Since I've had my son, I have been looking nonstop into how I can improve any future aspect of his life. One troubling thing that I found out is that if a teacher is religious and does not believe in evolution, they have the right to refuse to teach it. I am not sure if they are legally allowed to teach creation or intelligent design in class, but they are well on their way. Evolution is a fact, and the evidence fully supports it. There is no scientific evidence supporting creationism or intelligent design, and if they are taught to accept the Word without question, and without evidence, what the hell are they learning? How is this affecting their learning processes? Not only do they need to be taught to question everything, and to never dull down their quest for knowledge, but they should be drilled to search for evidence supporting the facts. As for denying evolution, they should not be allowed to deny these children, my child, the education they need. This is why my wife and I plan on schooling our son instead of sending him through the public system that even has the option of keeping information away from him. 

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Comment by Jerry Wesner on August 26, 2012 at 3:04pm

First, my sympathy.  My advice to parents with children approaching school age is GET THE HELL OUT OF THE SOUTH!!!!!!  My daughter has home-schooled her two until this year when her son entered high school, at a small magnet school.  My son says "I home school mine too, but I send them to public school for socialization."  The danger there is something as small as omitting "under god" can result in a child's being ostracized by both students and teacher.  It would take a mature and confident child to stand up to being outnumbered, say, 20 to 1.  It might be possible for a child to remain neutral at school and express awareness of facts at home, but it would be a challenge.  Whatever you choose will be difficult for you all.  You have my best wishes.

Comment by Brenda Voorhees on August 24, 2012 at 12:50pm

Even if the school system began to allow something such as prayer in school I would be the first one to pull my kids out. This isn't based on my hatred for prayer or religion, but because of the way that religion is percieved in this country. I'm sure most schools would jump at the opportunity to "encourage" such a thing. Like the pledge of allegiance but worse. I could easily see children falling in line if something like that were done in the classroom in order to be part of the group. It scares me to think that there is so much whimsical thinking that could be and often is thought of as acceptable to teach. I've heard expressed too many times the thought of how lack of religion has caused the problems of today. I believe that many of the problems of today are much more highly influenced by the conflict with religion, but the inability for many people to let go of the ideas because of emotional attachments. I think that the ideas intended to create a positive outcome have had a strong influence on a negative outcome. Ideas such as modesty and an emphasis on shame and guilt associated with the body leading to shaky emotional sexualized culture and sexual predators. Children are curious, but a good thought can turn into a bad decision quickly when misinformed or attaching  a stigma to an innocent thought. My children attend a good school and they are very accomidating to the need of the children, but I'm still responsible for teaching them what they need to know. No matter what school your kids attend they will not learn what they need to know without you.

Comment by Lillie on August 24, 2012 at 12:26pm

If you can move to Massachusetts where they have one of the best education systems in the country, you would definitely be benefiting your child.  If not, I would find an affordable non religious private school or charter school.  Sometimes a University demonstration school is more progressive.  If none of these is possible I guess home schooling is the only answer.  And it is definitely contributing to the dumbing down of America.  We are already behind many other countries in educational achievement.  Then we will fall behind in science, technological, economic, etc. achievement.  Can hardly believe this great country has come to this and all because of a bunch of religious nuts the the billionaires taking advantage of them.

Comment by Loren Miller on August 24, 2012 at 9:10am

You have every reason to be concerned, Joshua.  As I understand it, Louisiana has just followed Tennessee in passing a bill which enables the teaching of creation science or intelligent design in the public school system.  It would seem as though, after the Discovery Institute's crushing defeat in Dover, PA that they decided to get more weasel-worded in their bill language, and have thus far succeeded in those two states in pulling the wool over the legislators' eyes.

I posted a discussion about this issue in the Forum Section about the situation, featuring a talk by Barbara Forrest, which might interest you.  In addition, I would get VERY vocal with your state representatives about this business, and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.  This crap amounts to dumbing-down America, and I for one am sick of it.

Very best wishes!

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