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Sit Them In a Corner

20 September 2006

The word of the day is “stupid“. Normally, I don’t spend my time running down the U.S. of A. (though I definitely could if I wanted to) .Only some of the people who inhabit it deserve that attention. Remember when there was a movement to teach Americans to get on board with other countries of the world by learning the metric system? It seemed pretty innocuous, but citizens resisted it with all their might.

Now, a Texas principal has learned just how fiercely some of his student’s parents would fight back when his school participated in some minor celebrations for 16th of September (Mexican Independence Day).
The “The (Brazoria, Co., Texas) has reported about a flag controversy that has escalated into demands for Principal Sam Williams to be demoted. The flap is around teachers having the kids hold a Mexican flag in their hands while 6 parents read the Mexican Pledge of Allegiance aloud. The students were asked to stand (out of respect) as the pledge was read. Approximately 65% of the school’s students are Mexican American…. the principal of 18 yrs is black (if that makes any difference).

“We have stated in our mission statement that we are a campus that is a beacon of hope for a culturally diverse population,” Williams said.

I guess that doesn’t go over too well in parts of Texas! Apparently, teaching students about cultural diversity is un-American in these parts. Parents were outraged because they felt that the brief “lesson” subverted the U.S. ‘s present stand against illegal immigrants. I kid you not! That’s what I would really call a big s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

I guess the climate has to be just right before teachers can give their students a lesson in diversity. Example: It’s acceptable to teach about Holland and tulips and wooden shoes, about England and Shakespeare or tea and crumpets, about Japan and Pearl Harbor, kimonos and the Cherry Blossom festival or China about the Great Wall and the Wu people who live along the Yangtze River.

Since Mexico is out of favor with our present-day politicos, parents want to vent their rage when someone teaches their children that Mexico is a neighboring country deserving of their children’s respect…. not to mention a country that justifiably has its place in Texas’s own history.

Our nation says that we as a people need to prepare ourselves for a global economy… yet some segments of our population resist even the tiniest sharing of a celebration belonging to a neighbor. Our students go into the workforce and the globalization period with such ignorance and with such a skewed view of the world they live in.

When my daughter was in high school (1986), I looked through her history book. It had chapters on the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI and WWII. I asked her if she had ever been taught about the Vietnam Conflict (War). She said that her teacher told the class that it was too “new” and too “controversial”. It had ended ( for the U.S.) in 1975. I guess the “timing” wasn’t quite right, yet. George W. was the product of a similar education… wasn’t he?

If we can’t deal with “controversy” in the classroom, is it any wonder we can’t rationally deal with it in the halls of the ‘mentally challenged’ Congress?

Oh, let’s just line up the lame-brained ‘parent protesters’ in a neat row and put decorate their pointy heads with dunce caps and call it a ‘day’.

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