I wish to thank T. Elijah Hawkes for his commentary on school safety (Jan. 3). He is trying to address a very difficult issue. However, I have to disagree with his basic premise that “public schools ... make us safer.” I think a reasonable argument could be made that today the opposite is true. Our schools are not allowed to teach that absolute truth and accompanying moral obligations exist. When they did teach those ideas in the past, they provided us with a common understanding and helped to make our society safer and more civil. However, the trend in the last 60 years has been to enforce a secular humanist education in public schools. This philosophy holds that there is no higher power to which we are responsible and which will hold us accountable. When followed to its logical conclusion, eventually all that remains are our individual subjective values. No value is right or wrong, and we cannot judge anyone. Our society appears to be at that point.
Having reached that point, the question is who has the power to enforce their values. Power becomes the only decision-making tool. That has happened throughout our society. We no longer respect the other person as a person; their value is based on their utility to us. When they oppose us, everything is focused on defeating them and imposing our values. This has made for a dangerous and combative society, not a safe one. The public schools have been the major tool to bring our society to accept the secular humanist worldview. This worldview has brought pain and turmoil to our society. We are less civil and less safe, and public schools are a significant factor.
Gesualdo C. Schneider
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