I remember Miss Mewborn like it was yesterday. The same goes for Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Armstrong, and Mrs. Thomas. They were my kindergarten, second, fourth, and sixth grade teachers, respectively.
In eighth grade, my favorite teachers were Mr. Schmidt and Miss Coletta. The former because he taught Social Studies, my best subject, and the latter because she encouraged me to try out for our school play (my portrayal of Mr. McAfee in Bye Bye Birdie drew rave reviews, at least from my parents). Miss Coletta was also the subject of a certain 13-year-old’s innocent schoolboy crush.
As a student at Pennsauken High School, I filled my schedule with as many U.S. and World History classes as possible. From my perspective, Miss Kwochka (10th grade) and Mrs. Willsey (11th and 12th) stood head-and-shoulders above the rest of the PHS faculty.
I share my memories of my K-12 teachers to make an important point: they were all very positive influences on my young life. Unfortunately, things have changed – and not for the better – in the world of education since I graduated sixth in my class of 600 in 1977.
For the most part, that precipitous decline is not the fault of professional educators, the vast majority of whom chose their vocation because they love kids. Instead, the blame lies at the foot of the National Education Association, liberal college professors, and far-too-compliant local school boards.
Back then, before the NEA placed educators in Progressive straitjackets, they were expected to teach subject matter and nothing else. Childrearing was for parents and instruction in other areas of life was left to churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, and other community organizations also did their part to help shape and mold responsible young people who would grow up to be productive members of society.
So, what went wrong?
Call me old-fashioned, but part of the problem was that one-income families gradually became two-income households. I and most of my classmates had the luxury of being seen off to school by our mothers, who were also there to greet us when we came home. You simply cannot put a price tag on that kind of security and stability.
To a large degree, those days are gone; and most families today depend on a working dad and a working mom to make ends meet. Deanna and I were the exceptions to that rule when we were raising our kids in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s… and not because I made a lot of money as a prison minister. On the contrary, we scrimped and saved and sacrificed because we placed a high priority on Deanna being a stay-at-home mom.
I realize that such a decision is a personal one and that childrearing isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition, but it worked well for us. The proof in the pudding is our three adult children – all happy and well-adjusted – and our four (soon to be five) grandchildren.
In today’s world, lifestyles usually dictate two incomes and that’s just the way it is. However, there are ways to make that arrangement work for 21st century parents and their kids without turning our offspring over to Uncle Sam to raise (and indoctrinate) for us.
In our case, Deanna has helped out by babysitting our grandkids several days per week. Such a scenario may not work for everyone, but we are used to living on one income so it’s no big deal. Again, priorities matter… and at this stage of our lives, our grandkids are a HUGE priority to us.
If Deanna wasn’t able or willing to babysit, then church-based childcare isn’t a bad option. And yes, there are many secular daycare centers that do an excellent job, too. However, once government-run daycares enter the mix – as they may under President Biden’s proposed American Families Plan – all bets are off.
If the federal government starts offering “free” universal daycare and “free” universal pre-K, overworked and unsuspecting parents will be dropping off Johnny and Judy earlier and more frequently than ever before. That will also mean that the government bureaucrats in the Department of Education and the radical Progressives in the NEA will have even more power to influence, indoctrinate, and inculcate our impressionable young children.
Sex Ed beginning in kindergarten? It’s already here. Planned Parenthood, which bills itself as “the nation’s largest provider of sex education,” says that “comprehensive sexuality education refers to K-12 programs that cover a broad range of topics.” Among them are Human Development (including reproduction, puberty, sexual orientation, and gender identity); Relationships (including families, friendships, romantic relationships, and dating); Sexual Behavior (including abstinence and sexuality throughout life); Sexual Health (including sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, and pregnancy); and Society and Culture (including gender roles, diversity, and sexuality in the media).
Just what I want: Margaret Sanger teaching my grandkids. Somewhere, I think Miss Mewborn must be shaking her head… or rolling over in her grave.
The point remains that government-run or government-sanctioned daycares and pre-K programs will pick up where Planned Parenthood left off. Our kids and grandkids will be subjected to Progressive propaganda and taught to explore their sexuality and question their gender. Not only that, but they will be exposed to Critical Race Theory, which teaches that their skin color dictates whether or not they are predisposed to – and inherently guilty of – racism.
After 12-14 years of having such nonsense drilled into their heads, President Biden then wants the next generation of American leaders to be further immersed in liberalism by offering them up to four years of “free” college education. Hopefully, they will have at least one honest economics professor who will break the news to them that nothing in life is free. Education, like everything else, has a price tag attached to it. Either you pay for it now, as a student, or later, as a taxpayer.
Having had almost unbridled access to our kids for 16-plus years, Uncle Sam will gladly turn them back to us so they can live in our basements for another decade or so. After all, the only thing they will have learned during that decade and a half is to question authority and to hate America.
Learning a trade or profession that will allow them to be self-supporting is the last thing that the Progressives want for our children. Better to have them be forever dependent on their parents and the federal government than to assume personal responsibility and forge their own bright futures.
Forty-three years after Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings warned mommas not to let their babies grow up to be cowboys, I am issuing a similar warning. Mommas – and Daddys – please don’t give your precious children to the federal government to raise for you. Trust me; they will do a lousy job.