Culture Challenge of the Week: Invented History
Communists rewrite history all the time, with grand flourishes and straight faces. Many American liberals do, too.
First it was California, which recently mandated public schools to inflate - "incorporate," they say - the contributions of homosexuals to the history of California and the United States. This indoctrination begins as young as kindergarten and, according to Tim Donnelly, a Republican state lawmaker, essentially forbids the education system to portray homosexuals "in anything other than a positive light."
In Los Angeles, the school board is pushing its schools to go even further, including direct efforts to "promote" homosexuality, portraying it as a normal variant of family life. ("Family diversity," proponents say.) The role of homosexuals will be exaggerated in every subject across the curriculum.
New York will follow suit, no doubt, as its new homosexual marriage law has generated a push by gay advocates for a similarly "inclusive" curriculum. It's nothing more than sexual indoctrination dressed up as history. Bringing the homosexual message into the curriculum aims, in the words of gay City Council member Daniel Dromm, to prevent society from "putting LGBT people in the closet."
In Massachusetts, however, it's real history that's being shoved into the closet.
A Somerville, Mass., public school principal, for instance, has banned celebration of Columbus Day and Thanksgiving, calling them American "atrocities" parading under the guise of historical holidays. Her decision, motivated by a desire to spare students and school personnel the pain of feeling insulted by the celebrations, further distorts history at the expense of ever-growing victim groups.
Parents rely on schools to teach history - American history that recounts our founding principles and celebrates the heroes who fought for, explored and led our nation. But in many schools, we may be fast approaching the day when children are more likely to receive sensitivity training on behalf of "sexual minorities" than a thorough grounding in authentic history.
How to Save Your Family: Demand real, not invented, history
Now more than ever, parents need to keep tabs on the history their children are learning in school. Is it a politically correct fabrication or a factual retelling about the people and events that made our country great?
Plenty of good resources are available to help.
First, check to see if your children, especially middle schoolers and high schoolers, ever have the opportunity to read original sources, such as the Declaration of Independence; the Constitution, including its Preamble; and the Bill of Rights. If not, it's well worth downloading copies from the Internet and reading them along with your children.
The website Teaching American History (www.teachingamericanhistory.org) makes it easy for parents and teachers, offering the foundational documents divided by historical period.
Also, Hillsdale College recently launched a free video series called "Introduction to the Constitution" - more than 100,000 folks have signed up to watch the 45-minute lessons, which are available on demand and free of charge.
Read historical fiction and biographies to your children, highlighting the self-sacrificing commitment to freedom shown by America's greatest leaders and heroes.
Stay abreast of policy questions that affect the historical spin playing out in curricular and textbook decisions. Quick guides from Citizen Link (www.citizenlink.com), a family advocacy group, provide time-critical, topical guidance on parents' rights in education, religious freedom in the public schools and more. The Heritage Foundation, too, assesses educational policy as part of its Leadership for America initiative.
Finally, remember that your educational choices extend far beyond one public school or an agenda-driven principal. If - when - the liberal indoctrination gets out of control, investigate charter schools, religious schools, private schools, home-schooling - and consider running for your local school board.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at rebecca@howtosaveyourfamily .com.
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