Talk is good.

Daniel and Jessica bring up important points. For me, they are points regarding the issue of free speech in the public arena. I want to continue their thoughts and touch on the broader issue at hand which is, the desire to extinguish open dialogue on subject matter deemed “controversial”.

I would put forth that controversy is born in the absence of dialogue rather than the presence of dialogue. I would further say the absence of dialogue and objective discussion is the father of misinformation and the generator of ignorance and fear. The doors of discussion are closed far to early in our country.

The decision by the White County School Board is, in itself, a failure of academia. This infusion of politics, individual religious views, insecurity, fear, and subjective thought inside the halls of learning are all failures of what education is about in the first place: discovery. You can’t discover anything of value in this world without some form of objectivity, research, discussion, cohesive involvement and work. In this issue, it’s lots of work by the students, the teachers and the parents together.

When a school system reacts in this way, can you ever really trust the validity of anything taught inside the classrooms? History, Science, Math, Political Science… even Religious studies – where does true begin? The first and foremost point to instill in the minds of students, anywhere on the planet, is to seek out reality. To do that, start with paragraph two above.

To “teach” children, by this example, that dialogue is bad except when it’s something adults want to hear is insane. How could anyone want their children to take that lesson along with them for the rest of their lives? That lesson will enter into many other areas of life. Years from now, when they are in the boardroom of their office, will they whisper to their coworker, “let’s not discuss anything the boss doesn’t want to hear, we don’t want any controversy”? I hope not.

Both the school board’s reaction and the parent’s reactions are excellent examples of… yes, paragraph number two.

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