To: Patrick Nolan <[email protected]>,Pamela Cort <[email protected]>,Robert Wofford <[email protected]>,Teresa Tonorio <[email protected]>,Carol Cooper <[email protected]>
Cc: Juan Garcia <[email protected]>,Ignacio Ruiz <[email protected]>
Members of LCPS board,
The debate over the appropriateness of the book ‘Jack of Hearts and other parts’ has led to the discovery that at least two of the LCPS board were engaged in behind the scenes discussions regarding how to circumvent the will of the public,and in doing so betray the public trust. Mr Nolan and Mr Wofford demonstrated incredibly poor judgment and should receive severe sanctions or better yet resign from their positions.
The real issue here, in my view, is the role of the board . The political philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau was a major influence in the foundation of this country and western political theory, writing in what was termed the ‘Age of Enlightenment’. In his book ‘The Social Contract’ he described the responsibilities of leadership in a modern democracy. The consent of the governed is the basis of our political system and the duty of elected officials is to be attentive to public opinion and responsive to public input on matters that affect our daily lives. By working to subvert the process of a public hearing ( Nolan admits the book review panel was “stacked”), public trust was betrayed intentionally.
What is the responsibility of the board? I would say it is to establish and maintain a system that will take children and, in a series of gradient steps, provide training in how to absorb and transmit information ( reading and writing) in order to learn the basic history, philosophy, and skills (math, science and technical studies) that enable one to function in society. Then with coaching in critical thinking, they can make rational decisions. It is an observable fact that when those goals are not achieved, the students cannot function competently or competitively in the work force or the world. Your responsibility is to prepare the students entrusted to your district to be able to observe the world around them, critically evaluate what they observe and make rational decisions that will promote their success and ongoing development. The fact that the test scores in this district and this state are so pathetic is proof that you are not adequately doing your job. Yet, you find it somehow beneficial to defend the presence of a book that meets all the state’s definitions for obscenity and condones felonious depictions of pedophilic behavior. You should be ashamed.
Wisdom can be said to be the ability to incorporate information and reach conscious conclusions that are appropriate to the situation in hand. You cannot impart the information that our children need ( demonstrated by test scores) to make wise choices, yet rather than address that you emphasize social emotional issues that do not lead toward wisdom and understanding. Young people will investigate sexual matters whether the school library has a book or not. You need to focus on more educational issues and less social issues- the book debate is a distraction from the fact that your demonstrated incompetence is handicapping a generation of young people. Rousseau famously said ‘Cogito , ergo sum’ – not ‘Coito,ergo sum’. Teach our children how to think, not fuck.
Jody Kincaid DVM ND