Friday, February 16, 2007

Can A Comic Book Be A Textbook?


What happens when our public educational system focuses more on socio-political issues than reading, writing, math, and science? Well, you get surpassed by Europe, Asia, and several third world countries in test scores ... that's what.

To be honest ... we should have known we were in trouble when public education began talking about the three r's ... reading, writing, arithmetic. Maybe this is just the public education I received talking, but only one of the three r's actually starts with an r.

We've all heard the stories, and know there is a definite trend to NOT focus on education in many parts of the US.

  • We have "textbooks" that teach about transgender society.
  • Teachers are undergoing sex change operations during the school year in front of children.
  • Teachers are showing movies produced by politicians that have admitted to manufacturing data because "we just don't know."
  • Teachers giving students extra credit to skip school and protest (sometimes organized by the teachers themselves), and even making such activity a requirement.
  • The stifling of free speech of students who don't agree with a purely political action by the school administration.
  • Strict vegans and PETA are paid to speak at schools, and students are required to attend the assembly ... often several times a year.
  • Four year olds are suspended for hugging teachers.
  • Five year olds are accused of sexual harassment.
  • Twelve year olds with disabilities are arrested for wetting themselves.

Then there is San Francisco dumping the JROTC program that has been there for over 90 years. We all know SF's anti-war past, and that it is the accepted birthplace of hippies. This newest endeavor is just further proof that SF is doing everything they can to alienate the rest of the population.

In spite of what you think of this war, this president, or any political party ... this, or this, is not acceptable.

Ronald Reagan hugging Osama Bin Laden, corporate America celebrating the spoils of war, a cartoon view of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal isn't off limits in this comic book -- "Addicted to War -- Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism."

Who would put in the effort to make sure this anti-military comic book gets used in the classroom?

Four thousand copies of Addicted to War: Why the U.S. Can't Kick Militarism, by Joel Andreas, have been purchased and donated to the San Francisco Unified School District using contributions gathered by local peace activist Pat Gerber.

So a peace activist can purchase a comic book, and get it approved as supplemental curriculum?
Really? Can a pro-war activist do the same?

Is it possible to get "The Blog of War" approved as a first hand look at what it's like in Iraq? How about "Because They Hate" to give us an insiders look at terrorism. Perhaps "Defeating Jihad: How the War on Terrorism Can Be Won, in Spite of Ourselves" ... that one would be particularly fitting to counter this comic, or does it have to be in comic book form?

Maybe we can start playing movies to help make the case of why we went into Iraq. Movies like "Weapon of Mass Destruction, The Murderous Reign of Saddam Hussein." After all, Fahrenheit 9/11 has been played in schools.

Of course you won't find that kind of acceptance because San Francisco hates the military.

The San Francisco School Board voted out the JROTC program because they said "public schools are no place for the military." This is, of course, flawed. Especially since the district gets federal funds dealing with this matter. Yet they won't give up those funds without a fight. If there is no place for the military ... then there is no place for military discussion. If you are going to have an anti-military discussion ... you should have a pro-military discussion as well. Let the kids make up their minds by giving them a level playing field. What are you so scared of?

I do not find it to be a coincidence that SF gets rid of JROTC, and approves an anti-military comic book a few months later.

This isn't an issue with the Iraq War or (R) vs (D). This comic bashes the entire military history of the United States back to the Revolution. It's not anti-Bush ... it's anti-history. The irony is that Democrats will end up on the losing end of the conflict debate in this comic. Why? Because more Americans have died as a result of wars conducted by Democrats than Republicans.

Sooner or later both parties are going to have to listen to parents on these issues. Not only because our education system is on the slide ... but because they pay the bills. If both parties are comfortable with a pacifist giving anecdotal history lessons that hold them both in a bad light rather than focusing on world class education ... then this country may pay a price.



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