

 

 

The US DOE as we know it today came into operation in 1980.

 

We could go back to giving control of the local schools to the parents and the town, not the state or the Federal governments.

 

Have you looked at the Common Core standards that the Federal government is having the states use? They are horrible and not understandable.

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Oh, I find it very easy to be against it. If people want to control their kids curricula, they should homeschool or find a private school they like. If they want the curricula in the public schools to change, they should elect state and local officials who will pick better curricula, write better tests and generally do a better job managing the schools. This law is just absurd to me.
:iagree:
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Married to one handsome Marine!:gnorsi:Momma to DS13, DS8, DS5, DS3, and one little newborn princess :001_wub:

 

I'm just imagining about 15 years from now some boy who's attracted to your daughter. If the Marine doesn't scare him off, the four big brothers will. I suspect she'll have to put her foot down early and often.

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No. A theory is what a hypothesis becomes when it is supported overwhelmingly by observations and experiments, without a single one of those observations or experiments proving the hypothesis false. Creationism and ID are not theories, because they have zero evidence supporting them. Creationism and ID are not even hypotheses, because neither is testable or falsifiable.

 

Evolution is science. Evolution is both a theory--because it is supported by millions of experiments and observations done by hundreds of thousands of scientists over 150 years without even a single observation falsifying it--and a fact because we can actually observe it occurring.

 

Creationism and ID are religion, period. Neither is supported by any evidence whatsoever. To the extent that either makes falsifiable predictions (which is not much), those predictions have been falsified. Nor does any scientist worthy of the name--including evangelical Christians like Francis Collins--give any credence whatsoever to either creationism or ID.

 

You know, you've never been around for a Evolution/Creation debate around here. I think the last one wasn't that long ago. They happen about once every 6 months when a newbie cracks open Pandora's box. You'll have a great time. :001_smile:

 

What happens the day after it gets abolished? I've never heard that explained and I'm genuinely asking.

 

I am not opposed to a base standard from the feds. That way a place like Mississippi can have the same standards as we in NJ, do--but how exactly is that working for us now?

 

The states and counties need to manage their own, with, perhaps, a recommendation of standards set out by the gov, with no oversight. No department. Waste Of Time and Money. I would love to see something classical, of course, so we could bring back the standard in Western Civilization...

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The US DOE as we know it today came into operation in 1980.

 

We could go back to giving control of the local schools to the parents and the town, not the state or the Federal governments.

 

Have you looked at the Common Core standards that the Federal government is having the states use? They are horrible and not understandable.

 

I am not opposed to a base standard from the feds. That way a place like Mississippi can have the same standards as we in NJ, do--but how exactly is that working for us now?

 

The states and counties need to manage their own, with, perhaps, a recommendation of standards set out by the gov, with no oversight. No department. Waste Of Time and Money. I would love to see something classical, of course, so we could bring back the standard in Western Civilization...

 

Thanks for the info. I would agree reform needs to happen, that's for sure.

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Good for her son for speaking up!!! How incredibly sad he even had to.

 

Now, see, I read one of the quotes from the book in the article, and I thought the author got it right? We DO put a muzzle on the true social reform Jesus taught. Perhaps the author would like The Catholic Workers. :001_smile:

 

I'll have to read it again, perhaps I read it wrong.

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Good for her son for speaking up!!! How incredibly sad he even had to.

 

Yes, he spoke up, his parents are now hs'ing him, and the school has agreed to offer an alternative book if desired. However the parents are not satisfied. They want the book yanked from the school altogether. Apparently since they are offended, no one gets to read it. And therein lies the problem (with the new law).

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You know, you've never been around for a Evolution/Creation debate around here. I think the last one wasn't that long ago. They happen about once every 6 months when a newbie cracks open Pandora's box. You'll have a great time. :001_smile:

 

Oh, I'm no newbie, other than in the sense that I just started posting a couple months ago. I've lurked on these forums for years.

