Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fear Us

My last posting reflected my dismay with a world perplexed by fear and a nagging desire to place blame. Yesterday, Santa Fe High was locked-down, then later evacuated after a suspicious device was found in the boy’s restroom of the Fine Arts Building. The package was a box with exposed wires and contained a battery pack, written on the top was the word – “BOOM!” After disrupting an entire day of school which included requiring parents to pick-up over 2000 students, earlier than planned… the bomb was declared a ruse.

Today, Culpeper School district in Virginia canceled classes for over 7000 students after a bomb threat. I taught for five years in two different public school districts and I recall bomb threats and similiar acts of violent intimidation occurring every year, regardless of the location. Nothing ever came of the threats, unless you count disrespectful students getting justification for their inappropriate behavior. On one morning prior to the beginning of classes, I remember a voice mail from the principal telling all staff to “pay attention” to a specific student that had been in a fight the previous afternoon (and was not suspended – did you catch that). The student had already been seen on campus, although it was still early morning and he had a rifle in his truck. Faculty was instructed not to interfere with the student but to remain aware of where he was at all times. That was it… nothing was ever done in regard to the fact that he had a gun within the vicinity of campus.

Harry Potter promotes school shootings: A woman who maintains that the Harry Potter books are an attempt to teach children witchcraft is pushing for the second time to have them banned from school libraries.

Laura Mallory, a mother of four from the Atlanta suburb of Loganville, told a Georgia Board of Education officer that the books by British author J.K. Rowling, sought to indoctrinate children as Wiccans, or practitioners of religious witchcraft.

Referring to the recent rash of deadly assaults at schools, Mallory said books that promote evil - as she claims the Potter ones do - help foster the kind of culture where school shootings happen.

That would not happen if students instead read the Bible, Mallory said. Daily Mail (UK) 10/04/2006

One thing I’ve learned from these travels is that blind fear is universal, as is corruptibility. What if what we fear most is the loss of permanence? Is it easier to just blame the “foreigners” or "ungodly" than to follow through on the task of creating a responsible citizenry within our own nation? Knowledge is always the best weapon, banning books won't fix the problems we got. Can we learn from the past mistakes of civil liberty failures, without tossing aside a progressive future? - DN

No comments: