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The Solution is More Discipline, Not Vouchers or School Choice

The Solution is Discipline, Not School Choice

Charlie is a problem child by any definition of the word. He hasn’t done anything horrific, like shooting another student or attacking a teacher. It’s the annoying games he plays that drive everyone crazy.

His favorite game is throwing scissors at the chalkboard when the teacher’s back is turned. He likes the screeching noise he can make if he throws the scissors at just the right angle. And when he gets caught, he loves cursing at the teacher. His biggest thrill is telling her to “mind her own f—ing business” while his classmates giggle or snicker.

Charlie’s teacher, Mrs. Anderson, spends her class time frustrated and powerless to stop Charlie’s constant disruptive behavior. At first, she looks him in the eye and asks him to stop. Finally, she points her index finger toward the door and says, “Get out!”

Charlie’s classmates breathe a sigh of relief. Mrs. Anderson does not. She knows that tomorrow Charlie’s father and mother will storm the principal’s office demanding that she be fired or reprimanded. Mom and Dad think that Charlie’s personal rights have been violated; that he has a right to learn and not be disciplined by anyone, except by his own parents. Due to this precedent, Charlie grows up with little educational discipline or accountability. As Charlie’s parents watch him grow into adulthood, they are forced to admit that their son is actually poorly educated, disrespectful and far from perfect.

This story is all too familiar in America’s public schools today. Children in need of discipline have suddenly become the victims and their teachers, the oppressors. As a result, America’s school children are sorely under-educated and undiscipline…

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…wer than 25 in a year.

Implementing this change throughout America, especially suburbia, will not be easy. This is where every American must recognize that in order to educate all our public school children we must deny a part of our own “self interest”. In order to make the change, America’s parents and politicians must recognize that this “greater cause” can be public education. Charlie’s parents, along with many other parents, need to be encouraged to recognize that sometimes a little tough love is in their child’s best interest.

The next time Charlie’s parents seek to confront school officials on behalf of their disruptive child, they need to be met with the empowerment of authority. More importantly, Mrs. Anderson should be able to provide a healthy learning environment for all the children, if possible with Charlie, but if necessary, without him.

Strengthen the Separation between Church and State

Strengthen the Separation between Church and State

First Amendment issues of the separation of church and state and state establishment of religion have long been litigated in the federal courts. Until recently, the Supreme Court had a consistent track record of preventing the intermingling of religion and government, especially when it came to the nation’s public schools. Yet this past year, a newly activist conservative court has set about rewriting some of the Warren Court’s judicial legacy. In the 1995 case of Rosenberger v. University of Virginia, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, declared that the University of Virginia was constitutionally required to subsidize a student religious magazine on the same basis as secular publications and activities. This decision opens the door to greater government financial support for religious organizations. Groups like the Christian Coalition and the American Center for Law and Justice, the legal wing of Pat Robertson’s financial empire, saw this narrow decision as a victory for their agenda of weaving together government and religion, thus tearing down the wall of separation between church and state, To justify their pursuits, they site the need for moral leadership in this country, which many view as ethically and morally rudderless. Yet Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition, and other similarly thinking individuals and groups are promoting an agenda more far reaching than their mainstream supporters have in mind. The move to infuse government with a greater religious presence has almost nothing to do with instilling traditional values and morality, and almost everything to do establishing Christianity, specifically evangelical Christianity, as the state religion. …

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… such unions. The United States has the highest level of religious involvement in the western world precisely because we have no state religion, as most nations in Europe do. In that region, state-sponsored churches are moribund, and religious enthusiasm is lackluster. America has a vast diversity of religious viewpoints because the spiritual aspect of people’s lives is free from the intrusive tentacles of Uncle Sam. If it were not for our separation of church and state, odds are the evangelical faiths that gave rise to the Christian Coalition never would have existed. Therefore, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson are destroying the agent of their own creation. They would never want socialized medicine, yet they are trying to implement socialized religion. But if you don’t want government meddling with your body, why would you want government interfering with your soul.

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