Of course parents should have significant input into school curriculum. But they should not make the final decisions. If that were to be the case, it would become a contest between the most extreme viewpoints. And that is what has been happening recently at local school board meetings – the extremists are trying to take charge.
If the libertarians won, we could have chaotic classrooms, where student attendance is voluntary, and everyone does pretty much whatever he/she wants. Inevitably, the bullies would rule, with the biggest, strongest, and meanest dominating the rest, including the teacher. We all do our own thing; nobody tells us what to do. Except the bullies.
If the extreme leftists won, we could have a sort of communist ambience, where no one owned private property; every pencil belongs to every kid. How things got divided up would be left to a vote of the students. In order to ensure equality, everyone would get the same grades, the same rewards, regardless of effort or actual accomplishment. Competition would be discouraged. Every student would feel good about himself/herself all the time. Books and other classroom resources would be heavily censored to “protect” students against “dangerous” viewpoints. Dissent would not be tolerated.
If the extreme right won, classrooms would be hierarchical, with white Christian male students being privileged. Racism, religious bigotry, homophobia, and sexism would be built into the curriculum. Competition would be encouraged, but the preferred white males would be given opportunities and advantages denied others. Books and other classroom resources would be heavily censored to “protect” students against “dangerous” viewpoints. Dissent would not be tolerated.
Serious, reasoned discussion concerning what should or should not be taught in our schools is a healthy thing. Fear-inspired motional rants are not. If what is taught is factual, verifiable, and skillfully presented by trained professionals, it should be taught, even if it makes some people uncomfortable.
As Shakespeare wrote, “Security is mortals’ chiefest enemy.” Always being comfortable and unchallenged is not a good thing.