The Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs reports that a collective bargaining group representing public schools in Bartlesville is calling for a boycott of student teachers from the local Christian university. The reason for the proposed shunning? Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s president (yours truly) dared to suggest that the bad ideas presently being taught in our nation’s schools might, at least in part, be responsible for the bad behavior we are seeing in our national news.
In other words — and call me crazy here — I am openly wondering if what Richard Weaver wrote of in his seminal 1948 classic, “Ideas Have Consequences,” might actually be true: Education matters and what we teach in our classrooms does actually get practiced in our culture.
More to the point, in The Washington Times on Nov. 29, 2017, in a column titled “Teaching lechery and getting lechers” I averred that today’s long list of Hollywood and Washington miscreants might have something in common — they are products of our nation’s schools and, as such, they might just be acting out the failed ideas they have been taught at their respective alma maters.
In other words, garbage in and garbage out. Teach sexual license and get sexual licentiousness. Tell young boys that sex is amoral and don’t be surprised if they grow up to be young men who behave immorally.
Think about it. How many hours a week do kids spend with their parents? How many hours a week do they spend at their church? Now, how many hours a week do they spend at their schools? Just in terms of raw quantitative input, it is clear that our educational institutions have more influence on our culture than any other entity. Our colleges, universities, and public schools can’t pretend to be innocent here. What we teach (or don’t teach) surely has some bearing on human beliefs and behavior. And if not, then why bother?
But, for suggesting such possibilities of cause and effect, the Bartlesville Education Association (BEA) issued the following demand on Dec. 11, 2017, in Bartlesville’s local newspaper: “Bartlesville Public Schools [must] refrain from accepting student teachers for any training in our classrooms until Dr. Everett Piper publicly apologizes for [his] personal attack on our [teachers].”
Now, it should be clear to any educated reader (not to mention anyone who fancies him or herself a teacher) that The Washington Times is a national newspaper and all articles written therein are for a national audience. My article or any other, is, by definition, not necessarily a local critique.
But setting aside the BEA’s curious ignorance of how to read in context, let’s consider the obvious question: Why is this group of teachers so intent on contriving personal grievance when the sexual paradigm presently taught within our nation’s schools is irrefutable?
Consider just these few examples:
In Jay, Oklahoma, 12-year-old middle school students are given graphic instruction about masturbating, oral and anal sex, with detailed instructions for boys on the how to “go down on a girl.”
In Fox Ridge and Cherry Creek, Colorado, middle schoolers are provided a private password to an internet portal through which they gain direct access to a variety of explicit sexual practices including actual videos (not cartoons or diagrams) of men engaging in anal sex.
In Edmond, Oklahoma, the high school approved reading list includes literature on rape erotica. Yes, you heard correctly. Rape erotica.
Fifth-graders at Andrew Jackson Language Academy, a West Side Chicago public school, are treated with pictures of Homer Simpson with the inscription, “Lube, Lube, Lube. Use more lubrication, increase pleasure ” The curriculum at this school also includes a promotion for female condoms with the tagline: “Once you pop, you won’t have to stop!”
The list goes on and on. Spokane, Washington. Cupertino, California. St. Charles, Missouri. There is hardly a community in the nation left unscathed.
And this doesn’t even touch upon the celebrated “sex weeks” at universities such as UCLA, University of California at Berkeley, Yale, and the University of Michigan that have included activities such as “the naked mile” and seminars starring pornographers, sex toy vendors, polyamory activists, and “courses” such as “Fornication 101″ which boasts of teaching freshman coeds the wonders of “carnal knowledge.”
But rather than admit that these debauched and misogynistic ideas might actually be creating a debauched and misogynistic culture, this teachers union calls for a boycott of the local Christian college’s students as if that will surely solve the problem?
At the risk of sounding a bit pedantic, a refresher in children’s literature might be in order for those offended by my challenge. In such, they might remember that while a little boy shouted out the obvious — that the emperor had no clothes — “the lords of the bedchamber were taking greater pains than ever to appear holding up a train, where in reality there was really nothing to hold.”
Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is a columnist for The Washington Time and the author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).