Let students read real literature
To the Editor:
Once again humanistic thinking and intolerance have reared their ugly
heads in the public school system. Using "The Chocolate War" to stimulate
thinking and discussion reveals not only an author with an inadequate vocabulary,
but the equally inadequate literary knowledge possessed by the school board.
The use of profanity in literature is widespread. However, this does
not eliminate the books available which would be far more appropriate for
children who are still under the legal and moral authority of their parents.
Educators continue their struggle to teach in the classroom. They
are often verbally attacked with the very language used in this book.
Parents who are striving to maintain moral integrity in their children's
lives, including how they express themselves through language, are not
being helped when a book containing profanity is introduced under the deceptively
lofty catch phrase of "literary merit."
The school board says it desires to challenge the students with the
concept and ultimate price of nonconformity. Why not choose a book
called 'The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom? Alas, this will probably
never come to pass, despite their supposedly lofty literary intentions.
I can almost see the giant "rejection" stamp being wielded in their hands.
Why? The book is about a family's obedience to God (not bowing to
the government), their love for their savior, Jesus Christ, and how the
Ten Boom family (which did not consist of two fathers or significant others)
risked their lives to hide Jews from their Nazi persecutors in Holland
during World War II.
The "Hiding Place" is a story of courage. It is one thing to
make choices, it is another matter entirely when nonconformity to the government
costs you your life, or the lives of the ones you hold dear. This
is a true story of unselfish, sacrificial love, and one worthy to pass
on to our children. It is a rich historical journey, and even the
Powers that be in Washington, D.C., felt Miss Ten Boom's contribution was
so significant that her name has a place of honor in the National Holocaust
Museum. There is also a Ten Boom street in Hilversum (a city in Holland/Netherlands)
honoring Miss Ten Boom's nephew, who as a young man bravely helped many
Jews to safety. His nonconformity cost him his life in a concentration
There is no room in the public schools for literature of this caliber
because not only would it regally overshadow the trash being read now,
it would challenge the students and the educators to evaluate their own
moral courage. It would stimulate discussion of spiritual matters,
the steadfastness of God's word and the people who uncompromisingly strive
to obey him even in the face of humiliation and death.
The public school system has shown contempt and intolerance towards
all these things, and that is one of the reasons so many parents choose
to educate their children at home. Strong moral character is not
negotiable. I pity the system that has shown a blatant disregard
for parental authority and decency. Offending their creator with
the propagation of profane language may seem of little consequence, now.
Refusing to acknowledge parents' authority is just another step towards
the indoctrination of our children to be politically correct without concern
for their bankrupt morality. Of course this can all be chalked up
to nonconformity to God's word, but I'm sure the school board wouldn't
want to touch that with a 10-foot pole.
JOYCE A. MEYERS