Supreme Court precedent opposes Critical Race Theory in public schools
America started educating its young children officially in 1642, which was within one generation of surviving the famine and disease that killed most of the early colonists. The purpose of this education was to assure that children could read, write, and do basic sums within the context of a developing moral core. That concept lasted until the 1960s. Within public schools today, many of our children cannot read, write, or think, and are unfamiliar with what constitutes “right” and “wrong.” The Supreme Court paved the way for this.
The Court, as it does in all eras, exists in the culture of the times, although it is the one institution in the American system that is theoretically to remain outside the fires of current political thought and inside the vast libraries that house the Common Law of ages past and the empirical wisdom developed through representative bodies -- even colonial ones -- throughout our country’s lifetime. These are our few sacred, true scholars who are to fend off the uglier machinations of human corruption that forever pressure the justices to join the Legions of A Mediocre Mind.
In an odd twist, when the Supreme Court decided that traditional moral education was not the province of public educators, it may have laid the precedential foundation for arguing currently fashionable ideologies also are not the province of public educators.
Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance, 1787, a statute that Congress passed under our first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, deals with admitting territories as states. It tells us in its beautifully simple way what America’s foundations are:
Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
By 1962, most schools had a small ceremony to start the day that included the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. There were prayers at the beginning of football and basketball games, beseeching good sportsmanship; invocations and benedictions at graduation exercises, encouraging students to succeed and be happy; and separate baccalaureate services, imploring the Almighty to bless these particular persons.
A small group decided to challenge these traditions for violating the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Soon, Supreme Court decisions concluding that these references coerced students into accepting certain notions ending most invocations to a higher power in public school.
The Court in the post-1960s era relied heavily on an earlier case, West Virginia v. Barnette (1943), that said:
If there is any fixed star in our constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.
So, we have come full circle: Even though the Supreme Court majority once banned as coercion – public entities prescribing orthodox thought and forcing citizens to “act their faith herein” -- a minority of leftists are relentlessly advancing their ideology in public schools in the form of Critical Race Theory
The 1619 Project, an attempt to foist political views of historic inaccuracy on public school students, violates Constitutional principles the Supreme Court repeatedly stated in myriad cases. Critical Race Theory is not objective information. It is, instead, a theory or idea. It is, in fact, an attempt to coerce public school students to accept the notion that the Supreme Court is an institution that preserves white racism, both conscious and unconscious. It amounts to a political “religion” holding that the Rule of Law is simply a means to abuse people of color and that racism is endemic in American society and can never be eradicated. Any facts to the contrary are dismissed as part of the problem.
Two kids laughing and playing, unaware of race or anything else, are best understood not as two kids playing and laughing but as the early initiation of abuse and subjugation. No wonder many American parents have lost faith in public schools. Our public schools, which are government actors, are subject to the constraints of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which applies to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. They have lost touch with the fundamental reasons we started public schools in 1642 in the first place – objective education in reading, writing, grammar, math, and moral socialization.
The Supreme Court has spoken. No public school official can compel an impressionable child to accept a political theory deemed true by the school but dangerously false by the child or the parents or guardians of the child. If a case regarding Critical Race Theory or the 1619 Project finally gets to the Supreme Court, it will take years for a ruling to be issued. In that time, many children will have been indoctrinated to their detriment. The answer is to change your public school or to leave it altogether. Parents who do so will be honoring long-standing United States Supreme Court precedents and showing a great deal of love and devotion to their children.
M. E. Boyd’s Apples of Gold – Voices From the Past that Speak to Us Now is available at Amazon.com using the title and subtitle.
IMAGE: Children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Source unknown.
To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.