In 1978, a law was passed limiting the control educators had over children to enforce participation in "surveys, analyses or evaluations," especially those containing offensive or subjective content. United States schools under the auspices of the Federal Department of Education ignored the restrictions included in the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (also called the Hatch Amendment) en masse. Consequently, six years later in August of 1984 a host of outraged parents and teachers descended on seven U.S. cities to offer testimony of violations.
Phyllis Schlafly, president of the Eagle Forum and a noted pro-family anti-feminist, published an abridged compendium of these proceedings (which in their uncut form amounted to 1300 pages) and called it Child Abuse in the Classroom. The infractions of the schools in forcing children to participate in programs promoting moral relativism, said Schlafly, amounted to child abuse. As a result of this book, President Reagan added further regulations to the Hatch Amendment three weeks after its publication. The amendments to the amendment went into effect November 12, 1984.
Some of the parents' stories included here are genuinely horrifying. Students were forced to view films with graphic nudity and sexual content, had access to books on the occult, attended compulsory yoga classes in which the principles of transcendental meditation were taught, and more, all without the consent or knowledge of their parents, and all in the ten-page testimony of a single teacher. Other reports are equally or more disturbing, all of them painfully detailed, and what is shocking to many readers today these are all examples from 30 years ago.
It would be nice to think that things have changed for the better in the years since the Hatch Amendment, but current research indicates things have only become much, much worse. School systems routinely find ways to subvert the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, sometimes under a thin guise of legality, at other times illegally. Child Abuse in the Classroomis obviously a bit dated in terms of its content, but the problems the multiple testimonies illuminate have not disappeared.
This is the kind of book concerned people should hand out on street corners, an activity that would likely amount to revolutionary activity of some kind. The public school system has long disregarded the authority of parents and raised children how it pleases, creating numbed, dumb citizens that the government can manipulate at will. If you think things are okay, not as bad as all that, read Child Abuse in the Classroomand then reevaluate what you actually know. Every American who cares about the future of freedom needs to read this book.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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