At least….they did according to Vince Fenech, director of Mosta Academy* in Malta. Mr. Fenech is responsible for the education of young minds, aged 4 to 18; something that should cause any parent with a shred of awareness and common sense to cringe and thank the First Amendment that, at least for right now, this nonsense is not being taught in American public schools.
My question (and perhaps I’m being nitpicky in asking) is how the hell do people like this become educators?! No, really. I know teachers are in demand, but how hard up does one have to be to graduate and license a fundamentalist nutjob who is so far out of touch with scientifically proven data, they are actually misinforming who knows how many children to the point that those kids will find it difficult to function in normal society? I mean….what thoughts go through the heads of parents who enroll their children in places like this? “Gee, if I enroll my kids here, they probably won’t ever be able to get accepted to an accredited college, but that’s okay! The world needs janitors, too.”
Harsh? Possibly. But if we have a responsibility to our children at all, it isn’t to keep force feeding them fairy stories til they’re 18 so that they’ll be totally unprepared when they are faced with real challenges. We do our kids no favors by shielding them from reality. If anything, we are doing damage by “protecting” them. The world will teach lessons we fail to instill, and society will be far less kind and nurturing in the process.
There are times when it really seems to me that the resurgence of groups like the Flat Earth Society and the oh-so-charming Fred Phelps & his Westboro Baptist Church (note the web address; can’t you just FEEL Jesus’ love?) signal a serious regression in the education of our kids. There exists such a back lash against fact and science…and for the life of me I can’t begin to understand why. Why are we so intent on keeping our children ignorant? Why is it necessary to ensure that our legacy to them is more superstition and fear? Can we really be so arrogant that we presume that doing so is in their best interest? That learning will in some way harm them?
The only other alternative I can come up with is that some people actively attempt to keep their kids from knowing more than they do; which is so vain and stupid that it boggles my mind to try to wrap itself around the idea. Every generation will learn more than the generation before it. That’s the way life works; it keeps our species moving forward. To attempt to stop that is to encourage our species to devolve.
With all our advances in science, we are past the primitive point where we can accept that the loud noises in the sky are the gods throwing down thunderbolts. The advent of the Hubble telescope, the beautiful images it has sent back and this scale model of our solar system & nearest stars that’s been circling the web for a year or so have shown us just how huge our universe truly is an how unlikely it is that some benevolent all knowing being is “watching over us.”
I do not pretend to have all the answers. Nor do I believe science has provided them all. Yet. It may be that we may someday find all the information we’re looking for. But I do know that if we insist on keeping science and learning from our children, it will only serve to delay that someday. We owe it to them as parents to encourage them to learn.
*I have no idea why this story is only now making the rounds; it’s just bizarre and outrageous enough that it should have been all over the place last year.