Today’s entry in unbashedly stupid and out-there wingnuttery from an elected official (yes, I know, there is always so much to choose from):
A Republican lawmaker in Utah outlined a proposal last week to abolish compulsory education in the state.
State Sen. Aaron Osmond (R) argued that certain “parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system.”
“As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness,” he wrote in a post on the state senate’s blog.
Osmond told the Deseret News that he wants the public to view education as an opportunity rather than a requirement.
“Let’s let them choose it, let’s not force them to do it,” Osmond said.
The only other people I can think of that can make an argument against compulsory education are between the ages of seven and twelve, and their argument boils down to “I don’t wanna!”
Now comes along this ignoramus wrapped in the faux-libertarian mantra of “let the parents decide.” Well, you know, the parents did decide. About the same time they decided that knowledge and social interaction was more important than graffiti-inspired theories about parental surrogacy and sex education.
Over a hundred and fifty years ago, this country decided that children needed to go to school and that it was so important the government would fund it at no cost to the parents or child. The last state to enact a compulsory education law was Mississippi in 1917. In other words, a state where it was still illegal for just about anyone but a white man to vote had the foresight to teach the next generations.
The problem isn’t that we have compulsory education in this country. It’s that we don’t have enough of it for some people.