Monday, March 14, 2011

A Prinicpal's Speech

I heard this on the radio this morning and think that all school principals should read this, and then implement it, at the start of a school year.

A Speech Every American High School Principal
Should Give
By Dennis Prager · Tuesday, July 13, 2010
If every school principal gave this speech at the beginning of the next school year,
America would be a better place.

To the students and faculty of our high school:
I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach
young people. I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am
making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated
public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers and against
our country.

First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial
makeup is black, brown, red, yellow or white. I could not care less if your origins are
African, Latin American, Asian or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the
Mayflower or on slave ships.

The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual
identity -- your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity
this school will care about is American. This is an American public school, and American
public schools were created to make better Americans.

If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial or religious identity through school, you will have
to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-, race- and non-American nationality-based
celebrations. They undermine the motto of America, one of its three central values -- e
pluribus unum, "from many, one." 

And this school will be guided by America's values. This includes all after-school clubs. I 
will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, 
language, religion, sexual orientation or whatever else may become in vogue in a society 
divided by political correctness.

Your clubs will be based on interests and passions, not blood, ethnic, racial or other
physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism -- an unhealthy
preoccupation with the self -- while the purpose of education is to get you to think
beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of
art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry and more. If the
only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interesting in are those based on
ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests

Second, I am uninterested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in
terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as
possible. The English language has united America's citizens for over 200 years, and it
will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of
immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without
excellent English language skills, I would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be
prepared to successfully compete in the American job market. We will learn other
languages here -- it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English -- but if you
want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.

Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will
reflect learning's elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your
teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for
Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward.
Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.

Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's property --
whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can't speak without using the
f-word, you can't speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal
Communications Commission, plus epithets such as "Nigger," even when used by one
black student to address another black, or "bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a
girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the
few your age to instinctively distinguish between the elevated and the degraded, the holy
and the obscene.

Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school, self-esteem will be attained in
only one way -- the way people attained it until decided otherwise a generation ago -- by
earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.

Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and
propaganda. No more time will devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or
terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be
devoted to condom wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or
primarily a health issue. There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a
victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual or not Christian. We
will have failed if any one of you graduates this school and does not consider him or
herself inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an American.

Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As