Thursday, August 1, 2013

A principal with principles.........or not?


Dennis Prager writes: Several years ago, I wrote a version of this column. Because it went viral — often listing me as the high school principal who actually gave this speech! — I am revising it and publishing it here. I believe that if every school principal gave this speech, America would be a better place:

To the students and faculty of our high school:
I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.  I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. 

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if you are black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, European, Latin American or Asian, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships.
The only identity this school will recognize is your individual identity — your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will recognize is American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.
If you wish to affirm here an ethnic or racial identity — or a national identity other than American — you will have to attend another school. This includes after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism — an unhealthy preoccupation with the self — while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself.
Your clubs will be based on interests and passions — clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interesting in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America’s citizens for over 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without excellent English-language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete in the job market. We will learn other languages here — it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English — but if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning’s elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. There will be a formal dress code at this school. And you will address all teachers by their title, not by their first name. They are your teachers, not your buddies.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school’s property. If you can’t speak without using the f-word, you can’t speak. By obscene language, I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission, plus epithets such as the b-word, even when addressed by one girl to another, or the n-word, even when used by one black to another. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way — the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago — by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to tobacco, caffeine, sexual harassment or global warming. No more classes will be devoted to condom-wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as primarily a health issue.
And there will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white or male or heterosexual or Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates from this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky — to be alive and to be an American.

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.

Z:  He honors individualism, acknowledges English as the language spoken in America, esteems education, doesn't like vulgarity, thinks self esteem should be earned, doesn't agree with indoctrination, thinks we're lucky to be Americans AND expects students to know and say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Some will find him hateful, right?

Do you?  Which subject bugs you?   If you agree with Prager, which particularly resonates with you?   

 Z

26 comments:

Constitutional Insurgent said...

I wholeheartedly agree with what Prager wrote. Though I'm not terribly supportive of what I consider to be rote rectitations, like the pledge.......school should absolutely be the field for sowing and growing individual accountability....and not a theoretical laboratory "social justice".

sue hanes said...


Z - Sounds good to me. He comes across as a no nonsense man who is there to do a job - and not fool around with it.

Silverfiddle said...

The man is obviously a racist and a jingoistic neo-con flag waver.

...but seriously, that's exactly what our schools need. Unfortunately, the NEA crime syndicate that has the Department of Education and our schools system by the goodies has no interest in any of that.

Why has our country gone off the rails? Look no further than our public school system.

Ducky's here said...

Wonder why the location of this indoctrination center wasn't noted.

WomanHonorThyself said...

long time no see Z..miss ya girl! this is spot on !

Z said...

Const. Insurg...so true.

Sue...since you're on the Left, which would you disagree with, because I'm thinking some of these will be dismissed as stifling, not politically correct, etc., by leftwingers.

SF...just listen to a sampling of young people who don't know any of our politicians, aren't learning the constitution, swear in public, etc etc...oh, and would find it unfair to demand illegals in this country speak English.

Ducky..good smokescreen. Easier to question the location than comment on the piece, I guess.

WHT...I keep forgetting you're back in business. I'm so sorry for not coming by more often.
Glad you're here! :-)

Silverfiddle said...

Z; Reminds me of the ESL in public schools battle years ago.

Most Hispanic parents were against teaching their kids in Spanish, rightly recognizing that it was ghettoizing them, which is what guilty white progressives are good at.

Ducky's here said...

z, people should be free to choose and if they wish to support a martinet who wrings every last shred of individualism or dissent then so be it. We have an ample supply.

That said, I wonder if the statement is true and that could be confirmed with a little information about the school.

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: You comments shows just how upside down you and your fellow leftists are.

"...martinet who wrings every last shred of individualism or dissent then so be it. We have an ample supply."

You just described the politically correct progressive thought police stationed on every street corner of our education system.

Just try to deviate from any of the leftwing orthodoxy on homosexuality, religion, morality, race, immigration, climate change, or any of the other sacrosant lefwing dogman.

Original thought? The dogmatic, doctrinaire leftwing hasn't had an original thought in decades.

