- Man pleads guilty but mentally ill in 2013 murder
- Telephone, computer network outages at 22 Rockford schools
- Byron native selected as Sailor of the Year for Navy Band Southwest
- Illinois Tollway awards $337 million in contracts, sets budget
- 44 earn bachelor’s degrees at Saint Anthony College of Nursing
- Goodwill opens Donation Express site on Perryville
- Rock Valley College to manage TechWorks program
- University of Illinois at Chicago names chancellor
- Salvation Army to distribute food, toys to nearly 2,000 families
- American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act signed into law
Guest Column: The right of an education
By Gregory John Campbell
The right of an education is garnered upon the privilege of our behavior, not color or
This right is not a carte blanche permission to do or tolerate anything.
The character exhibited by the individuals involved determines if they should continue the privilege an education offers. If they violate the ordinary standards of common courtesy, decency, and civility—no matter what the cause or circumstances—they forfeit their right and privilege to that education. Why? Because everyone knows the difference between harming themselves, versus harming another or others.
Without a firm standard of accountable behavior in the classroom, there can be no effective learning. If a negative minority wishes to impose its will on the majority good, that majority should not be singled out for sympathy or empathy to that minority interest. The past in whatever form is no excuse for present inappropriate behavior.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. If one wishes to interfere or interrupt the present, because of the past, he or she repeats the same error; nothing is new or changed. Race,
or funding cannot be used to establish or disrupt the classroom or to interrupt learning. For if they are allowed to do so, then race,
and funding—not learning—will replace the classroom, the individual and practical principles of truth and character. For if we won’t determine what is right and wrong in this situation, chaos will rule and education will end, because the right of the majority to learn within a parameter of acceptable standards must remain paramount over any insolent minority, no matter what the cause or past circumstances.
If one chooses to not adopt commonsense standards of behavior in a bus or classroom, it is no one else’s fault. Let them go elsewhere to learn, because it is not the role of education to raise children; only to educate them. Raising children is the business of parents; it is not the business of schools, boards or superintendents, and if parents cannot handle that role, others will, positively or negatively. This is not society’s fault; it is the fault of those parents and children.
Because there will always be mitigating circumstances in life, we cannot allow the primary purpose and goal of education to be nullified because of personal behavior or circumstance. There will always be personal tragedy and personal triumph. Such is the nature of a free society. For if a free society is to remain free, it cannot be dominated by a minority strain of thought or behavior that will end the broader majority good, under the guise of a system enforcing a minority sense of
at the expense of a just majority that can regulate itself with existing
and conditions. Hence, the moral difference between
Those who are up to this task will accomplish it. Not setting appropriate standards of discipline for conduct and behavior, and enforcing them, will only serve to further undermine the learning process for everyone. We cannot allow negative exceptional behavior to detract us from the original goal and positive purpose of an education: the extraordinary learning opportunity only a classroom can offer.
The fact that the Board of Education and Superintendent have failed to grasp and implement these basic realities and necessities is abominable. Accordingly, their right to public trust and employment is also garnered upon the privilege of their behavior. And as they’ve failed the fundamental responsibility of providing a safe environment for our children to, from and within the classroom, they should be fired.
For if our children cannot be safe to, from and within the classroom, they cannot learn. Those who’ve already benefited from a secure environment of learning know better than to allow this to occur in the first place. And if they cannot meet or perform this fundamental task to us, the taxpayers who employ them, or to our children and community, they do not deserve further employment at all. Fire them all. Thank you.
Gregory John Campbell was formerly involved in the health food industry and is a citizen concerned with our nation’s course and direction.
From the Jan. 13-19, 2010 issue.