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 ships.

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.

This 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 interesting in are those based on ethnic, racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.

Second, I am uninterested 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 over 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 would be remiss in my duty to ensure that you will be prepared to successfully compete 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 Hollywood events than for church or school. These people have their priorities backward. 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 black, 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 your age to instinctively distinguish 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 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 this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky -- to be alive and to be an American.

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.
Dennis Prager
(1948-) American syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist, author, and public speaker
A Speech Every American High School Principal Should Give, July 13. 2010
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Roan Garcia-Quintana, Mauldin, SC      
Why doesn't sex qualify as an interest? In REALITY, it's probably the most driving interest. It seems Mr. suit and tie is just intent on "educating" another brand of slave. Slaves that accept whatever Mr. Slave Master requires their "interests" be. If you fail to learn your history, your future is bleak. Not everybody arrived to America on the same terms. People's ancestors didn't all share the same American experience. To discount people's past is to deny them insight to their present condition. This is a lousy pathetic attempt to convince Principals to incite hatred of them for their embracing discriminatory rules, going so far as to discriminate against people who would chose attire varied from uniform. Guy talks against shallow considerations then advocates clothing uniformity? What a douche.
 -- DanielVincentKelleyOnYT, Newport VT     
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    what do I think? that Daniel Kelley is dead wrong. This principal want these young people to see each other as just that, to be color blind. As he said to see the World Beyond Themselves. I see this as a good thing.
     -- Anonymous, Blanchard     
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    'bout damn if only it would be put to practice...but it is getting worse and worse...if I had kids today they would be home schooled.
     -- abby     
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     -- Helen, Jamestown , Tn     
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    That is how a school should be ran. Get rid of all the politics and political correctness and get down to actually teaching each student how to think and find answers. I would so want to teach at a school like that and there would be a list years long for students to get in because they would actually come away educated not brain washed into liberalism.
     -- K Wright, Dallas     
  • 6
    An entirely accurate observation. The Public Indoctrination System serves only to divide Americans and graduate them with all the smarts of a house plant. 50 Stars for Dennis Prager's brilliant commentary.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    ... and an idealist's red-white-blue fantasy. By the way, Prager's emotive, descriptive commentary embodies the essence of a LIBERAL education. Not recognizing that particular fact may indicate deficiencies in one's own understanding.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    Prager's address of the constrained vision provides students the opportunity to grow 'outside the box.’ Without having to tread lightly so as not to offend, students can grow, learn, focus, and ultimately contribute to American Society. American Society needs responsible, capable individuals to rise above petty and/or perceived slights. An educated society can help others rise above the dregs of ignorance. Bravo, Mr. Prager!
     -- W Smith, Jacksonville     
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    As for DanielVincentKelley's comments, the reason he doesn't want to be considered "ALL CREATED EQUAL" because "not everybody arrived to America on the same terms", is it removes the victim syndrome. An individual would be responsible for themselves and not be able to BLAME someone or something for their failures or reasons for not trying to change.
     -- Diana, Decatur     
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     -- Mary - MI      
    Magnificient composition that absolutely SHOULD be not only given by every school principal, dean or whatever but BELIEVED by anyone involved in teaching any age person. Belief in these principles should be a qualification of educational employment.
     -- Deb, Mandeville     
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    No one would have the moxy to stand up and say those things today. If there were actually a school where these things were implemented, or un-implemented then I would definitely consider sending my children there.
     -- Kasey, VA     
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    "Hi, I'm your new warden, there is no greater calling than to use a prison-indoctrination-system to destroy individuals and remake them as obedient slaves..."
     -- Matthew, LA     
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     -- Anonymous, california      
     -- Bob, Eugene OR      
     -- Rodger, Waterford, MI      
    The point here made is an at form (as adverse to substantive) observation with an equally harsh corrective implementation. Recognizing a major source of social engineering's brutally demeaning scenario is a fantastic start to correcting the really great society's destruction. I have seen reports that show the currently imposed sexual education, at such a young age, promotes a Stockholm Syndrome with the government becoming the abusing master to be obeyed and subservient to. When eternal principles and natural law become the bases of family foundations and 'We The People's' pursuit(s), the observations made by the quote will almost self correct. Love, absolute truth, respect of self and fellow man and educations history, math, science, uplifting arts and music, physically educational enhancements, and the instruction of man's nobility will replace the heinous maladies that are now the public school's / the socialist's occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land's legacy.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- rita, richland     
     -- Donna, Atlanta     
     -- Lorenzo, Dallas      
    I would pay dearly to see my children in a school run like this. It very like the private school I attended as a young student. "We" are all individuals, not just a group of any kind.
     -- Jeanne H, Oshkosh, WI     
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    I like it! Unfortunately Prager is not a principal of any school...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- dick, fort worth      
    I feel schools have definitley gotten away from the idea of teaching the core values from when I was in school quite a few years ago. What Dennis has written here coincides directly with what the Founding Fathers of this country stand for. I would LOVE that my grandchildren were going to a school of such as described by Dennis.
     -- steve, bend oregon     
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    I agree with Dennis. However, if such were to happen the Feds would probably invade the school and arrest the principal. If they didn't Waco it! It's already becoming difficult for parents to home school their children to these principle's without risking having CPS taking their children away from them. (By the way - they are "children" not "kids"! Kids are baby goats!)
     -- jim, oklahoma     
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     -- JG, STOW OHIO     
    This demand opposes every, every current reality in our public schools. Speaking from inside the classroom of a public school, many adults believe in the policies described, but cannot enforce them, as there are no (and I really mean "no") consequences. At my last school assignment, the principle made it clear that the American flag and the pledge were not necessary, nor encouraged. In the school before that, one teacher attempted to to instill the "Black National Anthem". In my current school, no child fails, regardless of progress.
     -- Julie, Rochester     
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     -- James Hatfield, Independence Mo      
     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA      
    I normally like him. Sadly, he is not being as bias-free as he thinks he is. Which is okay, I have no quarrel with there being right-wing or libertarian schools/thinkers.
    He could just drop the Climate denialism. It's plain ridiculous and shows that he doesn't understand much of science and just picks the opinions that pleases him more.
     -- Felipe, São Paulo     
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    In the absence of love, when and where ideology reigns, an endless proliferation of complexity occurs in human

    Human interaction ought to be a study in simplicity, rather than an impossibility of complexity.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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     -- Mike M, New Mexico     
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