A Law Student's Attempt to Understand It All.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Student Indoctrination

The nannyists now want to ban plastic bags from grocery stores and big box retailers. The Denver Post and Colorado Television Channel 2 are reporting the story of a new attempt at the state capitol. Those who are familiar with the enviro-fanaticism know this is nothing new from the greens. The bill would tax each bag used (six cents per bag) and split the revenue between the vendor and an “education” program to raise environmental awareness. The end goal is to eliminate the use of the bags within three years.

What is disturbing about this story is who came up with the current bill: Kent Denver High School students. Wait… scratch that. The idea was programmed into the heads of the students from a teacher. What has been lost in the text stories linked above is a quick statement from one of the students (at the press conference) that this bill was part of a class project.

Such political action is inappropriate within the school structure. Although Kent is an independent school, students in K-12 programs face laws of compulsory education meaning that they must attend and complete school. Even assuming for argument that Kent is within its powers to hold such programs (as an opt-in school), the use of class time for political action is still inappropriate for a teacher has power over the students.

This law is another example of political action in the class room For example, remember the letters mandated by teachers telling President Bush to ban torture? Some students are sending letters to the anointed one now to end the Iraq war. All are the results of a teacher indoctrinating the class.

The classroom is a place to learn math, science, history, philosophy, and the other tools needed to be an intelligent citizen able to participate in our republic. The classroom is not a church in which the teacher preaches her political philosophies in coercion for the students to adopt the same.

The bill will most likely fail. The grocery stores are too big and employ too many people for state to add a tax and eventual elimination of the bags. The law would add a high cost to the average grocery store order (six cents per bag adds up quickly) and start to annoy customers. Of course, as a state law, the clientele of the stores would have little recourse. The bill does carve out an exception for small retailers, but small retailers rarely adequately service customers for everyday items.

If the grocery stores choose to charge for the bags, that is fine. I will not buy from their stores. That is the free market. When the government chooses to charge for the bags, that is a tax and a restraint on freedom for the sake of a very small but loud interest group. When teachers make my children to be political operatives, that is indoctrination.