1984 Anyone???

April 22, 2008

“Arizona schools whose courses “denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization” could lose state funding under the terms of legislation approved Wednesday by a House panel.

SB1108 also would bar teaching practices that “overtly encourage dissent” from those values, including democracy, capitalism, pluralism and religious tolerance. Schools would have to surrender teaching materials to the state superintendent of public instruction, who could withhold state aid from districts that broke the law.

Another section of the bill would bar public schools, community colleges and universities from allowing organizations to operate on campus if it is “based in whole or in part on race-based criteria,” a provision Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said is aimed at MEChA, the Moviemiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, a student group.

The 9-6 vote by the Appropriations Committee sends the measure to the full House.”




  1. So you’re in favor of teaching children to “denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization?” Or is it that you like racism?

    Oh yes! Please let us teach children to dissent from: democracy, capitalism, pluralism and religious tolerance. Let us setup various one-race-only organizations for them.

    It’s not Orwellian to refuse to pay tax dollars to hate and anti-Americanism. There are private schools for that.

  2. I like how you put it all on “children”. I am pretty sure “children” don’t go to community college. As a child matures, he/she can handle different levels of being challenged mentally and exposed to new thoughts. Are you trying to insinuate that a college student isn’t developed enough to read through literature that has different viewpoints from the norm? I am not racist, nor do I care to read about radical racist propaganda. However, history is history, and that is the bittersweet reality of freedom.

  3. The bill protects all people in public school, not just college students. Basic math would show that most of those people are in fact children.

    No state should provide funding for education that attempts to “denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization?”

  4. and how does one define material that “denigrates American values and the teaching of Western Civilization”. Do you see where I am heading with this? In order to be progressive, you have to question what is “now”. I will oppose anything that stiffles that right I have as a US citizen.

  5. the problem is we won’t know who gets to decide what classifies as such material. it will become a law enabling censorship and governmental oppresion of free thought and idea. it falls right in with refusing to even mention any scientific theory that disagrees with evolutionary development, book-burnings and brainwashing. this law is only about education on the face-level; it’s really a law about giving the government the right to decide what people can and cannot think. it fosters control of idea and oppresses opinion and personal decision. it makes people stupid and forces them to think what Big Bro wants them to think.

  6. seanster ftw.

  7. Oh, yes! It’s censorship the moment someone wants to prevent teaching anti-Americanism. Strange how it’s close to becoming a hate crime to teach patriotism. You might want to think about that.

  8. Who said that? Don’t put words in my mouth, and come to the table with an actual point to argue.

  9. joshmickelson,

    Which part are you claiming that you didn’t say? You did in effect say that preventing the teaching of anti-Americanism is censorship. The rest of my comment was just a reference to the state of American society today and was not meant to imply that you stated that teaching patriotism was a hate crime.

  10. yes, I did say that and I stand by it. You haven’t given me any actual reasoning to think otherwise. I was speaking to your comment about being a “hate crime to teach patriotism”. That is an ignorant comment. Criticizing our processes as a country is not un-patriotic, it’s necessary for growth and refinement.

  11. Josh, I agree with you 100 percent! The great thing about America is that we are allowed to think/read/speak both for and against our country. It has always scared me when the gov’t tries to step in and censor/dictate what constitutes proper literature/press/news/education. When you allow the gov’t to censor anything “anti-American” (especially without establishing strict rules that constitute what it means to be anti-American) you are essentially writing a blank check. It is the same as someone saying “I am not educated enough to hold my position when faced with opposing viewpoints and I cannot teach my children to do the same.” Think of the things that were not considered suitable in the education system only a few decades ago…To Kill a Mockingbird, The Giver (still one of the most banned books throughout the nation), Fahrenheit 451, and many other great works of literature/criticism/philosophy. Will books criticising current or past leaders be considered anti-American? Also, how self-centered are we as a nation when we consider banning teaching that is not in line with Western Culture. There is so much out there that doesn’t fit the standards of Western Culture. Do we want zombies or do we want educated, cultured, critically thinking and open-minded citizens?

  12. thanks, d, very well said.

  13. I’m all for criticizing our processes, but not for teaching our children – or young people if you prefer – that America and Western values are bad, wrong or evil. That is what the bill is aimed at eliminating. I’m also not in favor of race-based organization at our universities.

    I’m not, however, deaf to your concerns.

  14. @ Capital D: Is The Giver really a widely banned book? Haha, I checked it out from my middle school library when I was in 7th grade and never returned it. It has always been one of my favorite books!

    @ everyone: The scary thing is that there doesn’t seem to be a clear definition of what is considered “anti-American”. I don’t agree that true anti-Americanism should be “taught” in schools. But there is a big difference between criticizing our process as a country and being anti-Americanism. Actually they are very much opposites, but strangely can have very blurred boundaries.

    I think we can all agree that anti-Americanism is a bad thing. But encouraging dialogue of different viewpoints is very healthy and necessary for development of free thought. We don’t want to endoctrinate people to be Republican or Democrat. On the other hand we don’t want to encourage anti-Americanism in the name of “free thought”. Endoctrination at every bend!

  15. The Giver is one of my favorite books as well. It is still challenged in schools, but usually they provide an alternate title with similar themes for students/parents who are uncomfortable with its content. It hasn’t made the top 10 list since 2001; however, it is routinely challenged.



  16. d – for some reason your comment went into my spam que. Sorry about that! That book looks interesting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: