Is there anything wrong with lying, cheating, stealing, shop-lifting, taking drugs, premarital sex, insulting your parents, pornography, irresponsibility, or getting pregnant in junior high school? Not according to values taught to children in many public schools today.
From earliest times in America, teachers have believed that schools should teach moral values. What good is a child who knows when Columbus discovered America but can't tell right from wrong? The most popular reading instruction books in nineteenth century were "McGuffy Readers," which taught children to read through stories of increasing complexity.
Each story also taught children a moral lesson about values such as honesty, hard work, integrity, perseverance, compassion, obedience to parents, respect for others’ rights, and indi-vidual responsibility. Up to 1930s, most schools in America reinforced Judeo-Christian values most parents taught their children at home.
Today, many school authorities seem to have contempt for religion and traditional moral values. They force children to endure years of “values clarification” classes, which teach children that all moral values are subjective and meaningless. Many teacher-facilitators, as some now prefer to call themselves, teach kids that whatever feels good at moment or whatever group considers acceptable is a “good” value.
Most parents, when asked in surveys, say they want schools to teach their children such traditional Western values as honesty, hard work, integrity, justice, self control, responsibility, respect for parents, and fidelity in marriage. Unfortunately, those values are not what most public schools teach.
Values-clarification programs often pretend to teach children real values to pacify parents, but textbooks used in values-clarification classes often censor or distort traditional family and religious values.
Dr. Paul Vitz did a study on these textbooks, funded by National Institute of Education.Vitz discovered that traditional family and Judeo-Christian values had been eliminated from children’s textbooks. He studied forty social studies textbooks used by first to fourth-grade public-school students and found no mention of words “marriage,” “wedding,” “husband,” or “wife.” These textbooks commonly defined a “family” simply as a group of people.
Values clarification (sometimes now called "character education" or other names, depending on public school)differs radically from traditional moral codes because it claims that children do not need established values to make moral choices. Values clarification teachers don’t care which values children choose because in their view all values are subjective. The right value, they assert, depends on situation and individual -- a value is good if it “works” for a particular child at a particular time.
To many values clarification teacher-facilitators, cheating, lying, stealing, or having casual sex with other students are not bad acts in themselves. Such actions are just unfortunate choices that students make, depending on circumstances and personality traits, out of many alternative moral choices. Abiding by Ten Commandments is merely one such option.