Check facts before crying ‘school indoctrination’

Senator Woodward’s latest column reminded me of the days when I went to school. In the 1950s and 60s Joe McCarthy held sway and “indoctrination” was a word used as often then as it is today.

My Dad went all in on Tail Gunner Joe and he joined the John Birch Society shortly after it was formed in 1958. What I remember vividly is hearing that the local public school was full of godless communist teachers who were indoctrinating children.

I didn’t like the private school my Dad made me attend. I begged him to go to the public school. His response was to dig in and repeat what he had read and heard about public school indoctrination. One day we had a huge fight but it ended in a good way because my Dad and I decided to go to meet the principal of the public school and to find out the facts.

The principal was a fellow WW II veteran and he offered him copies of all the textbooks. I ended up going to the local public school.

I share this story because it is as if history is repeating. I’m hearing the same accusations of indoctrination. Yet there is no evidence this is happening in our local schools. Much of what is said is hearsay or misinformation being peddled by individuals or groups who want to make a buck and draw attention to themselves.

Accusations take on a life of their own if we don’t check for the facts.

Idaho schools follow the “Idaho Content Standards” which were approved by the legislature. Curriculum is approved by the local board of trustees who we elect. The facts are available for anyone who wants to take a look.

Mary Ollie
Bonners Ferry