You are the very epitome of groupthink, perfectly captured in the eerie group echoes practiced by the grubby red commies seen in the OWS protests.

Radical Redneck said...

Ducky takes a huge drink of the Koolaide!

Anonymous said...

FROM Z AT WORK:

Ducky...you mean free to be vulgar? Free not to say the pledge in school? Free not to learn English so one can better succeed in this country? Free to have open minds teach school?

Is that what you mean by FREE? How'd Prager's Principal remind you of a martinet?


SF: Good job.

Ed Bonderenka said...

As far as I can tell, this is a hypothetical principal at a hypothetical school.
Ducky, locating a hypothetical school is a fool's errand.

FreeThinke said...

Interesting that both you and Sam Huntington posted on Education today, Z. (Awfully glad to see you back by the way, but "ca va sans dire." ;-)

I liked Dennis's article a lot, and generally agree, but as a person who has always been intensely interested in the English language and devoted to its proper -- and colorful -- usage, I am unhappy to find even Dennis Prager scattering SPLIT INFINITIVES over an otherwise well-phrased text with lots of good content.

I scolded Ducky for praising a piece full of split infinitives at AOW's, so in the interests of fairness -- and the said eagerness to promote better English usage -- I feel I must make the same point here.

To willfully, egregiously, unabashedly, defiantly, rebelliously, arrogantly or ignorantly lard a speech, essay or formal statement of any kind with linguistic malfeasance of this kind does a great disservice to the conservative cause which is always to PRESERVE, PROTECT, DEFEND, and MAINTAIN whatever may be worthy in society.

FreeThinke said...

"Why has our country gone off the rails? Look no further than our public school system."

Sorry to disagree, Kurt, but it goes much much deeper than that. The blames lies squarely at the feet of THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL.

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

Ducky, I deleted your ridiculous, nasty comment and my very long response to it. It's just not worth it.

You don't pay attention, you're getting hackneyed in your responses, and your hate doesn't fly here anymore.

Decency is beyond you...fairness is beyond you...equality is totally beyond you. pitiful.

Kid said...

Kids should absolutely start out maximum patriotic, then let them apply more complex thought later on.

Otherwise they are blowing in the wind and more easily taken to a non-American place.

Kid said...

Duck is your typical self-absorbed slow thinker. Assumes everyone has his interests at heart, is as old as his is, is ready to view anything he is.

He's like those asshole redneck knuckle draggers who hang a rubber set of testicles from the trailer hitch of their Ford F-1-fitty and simply assume everyone appreciates it like they do. Or have some rude ass profane bumper sticker that they use to proudly display their rude ignorant adolescence to their local community.
Totally unaware that there might be young folks around in the car with their dad, saying Gee Dad, what is THAT ?
You know, typical rude ass slow thinkers.

Kid said...

Z, I haven't seen duck post a comment that has had a positive word or phrase in it for weeks upon weeks now.

He must be freaking out. Duck here is a suggestion. Go total Libertarian. Study man. Work hard at it. Go to a local Tea Party meeting and shake the hand of some very smart white and black folks who are maximum peaceful and non-racist.

It's the only ay my brother. Take the Plunge! Hey if it doesn't work out, you can always go back to being a media roboticized asshole - right?

Z said...

Kid, you are freakin' BRILLIANT. I haven't enjoyed 3 comments so much in MONTHS! :-)

Always On Watch said...

Something like the homeschool policy where I work.

Seriously. We do have a policy statement that encompasses much in the body of the post.

Z said...

AOW, one private Christian school nearby has prohibited FaceBook...it's an elementary school and they were fed up with the horrible stuff that was going on...
I'm so proud of their director.
That took big guts and all the parents were on his side! These are VERY upper class folks in a very expensive area... I was frankly surprised they went for the ban.

Always On Watch said...

Z,
Please read and watch THIS. An unintended consequence of social networking? Very possibly.

The administrators of my homeschool group have had serious talks with students and parents about the dangers of Facebook. Unfortunately, our warnings have fallen on deaf ears. So far.

beamish said...

Wouldn't be any problems with government run schools if there weren't any.

Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
I can't argue with THAT!