I, as a student with a strong belief that our education shapes our lives, ideals and the way we view our peers and equals, am completely appalled with the recent education feud in Tucson, Arizona.
Somehow, our learning process has become embroiled with deeply biased political catastrophes led by greed mongering corporate monsters who are using education as a pawn in the game of scheming personal agenda. Throwing schools and school programs away and never looking back as though we are, but a small sacrifice. A mistake of preposterous proportions because they forget that education is a key player, tied into almost every modern day issue.
In order to understand the magnitude education has on our populous ability to cohesively live in harmony and appropriately uphold society’s modern set of morals we have to ask ourselves, “What would the world look like if everyone had a fair and free chance at an education that is suited for them?”
What if instead of spending trillions of dollars on wars in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, we spent it on an education system that was independently based?
We threw away badly labeled behavior boxes and instead focused on the student, finding away to still teach them the necessary basics, but tailor fit it so school was perfect for each person. We put more teachers in each classroom and gave them a pay raise, an incentive to do well at their job instead of herding students like cattle. We began to fund classes that are artistically enjoyable and challenged both the scholar and artist in every student, allowing them to learn and create at the same time. Imagine what that would do to our high school drop out rates? Our college graduation rates? Especially imagine what that would do to our poverty and crime rates?
Arizona’s recent decision to ban books with a core theme of culture and discontinue their ethnic studies group proves what education is becoming. A manic way to introduce culture sterility, globalization at its finest, and a dangerously egotistical outlook on populations of the earth. This is school without knowledge of the beautiful diversity of humanity our planet holds. An ignorant nation that truly believes they are the supreme race internationally. A nation that breeds judgement, fear and hatred. Basically the same people who raced around the globe in the early 17th and 18th century raping, pillaging and exploiting natives of the areas they conquered for personal gain. The same people who captured thousands of human beings in the African coast and enslaved them for hundreds of years. The same people who sent millions of innocent women, men and children to concentration camps and their untimely death all because their faith and beliefs differed slightly from the “acceptable”.
Is this really the future generation we want to entrust our fragile planet to? A generation that knows nothing of the people around them? The censorship of knowledge, especially within our education, could have dire, unseen consequences on our future. It could mean the difference between a world embroiled constantly in politically aggressive turbidity or a world where people learn to harmoniously prosper. A world where the majority of countries decide to lay down their personal agendas and work together for the good of us all. We need to look over our priorities NOW, because every new policy, every new ban of books, is like a ripple in our future, and who knows what the outcome will hold for us.
Kalila Bohsali is a 16 year old student who believes in independent, project based education and learning through creativity. She hopes to one day be an environmental lawyer but for now is excited to be participating in S.A.L.T. (Student Activist Leadership Team) and Occupy High at Vista Grande High School in Taos, NM.
This is Kalila Bohsali’s second post at the Cooperative Catalyst. Her first post, Occupy High: A Protest of Education Funding Cuts, was published February 16, 2012.