As you know, I spent years in public education, and yes, I was one of those “hard,” “mean” teachers, but I was also totally dedicated to turning out the best possible young people, young people who understood what this country is about and how it works, so to speak.
Although I have shortened this speech quite a bit, you will get the point. I’d love to know what you think. It is obviously not a speech given to high school students, but rather a speech that a commentator promoted as one that should be given.
“I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people. I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers, and against our country.
“First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less about your racial makeup or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships. The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity — your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.
“Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible.
“We will learn other languages here — it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English –but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.
“Third, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school’s property. If you can’t speak without using the f-word, you can’t speak.
“And last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue.
“We will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky — to be alive and to be an American.
“Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.”
The bottom line here is that Parents…..you are in the driver’s seat. You always have been. You can stomp you feet and carry on about how your child should “have fun” during his school days, or you can stomp your feet and insist that your school system provide the education that will once again cause American students to move to the top of the world’s scale…with the understanding that learning is very, very hard work. Few school systems are tough enough to fight the battle without you or in spite of you…no matter what they say.