Friday, June 27, 2008

From Crayons To Condoms by Steve Baldwin and Karen Holgate


Filled with stories from parents, teachers, school authorities and students, "From Crayons to Condoms" is not an easy book to read. But if we're going to face the broken aspects of our public school system, it's necessary reading.

The book opens with a foreword from Phyllis Schlafly, a well known author and cautionary voice in the public school system debate. That alone is worth the price of the book.

But the stories that fill these pages...and there are many of them...are enough to sound the alarm. Stories of students being subjected to everything from pornography in the classroom to tales of suicide and studies of death. Evidence that our public school system is teaching everything but what the system was DESIGNED to teach.

Now, before you label me, let me say this...I keep using the term 'public school SYSTEM'. It is the system that is broken...there are excellent schools in every forum of education. And you can find excellent, caring teachers, administrators, and staff mixed in every area of the system.

Problem is, they are few and far between, and that needs to stop. This book is filled with staff and teachers and administrators who long to see this system get back to education and out of the field of psychology and sociology.

The only way we can reform our educational system is to 1) stay informed, hence the need for this book; 2) take action, again, hence the need for this book. It isn't enough to KNOW what's happening--we have to act on that which we know.

WARNING: this book contains graphic illustrations of materials used in the classroom, as well as language that is highly offensive. I'm not quite sure I agree with the authors' choice to include it. But it's there, and you need to know...I don't use the word 'offensive' lightly!

And this can be depressing reading. I had to put the book down and come back to it time and time again. Reading "From Crayons To Condoms" is like drinking from a fire hose of sewage. So again, be warned.

I'm giving "From Crayons to Condoms" four out of five bookmarks, and encouraging you to 1) consider reading the book and 2) to NOT toss the baby out with the bath water. Not all public schools deserve to be bashed---problem is, the excellent schools are few and far between.

I'm thanking God for our little charter school and its Christian staff! But I'm also keeping my eyes and ears open:-)

Happy Reading!


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