I have a theory about education in schools. It should be information only. No opinion, no political slant, no ideology.

I did not participate in the public school system because I did have a particular ideology that I wanted my kids' education to be imbued with. But that is not the function of a public school.

Since a public school is a government entity, it should not be teaching anything that has to do with personal choice or value systems. I would be very careful in this day and age if I were a parent with a kid in public school to make sure that the values that are constantly being forced down kids’ throats align with those of my own family.

We teach so much in school these days. Some of the stuff kids need and some of it is overkill. And our schools are having a tough time teaching the basics without shoving other things into the curriculum. We neglect things like how to balance a checkbook and how to understand compounding interest and how to use a credit card. We don’t teach enough about history unless, of course, it’s about protected groups and how they have been oppressed throughout history. Yet somehow we are looking to cram one more life lesson into our already overburdened public school curricula throughout the state.

South Jersey Assemblyman Erik Simonsen is like a lot of other do-gooder lawmakers in the state. He comes up with an idea that he thinks might be helpful and sponsors legislation to make it happen. His idea is to teach cannabis education in schools: the threats, the pitfalls and awareness of what legal marijuana is and how it’s going to affect the future here in New Jersey. But drug education has been done before in schools with mixed results.

In fact, the statistics for drug abuse have gone up since DARE programs were introduced into the public schools. So what more are kids going to learn here about marijuana?

We are teaching so many things about ethics, so many things about social justice, so many things about values— things that should really be taught by families, not by the public school system.

Here’s another thought. What if families embrace marijuana, either recreationally or medically, and endorse the use of it within their families? Is the school going to make a value judgment on cannabis use? And is it their place to do so?

How about we keep school curricula to the maximum of information and the minimum of indoctrination.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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