What's happening in U.S.
April 30, 2002 - Picture this: Your middle-school child is summoned to a special workshop. The kids are asked to form a circle. Your child is told to stand in the center, and is asked by a special guest from Planned Parenthood: "Does your church consider homosexual behavior to be a sin?" Ask the ninth-graders in Arcata, Calif., how they felt, when it happened to them.
If your child attends middle-school in Seattle, you may – or may not – know about "Challenge Day," facilitated by a for-profit outfit called "Resource Realizations," in which kids are coerced into confessing their wrongs. Incidentally, the kids also get a promotional brochure advertising the three-day extended session for only $295, and a week-long version for only $800.
At Aptos High School in Santa Cruz, Calif., 300 students are bunched up in the gym, on one side of a line drawn on the floor. Then a series of questions are asked. If the answer is yes, the kids are told to step across the line. Some of the questions asked:
These are a few of dozens of deeply personal questions students are asked to answer publicly. What on earth is going on in our schools?
Freedom21 Santa Cruz wants to know what is going on in their schools, and why. They are accumulating similar stories from around the country.
Santa Cruz is one of the first cities to adopt a "Local Agenda 21" program. For 10 years, a local group has been promoting the implementation of Agenda 21 recommendations. Almost every community now has some local group promoting Agenda 21 policies, but using names such as "St. Louis 2004," or "[your town] 2020." These plans focus primarily on planning, open space, zoning, land-use restrictions, heritage sites, and the like. They also contain educational elements, based on Chapters 21 and 25 of Agenda 21.
The function of American schools has changed. Once, the function of the school was to prepare each student to reach his maximum individual potential. Now, school has become a process to modify behavior, attitudes and beliefs in pursuit of a "tolerant," (read: obedient) society.
The transformation has been underway for much of the last century. In 1949, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization conducted a series of seminars for teachers, called "Toward World Understanding." This brief excerpt provides a flavor of the series:
"As long as the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education in world-mindedness can produce only rather precarious results. As we have pointed out, it is frequently the family that infects the child with extreme nationalism. The school should therefore use the means described earlier to combat family attitudes that favor jingoism."
Robert P. Hillmann has produced an excellent study of how this transformation of our schools occurred. His 105-page report, "Reinventing Government: Fast Bullets and Culture Changes" documents the relationship between international organizations and school officials which has brought about the transformation in our schools' function.
The activities in Seattle, Arcata and Santa Cruz have struck a nerve, because the events probe deeply into personal and family affairs. School activities that seek to transform attitudes about the environment, about government, about freedom, about the Bill of Rights – have gone largely unnoticed by parents and the community.
The result of the transformation is becoming clear: prayer, freedom, corporations, liberty, the Ten Commandments, national sovereignty, property rights – and certainly, guns – are all terms and concepts that have been demonized. Tolerance, cooperation and equity, are values that supplant individual excellence, individual achievement and individual responsibility.
Most of the world is subjected to government-imposed-and-enforced education, and information. America has distinguished itself among all nations in history because government did not limit education and information, and celebrated individual achievement.
Those days are long gone. American schools have been transformed. Only individuals who recognize the threat, and are willing to invest their time and resources, can reverse this rush to homogenized mediocrity.
Left to its own agenda, the international community, assisted by professional education associations and enlightened facilitators, will continue to transform our children into pliable conformists who follow the party line, for fear of being different.
Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization and chairman of Sovereignty International.
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