A school district in the Magnolia area (Montgomery County) has decided to retain intellectually wasteful literature on its school shelves despite protests from family-centered interest groups.
Books along the lines of The Perks of Being a Wallflower are deemed acceptable additions in school environments by the administrators of school districts such as Magnolia and Conroe (county seat), but some parents have decided to disagree. However these dissident voices are often brief and few.
Free speech is a cornerstone of a respectable republic, and therefore any sort of writing can be published, cataloged, and stocked – but schools are not public libraries, and it is unconscionable to believe that there can be scholarly value in teaching from books that normalize, sensationalize, and glorify psychologically destructive sexual behavior. The human body means nothing in the estimation of an honestly atheistic worldview, but is this truly what we want our children to eventually believe? What is the responsibility of a school district? To tell children of their immense worth, or to hoodwink them into thinking life is sexually meaningless and functionally hedonistic?
The administrators of school districts around Magnolia and Conroe, just north of Harris County (Houston) must think that teens and young adults today are shattered, broken, stupid, and given to games and reckless behavior. The introduction of meaningless literature into schools seems to come from commercial motivations of entertaining the young, even though the young have never asked to be regarded that way. It is as if middle and high schoolers cannot be trusted with high-quality literature, and must thus be kept entertained with shallow pieces of transient writing of little to no significance in the world of employment and employability.
But children aged 11–18 are not airheads and carnal idiots. The only thing that is needed in the lives of generations today is a firm emphasis on love. It is all about making life work. It is not about pursuing the next high, or setting sights on ultimately meaningless goals that will expire or cease to be relevant. No teenager is fundamentally stupid. They want to know if society has love at its center, or if love does not matter to the leaders who claim to lead.
The Usefulness Of Reading Politics At A Young Age
Montgomery County is northwards of Harris County and part of the Greater Houston statistical area in the minds of most residents, and the Magnolia Independent School District (Magnolia ISD) is an important suburban educational provider covering more than a hundred square miles in jurisdiction. It serves upwards of 15,000 schoolchildren, who should have more of a right to read The Communist Manifesto than the misogynistic smut being touted as literature such as Perks of Being a Wallflower. At least the Manifesto addresses the problems of poverty and industrial irresponsibility of corporate bosses at the turn of the century (19th–20th).
Students have the right to learn about the early beginnings of Marxism, because the Manifesto is not a sexually violent document, and was not meant to be entertaining at all. This was a document that inspired the formation of dozens of political parties that eventually built sovereign states all around the world. The utopian experiment of Marxism ended up failing within the first few years of implementation, but students deserve to know why, and their study of the original document will help them.
The Manifesto was written by a Jewish man of German citizenship who had experienced both riches and rags, in person. He saw the industrial age and how it did bring with it all the attendant problems of corporate deceit, irredeemably oppressive working conditions, and superiors who maltreated workers. The workforce possessed no recourse, no ombudsman protection, and the bottom 80% of Europe suffered in conditions near-unimaginable in most urban minds today.
Marx wanted to overthrow the aristocratic class, and have commoners rise up. He advocated violence. This desperate volition in the mind of Marx and among his peers in the socialist movement is worth studying in middle and high schools: because the Manifesto demonstrates why Democrat supporters have done violent things to public and private infrastructure and all manner of property, in recent times. The folly of some activists in the modern age is laid bare by studying the doctrines of the past, i.e. Marx and his response to poverty and oppression. Students will ask themselves today what the nonviolent alternatives to socioeconomic transformation can potentially be, and that there ought to be a nondestructive, and indeed constructive way forward, in the areas of job creation and economic opportunity for people of all walks of life.
Reading Stuff That’s Useful And Empowering
Other key pieces of literature of significant sociological importance include the Bible (which is really a moral and political treatise on marital love, financial management, and community development, e.g. the way Paul goes from city to city to build the Gentile church). Romeo and Juliet is crucial for it reveals in a direct way what feuding families end up doing to each other. It is the young and innocent who suffer when the differences of the past – among patriarchs of ‘warring clans,’ for instance – spill over into the present.
Business reading such as Philip Kotler’s P-system of how to make and sell a great product or service can be introduced at middle and high school levels to build an entrepreneurial spirit, and excite young minds with the prospect of making money soon. It is important to show them that their adult life is only a few years away, and that they can own their future by learning about it in advance. (It is insane to learn how to swim the day you’re expected to go be a lifeguard.)
Those glossy textbooks or colorful PDFs on product, pricing, placement/place, promotion, et cetera were part of my learning in middle school, because a bunch of teachers felt these books added oomph to the classroom environment and made us youngsters feel proud about ourselves for learning these things at the age of 14. By 16 we had already been taught to read legal briefs and construction papers for existing office buildings (archival papers brought in from the city redevelopment authority).
Literature At School Should Always Be Empowering, Not Defeatist
Needless to say, we felt like adults by the time we were done with high school. There were no nihilistic, hedonistic literature items on our reading lists, and nothing of the sort in our school libraries. If we wanted to, we could go to state libraries and access silly, destructive things such as Perks of Being a Wallflower, atheists showing why abortion is simply lovely in UU World (the Unitarian Universalist magazine), and watch crime films made like entertainment such as Karla (2006). But the fact these things were only to be found in state libraries, not school libraries, proved to us how wrecked and idiotic the world had become; and that the school was our sanctuary for a sane and moral education.
Schools in Magnolia ISD have no ethical fallback on what they are doing, introducing morally defeatist and deeply pessimistic volumes into their curriculum and stocking regimens. Suicide, recreational drug use, and a dim outlook on life are not empowering themes for youngsters to speculate on, inculcate within themselves, and become systemically raised on – in an academic and scholarly environment. The task of schools should be to 1) stay financially viable, and 2) fulfill that financial duty by raising children to feel good about what they can do in life to make it work. Parents, sponsors, and government subsidies pay ISDs to nurture minds toward confidence and self-esteem. Any item of literature – whether video or digital or print – should come to school libraries having met that criterion. Anything sexually destructive and demeaning to the human body belongs to the Library of Congress and government libraries, as a form of public record.
Attempts by The Golden Hammer to obtain a response from Magnolia ISD communications head Denise Kainer Meyers have so far been unsuccessful.