Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The List Begins

Over the past week, many students have walked out of local high schools to protest immigration reform. There are critics who propose that these students are simply looking for a day off, but considering the number of immigrants living in our south Texas city and the fact that they have offspring, I highly doubt it. These lucky students are being rewarded for their expression of free speech with three days suspension. I thought we were supposed to be teaching children how to develop and express independent thoughts and ideas, not just become drones in a society where others tell them what to think. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I highly doubt that too.

Also during the past week, parents residing in a local school district appeared at a school board meeting wanting to ban Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, an assignment for their high school age children. I have never read this book by Atwood, though I have read other works of hers, but it apparently offers a fairly dismal (and fictional) look at the future, especially in the treatment of women. This is certainly not Atwood's first adventure into this theme (check out Oryx and Crake). Apparently, some parents did not find it appropriate reading for their teenagers.

I think everybody falls into a trap of things we say we will always or never do as parents. I am not a fan of absolutes, but these two situations seem to merit some "nevers."

Things I will never do as a parent:

1. Suppress the creation of independent thought.
2. Suppress the expression of said thought (yes - I'm aware of the meaning of the term "consequences of your actions").
3. Protest a book that my daughter is assigned to read. Someone thinks it is a good idea, and that person is probably right. I don't remember any of my high school English teachers pushing the limits on required reading, though they were all good teachers. Well, that lady who taught my British lit class when I was a senior was a bit stiff. I did not read any meaty stuff until I got to college.

I just wanted to put that out there. For now though, I have a mean case of carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my wrists - one of the many joys of pregnancy that will hopefully go away soon.

Did you check out that ticker up there? More on that coming later.

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