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As Long as We Remember...

December 8, 2016

Teaching “Rights” and Responsibility

Cindy A. Rose

If you are like me, you are appalled by the recent flag burnings, those who disrespect our law enforcement officials, and the general ignorance of “rights.”


If only we had to worry about graduates needing remediation in math and English. Now we have to worry about them being unable to cope with real life; simple things like opposition to their point of view and respecting others.


Learning inside the classroom has changed from when you and I were there. What has been taught for over a decade now is called “identity politics.” It’s not just for politicos, it’s taught in our local classrooms.


Identity politics in the classroom has been ramped up with Common Core, along with “social/emotional learning.” It’s all about how the student “feels.” If it makes them feel bad, it’s wrong. If it makes them feel good, it’s correct. Problem is: if student “A” feels bad, but student “B” doesn’t, what then? Indeed!!


It’s time to end social/emotional learning and concentrate on academics infused with enrichment in the form of music, art, industrial arts, foreign languages, etc. It’s long past time to restore local community control, but I’m not sure our Frederick County Board of Education is up to the fight. Time will tell.


It’s time to go back to the days when we taught common sense, logic and reasoning. With those come the ability to accept and tolerate that you will be made uncomfortable by the opinions of others; and you will survive.  Shocker – you may even learn.


We should be grounding learning in the foundation of full and factual understanding of the U.S. Constitution and our U.S. history. Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) does not teach a full and factual understanding of the U.S. Constitution and American Exceptionalism. I’m not sure it even understands what that is, or how it incubates tolerance.


Take a look at September 17 on your school calendar. Notice anything? September 17 is “Constitution Day.” Previous years have had the designation, however, this year FCPS decided to remove the designation from that date and left remaining “Citizenship Day.”


As a constitutionally-minded parent with children in Frederick County Public Schools, I sent an e-mail to the Calendar Committee to inquire why the day was removed.


Two months and several e-mail exchanges later, I learned FCPS has no idea why it was removed, nor why it might bother some people that it was removed. Other than telling me the holiday no longer appears in National School Public Relations Association’s 83-page Resources for Planning the School Calendar 2016-2017, FCPS has no explanation for the removal.


I believe the answer lies within Superintendent Dr. Terry Alban’s understanding, or should I say misunderstanding, of what the Constitution does: "Given that the holidays are synonymous and both celebrate our rights as citizens granted by the Constitution…" (emphasis added).


Spoiler: You are born with your “rights”. The US Constitution is the document that lists and restrains the powers of the federal government while protecting and defending your rights as a sovereign person.


It’s time for FCPS to change its direction and its superintendent.


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