 

Nor am I a newbie with regard to the attempts by religious people to attack science, and particularly evolution. Like nearly all scientists, I no longer even attempt to reason with those who attack evolution. With few exceptions, their minds are made up. They will believe what they want to believe, although there is zero evidence supporting their beliefs and a lot of evidence that falsifies it. Scientists know that evolution is true, and most of us understand that some religious people refuse to accept that stark truth because doing so would require them to admit that their religions are wrong.

 

I am a firm believer in religious freedom. I don't care what anyone chooses to believe, and I will fight for their right to believe whatever they choose, but I do insist that they have no right to pollute science with fairy tales in the public schools. If you want to teach your kids fake science, that's your right. I think you're making a big mistake and doing your kids a disservice by doing so, but they are your kids. Just don't attempt to enforce your beliefs on something you don't understand, which is to say science.

 

And for anyone who has an open mind and wants to learn the truth, I recommend Jerry Coyne's book _Why Evolution is True_ as an excellent starting point.

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So then preventing kids from learning about ID by teaching evolution exclusively is also a form of forced ignorance, correct?

 

It may be ignorance of an aspect of religion, but it isn't ignorance of science.

 

What Mrs. Mungo said is correct is about my post, though.

 

It is about more than the science, Heather. There are all kinds of issues in history and works of literature that could be attacked as well, not to mention issues of health & hygiene and physical education. In this legislation they aren't talking about parents being able to introduce extra curricula alongside the standard curricula, they are talking about parents replacing curricula.

 

If parents only want to supplement the curricula with other viewpoints, that would be a different story, which would best be served by afterschooling anyway.

 

The legislation is rather ridiculous on whole. They can't possibly accomodate all these other curricula. I'm sure as a school administrator, you would be in a tizzy if faced with having to accomodate multiple parent requests for multiple curricula substitutions. It is a logistical nightmare.

Edited by Audrey
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So then preventing kids from learning about ID by teaching evolution exclusively is also a form of forced ignorance, correct?

 

I believe that God created the world. I believe He did it through a long, slow process. That long, slow process can be studied by science. God cannot. I believe in the separation of church and state because I don't want the state or teachers telling my kids what to believe about God. Whose religion would be taught?

 

I don't think parents will focus on ID vs. Evolution. I think parents are going to try their best to get rid of Everyday Math or any type of Chicago style math and try to get phonic instruction taught.

<snip>

We as parents aren't stupid and KNOW what they are teaching in most schools is crap.

 

Oh, I completely disagree. Most parents are completely and totally uniformed with regard to things like phonics versus whole language and most *do not care*. We might talk about it a lot here, but it is not *at all* my experience that most parents know or care. Most parents I talk to whose kids are in public school don't know what type of curriculum the school uses in one subject or another.

 

Creationism/ID are not scientific theories, they are religious beliefs, which is why they should not be presented in a science classroom in a public school.

 

:iagree:

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Oh, I'm no newbie, other than in the sense that I just started posting a couple months ago. I've lurked on these forums for years.

 

Nor am I a newbie with regard to the attempts by religious people to attack science, and particularly evolution. Like nearly all scientists, I no longer even attempt to reason with those who attack evolution. With few exceptions, their minds are made up. They will believe what they want to believe, although there is zero evidence supporting their beliefs and a lot of evidence that falsifies it. Scientists know that evolution is true, and most of us understand that some religious people refuse to accept that stark truth because doing so would require them to admit that their religions are wrong.

 

I am a firm believer in religious freedom. I don't care what anyone chooses to believe, and I will fight for their right to believe whatever they choose, but I do insist that they have no right to pollute science with fairy tales in the public schools. If you want to teach your kids fake science, that's your right. I think you're making a big mistake and doing your kids a disservice by doing so, but they are your kids. Just don't attempt to enforce your beliefs on something you don't understand, which is to say science.

 

And for anyone who has an open mind and wants to learn the truth, I recommend Jerry Coyne's book _Why Evolution is True_ as an excellent starting point.

