Over a week ago, we heard from a Park City teacher that teachers were directed not to discuss the Presidential election with students. According to the teacher, they were told not to talk about it because it was too controversial of a topic. Instead, if they wanted to talk about elections, the administration allegedly told them they were instructed to talk about state and local elections. We reached out a week ago to the school district for comment but never received a response.
One of the problems with this stance is that this election almost serves as a cautionary tale. The story of Icarus. Little Red Riding Hood. Every slasher film from the 1980’s.
This national election is a train wreck. In one corner, we have a man who won’t denounce the former leader of the KKK, has repeatedly disparaged women, and makes fun of the disabled. In the other corner we have someone who would likely be in jail if she was you or me.
To that, I say, what better educational opportunity is there for our kids than to learn that money and power doesn’t excuse you from the responsibly to be a kind and fair human.
I’m not advocating for our 15 year olds to learn about grabbing a women by her …well you know how that quote ends … or our elementary kids to learn about how to repeatedly lie and use political power to escape unlawful behavior. However it does provide an opportunity for discussion.
As our tteachers are good and I’m sure they are able to do what teachers have always done. If we take World War 2, in elementary school you learn that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor to start World war 2 (that’s not accurate but it is a broad stroke that enabled us to understand the war). In high school you learn that our enemy was Hitler and he killed 6 million Jews and was a horrible person. In college you learn that our ally was Joseph Stalin, who was just as horrible man, and killed more people than Hitler (maybe was responsible for up to 60 million deaths). Later in college you realize that part of the reason the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor was because of a US Oil embargo.
The point is that there is ALWAYS a way to educate and provide kids with information that teaches them information they are capable of processing. In the case of The Donald and Hillary, is there any better tale in the last 10 years related to treating people fairly, following rules, and not lying than what has been foisted on us during this election cycle? Yes, one of these people will be our President. Yet, that is a good lesson too. Nice people don’t always win and sometimes people in power are not good people and shouldn’t be respected.
I’m sure it’s easier for our schools to avoid the topic. However, if the allegations are true, we are missing a grand opportunity to educate our children about something that s unfolding around them.