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Tweefo (March 29, 2012, 19:57:19 PM):
I travel around the country presenting astronomy shows in a mobile planetarium. One of the schools we contacted send us this reply.
I hope this e-mail finds you well.

Thank you for the information you’ve send us, but unfortunately we have to decline.
Our council has decided that they cannot allow a visit from your company anymore.

We are an ACE (Acceleration Christian Educatoin) school and our principals are strictly according to the Bible. We cannot have someone talking to our children about “dinosaurs”, “million years ago” or hint about the “big bang”, as it happened in the past few years. It goes against all we believe in and stand for and we cannot allow that. After every visit, our staff have to do ‘damage control’.
Please excuse me for being direct and to the point, but we cannot sugar coat our reason.

We wish you all the best for the future
How do I answer it? I do not have to answer but I want to.
Mefiante (March 29, 2012, 20:23:15 PM):
Whoever wrote that e-mail seems to be a product of the same ACE he or she is defending. The e-mail is frighteningly fraught with errors of spelling, vocabulary and grammar.

I think the gist of your reply should focus on the idea that the biggest educational favour we can do our children is to expose them to as many different ideas as possible, focussing on their strengths and their weaknesses, so that they are better equipped to decide for themselves. To shield them completely from different ideas is doing their education (and thus their futures) a disservice because their critical abilities are diminished if they do not contemplate different ideas, especially widely-accepted mainstream ones. By depriving the kids of challenges to their beliefs, the school’s primary tenet seems to be that dogmatism is more valuable than analytical skill.

(For what it’s worth, I think it’s already too late for those poor kids. If their parents were halfway sane, they’d never send their kids to such a school in the first place.)

brianvds (March 30, 2012, 06:19:08 AM):
Somewhat related perhaps:

Faerie (March 30, 2012, 07:30:36 AM):
"Damage Control" Good grief, its sad when an adult are resistant to the curiosity of children and adverse to answering questions honestly and factually.

Those poor kids....
Brian (March 30, 2012, 08:01:40 AM):
Maybe a silly question: Is there no avenue one can take to object to this form of brainwashing and possibly even child abuse through denial of the child's fundamental rights. SA is a secular state and IMO withholding a balanced and equitable education and access to information from a child seems to fly in the face of sec 28.2 of the Constitution: " A child's best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child" and even 15.1 "Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion." and as Mefiante says the spelling errors and poor language is proof of a sub-standard level of education that requires closer scrutiny.
"Damage Control" in whose opinion? and at whose cost? The children's no doubt.


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