I made the case that public schools have every right to restrict illegitimate content.
No library can hold every book ever written. Somebody decides what goes on the shelves and what does not. That's curating, not banning.
Excellent description of Public School: government-run monopoly with compulsory power over children.
😊 thank you ! What a strong message not only in content but in the ability to parse words down to the essence of the point - that speaking and writing skill is the most powerful tool - no, the ONLY one to clarify positions. Our strength is the power of logical righteousness ( good sense) and it shines like the sun when words are written or spoken from nothing but the hope Diamond of essence laid bare in its particular shine .
What a gift ! Keep it coming! Thank you !
Mounk has always struck me as intelligent, but this debate made loose respect for him. You, for the most part, came at him with facts, and he responded mostly with personal attacks, irrelevant assertions and distraction. Mounk was evasive and, I think, unprepared. I expected more from him, especially in the way of honesty.
You did an excellent job, but it wasn’t a good debate, Mounk blew it.
I actually think we should reframe the discussion. THEY want to talk about book bans. But the opposite of ban is to “allow”. We want to talk about how leaders of schools are allowing certain content that would make your grandma blush … Not good character development for our kids. #Takebacktheconversation
As a lifelong educator (special ed, high school, college), I agree with your position completely. The educational system is a narrow arena and, by definition, only some materials can (or should) be included. Hence, some has to be excluded. Your reasoning about how to make that decision makes sense to me. However, irrespective of what's taught, education should be centered on critically evaluating all (reasonable and age-appropriate) sides of every issue, rather than promoting one particular agenda... for instance, this egregious example: "Women Don’t Produce Eggs" https://everythingisbiology.substack.com/p/women-dont-produce-eggs
My sense is that the propagandistic approach to teaching is at least as important — if not more important — than what's being taught.
Thank you for your thoughtful contribution to this debate. Sincerely, Frederick
Mounk has no idea how public education is structured or administrated. He is bluffing his way through. Lousy prep.
In my high school debate days, we had a term called “squirrel” for when a debater couldn’t defend her actual position and so would keep trying to change the subject - as in, “look, squirrel!”
All of that to say that mounk was squirreling his way through that entire debate! Clearly a sign he was losing on the actual subject. Great work Mr Rufo!
I read a book that is called “The Seduction of the Innocent” by Fredric Wertham. It may discuss a dated medium (comic books), I think much of what it says is timeless and worth a read. Page 49 has a relevant element to our discussion:
“The trouble with these arguments (never seen a child influenced by comic books) was that these people had never studied the continents of comic books, had failed for years to take notice of their very existence as a potentially harmful factor, and had never examined children for their influence.“
I think Chris needs to do an article on the governance of public schools for those who don’t know or have forgotten the roles and responsibilities of Federal, State and Local government as it relates to public education. Never having been part of the part of public education, I can say I am ignorant about this topic but not of 34 years in private academia.
Really enjoyed this debate. Chris was articulate and respectful throughout. Mounk seemed to start out with a strong focus but lost himself in hyperbole. At times I felt an edge of pettiness coming out, and I so wanted to hear a strong counterpoint. Rufo for the win.
I don’t even understand this concept. Libraries can’t carry every book. They obviously have to be able to refuse to carry some. One great filter is gay porn 🙄
I am in Berkeley, and in the early 2000, CRT ideas invaded the curriculum, particularly in the mandatory course Ethnic Studies. I approached the reasonable board members about the shift to indoctrination. They managed to get the district to adopt the state recommended Controversial Issues policy. However the district never enforces the policy even with a sustained official complaint.
Great debate. But there is one point missing here. The fact is that our curriculums and our textbooks were already politicized by largely left wing activists .Check out the book The Language Police by a liberal educator years ago describing the “bias and sensitivity panels” in the textbook industry , dictating how. American history is taught. Read that book!
Seriously?! The guy never read "Gender Queer" ?!?! How does a debater come to a debate so completely uninformed about what he is supposed to be discussing? Is he really not aware of the specific materials that parents are objecting to? Or why so many parents now believe that the public schools - once the envy of the world - are now harmful to children?
That is the only way Yascha could lump Harry Potter with "This Book is Gay." Unbelievable!
At the same time, he fully admitted that pornagraphy "is obviously" innapropriate! So is Yascha in favor of banning books and censorship?!
Thanks again, Chris!
Chris, first of all thank-you for your passion, reason and leadership. Like many I am so grateful for you - you are a gem in the rubble of life!
Hindsight is 20/20, but I think you missed an opportunity with Yascha, when he confessed his own stance that certain items should be banned at the outset. What struck me is that Yascha's view is more in line with yours than with the ALA!
Does that make him a censor?! Yascha's admission that limits are indeed appropriate in K-12 libraries – to be distinguished from college libraries – was a big deal. It would be interesting to learn the extent of Yascha view, along with and others like him, to know what they believe should be banned and why. Perhaps there is some common ground?
Once again, thank-you, Chris