I would love to say that Internet polls are useless dreck. But unfortunately, they’re grim reminders of the saturation of ignorance – willful ignorance – in our society.
I ran across one today on a local news station’s web site. I was disturbed enough by the response options. This is a snapshot of my vote:
So you see my vote? Yes? Here’s the results:
Alright… so there’s only 5 votes. Let’s hope the distribution changes over time. 4 of the 5 people think that, “We have better things to spend our limited classroom time on?” Should we scrap other historic events like Pearl Harbor or the assassination of Franz Ferdinand? Those things precipitated America’s involvement in wars, but apparently there are more important things to discuss. Like intelligent design, maybe?
But that’s not all. The 5th person apparently thinks “[i]t’s too controversial or disturbing for the classroom.” Is this because of the rampant conspiracy theories? Or is it because we can’t have our children know about death and violence? News flash: history is full of painful, violent things. They aren’t pleasant to learn about, but they often happen as a result of ignorance (hmmm… like a plane crashing into a skyscraper because of close-mindedness to other religions and ideas). We teach history and current events in our classrooms so that history doesn’t repeat itself. So to spare our children from the pain of violence, we perpetuate ignorance so they can experience it firsthand.
Notice anything else? How about the 0.0% next to the other two options. Wait. Remember my vote? Why is it not being counted? I hope it’s not being lumped in with either of the other two. That would be worse that having it just be ignored. But let’s talk about this option – I want to qualify it. I believe 9/11 should be a part of current events taught in classrooms. I don’t necessarily believe it should be a large part. It deserves a place in the textbooks – for better or worse, 9/11 permeated our culture, our ideas and our beliefs. It is a piece of America’s fabric.
Of course the responses to this poll are limited. I am hopeful that there are some people with concern for today’s education that stop by and provide some sensible responses. Or at least that 12 News decides to fix their results-counting code…