NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

March 7, 2013

Winnacunnet Article 8 warrants attention

To the editor:

Voters in the Hamptons are being asked to give favorable consideration to four citizen’s petitions on the Winnacunnet ballot: Articles 6, 7, 8 and 9. Article 8, in particular, warrants special attention, since it targets serious problems mentioned by both parents and taxpayers: the use of the classroom as a soapbox for political expression and of tax dollars for electioneering.

Since Colonial times, American parents enjoyed a wide variety of low-cost private schools, resulting in 99 percent literacy rates and the benefits of a classical education brought to the common people. Between World Wars I and II, the robber baron dynasties flexed their enormous political muscle to replace that competition with state-run schools, meant, “simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality,” warned author H.L. Mencken.

Three years before these industrial titans placed Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson in the White House, he said of the aim of public schooling, “We want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks,” according to schoolandstate.org. This leaves 85 percent of school-age children simply “doing their time” in $18,000 per year per student “day prisons,” as some critics have termed public schools.

The aim of Article 8 is to draw attention to the problem that public funds and public schools are being used by extremely liberal NEA officials to push environmental alarmism, political correctness, multiculturalism, socialized health care, Obamamania, anti-gun hysteria, and mint-flavored condoms. It takes an act of the voters to warn the elected officials that this needs to stop. Do schools exist to prepare students to question, or to simply accept our outdated assumptions?

Max Abramson

Seabrook

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