In my book, Is Public Education Necessary?, I pointed out how the public school movement was promoted in the 1830s and ‘40s by the Owenite communists, the Harvard Unitarians, and the Protestant evangelicals. The Owenites wanted to use the public schools as a means of turning young Americans into little communists who would as adults turn America into a communist or socialist society. The Harvard Unitarians wanted to use the government schools as the means of getting the Calvinist religion out of education. And the Protestant evangelicals, alarmed by heavy Catholic immigration, wanted to use the public schools as a means of turning Catholic children into Protestants and as a means of maintaining America’s basic Protestant culture.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is a film about the disappearance of trees, which have since been replaced by imitations, and the pursuit of two teens anxious to get their hands on some real live greenery. Therefore, there is a predictable environmentalist undertone coupled with anti-capitalist sentiment. However, the film’s anti-tyrannical subtext and focus on friendship and peace may just redeem the movie for some audiences, and its innocence and entertainment value could make it a prime choice for this weekend’s family film.
The latest school shootings at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, have reminded us that these school massacres did not end with the horrors of Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999, but have continued right up to the present. Some of these planned shootings have been nipped in the bud by students aware of what was about to happen. But the latest shooting simply indicates that as long as the public schools are the way they are, there will be no end to these killings.