• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • ChasDarwinHasAPosse
  • Farm School: A Twitter-Free Zone

    antitwit
  • Copyright © 2005-2016 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

Truth, justice, and the American way, or, discouraging words and antelopes (in the Valley)

Thanks to J.L. Bell at Oz and Ends for an update on the library shenanigans at Vista San Gabriel Elementary School in California’s Antelope Valley, which I wrote about back in March (here, here, and here), when the school board approved the removal of 23 books from a list of books to consider purchasing for the school library. Now, as reported by The Antelope Daily News, board members have in fact come up with the guidelines they promised the other month, and from now on the books selected “cannot depict drinking alcohol, smoking, drugs, sex, including ‘negative sexuality,’ implied or explicit nudity, cursing, violent crime or weapons, gambling, foul humor and ‘dark content’.”

Furthermore, according to the policy itself: “In selected instances, an occasional inappropriate word may be deleted with white-out rather than rejecting the entire book.” Which makes me wonder whether board members also plan to go through various world history encyclopedias and art books to add discrete black magic marker bikinis and briefs (don’t laugh, I’ve encountered enough home educating parents who do just this). Or maybe those books just get chucked wholesale, too.

Other highlights of the new policy, according to the newspaper account:

  • Revisions included adding the words “socially appropriate” to one criteria [sic]. It now states books should have a ‘Fair balanced socially appropriate portrayal of people with regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex and disability.’ [Which doubtless has filtered down from the California textbook approval process], and,
  • all books must comply with a section of state education law, titled the “Hate Violence Prevention Act”, which states, “Each teacher shall endeavor to impress upon the minds of the pupils the principles of morality, truth, justice, patriotism, and a true comprehension of the rights, duties, and dignity of American citizenship, and the meaning of equality and human dignity, including the promotion of harmonious relations, kindness toward domestic pets and the humane treatment of living creatures, to teach them to avoid idleness, profanity, and falsehood, and to instruct them in manners and morals and the principles of a free government.”

So much for Tom, Huck, and human dignity. Rather takes all the joy out of books, reading, and school, doesn’t it? Which is just as well, I suppose, since the school board has effectively taken all the good books out of the library.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: