Attending high school on the Newport Peninsula beach in 1952 was quite an experience. We lived on Lido Island, when you could fire a cannon on that island and not touch much except the tennis courts and central toilets. The fifth week of the 4th grade, there was an 11 year old girl who had boobs! A month later, her father found out she was pregnant and was taken out of school.
Three years later we had moved to Fullerton. We were at Wilshire Junior High School. We had Lowriders threatening us daily and in grade 7 we were forced to attend a boys health class. They used a lot of WWII army training films on social diseases and told us about the threats of gonorrhea and syphilis as well as crabs! Quite shocking for an uninformed 12 year old living at home with parents who never discussed issues of religion, gender or race. Dad became a mason at 33 degrees of course and mom gardened!
We watched a lot of Ozzie and Harriet and the Honeymooners, as well as Texaco Star Theater. From time to time we watched Wide World of Sports, NFL and USC Football, Victory at Sea, The Big Picture and The Wonderful World of Disneyland. We also got to watch Time for Beany, Buffalo Bob and Howdy Dooty and Sheriff John – as well as Engineer Bill. Some of our personal favorites were of course: The Tim McCoy and Iron Eyes Cody show, American Bandstand, The Mickey Mouse Club, Brave Eagle, Laurel and Hardy, Paladin and Wanted Dead or Alive and Wild Bill Hickock and of course Gene Autry, Sky King and Roy Rogers and Dale Evens with the Jeep: Lulu Belle. Eventually mom demanded that dad explain the realities of life to us… which was both complicated and embarrassing for both of us.
The sophomore year of high school …… at Fullerton Union High School, they held a science day exhibit by Orange County and the school district. It had all these dissected frogs, bugs, lots of Bunsen burners and taxidermy stuffed animals in it. The highlight was of course the 10 large transparent cylindrical containers with real dead babies from the second week until the ninth month of pregnancy….floating in some type of preservative – probably formaldehyde! Shocking would be an understatement for someone who had yet to experience a single sexual encounter. Exposure was probably the best type of birth control that was ever invented!
One area of education that wasn’t covered much until our freshman year of college, of course, was the myriad questions about the black race. By third grade, we had learned about our local Indians in California and how Father Serra had converted them all to Christianity and put them to work in the fields of the various California missions. Mexicans, of course, were thought to be part of the systemic make-up of California. After all, they had literally founded California with a contingent of a small Russian colony, following the early days of exploration right after Cortez had eliminated Montezuma.
The word “Slave” was a kind of word that you could only use when you thought of the Greeks and the Romans. You could see their portraits in magazines like National Geographic. Pictures of blacks in Africa too. You even got to see their feminine breasts on display. Adventurer Frank Buck had a program called “Bring Them Alive.” Martin and Osa Johnson and Clyde Beatty all did jungle adventures where you could see native Africans with no clothes on! Sure, you could get pictures of white or Mexican girls in what they called “French postcards.” You might get plenty of them in Tijuana or find them in your grandparents’ picture boxes, some dating back to World War I. I don’t remember when we first heard the term Caucasian….
Today, there’s quite a stir, in places like Texas and Florida, about school districts teaching the “S” word (slave) or teaching young children about sex… even in high school. So when they talk about critical race theory, do they mean the history of the United States with some details about black people? Having your first cigarette at age 11, given to you by the bad boy in your class Pete…will always stick with you. (Mom caught us…..and made us smoke three unfiltered camels….and that ended it until many years later). Abortion? Mom’s older sister had four – in the 30s and 40s! They used metal hangers and sometimes back alley doctors back then!
Today’s children have electronic equipment, however. They can extract every image, photo, concept or information from anywhere. Ten-year-old girls and boys are being sexually exploited, marketed, trafficked for sex or worse every day. Meanwhile, parents sit in a dream world that their children “are not going to grow up too fast!” These parents represent a grave danger to society in general and often to their own children in particular. Ten-year-old children steal alcohol, prescription drugs, sometimes vehicles and firearms from their parents. They buy opioids from other classmates! Children are curious! Withholding knowledge of the LGBTQ concept is just turning a blind eye and pretending that this information will just disappear or you might have to send the stupid kids to soccer camp and they won’t get it.
School districts need intelligent, knowledgeable, wise, ethical, and most certainly honest individuals to determine what is truly beneficial and important to the growth and understanding of those in their charge. What must today’s children think of abortion? About Immigration? About racing in general? About religion?
These problems have been there for our entire lives and they are not going away. We ran for the school board in 2002. We didn’t win! Maybe it’s time for someone else to step up and say, “Why can’t we tell our kids…the truth about everything!” If not, be prepared to take all their electrical devices away from them until they leave the house! You’ll have to watch them every second of the day, to make sure their friends aren’t showing explicit images, audio, or text messages.
Good luck with that!
Your thought balloon for the day: In 1984, David Lee Roth made a song and video called “Hot for Teacher” Watch this video and understand how tame it really is for kids today!
Why we ran for the school board…..a long time ago! We can only hope that someone else takes up the torch now!