"THIS SAYS IT ALL"!
A CALIFORNIA PRINCIPAL'S OPENING
MESSAGE TO STUDENTS
From: Dennis Prager, principal at a high school
in Redding, California (located about 70 miles north of Chico)
on the first day of classes in 2010:
To the students and faculty of our high school:
I am your new principal, and honored to be so.
There is no greater calling than to teach young people.
I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our
I am making these changes because I am
convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public
education in America have worked against you,
against your teachers, against your parents,
and against our country.
Therefore: First, this school will no
longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if
your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow, or
white. I could not care less if your origins
are African, Latin American, Asian, or European, or if
your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or
on slave ships.
The only identity I care about, the only one
this school will recognize, is your individual identity --
your character, your scholarship, your
humanity. And the only national identity this
school will care about is American. This is an American
public school, and American public schools
were created to make better Americans.
If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial, or
religious identity through your school, you will have to go
elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-, race-
celebrations. They undermine the motto of America , one of
its three central values -- E Pluribus Unum -- "from many, one."
And this school will be guided by
America 's values. That includes all after-school
clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students
based on any identities. This includes race,
language, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever else may
become in vogue in a society divided by
Your clubs will be based on interests and
passions -- not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically
defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate
narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with
the self -- while the purpose of education is to get you to
think beyond yourself. So, we will have
clubs that transport you to the wonders and
glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not
already speak, math, carpentry, and more. If the
only extracurricular activities you can
imagine being interested in are those based on ethnic or
racial or sexual identity, that means that little
outside of yourself really interests you.
Second, I am not interested in whether or not
English is your native language. My only interest in terms
of language is that you leave this school
speaking and writing English as fluently as
possible. The English language has united America 's
citizens for more than 200 years, and it will unite
us at this school.
It is one of the indispensable reasons this
country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And
if you leave this school without excellent
English-language skills, I will have been
remiss in my duty to ensure that you are prepared to compete
successfully in the American job market. We
will learn? other languages here -- it is
deplorable that most Americans only speak English . But if
you want classes taught in your native language
rather than in English, this is not your school.
Third, because I regard learning as a sacred
endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning's
elevated status. This means, among other
things, that you and your teachers will dress
accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally
for a meal at a nice restaurant than they
do for church or school. Those people have
their priorities backwards. Therefore, there will be a
formal dress code at this school.
Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated
anywhere on this school's property -- whether in class, in
the hallways or at athletic events. If you
can't speak without using the "F-word," you can't speak.
By obscene language I mean the words banned by
the Federal Communications Commission plus
epithets such as the "N-word," even
when used by one black student to address another, or
"bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend.
It is my intent that by the time you leave
this school, you will be among the few of your age to
distinguish instinctively between the elevated and
the degraded, the holy and the obscene.
Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs.
In this school, self-esteem will be attained in only one way
-- the way people attained it until the state of California
decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning it.
One immediate consequence of this is that there will be only
one class valedictorian, not eight.
Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school
toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No
more time will be devoted to scaring you
about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you
about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters
will be devoted to condom-wearing and
teaching you to regard sexual relations as
only or primarily a health issue.. There will be no more
attempts to convince you that you are a victim
because you are not white, or not male,
or not heterosexual, or not Christian. We will have
failed, if any one of you graduates from this school
and does not consider himself or herself
inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an American.
Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge
of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
As many of you do not know the words, your
teachers will hand them out to you.
I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO SEND THIS TO ALL IN YOUR
ADDRESS BOOK PERHAPS SOME LONG OVERDUE CHANGES
COULD TAKE PLACE IN OUR SCHOOLS.
This sounds more like an urban legend or other internet hoax, but I like the wording of it just the same.....
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How many (what) Languages do you speak? Has it helped your life in a Major way?
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