Right now, there is a battle going on between government teachers who think they should decide what children should be taught in schools. But kids do not belong to the government, and only families can make this decision.
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Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Emma.
Emma: Hi, Brittany.
Brittany: So, right now in this country, there is a huge debate surging about who controls public education, specifically who gets to decide what is taught in public schools. Now, this is always kind of funny to me because we are the public, right? We are public is supposed to work for the individuals. Now, that doesn’t really happen anymore or ever, but that’s supposed to be how it is. But there are a lot of things. The reason is happening is there’s a lot of things being taught in schools right now that a lot of parents are not okay with. So, we are huge supporters of the founding of this country, right? We might not believe in everything the founders got, something’s wrong, they didn’t get everything right. But overall, even if they weren’t great people in their personal lives, always, and you know, who among us is perfect all the time, they laid a great foundation for what was called a more perfect union. Meaning it wasn’t perfect, but it was more perfect, you know, former government than had existed before. Yeah. Even with its faults. So, but now we’re not only being taught our kids aren’t only being taught that all these men were bad or they were racist, cuz many did have slaves, as many people did at that time. We’re also being taught that anyone, you know, with the same skin color as the founder, should be blamed for any bad things they did. And Emma, you know, imagine being mad, me being mad at you for something, your great great great great great grandfather did. That would be pretty silly, right?
Emma: Yes, it would. I mean, there’s a chance that my great ancestors would’ve fought against yours in the Civil War. I mean, it’s entirely possible. I’m not sure what your family lineage is, but mine is, mine is Southern and a lot of my ancestors probably fought in the Civil War. And I actually side note, I am a distant relative of Aaron Burrs. So if you’re a supporter, you’re
Brittany: You’re a Hamilton fan.
Emma: Absolutely. So, my grandma’s maiden name was actually Burr. So kind of an interesting little aside there. Oh, that’s fun. Yeah. But if we were to only follow in the sort of the battle lines of what our ancestors had sort of their conflicts and their wars, we would be in a pretty terrible place because we would be unable to make friends with people who, you know, they’re lineage was on a different side than ours. And that would be really unfortunate. And, you know, it is unfortunate that that’s sort of where we’re going right now, where there’s this idea that if your ancestors did something bad, you are somehow guilty for it. And, you know, there’s a conversation to be had about, hey, if there’s a power structure in our country where like the justice system this is a real problem in the justice system. You know, it wasn’t very long ago that black people couldn’t vote. And that’s a big problem and that probably sets some people back. But the answer to that is not saying, well, everyone now who’s white is guilty. The answer should be, we need to make sure that opportunity is open for everyone regardless of skin color. But I, it seems like a lot of people would rather just focus on the past and just focus on pointing the finger and blaming people who aren’t even alive anymore and instead blaming their great-grandchildren and all of that. So, it’s a pretty silly way to try to fix problems that could be real. Is just like obsessing over the past and trying to paint everyone as, as these horrible people.
Brittany: I completely agree. So we both got on a little side tangent cause I know you guys, we are both very passionate about this, but, so this is exactly what’s been happening. And thankfully, you know, more parents are fighting back and telling school boards and teacher’s unions that parents should have more control in the classrooms. And, you know, the teachers don’t like this.
Emma: Yeah, they don’t at all. And it reminds me of when COVID first started and teachers were trying to make rules that said parents couldn’t listen in on Zoom classroom sessions, which is just really ridiculous because they’re probably in the same room as their kid who’s not allowed to go to school, you know, at the kitchen table with the laptop. So for a parent to not listen would actually be kind of challenging if they were in the home. But parents have never had the chance to be in their classroom with the kids before. And then the classrooms went remote and they were now able to hear what was being said. And what do you know? The parents found out that they did not like what their kids were learning. And instead of listening to the parents listening to that feedback, because ultimately parents are teachers, bosses, and especially in public schools, but the teachers, rather than listening, they decided to strike back. And teachers and teacher’s unions decided that it was their place and their role to decide what kids learn and what they don’t learn. And that was another huge issue that even came up in an election recently. And turns out a lot of people are pretty fired up about this.
