Hip Pocket American History

American History

I never let things fester inside me. When I awake in the morning still agitated about something, writing helps.

In this case, it has to do with a family member, a student, who has been subjected in a classroom to daily political rhetoric. Having spent many years in the classroom, mostly in college, but five plus years in high school, I know how important it is to keep one’s political views outside of school, and to present both sides of any issue in a fair way. In fact, it is the only way to be honest with our kids and to preserve future generations. To me as a writer, violation of this rule is the same as banning books with which a government disagrees.

I pride myself in political independence, refusing to belong to any party. In my limited view, that would bind me to a party platform, some of which might run contrary to my personal ethics. I listen.

In any event, rather than become saddled with negativity, I choose to recognize that I have first-hand knowledge of the fact that our education system is severely wanting, partly because our children have absolutely no idea about what came before them or where we are headed.

Even our textbooks have changed. Colonial revolutionaries we used to call Founding Fathers have been replaced by popular social figures from the last fifty years. I have no problem with placing these personalities into historical context, but I resent deleting patriots like Ben Franklin from history books for fear he might not be politically correct had he been living today.

From time to time, I publish little articles on factual happenings from the birth of the American Revolution based on my own historical research. It makes me feel better, since I know I am not one to brainwash a child in the name of political ideology.


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Comments

  1. I couldn't agree with you more, JJ. Kids should be presented both sides, not a teacher's or professor's slant on history and politics. Thank you for this post.

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    1. When they take advantage of children in that manner, they are not teachers.

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  2. This is such a thoughtful piece. I wish more people didn't try to push only their side of the political argument without trying to understand an opposite point of view.

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    1. Yes, it is a serious problem in our education system. Ironically, it is not permitted in any school district I know of, yet it is common practice in high schools. In colleges, with exceptions, it is rampant.

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  3. I agree. Understanding the entire situation enables a person learn both sides....so important.

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    1. That's the way we learned, and I believe our children have the same right.

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  4. When the textbooks are being rewritten so that school children are not being taught about the American Revolution, that history is essentially being presented across the board the way that "someone" wants it learned... well that isn't an accident. If it were happening in one school district, one state, that would be one group trying to twist it around their way. If it is so rampant that it has taken over... that is a campaign to change the way that kids learn, to determine what they learn. And that always happens for a reason. It isn't an accident.

    Keep writing your blogs. Keep reminding these adults, so that we can remind the kids whose lives we touch. The information is out there. And you are right, the kids of this generation have the right to know how this nation became free. Having the right and getting the information do not necessarily mean the same thing. Unfortunately. However, it isn't for lack of trying!!!!

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    1. Exactly! I certainly do not suggest that children be steered toward a particular political ideology. They should be given the opportunity to discover the truth on their own.

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  5. Same with adults. Slanted, one sided, heavily weighted views, rather than reports, are why I hate televised news programs and newspapers. You've got to be kidding about info about Ben Franklin and the rest being colored according to political interests in educational systems as well. Disgusting.

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    1. Anything that impedes the efforts of children to learn about those who came before us is disgusting.

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  6. We certainly could use more teachers like you, JJ, out here in liberal land. The fact that I KNOW I had only one conservative teacher in my whole public school experience is just wrong. I shouldn't know that. And it definitely affects who goes into what field. Teachers who refuse to indoctrinate the kids are few and far between and often ostracized out here on the left coast.
    I considered journalism when I got to college and then realized I'd be eaten alive. I'd had enough abuse in my life by that time- so, no journalism for me. It is just so wrong to keep ideas out of the market place by isolating certain careers to only be done by certain people, whatever the ideological bend. It sets everybody up to be pigeonholed and makes for unnecessary divisions among people. And leaves us missing out on some really big ideas!

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    1. Neither political party's ideologies should be forced upon our children in a classroom. Classrooms are havens for young minds to explore and learn for themselves.

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Other Works by JJ Botta

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