Sometimes I’m convinced that our generation is destined for inevitable destruction, but when I hear stories of the generation behind our own, that’s when I really get worried.
I’ve got a good friend who loves history. In fact, his love for the subject will soon be a career. He’s doing his student teaching as a history teacher at a local high school. From time to time, I hear stories of his classroom experiences, but the last one he told me tops them all.
It was a day like any other. He laced his shoes and put on a good, fresh cup of Folgers coffee—Columbian blend. He pulled into the parking lot with pep in his step, because today he was giving a lesson to his freshmen about his favorite subject—The American Revolution.
“It’s Revolution day!” he exclaimed to himself with a smile as he crossed the threshold of the above mentioned high school. “The day we remember the ones who fought a died, the ones that stood up against the most powerful country in the world at the time—all so we could exercise our God-given, natural born right of freedom!”
The bell rang and students scurried to and fro, getting in their last-minute details of the weekend before making their way to their desks.
“All right all right!” the young teacher said as he got everyone’s undivided attention. “Today is a big day because today we’ll be talking about one of my favs—Johnny and Jill, ya’ll quit holding hands back there! She can check yes or no after class. Anyway, as I was saying, today we are talking about one of my favorite subjects—The American Revolution.”
“Who can tell me the two countries that fought in The American Revolution?” he asked.
He scanned the room for an eager soul to throw up a hand but found no volunteers.
“Come on guys, anyone. Anyone at all. The American Revolution. Which two countries?”
Still, no hands surfaced as he noticed the perplexed looks on the freshmen faces. Eager to get the ball rolling, he called on Ben in the front row, the smartest student in the class.
“Ummmm…I don’t know both of them, but I’m pretty sure one was the Spain,” Ben guessed as he hopefully awaited the approval of his teacher.
“Spain?! No, Ben! It’s the American Revolution!”
Immediately, Hailey’s hand flew up next to Ben.
“Oh! North and South, duh!” she laughed in confidence.
When I heard this tale from my friend, I was frankly appalled. When our high school freshmen are clueless as to the history of our great country, it is a sad day.
Samuel Adams once said, “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued, but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
I think the same if true of our education. When we forget history and the price that our liberty cost our forefathers, that is the day that we willingly hand over our freedom to whomever comes to take it. The scary thing is that this is already playing out with the current state of affairs, but that’s another debate.