Brittany: No, you’re absolutely, absolutely right. And you know, the debate has gotten so heated on the local level that parents have been removed from school board meetings where they vocalize their views against certain things being taught in schools. And some parents, there was a lady she had to resign, I can’t, I think it was Virginia or West Virginia, she called these parents domestic terrorists. So we all know, you know what a terrorist is, we’ve talked about this before, A domestic terrorist is like a terrace on our own soil, an American terrace. And they’re saying these teachers are, or these parents are domestic terrorists, and some even called them racist. So one teacher was even caught in camera in Utah telling kids that their parents were wrong about politics, that they shouldn’t listen to their parents. And that teacher was fired shortly after it got around because somebody, you know, recorded it. brave kid recorded it. Yeah. But these aren’t the only examples. You know, all over the country, 200 people are debating over who has the right to teach. You know, our kids, you, you guys out there Yeah. Who wasn’t homeschooled. So the former Virginia governor, and that’s where I live, and he did not win. So we’re happy about that. Terry McCullough, it’s sad that parents shouldn’t be involved in their children’s education. He flat-out said that, and he thought he was being like a hero of public schooling. And the teacher’s unions and other people have argued that parents don’t know what’s best for their kids. And these people are saying that government knows better for their kids. And let’s pause for a minute, from education, and say, you know, Emma, can you remind us about the episode of the food pyramid? And I promise all gonna circle back to each other.
Emma: Yes. The food pyramid is a total scam. It is not reflective of what’s actually good for our health. In the sixties, basically, a bunch of scientists decided that eating grains and eating these refined foods was good for us. And that eating meat and dairy was not good. And, they basically promoted a diet that’s packed with sugar and all these refined foods that are, that are seriously damaging to our bodies. When you make that the main part of your diet, you know, a little here or there is not gonna kill you, but when that is literally the base of your food pyramid, that’s a big problem. And a big reason why that actually happened was because, there were a lot of like, backdoor deals with these huge, agricultural lobbies, which are basically groups that represent, certain farmers. There’s subsidies that go into certain foods that are in the pyramid. It is a crazy corrupt thing. And we will actually link to that episode in the show notes here because it’s very complicated, and I’m not gonna do it justice in this one answer, but a big part of what happened was the food pyramid started to be promoted in schools. And if you go to public school, there is a good chance that there’s a food pyramid hanging up somewhere in your hallways. I remember them at mine, we actually did a whole unit in my quote-unquote health class about the food pyramid. And I remember having to learn it and thinking, this is not how my family eats like this seems like a strange way to live your life. But that was what we all had to, you know, try to follow and that that’s just one more crazy thing that is brought into schools that is totally, disconnected from reality.
Brittany: Yeah. And the reason I bring this up is the same people who promoted that, which we know is bad now, and it’s caused a lot of bad things for health-wise. They’re the same ones saying they know what to teach your kids that they know better than parents do. So it’s absolutely silly. That’s why I bring that up because I think that just shows that these people are not qualified. It’s absolutely silly.
Emma: Yeah. Especially when it’s coming to from the central federal government, which is where a lot of curriculum comes from for public schools. This is a small aside, but the Department of Education gives schools money to promote things like the food pyramid. So that’s its own whole corruption thing. And we’ve talked about the Department of Education before, but recently a reporter from NBC, which is a huge news outlet, wrote a whole piece about how parents aren’t qualified to decide what children learn in schools, which you, we’ll get into this, but this reporter isn’t a teacher either, but she, seems like, she thinks she knows what’s better for you more than your mom or dad does. Which, you know, that’s pretty ridiculous. But it isn’t all bad news because this government control over what kids learn in school has been brewing for a long time. It’s been happening for a long time and a lot of people didn’t even really realize how bad it was and stuff like this, it helps people realize what’s going on and it wakes them up and gets them fired up and pushing back, which that is the silver lining here. If people start to realize how bad it is, we can actually fix it, which is a huge, as we say, white pill, it makes you feel a lot better about how things are going. So that is the good news here.
