Good grief, Charlie Brown, what are they going to do to us next? Here I am, settling grumpily into the golden years and suddenly discovering that there are snakes slithering around looking for a really good chance to kill me! What a stupefying turn of events. I have, just a day or two ago it seems, stopped wanting to go back to my teaching career. Having been in school of one kind or another from the age of five, it became home of a kind. I have spent all but ten of my 75 years in school!
Plenty of things unpleasant have slithered past my feet during those years, and I am glad to say that many happy times always outweighed the bad. I have very little reason to complain or regret any of the places or people that have now become pretty well blended together in my memory bank. I have crossed Texas from North to South and East to West, having spent parts of my teaching work in one or another school in all five of the geographical regions of this great state. I have taught students who were my own age, even paddling one who was actually 19 during my first year of teaching (when I was almost 20). Some of my kids spoke German at home, later some spoke Spanish at home. I have never driven a school bus, but have ridden a million miles in them. I have mourned the loss of students, their family members, fellow teachers, and some my own family.
In all of this, the great State of Texas gave us a choice: Teacher Retirement paid into the state treasury, or Social Security, paid into the federal government. We voted for Teacher Retirement and it has mostly worked as it was meant to. The NEA attacked us more than once and we did not unionize but became a Right to Work state. I am coming to the crux of the matter, the point I am finding myself displeased with, but equally glad I do not have to fall into the newest trap that is opening its jaws in Texas. I loved my students, even when discipline had to be dealt out, and even-handed as well as memorable. I have been present when an 8th grader was taken away on a stretcher, and I was never told where he went, just mumbles about “LSD and a candy bar” from the FBI agent who later interviewed me. One senior died in the gym, playing basketball, which he had not been allowed to play because of his heart condition. On and on, these things including the current battle with poorly dressed students of both genders and morals no longer necessary.
Having said all of that, and having been truly fortunate in the 43 years that I got to be with young people all the time, I now find that I am in mourning for the school system that I love, and the snake in the grass image slithers across my mind, wearing a burka. There is a new experiment happening in a few of our schools that is not the official curriculum of the State Board of Education. It is an “opt in” system, to my horror allowed by the powers that be in Austin, in which the concept of Allah as the almighty God is being promoted and students are being proselytized to convert! As I gasped in shock just now, realizing what I had written, I gasped as well when I first read the article revealing this. That snake must be a subject of interest and deeper research than what I write, as it is clearly a threat to our schools statewide. Where it is being allowed and its use is not to be questioned, because oddly, no, not oddly, but as dealings with Islam is demanding, the curriculum is also being kept under tight wraps, meaning no questions are allowed from anyone, parent or judge, and no answers are available.
This curriculum plan must be treated as the snake in the class that it is, for it teaches Christian, non-Christian, atheist, whatever religious-leaning students who are in their grasp, that they must accept whatever the teacher offers as truth, and must have no questions. Snakes have only one message: take your eyes off me and I will surely bite you. Texas schools are in the bull’s eye, and a submissive and neutered public can easily become slave to the venom of this Muslim snake. Mowed grass reveals a clear path and snakes must slither out of the light. I now mourn for my beloved schools of Texas, which have been hypnotized, for snakes take other often-beautiful shapes, and can strike without warning.