There are educators in my family, so I know a few things about how challenging that profession can be. The hours are long, the pay is often mediocre and the working conditions are sometimes not great.
But at the same time, I’ve been taught by teachers and have encountered some at the public schools my daughter and son have attended who were born to the profession. They’re just naturals. They have a gift, and it’s hard to imagine them doing anything else.
Unfortunately, there are also people working in public schools who probably ought to be doing something else.
Exhibit A is Jeffery Wick, principal of Bowling Green Elementary School in Bowling Green, Va. Wick has a new book out titled Public Education: The Final Solution in the Conquest of America’s Ideals. Published by a vanity press called WinePressBooks, the tome is being heavily promoted by the American Family Association (AFA), the Rev. Donald Wildmon’s fundamentalist Christian hate group.
In the book, Wick alleges that public schools are suppressing America’s Christian heritage and that they are involved in a nefarious scheme to indoctrinate our children into socialism. According to Wick’s deranged conspiracy theory, the entire plot somehow hinges on Plato’s Republic – although President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the 1960s counterculture are also implicated. And of course the “liberal media” is in on the plot. (What, no Masons or the Trilateral Commission?)
Even the book’s artwork, a scary looking snake wrapped around an apple, is offensive. And the use of the words “final solution” in the title invoking Adolf Hitler’s Nazi ideology isn’t exactly subtle.
I dare you to go to the book’s website and listen to the audio snippet titled “Author’s Beat Interview.” Shudder as you realize that this man is responsible for the education of hundreds of children in Caroline County, Va.
A narrator interviewing Wick on the site explains that in the book Wick outlines a “235-year plan to hijack American democracy” that “if left to continue will result in God’s judgment on our nation.”
What is at the core of this plot? According to OneNewsNow, the AFA’s phony “news” service, one of Wick’s beefs is that many public schools these days are sponsoring various community-oriented programs. They even dare to feed hungry children!
“He suggests a few examples – dinner service, and not just to low-income students, as well as health and wellness programs or family life materials,” reports OneNewsNow.
So, a public school that provides a meal for a child who might not otherwise eat or offers some basic medical care to a poor youngster who wouldn’t otherwise see a doctor is tearing down the Christian foundations of the nation and ushering in socialism.
Two things really frost me about guys like this. The first is that they can’t grasp the basic concept behind public schools: They are called public for a reason. It’s because they are for everyone. All students must be welcomed, treated with respect and educated.
Yet, Wick believes that Christianity should have a “higher place in our society.” The other kids – the Jews, the Buddhists, the Muslims, the atheists, etc. – apparently will just have to get used to their second-class citizenship. (Of course, millions of Christians who don’t share Wick’s fundamentalist outlook would also be excluded.)
The second is rather obvious: Note that Wick is eager to heap disdain on the public school system, but at the same time he’s happy to take a paycheck from it and use it to put bread on his table.
Principal Wick, if the public school system is a such a great evil, if it’s such a dangerous institution and if it’s warping the soul of the entire nation, why don’t you do the honorable thing and resign?
My guess is that we can easily find someone who really believes in the mission of public education to take your place – much to the benefit of the children of Caroline County.