The Declaration of Educational Independence
EDITOR’S NOTE: Well, here we are, sixteen years after Thomas Jefferson’s writing became a template for an educational declaration that has been shared far and wide as the years have rolled past. While I admit it may be a tendency toward optimism, I think today, in 2013, many more families are realizing that much is amiss in the existing educational system, and are speaking out about the harm that has come to their children, as well as harm they see on the horizon. Because of this, I beseech each and every one of you who reads this piece during this auspicious holiday season to continue the tradition of sharing it far and wide to provide support and strength to those parents who see, and light and love to those who have yet to grasp the realities of schooling (not to be confused with education). I wish all of you safety as you contemplate freedom this year.
WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for Families to dissolve the Educational Bands which have connected them to a faltering Society, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights, Education is instituted among Men, deriving its just Powers from the Consent of the Educated, that whenever any Form of Education becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Education, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that a Public Education System long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by Abolishing the Public Education System to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Government Control, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Public Education System, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Families; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Educational System. The History of the Government-Controlled, Public Education System is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpation, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Control over these Families. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
THE GOVERNMENT has refused its Assent to Freedom in Education, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
IT has forbidden its Children Freedom of immediate and pressing Importance…
IT has refused Freedom for the Accommodation of large Numbers of Families, unless those Families would register with the State, a violation of freedom and privacy to them, and formidable to Absolute Control only.
IT has called together the Nation’s Children at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the warmth and nurturance of their Parents, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with its Measures.
IT has dissolved Alternatives repeatedly with its unceasing bureaucratic requirements, for opposing with manly Firmness its Invasions on the Rights of the People.
IT has refused for a long Time, after such dissolutions, to cause other Alternatives to be carried out; whereby the Educational Powers, incapable of Improvement,
have returned to the failing System at large for their exercise; the Family remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.
IT has endeavored to prevent the True Education of the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the
Natural Process of Learning; refusing to pass others to encourage their Individual Efforts…
IT has obstructed the Administration of True Education, by refusing to recognize the Sovereignty of Family.
IT has made Public School Employees dependent on its Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount
and Payment of their Salaries.
IT has erected a Multitude of new Laws, and sent hither Swarms of Its Employees to harass our People, and eat out
IT has kept among us, often against the People’s Will, Standing Armies of Social Workers.
IT has affected to render the Education Establishment independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
IT has…subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving its Assent to…Acts of…Legislation:
FOR quartering large Bodies of Compelling Troops among us: FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any usurpation of Family Sovereignty which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: FOR cutting off our Connection with True Education: FOR imposing Taxes on us used to Oppress us: FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Family Time; FOR transporting our Children for large blocks of their time; FOR taking away our Family Autonomy, abolishing our most valuable Family Connections, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Families: FOR suspending our Parental Authority, and declaring itself invested with Power to control for us in all cases whatsoever. IT has abdicated Control here, by failing us its Protection and waging Educational War against us. IT has plundered our Pocketbooks, ravaged our Family Lives, burnt our Trust, and destroyed the Lives of our People. IT is, at this time, forging new Laws to compleat the Works of Despair, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Government School System of a civilized Nation.
IT has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive in our Nation’s Classrooms, to become the Competitors of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. IT has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the Inhabitants of our Nation, the merciless Conditioning, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Public Education System, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Educational Controller of a free People.
NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our Legislators. We have warned them from time to time of Attempts by their very Government to extend an unwarrantable Educational Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances that brought us to this point. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.
WE, therefore, the Families of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL AGREEMENT, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of Sound, Sane Parental Consciousness, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United People are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT FAMILIES, they have full Power to levy Choice in Family Education, consider the Family’s Values and Time Needs to choose the extent of participation in and support of the Public Education System, contract Alliances, establish Family Priorities and Values, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT FAMILIES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.