I’m going to tell you a story. It is a very short story. It will hardly take any space at all. It is so short it isn’t even the point of this blog post. It goes like this. Once upon a time there was a boy. This boy had recently gotten his drivers license and was filling up his car at the gas station when he noticed something glittering on the ground. The boy went and picked it up. It was a Visa card. That boy held onto that Visa card that wasn’t his for days and days. Soon temptation began to speak to him. That he should use that Visa card. That he should do something with it. So, that boy did. That boy signed up for a subscription for internet porn. Our story doesn’t end there though. Not only did that boy use that found Visa card to sign himself up for a porn subscription he sold the password at his High School.
This was the same boy that years earlier had used his parents’ laser printer to print out every Centerfold from the previous year’s Playboy and hung them up all over the 7th grade hallway, and the same boy that would later call a stripper and have her come to his friend’s house for a toy show to which they would charge all their class mates an entrance fee.
This is the same boy whose parents took him to see Pulp Fiction when he was 13 and let him watch whatever he wished on whatever movie channel he wished. It is the same boy whose parents let him read whatever books he wanted and encouraged him to do so. It is the same boy whose mother when shown a story the boy had written, a story full of blood, torture, and violence, had told a concerned teacher that not only had she read it but she had edited it as well.
The thing is this boy is now grown up and likes the way he grew up. This boy now has children of his own and thinks it is silly when other parents complain about what books are in the school library or that history is too unfortunate for them or that it is a parent’s duty to control what their child learns. This boy thinks that he should have no part in his child’s learn. That that is why there are teachers and superintendents and school boards. That is why there are people with advanced degrees in education. It is why the world has experts and he is most certainly not one.
Because years ago this boy found a Visa card on the ground outside a gas station and he didn’t turn it in. He used it to do something quite illegal and unethical. This boy knew what he did was wrong, but temptation is not that easy to overcome, and this boy blames no one but himself, but he understands maybe he shouldn’t be the one deciding what his children learn, and he most definitely isn’t someone other parents want deciding what their children learn.