Brittany: So I think you’re right. You know, the parents have started to fight back, and you alluded to this earlier, but many are hinted at this earlier, many political candidates lost their election, specifically Terry McCullough in Virginia, because this was such an important issue. In fact, people were, his poll numbers began to plummet as soon as he said the thing about parents not being able or shouldn’t have a role in their kids’ education. So this is huge, right? People are waking up and they’re saying this is bad. And not only that, as we saw during COVID, and maybe this has a lot to do with seeing what they were saying in Zoom classes, people are taking their children out of public schools.
Emma: Yeah, exactly. And there’s a good reason too. The fact is parents are only the only people who should be deciding what their kids learn. And the fact that there are politicians trying to say otherwise, they’re just showing their true colors. And it’s about time because now people can finally wake up to what’s been going on.
Brittany: Exactly. And I mean, you’re absolutely correct and teachers shouldn’t be pushing their own agendas. That’s what really gets me. And let’s be honest, we all have our own agendas. Right. You know? Yes. You and I, Emma, we believe in freedom and it’s probably, probably really hard for us, and I know this cause I was a teacher, to not push those views on other students. But the thing is if you teach kids how to critically think, I think they will arrive at those conclusions. Yes. Naturally, because they’ll see that. So when I was a teacher, that was my whole goal. You know, we’ve said a lot on the show teaching children how to think, not what to think. And I use the Socratic method. So instead of saying, you know, back in the day the government did this and asking the kids like, what, you know, what do you think they did? I would say, you know, why do you believe this? You know, what do you think about this thing? I just taught you? How do you know this is true? Why do you and you push them? And that’s how they really formulate these ideas. So I asked questions instead of pushed answers. And teachers who try to push things on their students are really not doing their job. We talked about this with John Taylor Gatto, that great teacher who left his post and was an, you know, advocate for unschooling after, because for 25 years he was in a classroom that wasn’t teaching children how to think. And he realized that and he ended up being, you know, in my opinion, one of the most important people in modern education.
Emma: Yes, exactly. And if you’re not aware of this already, our book, the Tuttle Twins in the Education Vacation is actually based on John Taylor Gatto’s writings and his theories on school and what school actually does to kids, and how the public school system is designed. And Brittany, you brought up an interesting point here about teachers and how good teachers like John Taylor Gatto, like Brittany, are actually sort, can be forced sometimes to try to teach kids things that the teachers themselves don’t even believe. Yep. That the teachers may think is false. And that’s one thing that the public school system does, is it’s not only the students that are forced to all behave the same way and to all try to think in this, not even think they’re just told what to think. The teachers are also forced into that. And it’s unfair to them as well where, you know, I’m sure there are many of teachers out there. My grandpa was a teacher in the public school system and he was a very good teacher, but he constantly talked about how he wished that he could teach his kids a better curriculum but his hands were tied and he could only do so much because the public school system would punish teachers who stepped out of line in their eyes and who dared to teach kids how to think rather than what to think. And there may be certain public schools that are more tolerant than others to that sort of thing. But the fact is, with our current system, if you’re stuck in a bad school, a lot of times you don’t have a school choice. You don’t have the ability to go to another school that meets your needs better. And the teachers a lot of times too are just locked into this horrible system that doesn’t allow them to actually teach what they know is true. So that’s the last closing thought I’ll leave us with here, is even good teachers a lot of times have their hands tied and they are unable to even teach, you know, kids how to think and teach them critical thinking skills and things that are important in life. They’re forced to enforce these stupid rules that a lot of times can be traced all the way to DC and the Department of Education. So we’re asking the question today, who decides what we learn in public schools. A lot of times it is far away distant bureaucrats who don’t actually care about us and who more importantly do not know us. So that’s where we’re gonna leave it today. Brittany, do you have anything else you wanna to throw?
Brittany: No, I think that’s absolutely right. and just to remind people that it should be the parents, right? Yeah. That, you know, the government is who’s controlling it, but that’s not right. The parents should control.
Emma: Exactly the taxpayers and the people who have skin in the game, AKA, their children. So we’re gonna wrap it up here. Thank you for listening guys, and we will talk to you all again soon.
Brittany: Talk to you soon.
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