Open Letter to Interlake Parents

Dear Interlake Parents,

I am a parent of a graduating student (my other kid graduated last year).

You have the right to know about what’s being taught in your kids’ schools today and you need to know. Not all schools are alike and neither are teachers. However, every subject taught has a curriculum and nowadays you cannot just assume that the curriculum is sound. You have to be involved and examine what is being taught, with a watchful eye. Sadly, vigilance is now warranted even in elementary.

You don’t have to pull your student from school if you don’t like what is being taught. For the most part, Interlake (BSD) curriculum is sound, especially with regards to STEM. I find that I have to posit other viewpoints with regards to the social sciences because it is here that teachers’ viewpoints and biases come through and it would benefit your student at least to know that for every viewpoint, there is a counterpoint.

Just to illustrate the point, I think we can all agree what free speech means: it means hearing or reading things that we may not like. If we don’t like it, we can just ignore it. Censorship is the last thing we need in a free society. Judging from a recent incident, however, I feel that this is not what is being taught in the social sciences today. I bought a full-page ad in the yearbook but my ad was censored by the student editors of the 2022 yearbook. The topic of the ad? It’s about free speech in college campuses (see below).

Now I can understand that normally, the full-page ad would have been about my graduating son, complete with pictures of him. My son did not want that, so I decided to congratulate all seniors on a well-deserved recognition of their accomplishment. I then followed it up with what to expect in college, especially with regards to free speech.

If you are concerned, what can you do? Well, first of all, you can at least spread the link to this letter to other parents, especially those parents with kids in elementary, middle school, and early high school. They would most benefit from this warning.

This 2022 Yearbook Ad Was Censored

To Interlake 2022 graduates:

You are now considered an adult and are on your own. Congratulations! A large percentage of you have chosen a university through which to commence your fantastic journey. Allow me to share my thoughts on this.

The university should be a marketplace of ideas where these are examined and judged based on merit. No group has the right to physically suppress the expression of any idea they deem hurtful. Ideas are meant to be properly debated and not banned. If any group has to resort to mob rule in order to advance their idea, then that idea has absolutely lost the debate and has no merit.

Any speaker who can attract an audience should be allowed to speak. A university that denies permission for that speaker to present his/her ideas is not a university but an indoctrination camp. The presentation has to be protected from any opposing mob, by the police if necessary.

No matter how much shouting precedes it, the initiation of violence against another cannot be justified. Some university students think that their cause is good enough to initiate violence – it is precisely this kind of thinking that can cause trouble. If we are to remain a decent society, we have to allow as much freedom to others as we allow ourselves. Freedom of speech means not grabbing the mic from the one speaking even though what he/she says is offensive to us.

Speech that is offensive to us is not violence against us. Instead of violence, our response should always be true to what we think: it is enough to firmly state what we believe in and no more. In the end, words are more powerful than fists or even bullets.

For my family, the USA is the country we live in by choice. The USA is one big “safe space”. Here we have economic freedoms and the freedom to say what’s in our minds, even personal freedoms. Basically, you are free to do whatever you want and aim for whatever you want in life, as long as you respect the freedom of others to do whatever they want. There are rules that prevent us from colliding with each other and as long as we are aware and respect those rules, we are free to do whatever we want.

I invite you to get more details here: https://www.thefire.org/

May your college days be intellectually fruitful and wealth enhancing.

Carlos Tapang

About Carlos C. Tapang

I run a company called Rock Stable Token Inc. I am the leader of the team behind the stabletoken called ROKS. ROKS is a cryptocurrency (digital money) and its value is tied to the U.S. dollar (USD). We are initially targeting it to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with two great benefits: it costs almost nothing to send it, and it is fast. I am also involved in a movement (http://correctphilippines.org) to correct the Philippine constitution. It's an ambitious undertaking in itself, and there's no guarantee that improving our constitution will improve things. However, one thing is certain: if we don't establish a rational constitution, we will continue on our path of self-destruction. What kind of government is best? For me the best government is that which governs the least. We need the government not because it can provide for us but because it keeps us from running into each other. The proper function of government is that of a traffic light: it prevents us from bumping each other, but it does not tell us where to go.
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