Some local parents are leveling serious charges against Alpine School District and Brigham Young University.
Parents are saying district and university officials are participating in "a deliberate course of action to subvert the moral fabric of a society with the goal to eliminate the worship of deity and replace it with the worship of man."
These parents acknowledge their argument is both complex and far-reaching. If true, the charge means the school district is either wittingly or unwittingly part of a nationwide socialist movement. Parents say it is the manifestation of a specific warning given by LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson, who had named names in the warning. More on that in a moment.
Depending on your point of view, the parents may just be making much ado of nothing. Whatever you believe, concerned parents are asking other district parents to form their own opinion about whether the district is working to remove God from the classroom -- and history.
Oak Norton, one of the most outspoken critics of Alpine School District begins with the premise that truth can only be defined by God. He sees BYU and Alpine School District as part of a national conspiracy working to carefully teach the nation's children to believe that the United States government is based on the power of people, rather than the power of God.
This effort, he said, is guided by "the motives of those who are trying to change our language and remove the notion that we are a republic with natural rights bestowed upon us by God."
As proof of his accusations, Norton offers a detailed logic.
Emblazoned about 30 feet across one wall of the school district's headquarters is a plank of the district's motto: "Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy." ... based on the Communist Manifesto.
....BYU's education department drew heavily on his book entitled 'The Moral Dimensions of Teaching.' One of Goodlad's 'moral dimensions is entitled 'enculturating the young into a social and political democracy,' which is the text and controversy surrounding Alpine School District's large plaque inside their teacher development center." .....
"Which of you believe the state has a right to your children and has interests that must be protected in the education of your child?" Norton told the Daily Herald. "Which of you believes it is up to the schools to educate your children because parents don't understand how to run a democracy? Which of you believe morals and knowledge are subjective?"...
As proof that his alarm is more than just alarmism, Norton offers this quote from LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson: "I feel to warn you that one of the chief means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our educational institutions. There is more than one reason why the Church is advising our youth to attend colleges close to their homes where institutes of religion are available. It gives the parents the opportunity to stay close to their children, and if they become alerted and informed, these parents can help expose the deceptions of men like Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, John Dewey, John Keynes and others. There are much worse things today that can happen to a child than not getting a full education.""So is enculturating our young into a social and political democracy harmless?" Norton said. "Hardly."
The Daily Herald provided both BYU and Alpine School District with the accusations of Norton and other parents and asked both the university and the district to respond.
"The teacher preparation programs at Brigham Young University strive to prepare educators who act with moral integrity and possess social and academic competence," said Richard Young, dean of the BYU David O. McKay School of Education.
"The quotes displayed represent the core mission of the David O. McKay School of Education. Among these quotes we read: 'The teaching of religion in public schools is prohibited, but the teaching of character and citizenship is required.' On another occasion President McKay stated, 'It is well for educators everywhere when teaching the young to have in mind the three C's as well as the three R's mentioned so proverbially. By the three 'C's' I mean character, conduct, citizenship.'
What it means
Coming along with the broader questions ... is a heated discussion of the meaning of a single phrase -- the last four words of the district's mission statement: "Enculturating the Young into a Social and Political Democracy."
This phrase has sent chills through many parents....
Read the full article for a detailed understanding of the arguments