While The 7 Train waits in the station for the Iowa Caucus to begin and go deeper into Decision 2016, I want to share with you something I learned about at a post-Christmas party I attended on 12/27/2015 with a family in a small town in Connecticut with two grade school children. I will not disclose the name of the family, the town, or the school.
The first born, a typical American schoolgirl very much into reading, dance, and World War II. She is currently reading The Diary of Ann Frank which I admit I did not read until ninth grade. Both children are excellent students and have taken an interest in World War II and the Holocaust—the rise of Hitler. The oldest daughter is in fifth grade in an elementary school that peaks at grade 5 and then middle school begins in grade 6—which was the system invoked when I attended the public school system in Norwalk, Connecticut many moons ago. I was informed they have a new librarian; well, good to know public schools still have libraries and children still use them and still read hard and soft cover books, not just what they can bring up on smart phones and tablets. This librarian refused to lend this schoolgirl the books she picked out on the Holocaust considering it inappropriate for someone her age. If she is in fifth grade and the school only goes up to fifth grade, then who can sign out a book on the Holocaust in that library?
Last time I looked, the First Amendment, the first of ten Bills of Rights, guarantees us free speech. Granted, minors are not fully vested in all their constitutional rights, but it is an integral part of their primary education to learn how to live in a free speech society. If a child has behavioral issues and the parents feel that child is not ready to study that topic, the parents, not some librarian who sees that pupil at most once a week for a half hour on library day, should make that decision. Both of this family’s children are mature for their age and are taking an interest in a vital part of American history. Furthermore, we fought in World War II, fought against dictators like Hitler, Mussolini, and the Japanese Empire to preserve the fundamental inalienable rights of being an American. Soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice so future generations could be raised in a free country and live the American Dream, the very essence of why this blog exists in the first place. What convoluted message is this librarian sending to her pupils?
I am not in any way suggesting any parents with children under seventeen take [your] children to an R-rated movie just because you can. Freedom and responsibility are as inseparable as Q and U, which is why Moses bequeathed unto the Israelites the Ten Commandments after Pharaoh
Ramsey’s defeat with the parting of the Red Sea and before they became too engulfed in the Golden Calf Society they attempted to create. But neither freedom nor responsibility is learned through censorship. This schoolgirl is extending her primary school education by going beyond the basic requirements and learning how fragile democracy really is—a democracy can vote in a dictator as the Weimar Republic elected Adolph Hitler, but a dictatorship cannot vote in a democracy. There is no reverse osmosis, as it were. Blood has to be shed to overtake a dictator and establish a free and democratic society. Education is our only weapon in the preservation of the greatest Republic this Earth has ever produced (American Democracy) and if we do not take the time to learn history and pass it on to our future generations, we are destined to repeat it.
In I Timothy 5:8 it states, “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an infidel.” This verse is usually associated with a wealthy family building a monetary inheritance for the children and grandchildren. Not every family will have the financial wherewithal to achieve this, but nobody rich, poor, or middle-class is exempt from the educational inheritance, as it were. Money is not required to talk to [your] children about historical events you have either witnessed or learned in school and use history as a springboard to raising these children to be thankful they were born and live in the greatest and freest country in the world and how fragile it really is and how to preserve it. To understand that freedom and democracy, like all success one can hope to attain, is a journey, not a destination. We have no chance with censorship and if we cannot count on our schools, where do we turn? Especially now that the greatest generation (WWII) are no longer the parents or even grandparents and today’s parents must depend on educational materials such as teachers and books to get this message across. We must use the repositories of knowledge and wisdom to build the ultimate inheritance for all future generations and therefore we must be an open society. I beg this school to remove the seals and let the anxious and innocent minds receive this great treasure.