The Fantasy of Public Education

At Cedar Hills Elementary School, Duval County, Florida, a teacher recently dictated this sentence to her fourth-grade class, had them all write it down: “I am willing to give up some of my constitutional rights in order to be safer or more secure.”

 Not Lord Dunsany, not Tolkien, not C.S. Lewis, not even Fritz Leiber or Harry Turtledove, in their wildest flights of imagination, ever came up with anything so fantastic as the notion that public education is a worthwhile enterprise. Maybe Poe or H.P. Lovecraft could have generated dark fantasies to rival the reality of public schooling–but what could be more terrifying than to understand that we have sacrificed whole generations of our children to this idol?

Do these 10-year-olds in Cedar Hills even understand what a “constitutional right” is? Yeah, sure. Do they understand that, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights? ROFL! Declaration of what? What does “inalienable” mean? Do we get our rights from space aliens in UFOs? Oh, what does it matter, as long as our glorious rulers make us safer?

I’m a fantasy writer. It’s my job to make up weird things. But I’ve never made up anything as weird, as creepy, as counter-functional, or as insulting to basic intelligence as public education.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

4 responses to “The Fantasy of Public Education

  • Laura

    But the funny thing is how in so many dystopian tales, even (perhaps especially?) those written by secular people who refuse to acknowledge the existence of God a la The Hunger Games, the government takes away all the rights of its citizens and makes their lives miserable (though of course more secure according to their definition of secure). It’s like these people only understand this truth on the literary level, but can’t translate it into their own lives, because I’ll bet that just about 100% send their children to public schools and a fair number probably vote democrat.

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    • leeduigon

      At some level, they all understand that government is inherently dangerous–especially when, as now, all subordination to God is cast away. When powerful people refuse to acknowledge any authority higher than their own… well, then the fat is really in the fire.

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  • Dorothy Robbins

    public education? That should be put in quotes. If ever there’s been a misused word, it’s the one attached like glue to the word public-though, of course that too is a rather vague idea, sort of like “straw man” or shadow. Who is this “public thing that’s talked about being “educated”? Both are about non-existent as the other. Indeed, it became a god of sorts a long time ago and has outlived its usefulness many times-if it ever had any value. Not only are the “graduates” unable to read and count; they have no idea what the word “why” has to do with thinking. Let us pray!

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    • leeduigon

      They’re so busy learning sexual practices and Obama-worship, there’s no time to learn how to read or write, etc. That’s why you see kids coming home with 20 pounds of books in their knapsacks–they’re homeschooling themselves. Not with any good results, either.

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