National History Standards
"The falsification of history has done more to impede human
development than any one thing known to mankind"
FROM MOUNTAIN MEDIA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATED SEPT. 9, 1998
THE LIBERTARIAN, By Vin Suprynowicz
The separation of school and state
In response to my Aug. 28 column, which dealt with this year's first day of school in Jonesboro, Ark. (scene of last spring's well-covered schoolyard shootings), "Teacher in Texas" wrote:
"I noticed in your column that you were quick to point out what's wrong with the educational system, but offered no solutions. Any ideas, or just blowing off some steam?"
# # #
I thought I made it pretty clear: If you're talking about how we can reform the current government-run, socialist/redistributionist,
public-employee-union-dominated school system, to make it "work better,"
then there are no "solutions" -- because you are seeking an answer to the
The Constitution grants no authority for the federal government to be
involved in education. Therefore, freedom from government interference in
education is an individual right, under the 9th amendment. Under the 14th
amendment, it became illegal for any state to deprive any United States
citizen of such a constitutional right. Therefore, all government
interference in education (federal OR state) is unconstitutional, as well
as extremely dangerous to our other freedoms (since it exposes our children
to 12 years of pro-big-government propaganda, in some of their most crucial
If you doubt this, find me a public school classroom where equal time is
given to the theory (I would argue it's an easily established fact) that
Franklin Roosevelt was a dangerously unprincipled opportunist who
thoughtlessly embraced state socialism, thus violating his oath to defend
the Constitution -- a public school classroom where a common exercise is to
stage a "mock trial" of Mr. Roosevelt, in which the children decide whether
he should have been impeached and hanged as a usurping tyrant.
The very "unthinkableness" of such a lesson being taught in today's
government schools (while "mock trials" of John D. Rockefeller, for the
"crime" of unrestrained capitalism, are seriously recommended in the
proposed new "National History Standards,") reveals just how "objective"
they are on any subject which bears on the legitimacy of the bureaucracy.
The "solution" is obvious -- a complete separation of school and state,
similar to the wise and beneficial separation of church and state which has
long been an American ideal.
Existing school facilities should be auctioned off to the highest bidders -- which, in many cases, would turn out to be new companies, offering
Based on what's happened when other government monopoly "services" have
been privatized, I estimate tuition costs would eventually drop to
one-third of what the government collects and allocates per student --
meaning that parents would actually pay less in school tuition than they
now pay in school taxes, DESPITE the fact parents today are "helped" by the
unwilling "contributions" of the half of the population who send no
children to the government schools.
In these new private schools, violent troublemakers would be expelled
immediately. The ban on government interference means any parent suing
(based on the notion that his or her child's violence and failure to allow
others to learn constitutes a "disability") would be told to take a hike.
The right of private contract and association would return to primacy.
Like any other aspect of socialism, the underlying crime of the current
system is disguised by its very intricacy. But all first graders, fresh
from their mothers knees, know that the funding method for their schools is
Sit them down and ask them: "If a a man comes to your house with a gun,
and sticks it in your daddy's face, and demands $100, is what that man is
doing right, or is it wrong? What if the man promises to spend half the
money on medicine? What if the man promises to spend most of the money on
school books? Does it make any difference what kind of uniform the man has
From the mouths of babes, you will hear a unanimous vote that "taxes"
(men in uniforms with guns taking our money against our will, while
promising to use most of it for some "good cause" or other) is theft, and
It takes a good 12 years of propaganda to convince them otherwise -- the
major current function of the government schools.
"But the nation would collapse if the schools closed down; all our kids
would grow up illiterate!" cry those who have been stuck in this prison so
long they can no longer imagine sunlight.
In fact, de Tocqueville reported nearly UNIVERSAL literacy in America
when he toured this nation in the 1820s -- 25 years before the founding of
the first tax-funded, government schools on the Prussian model, in
If anything, 150 years of government schooling have vastly redUCED the
average literacy of Americans, while generating enormous systemic
A whole movement has grown up to "offer these solutions." I recommend
John Taylor Gatto's fine little book "Dumbing Us Down." Then, contact
Marshall Fritz at the Separation of School & State Alliance, 4578 N. First,
No. 310, Fresno, Calif. 93726; tel. 209-292-1776; email Sepschool@psnw.com.
Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Readers may contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.
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