But, why did Kentucky’s school system stab our war dead in the back?
It’s Memorial Day weekend, and I know there is no shortage of patriotic Kentuckians who honor those who died while serving our country.
Yesterday, my church and BIPPS CEO Jim Waters’ church remembered, and I am sure many other churches did the same. It was one of the few public ways Kentuckians could honor those who lost their lives serving their county as COVID-19 seriously impacted planning for the parades and gatherings normally held on this day.
Despite the virus, patriotism ranks high across the nation, too. Last night KET broadcast a really creative adjustment to the annual Memorial Day national mall concert in Washington, DC. Overcoming restrictions on social gathering, the concert’s presenters put together a lively and touching performance involving many personalities who took the time to relay their thankfulness through electronic connections.
Considering the havoc caused by COVID-19, it was notable that people still took the time to honor those who have died in the service of our nation.
Still, all of this makes me wonder again how the state of Kentucky could have ever adopted public school social studies standards that pay scant attention to those who lost their lives in older wars and totally snub the history surrounding the devotion to duty and sacrifice on the part of those Americans who have died in all the wars since World War II.
You see, all the wars Americans have served in from Korea to Afghanistan are totally ignored in the new social studies standards. EVERY ONE!
I invite you to search the PDF version of the standards found at the link above for “Korean War,” “Vietnam War,” “Bosnian War,” “Persian Gulf War,” “Iraq War” and “Afghanistan.” You won’t find them, or any alternative name, either. Some older wars like the American Revolution and World Wars I and II do get passing mention, but nothing after 1945 gets even a nod.
The snubbing is quite extensive. You can’t even find a mention of many of the geographic locations where these wars were fought. The county of Vietnam is never mentioned (Now, that’s a fine geography lesson!). The geographical areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina are also missing. Iraq and the Persian Gulf are strangely absent. So is Afghanistan.
It’s as if our public school system wants to totally ignore the facts about these places and US involvement in them. And, coverage of earlier wars is awfully thin, at best (No Pearl Harbor, D-Day or Atom Bombing), while some like the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812 don’t make it at all. That’s a fine thank you for those Americans who gave up their lives serving their country in these conflicts.
The good news here is that the legislature can call up the regulation that adopted these knife-in-every-soldier’s-back standards and send those standards packing. The legislature doesn’t even have to be in session. Either the Interim Joint Committee on Education or the Administrative Regulations Review Committee can pull the regulation that adopted the standards for review. And, now that we are starting to move beyond COVID-19 as the only 24-hour a day item of interest, it’s time for decent Kentuckians to push for that to happen. Because it will be a real shame if many of our school kids in years to come think Memorial Day only involves Americans who lost their lives a long time ago in wars they will learn very little about.
One more point: Thanks to COVID-19, a lot of parents are doing some serious thinking about how they will educate their kids next year. Some surveys I wrote about recently here and here indicate surprisingly high percentages of parents are thinking that homeschooling might be the best option given all the uncertainty and safety concerns regarding the reopening of the public school system. As they work through their school choice decision, those parents might want to keep in mind what their child will – or will not – learn if they do go back to public schools. If patriotism is important to parents, this blog might help with their schooling decision.