Friday, September 4, 2009
The scarlet letter~
I feel like Hester Prynne, except, instead of a scarlet A on my bosom, I have a big red X on Facebook… next to a picture of Obama.
There was a "quiz," and though I seldom take quizzes I saw that other people had big green check marks showing that they had taken the quiz, so I clicked the link.
Here's the question:
Should President Obama be allowed to do a nationwide address to school children without parental consent?
-I don't care
Well, in a blink of an eye "without parental consent" trumped the president in my mind, and I clicked the box beside No.
Then I thought, I really should find out what this is all about. I looked for the cancel button, but there wasn't one, so I returned to the Facebook page.
There was a big, fat, red X next to a picture of Obama at the chalkboard on my page, like I was Xing him personally. Everybody else has pretty green check marks next to the picture on their pages.
Some of us are just doomed to fail multiple-choice tests, aren't we?And we know what a red X means beside an answer.
If my kids were little, would I complain about an encouraging message from the president to children? Not at all.
If they came home and said, "Guess what, Mom? In school today, we all watched a speech from President Obama."
I'd say, "Oh? And what did he tell you?"
"That school really matters. That we should try hard, blah, blah, blah…"
But still, there is something about "without parental consent" that bothers me. Not that I think there is something sinister or political about this speech. I don't. Some parents raised issues, as is their right, and those in charge made changes to some of activities that were suggested teachers do with their classes afterward. Good move.
But the bottom line for me, after years of teaching and interacting with parents of my students, is my I belief that each parent should have the final say over what his child is exposed to. Yes, even the "kookie" parents. The one whose views differ from mine. The ones I really don't see eye-to-eye with. The ones who sound… uptight, overly concerned, paranoid, or … fill-in-the-blank with an adjective of your own. Because if we don't grant parents their different opinions and approaches… then whose opinions do we replace them with?
The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. ~Elizabeth Cady Stanton