August 09, 2006

Cali law: No teaching of anything "negative"

The bastion of political correctness, California, has a "long-standing" law that prohibits "... the adoption of official teaching materials or the conducting of school activities that reflect adversely on people on the basis of race, religion, gender and so on."

In a move to get the Governator's signature on a proposed law, a "watered down" version of a bill "that would have required public school instructional materials to include the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people" was put forth. It would only disallow "negative portrayals" of gays, etc.

This "negative portrayal" bit got me thinking: Do they teach about American slavery in the state of California? If so, how are they permitted to do so? Wouldn't this portray white people "negatively"? And, if the history of such slavery is taught completely, wouldn't it then also portray black people "negatively" since Africans were complicit in the trans-Atlantic slave trade?

How about Native Americans like the Aztecs -- who enslaved, murdered (via human sacrifice) and cannibalized countless people in their civilization's history? Etc. etc. etc.?

Teaching must be pretty bland on that left coast, I'd say.

Posted by Felix at August 9, 2006 01:58 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

No, in Orwellian fashion, all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. I'll bet dollars to donuts that they're allowed to criticize Christians, Republicans, white people and, to a lesser extent, men.

Posted by: Duffy at August 9, 2006 03:26 PM

As with many state mandates, I have a feeling that this one exists more in the realm of politics than in the classrooms. I've certainly never been discouraged from teaching anything "negative", and I think it's ridiculous to assume that that's possible, for precisely the reasons you mentioned.

Posted by: La Maestra at August 16, 2006 10:28 AM

Wait till someone complains. The law will be brought up in the complaint, it'll be upheld, and all of California will again look like the fool.

Posted by: Darren at August 16, 2006 11:53 AM

I'm just wondering if there is any part of history that is interesting and cannot be construed as critical of some group of people. Perhaps California should simply eliminate history from their curriculum. While they're at it, they should also eliminate literature. After all, much of literature contains ideas that can be construed as critical. Wait, maybe California should simply eliminate critical thinking?

Andrew Pass

Posted by: Andrew Pass at August 16, 2006 02:51 PM