Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All Too Often, Education Stops At the Schoolhouse Doors

Education often finds itself barred from the schoolhouse. Certainly schools have books, computers, teachers, and other modes of transmitting information, but a complete education does not come from these alone. Education comes from discussion and debate of issues, ideas, and values. Schools are certainly okay with expressions of certain kinds of values and love to toss about the word "tolerance." However, tolerance, and education itself, end when the school slams the doors shut on ideas that it will not tolerate.

La Reina High School of Thousand Oaks, California joins the list of schools that have shut their eyes, ears, and minds to the concepts of natural rights, free markets, and other values held dear by Americans for centuries. One of the students at this religious school for girls wanted to open a Young Americans for Freedom club. She met all of the required criteria, but was told that her club was politically biased in nature. YAF clubs are not connected to any political party and only represent ideas long established in American tradition. How shocking that a school would reject a club that would enhance discussions of politics, economics, and society!

Their position on this matter is untenable because of the nature of one of the other clubs on campus. "The Green Team" is a club that promotes "eco-friendly" behavior and raising student awareness of environmental issues. If students want a green club, that should be fine. But let's not pretend that environmentalism is completely non partisan, but discussions of free markets and natural rights are too political.

La Reina High School plays the same old tune. Liberal causes get the welcome mat while those deemed conservative get shut out. It's not that anyone should force this private school to open this or that club. They should feel that it is part of their educational mission to permit these activities.

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