Monday, March 17, 2008

Oklahoma! When Just Being Stupid Isn't Good Enough

We've previously regaled our reader(s) with tales of our educorporate upbringing under the benevolent care of the Christian Brothers. We suppose, in the interests of full disclosure, we should add that the Bro's were assisted by a highly trained and capable cadre' of nuns. We think they were the Order of Sisters of Perpetual Detention or something. Our memory is somewhat cloudy.

Anyway, we tell you this by way of establishing our credentials as survivors of of an educational experience that was, one might truthfully say, tinged with religious overtones. But even though our classrooms each contained a rendering of Caucasian Jesus and his mom looking down on us and even though despite the Herculean efforts of our Latin teachers, the only thing we learned was how to swear (A unannounced quiz? Hui Excrementum!) it never occurred to us to claim that studying chemistry violated our religious beliefs.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives Education Committee has just approved House Bill 2211. The bill is expected to pass the full House, and then to go to the Senate. The bill requires public schools to guarantee students the right to express their religious viewpoints in a public forum, in class, in homework and in other ways without being penalized. If a student’s religious beliefs were in conflict with scientific theory, and the student chose to express those beliefs rather than explain the theory in response to an exam question, the student’s incorrect response would be deemed satisfactory.

Man, talk about a get out of homework free card.

Even simple, factual information such as the age of the earth (4.65 billion years) would be subject to the student’s belief, and if the student answered 6,000 years based on his or her religious belief, the school would have to credit it as correct.

Where were these guys when we took algebra? We do recall saying "God only knows" a lot when asked for answers by our ninth grade algebra teacher, Mr. Constant. Now we find out we should have been given credit for referring his query to the almighty.

The consequence of the bill will be to create havoc and promote discord in the public schools.

Which is another positive outcome because it will take the pressure off of students to create havoc and promote discord.

What administrators fear as the law is implemented is a barrage of lawsuits.

Suing teachers for making students read textbooks. Brilliant! And much easier than trying to explain the effect of the westward movement of pioneers on the indigenous Indian population by summarizing several episodes of F Troop like we had to do.

Kids. They got it easy today, don't they?


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