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If this is what class looks like at your kids' schools, you might want to consider getting out. Do not believe that you'll save your children by talking to them occasionally at home.Shutterstock

Readers of LifeSiteNews are aware of the lawsuit brought by Dr. Steve Tourloukis of Hamilton, Ontario, against the Hamilton-Wentworth school board. He is a devout member of the Orthodox Church, and he wants to be told when the school plans to introduce to his children sexual material that he finds objectionable. The school board does not want to yield. They are standing on principles, such as those are. They believe they are “co-parents,” and that “children have a right to an inclusive education,” which means, simply, they have a “right” to be educated into complete sexual indifference and chaos. For the inclusivity is notably rigid and uniform.

My wishes are with Dr. Tourloukis, and though I'm only a summer visitor to Canada, I think the law is on his side. Still, the situation calls for a broader perspective. We should step back from the specifics of this case to consider just what is going on, and what we should do about it.

Suppose your child returns from visiting his friend next door, and tells you that the father has been showing the boys some interesting films involving, well, boys and girls doing things. What do you do? You call the police. If Mr. Pornogogue the neighbor says, “I believe that we are all co-parents of one another's children,” and “Every child has a right to a full view of human sexuality,” I doubt that his sententiousness would hold up in court. You might express your rebuttal against his teeth, in the form of a firm fist and knuckles. But here is what you would not do. You would not say, “Mr. Pornogogue, whenever you are going to show those films again, I want you to give me a call beforehand, so that I can make sure that Timmy stays home.”

Do not believe that you'll save your children by talking to them occasionally at home. A few gulps of good air will not undo the harm of a whole day of poisonous fog.

I mean no disrespect for Dr. Tourloukis, but the point is that the pornogogue is going to do what the pornogogue is going to do. Yes, we should do all we can to palliate conditions in the open sewer; but the main thing is to get out of the sewer. Anyone who desires to subject children to a sexually charged curriculum, from kindergarten through grade twelve, is a pornogogue – maybe a nice pornogogue, a deluded pornogogue, a daft pornogogue – and that person with a depraved imagination is going to do what he or she is going to do. Supposing you could make sure that your child is absent for the five days on the year when the offenses are most rank and smell to heaven. What about all the other days? You are leaving your child's mind and imagination in the care of someone depraved, in the old sense of that word: bent, crooked, out of kilter. Do you really believe that the stories the teacher chooses, the things the teacher talks about, the casual remarks the teacher makes, the coloring that the teacher gives to Christianity and Christendom, will not be crooked likewise?

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Or, suppose you are dealing with a panel of politicians who want to require all children, whether their parents like it or not, to spend one day a year talking to pimps and harlots. Sure, you should labor to exempt as many children as possible from the requirement. But the real problem is that you have such a panel of rogues to begin with. If they say, “We are co-parents, we will determine what is best for your child,” then you have a panel of rogues with a taste for tyranny too – boundless in their assumption of authority. You are no longer the employer of your children's teachers. You are the serf on the manor, and if you don't want trouble you will keep your mouth shut.

Someone will have to palliate the harm that the panel does. But once you have arrived at such a pass, it is time to face facts. The thing as a whole is irremediable. You are not going to get anything but harm from Mr. Pornogogue, even if you win a small battle once in a while. You are not going to wrest sanity for children from the totalitarians. You cannot cast out demons in the name of Trudeau. You cannot hide your nakedness behind the Charter of Rights. If you have school boards celebrating fornication and sodomy and all the rest of the sexual chaos, you are dealing with something far more brutish than the pagan schools of old. The schools are pagan and worse than pagan. The mildew has penetrated clean through. The termites have chewed the studs into sawdust. The hollow walls are filled with rats' nests. 

It is time to get out.

It's not as if those schools, in the United States or Canada, actually perform the humble but necessary tasks we want them to perform. I am continually meeting graduates in both countries who not only have never read Chaucer, Milton, or Tennyson, but who do not recognize their names. Hannibal who? The Magna what? 

Do not believe that you'll save your children by talking to them occasionally at home. A few gulps of good air will not undo the harm of a whole day of poisonous fog. Their classmates, their teachers, their textbooks, the banners on the school's walls, and the daily announcements will all be against you.

So it's long past time when people who believe in the holiness of sexuality, marriage, and human life should build new schools, a hundred a year. Yes, it is expensive. But there's no alternative. And those schools can begin to teach what our masters have left untaught for so many years.

More to come.

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Anthony Esolen is a Fellow at the Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts, in Merrimack, NH.  He is the translator and editor of Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House), and is the author of more than a dozen other works, including Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery) and Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child (ISI Press).  He regularly writes for The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, Touchstone, and Magnificat.