I was in high school, preparing for college, when the U.S. government declared a “global war on terror[ism].” President George W. Bush described this as a “war to save civilization itself” from intolerance. Unlike terrorists, he said in November 2001, “we value education” and “the right to speak our minds,” and “we respect people of all faiths and welcome the free practice of religion.”
How has that worked out, from the vantage point of life inside the United States? Has “terror” been eradicated here in the “homeland,” more than twenty years (and $8 trillion) after that war began? Have we saved education, free expression, and the peaceful coexistence of all faiths?
Let’s talk about that from the perspective of American educators and students. Let’s talk about the experience of a generation growing up under the threat of school shootings and similar attacks on other public places, which are the face of terror in their time.Continue reading “Educational Freedom and the Forever War”