Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Time to Teach Reading, Writing and Moral Values
Something stirred a few days ago in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas. It was the sound of parents and elected officials taking back some power and responsibility for the direction of children's minds and souls in the city's public schools.
After much debate, many drafts and not a little controversy, the Irving School Board passed "A Resolution Authorizing The Teaching Of Traditional Moral Values" throughout the district's 27 schools. The key word is "authorizing." There had been discussion about requiring that such values be taught, but board members feared this might open them to legal challenges.
Irving School Board President Joan Sears tells me the resolution fits in well with other attempts the board has made to bring physical and moral order to the public schools after a shooting incident at one high school last year showed that big-city problems can filter into smaller communities.
On the heels of earlier resolutions addressing safety and security issues in the schools, the board approved an abstinence-based HIV curriculum that bans the distribution of condoms and focuses on self-control, respecting others and personal responsibility for one's actions.
"This resolution allowing for the teaching of moral principles was an extension of those efforts and fits in well with the community values of the vast majority of the people of this community," said Sears.
Reading the final draft of the Irving resolution is encouraging, but it also shows how far schools and the nation have moved from what once was considered the vital foundational principles that established and maintained America through wars and economic hardships.
"(I)t is recognized that traditional moral values such as determining right from wrong, honesty, integrity, accountability, self-discipline, sexual abstinence, self-restraint, sincerity, loyalty, love of country and respect for and value of human life and property are common to all established societies, and are clearly reflective of Irving as a community. …