Home / General / The customer is always right, schoolhouse rock edition

The customer is always right, schoolhouse rock edition

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In Ron DeSantis’s Florida, freedom will mean the freedom for one parent to ban a book from the entire state’s public school system:

A Florida House panel this week approved a bill that could prompt the statewide removal of books or instructional material if just one person objects to them, the measure’s sponsor says.

The House Education Quality Subcommittee voted 13-5 along party lines Wednesday to support the bill by Stan McClain, R-Ocala, who pushed back against allegations it was book banning.

“This idea that book banning is taking place, and all of that, is a myth and is not true. Members, what we’re trying to do is ensure that our parents continue to have the opportunity to know what materials are being used to instruct (their children) and to have the ability to challenge that,” McClain said.

But Rep. Ashley Gantt, D-Miami, said the measure would lead to book banning and asked McClain, “Is it the intent of the language in those lines (in the bill) to have one parent determine what all the students in a class or school can have access to for their educational purposes?”

“That could take place, yes,” McClain replied.

It’s all about consumer choice, apparently, and who could be opposed to that?

The answer is anybody who has spent ten seconds thinking about the fundamental nature of education, since the nature of education is that people who don’t know what they should know are edified in regard to that by those who do.

I see the perversion of that principle constantly now at the college and postgraduate level, where central administrators, in an increasingly desperate bid to keep their perpetually accelerating money machine going, have decided that the central guiding principle of their institutions is that the customer is always right, which means giving the people what they want, rather than what they need.

But this dynamic is even more insidious at the primary and secondary school level, for obvious reasons.

Here is an area where people who object to book banning as a matter of principle may well have to discard that principle for strategic reasons, rather than surrendering to the people — theocratic reactionaries and fascists, crypto, proto, and neo — who are more than happy to play this game.

I’ve mentioned before that my first introduction to the traitor Robert E. Lee was a straight Dunning School romantic glorification of the man in a children’s book that I got out of my elementary school library, in Extremely Liberal Ann Arbor Michigan, in around 1969 or so. If Cletus and Shonda are going to object to books that mention slavery or the theory that the Earth is more than 6,000 years old, then Maddie and Connor — they’re all grown up and having their own kids now — had sure as hell better be objecting to whatever right wing propaganda is available to those kids in our public schools.

Of course this game can’t really be played in the long run — in the end, either educators are given the freedom to educate, or there’s no real education — but you know what Keynes said about the long run. In the short run, unilateral surrender to the right wing creeps who are trying to steal this nation is not an option.

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