Thursday, January 11, 2007

Protecting the children

There is a lot of 'political correctness' packed into public schools these days, especially here on the left coast. So I have to applaud the backbone of the parent who stood up to the Federal Way school system to fight the showing of "An Inconvenient Truth" to their children.

Federal Way schools restrict Gore film
The Seattle Post Intelligencer
Jan. 11

This week in Federal Way schools, it got a lot more inconvenient to show one of the top-grossing documentaries in U.S. history, the global-warming alert "An Inconvenient Truth." After a parent who supports the teaching of creationism and opposes sex education complained about the film, the Federal Way School Board on Tuesday placed what it labeled a moratorium on showing the film. The movie consists largely of a PowerPoint presentation by former Vice President Al Gore recounting scientists' findings.

This doesn't actually mean that the film cannot be used in the schools. The decision simply forces teachers to present an opposing view to the students as well, rather than simply throwing this out as being absolute fact.

School Board members adopted a three-point policy that says teachers who want to show the movie must ensure that a "credible, legitimate opposing view will be presented," that they must get the OK of the principal and the superintendent, and that any teachers who have shown the film must now present an "opposing view."

I would love to hear how this works, and I hope that parents don't simply assume that this resolves the issue.

I actually think that showing this film (or bits of it) as part of a series on Critical Thinking would be a very good idea - if aimed at the right age group. This kind of training was proposed recently by Teresa of Technicalities. I think this would be a great move for schools to use items of controversy, have the students study opposing views and debate them with each other -- all parts of learning how to think about and evaluate the world around them. It's obviously needed!!