Mary Lou Bruner and the Shame of Education

Apologies in advance for my laziness, but rather than footnoting directly, every hair-raising thing I have read about this ghastly lady, I include in my references/bibliography, below.


When you have freedom of expression without the mitigating

factor of personal responsibility, as in the States, it’s perhaps inevitable that you’ll get people who by rights should not have a platform with which to air their views with impunity. To be strictly accurate, freedom of speech in the United States is not some sort of free-for-all, as the media in Europe would perhaps like us to believe. There are several well-defined restrictions on the First Amendment right to freedom of speech; it’s just that there are historical provisos that render freedom of speech quasi-absolute.

In an ever increasingly interconnected world, it’s an extreme, but unfortunately not uncommon, stripe of naive parochialism which insists that the internal affairs of one country are no business of, or have no bearing on, other countries. I contend that if a child from rural Texas, for example, could become the President of the United States, and, therefore, the most powerful person on the planet, surely, local politics are only local in name. On this scale, they affect us all.

It should be a matter of consternation, not to mention condemnation, that the educational policies in a developed nation, rather than being focused on providing our future generations with the truth and with the critical means of discerning it, should instead be focused on party-political point-scoring and31FFB48B-59B4-4CBE-BC0D-3FEECFD9A42A.png disseminating lies, all the better to shore up the comfort zones of a retrograde demographic, in a display of intergenerational confirmation bias.

How is it acceptable to slander your highest official with no just cause? At the risk of belabouring the point, how is it possible to perpetuate untruths about the United Nations, without justification? As a candidate for an educational board, is it now alright to be seen as a perpetrator of conspiracy theories? Our president was a gay whore, and the UN is conspiring to kill us? The reason for school shootings is the teaching of evolution? Dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark, and the reason they died out was because they couldn’t find enough fodder once dry land was reached (invalidating the point of the Noah’s Ark story)? Climate change is a political construct? Books on sexual education encourage children to have sex?

There is neither rhyme nor reason to these assertions, and it would take a new blog post to point out, painstakingly, one by one, to what extent all of these are baseless, ignorant, and embarrassing.

The slippery slopes here are legion. But the informal fallacies are not the worst part. The worst part is how a person who upholds notions that in virtually any other developed nation would be considered backwards, if not certifiably insane, could stand a chance at being elected to a governing board of education. If you are not already weeping for your children and your future, rest assured, the rest of us are doing it for you.

Here’s a funny for you, courtesy of xkcd:


EDIT: In the interest of completeness (or closure), and having come across this article by chance, it gives me unalloyed pleasure to report that MLB failed in her bid to join the Texas Board of Education, thus potentially saving some 7 million schoolkids the stunting and stultifying effects of being educationally transported back to a Middle Eastern Bronze Age backwater.


Depressing Bibliography

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