Alligators 'n Roadkill

Alligators 'n Roadkill
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Friday, March 25, 2011

The Speech That Should Be Made By Every American High School Principal.

There is a talk radio guy named Dennis Prager. He was a fixture on the radio in Southern California for around twenty years before he went syndicated, and now he can be heard across the country. He wrote a column last year, sort of thinking ahead, and he titled it as "A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give." He originally published it on July 13, 2010, and it very quickly spread around the internet. Unfortunately, as all too often happens today, it was attributed to several different (but for-real) principals across the country, and now has become something of an urban legend. In an effort to avoid that continuing (the urban legend part), I am forwarding it, and posting it on my Blog, so that people can read what he had to say, and form their own opinions about it:

To the students and faculty of our high school:

I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling

than to teach young people.


I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our

school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the

ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against

you, against your teachers, and against our country.


First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not

care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow, or white. I

could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian, or

European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave



The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize,

is your individual identity -- your character, your scholarship, your

humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is

American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.


If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial, or religious identity through

school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-, race-

and non-American-nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto

of America , one of its three central values -- E Pluribus Unum -- "from

many, one." And this school will be guided by America 's values.


That includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that

divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language,

religion, sexual orientation, or whatever else may become in vogue in a

society divided by political correctness.


Your clubs will be based on interests and passions -- not blood, ethnic,

racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate

narcissism -- an unhealthy preoccupation with the self -- while the

purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs

that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy,

languages you do not already speak, carpentry, and more. If the only

extracurricular activities you can imagine being interested in are those

based on ethnic or racial or sexual identity, that means that little

outside of yourself really interests you.


Second, I am not interested in whether English is your native language. My

only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking

and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has

united America 's citizens for more than 200 years, and it will unite us at this

school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants

has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without

excellent English-language skills, I will have been remiss in my duty to

ensure that you are prepared to compete successfully in the American job

market. We will learn other languages here -- it is deplorable that most

Americans only speak English. But if you want classes taught in your

native language rather than in English, this is not your school.


Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this

school will reflect learning's elevated status. This means, among other

things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in

our society dress more formally for a meal at a nice restaurant than they

do for church or school. These people have their priorities backwards.

Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.


Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school's

property -- whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If

you can't speak without using the "F-word," you can't speak. By obscene

language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission

plus epithets such as the "N-word," even when used by one black student to

address another, or "bitch," even when addressed by a girl to a

girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you

will be among the few of your age to distinguish instinctively between the

elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.


Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school self-esteem

will be attained in only one way -- the way people attained it until the

state of California decided otherwise a generation ago -- by earning it.

One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.


Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away

from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you

about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or

global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom-wearing and

teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue. There will

be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are

not white, or not male, or not heterosexual, or not Christian. We will

have failed if any one of you graduates from this school and does not

consider him or herself inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an



Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of

our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand

them out to you.


I totally agree with what Mr. Prager wrote there, and I would also like to hear that every high school principal in the nation would give such a speech. But, I fear that few would have the courage to do so, and fewer still would have a job for very long after saying things like this. That's kind of sad, isn't it?


  1. Very sad indeed. One of the reasons I plan to live outside the US. Our values are degrading to the point that we are not a roll model nation anymore. I plan to take my hard earned nest egg and spend it in Costa Rica for the rest of my life.

  2. Good luck with coming down here. As you may not be aware, it does appear likely that more and more U. S. expats are becoming unhappy with day to day life here.

  3. First, I'd like to say that I greatly enjoy your web site. I find myself agreeing with your 'take' on many subjects.
    I'm curious about your statement that more and more expats are becoming unhappy with life in CR.
    Why do you think that is happening?

  4. Thanks for the kind words. As for answering your question, why don't you send me an email, so I can respond to you with a bit more detail?
    My email contact info is on the home page of my blog.