John and Ann Turner
Purpose of school is not to indoctrinate
Regarding recent news reports about school controversies, I am disappointed that our educators apparently have not taken advantage of the wonderful teaching opportunities posed by the issues of gun ownership rights and gun control, and promoting sexual abstinence for teens.
I would hope that our middle and high schools are teaching critical analysis of current events, research skills for learning the pros and cons of relevant arguments, the importance of framing an argument, which depends upon facts and not conjecture, and respectful listening to opposing views.
Have teachers directed students to read opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court on the right of students to express opinions (for example, wearing a black armband in opposition to the war in Vietnam), or to refuse to participate in certain ceremonies (such as refusing to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance)?
Sen. Manchin reasonably requested that citizens read his bill regarding guns, rather than simply accepting objections touted by the opinionated media. What a great time to teach students the civics lessons of how a bill becomes a law, how lobbyists influence legislation, and how to express personal opinions to our legislators!
The purpose of our schools is to educate, not to indoctrinate. Please, teach, don't preach!
Mary E. Stanley