 

(I totally believe in Evolution :D) But thanks for the book rec! Books are good.

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I've only browsed through some of the responses, so forgive me if this was mentioned.

 

A lot of people are not for this as they believe it is just for Christians to put more creationism into the curriculum. However, it can go the other way too. There's nothing to say that parents couldn't put in more evolution, if they feel it wasn't addressed enough. Parents could add more Black History. They could add more depth to the briefly, if hardly ever, discussed Trail of Tears.

 

Anyway, this isn't necessarily something that only those who believe in creationism would approve/utilize. It is also an opportunity for anyone.

 

It really isn't a creationism vs. evolution situation. More than anything, it should be about how to implement it without further burdening educators.

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Now, see, I read one of the quotes from the book in the article, and I thought the author got it right? We DO put a muzzle on the true social reform Jesus taught. Perhaps the author would like The Catholic Workers. :001_smile:

 

I'll have to read it again, perhaps I read it wrong.

 

I took it as an attack on Christianity. Wonder how well talk like that about Moses, or Mohammad, or the Dalai Lama, or Siddhartha would go over?

 

If it was only about how the rich should help the poor, I'd be all in favor. :D See, both political sides hate me for different reasons. :lol:

 

And IMO most aspects of evolutionism are not at all in odds with creationism or Intelligent Design.

Edited by Teachin'Mine
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I wonder if the distinction lies in objectionable material vs. objectionable methods. I can see where it's a fuzzy line for evolution/creationism/ID, but for reading - reading isn't objectionable. The method used may not be approved of by certain parents, but if the teachers aren't using a book with cursing, racism, etc. it doesn't seem the parents would have a leg to stand on. Same thing with math - I can object to HOW they teach math, but not the fact that math is taught. Historical events can be taught from different perspectives, but the fact of black history, the Trail of Tears, slavery, etc - those are all taught now.

 

The family in the story wasn't against teaching about minimum wage questions or the plight of poor people, but specifically using material that was insulting to their faith (from what I got out of the article).

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Here's a link to an article about it: Parents Pull Son Out of School.

 

And I have to add that this new law that is created is really a small-step in an attempt to re-gain more local control and parental control of education. In NH (where I live), as in many locations throughout the country, educational control is getting more and more removed from the cities and towns. We have state standards, federal standards (think NCLB), and now the Common Core. Control of educational content and direction and goals has been so far removed from the local school -- let alone the parents who pay the taxes and elect the school board and through proxy higher and fire superintendents.

 

Bills had been introduced this past bi-annual legislative cycle for parental rights, reaffirming NH constitutional principles about education (which was *very* local at one point), getting rid of compulsory education , stripping some powers away from the Dept. of Education, etc. Oh, and the annual struggle to find a way to fund education (we have no state income or sales tax to fund education and distribute funds across the state).

 

I think as homeschooling parents, many of can can understand and appreciate the centralization of educational control. I dare say I'm not the only one on this board who appreciates decreased regulation on homeschooling so that I can choose materials that best work for my family and our beliefs.

 

That being said, I do believe that parents who use government school cede some control of educational choices to the principal and teacher. At the same time, I despise the double-speak in education that cries out longingly for " more parental involvement in education because it makes for better students (and test results)" yet does not want to engage in a discussion about educational content or allow parents to opt-out of (for example) sex ed., etc.

Edited by mamato3 all-boy boys
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Here's a link to an article about it: Parents Pull Son Out of School.

 

I read that book in high school - for AP English Lang, actually. I was extremely involved in church at the time. I wasn't offended by that passage - I don't even remember it. I still don't find it especially offensive. I also don't think that would be illegal to say on TV, though I do think there are other passages in the book which include profanities which are not allowed on TV.

