Big Les

the Drunken Prophet

    Blind Support (part 1)

    September 30th, 2022

    Written Prior to My Reading Policy

    A friend of mine recently told me that her son got sent to the principal’s office for organizing a walk-out protest against Virginia governor Glen Youngkin’s “policy” to require teachers to inform parents of their children’s sexual leanings (as it were). Her son’s concern was that he knew some kids that might suffer abuse if their families found out they were gay. I kept my mouth shut and took it all in as she continued with her story. She told me she suggested to him, as an alternative, a silent protest wherein the students would say nothing in all their classes, particularly when being addressed by their teachers. I was perplexed at her response, but I wanted to give myself some time to digest and confirm this report because I had heard nothing of it (at the time of this writing). In all fairness, I’m going off memory, so I apologize if I misquoted her, but I do pay close attention to what folks say. Now that I’ve had a day or so to look into it and mull over her account, I’ll unpack.

    I put the word policy in quotes because it doesn’t exist. As it turns out, there is no plan to require teachers to do the thing that her son would protest. From my brief research, this comes from an interview in which the governor reportedly expressed support for a policy that would allow for teachers to inform parents. Notice the change in language from require to allow. Some school districts (at the time of this writing) prohibit teachers from informing parents that their children are gay claiming that doing so would violate the child’s privacy and subject them to discrimination.

    Her son’s concern was highly speculative and avoided engaging with the underlying issue. This is a classic example of a slippery slope argument which puts forth that B is bound to follow if A happens; therefore, A should not happen. This immediately shifts the conversation and besmudges the “policy” without discussion. But, since the policy doesn’t exist, this would also be a false dilemma. Normally, I would stop at the false dilemma and politely demand some sort of confirmation that the problem actually exists, but this whole thing is indicative of a problem pervading our culture: lack of critical thinking.

    At times we respond to a proposed solution without examining the purported problem. This is what perplexed me with my friend’s response to organize a silent protest. Her son was attempting to coordinate some kind of protest as a conscientious response (solution) to the policy (problem), but she didn’t seem to bother to ask about the policy or how he had come across this information. If there were a policy, certainly it would be available for review by performing a simple Google search. It seems she simply went along with the idea of protesting. Many do this to show support or demonstrate trust or (worse) because they don’t care.

    To Be Continued…

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