27 April 2003
Follow the yellow school board
Alexandra thinks we need to pay more attention to the man behind the curtain (9:13 am, 27 April, if Blogspot archives are their usual gassy selves):
My son was reading The Wizard of Oz in his 5th grade class. I was surprised at first, thinking they would avoid anything with "wizard" in the title. But I looked at the text. They changed much of the wording for fear of I-don't-know-what. It was as grey and lifeless as the Kansas plains Dorothy lived on. I was glad I had the real text at home, to show him what they were doing to it. He agreed that it was not right, and I made sure he let the teacher know not that she could or would have done anything about it, just as a reminder that someone is watching. Perhaps we should all remind the schools that we are watching. Or perhaps we should make Fahrenheit 451 required reading for all textbook publishers and school boards.
I worry that the schools are getting reminders (dis)courtesy of an effete corps of illiterate snots who are convinced that 90 percent of the curriculum is intended as subliminal indoctrination into the Dark Side. They come from all edges of the political spectrum, but they all spew the same vaguely-veiled threat: "You're not teaching my child that!" Eventually, of course, they teach no one's child anything.
And Fahrenheit 451, I predict, will go over their heads, at an altitude where it will be totally unrecognizable, as Mark Twain might have predicted.