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The new "objectionable material" law clearly has a religious purpose. Here are a couple of other religiously motivated bills introduced recently:

 

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/HB1148.html

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2012/HB1457.html

 

The religious scheme being advanced by the new Tea Partyers in the NH state legislature is internally inconsistent, in addition to being unconstitutional. Imagine what would happen when a parent objected to their child learning evolution or some other science at odds with YEC beliefs, if the above bills were passed. The just-passed statute requires that an alternative be used which is "sufficient to enable the child to meet state requirements for education in the particular subject area"-- and those new requirements would essentially include teaching creationism, through the "Teach the (Nonexistent) Controversy" balderdash, but also would include explicitly teaching evolution! Also imagine what would happen if a parent objected to the "Teach the Controversy" material-- they'd be required by statute to agree with the school on an alternative which taught the "controversy".

 

:willy_nilly: :willy_nilly: :willy_nilly: :willy_nilly: :willy_nilly: :willy_nilly: :willy_nilly: :willy_nilly:

Edited by Iucounu
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It looks like NH already requires that evolution be taught, thank goodness. Thus I suppose that if a parent objects to her child learning evolutionary theory, the objection would fail under the new law, since no alternative could be adopted which would meet state requirements. In fact, an objection that the "controversy" over evolution was not being taught would also fail, as any parent-accepted alternative would also be at odds with the state requirements. (This is all assuming that the bills referenced in my last post are not adopted, in which case students would be more at risk.)

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Good for her son for speaking up!!! How incredibly sad he even had to.

 

I haven't read the book, yet, but now I will, but I am not sure where the huge moral objection comes from. Jesus did behave like like a socialist, he was a vagrant since he depended on everyone else for his needs, and he enjoyed wine. He preached redistribution of wealth.......... if you don't believe in the Bible, or that it is literal ( I don't) but if you do I can't see how that part of Jesus' walk can be ignored.

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I haven't read the book, yet, but now I will, but I am not sure where the huge moral objection comes from. Jesus did behave like like a socialist, he was a vagrant since he depended on everyone else for his needs, and he enjoyed wine. He preached redistribution of wealth.......... if you don't believe in the Bible, or that it is literal ( I don't) but if you do I can't see how that part of Jesus' walk can be ignored.

 

If you go to the link for the article, then read the paragraph which begins with It and ends with write. As someone who professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I can't imagine not finding it objectionable.

Edited by Teachin'Mine
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If you go to the link for the article' date=' then read the paragraph which begins with It and ends with write. As someone who professes Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I can't imagine not finding it objectionable.[/quote']

 

Which part of that passage do you find objectionable? That Jesus drank wine, that he was homeless on earth or espoused an economic theory where his follower shared all that they had?

 

When I was a born-again Christian, I wouldn't have had trouble with any of this. I also find her choice of words compelling and meaningful in this passage.

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Here's a link to an article about it: Parents Pull Son Out of School.

 

These two articles are talking about the same family. The first one seems to give a little more information about the passage, as well as the author's feedback.

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But this is why it's absurd. Nickel and Dimed is great book for discussion by high school students - from the economics to the social issues and what she says about religion. You don't have to agree with her to find it worth discussing. If you took out everything someone might object to, you'd be left with a milquetoast curriculum that doesn't inspire a single original thought or an ounce of critical thinking. You have to read challenging material in order to learn thinking skills. If someone wants to pull their kids out of school because they refuse to ever be challenged, then, hey, I homeschool too, and that's their right as a parent. But I find it rather pathetic that people do so - especially when we're talking about juniors and seniors in high school.

 

We read the bible as literature when I was in ps, as well as Milton, and countless other Christian works. I would hate to see that go because an atheist objected. I also read Hindu scriptures and part of the Koran - again, I don't think that should go. I read Ayn Rand. I can't stand Ayn Rand and yet I don't think anyone should come in and take it out because they don't like it. I read all of The Communist Manifesto and I don't think that should go, just like I don't think socialist parents should be able to have us stop reading The Wealth of Nations, which I also read in excerpt in high school. My opinion is that it's better to grow a philosophical backbone and teach your kids the same instead of plugging your ears and singing lalalalalalala.

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