Sep 8, 2022
Walking With Gen Z: Religiously Complex by Benjamin Eriksen at Catholic World Report. In 2021, Springtide Research Institute asked 10,000 Gen Z youth “which statement comes closest to expressing what you believe about a higher power—whether it be God, gods, or some other divine source of universal energy?” The results were fascinating: A full 54% of these youths expressed greater doubt or disbelief in God’s existence than belief in His existence, and just 23% said that they believed in a higher power and had no doubts…. [C]ompared to Gen X and Millennials, Gen Z is more than twice as likely to doubt or disbelieve in God’s existence and half as likely to believe in God with absolute certainty. Read Listen to St. Thomas More—Be a Teacher by R. Jared Staudt at National Catholic Register. Education is not simply a matter of skills, because human beings have to learn how to be human. Unlike animals, who just know what to do through instinct, as free rational beings, we have to shape our minds and freedom, discovering what is good and dedicating our lives to realizing it. Work is one part of our lives, although education more broadly helps students to learn how to think, what they should value, how to form their character and how to discover their own vocation. Looked at from that perspective, the vocation of teaching takes on much more significance. If we really understand education in this way, we can see why it is worth the sacrifice and should be regarded as a more important profession than almost anything else. It is an investment in the very souls of our children, and the future of the Church and our society depends fundamentally on its success. Read A Public School’s Greatest Fear: Hiring Catholics! by Casey Chalk at Catholic Answers. A conversation between a Connecticut public school administrator and an undercover representative of Project Veritas pretending to be a journalist—in which the assistant principal of Cos Cob School asserted that he preferred not to hire Catholics—has attracted national news attention for its alarming example of anti-Catholic prejudice. When asked what he does when he discovers an applicant to be a Catholic, assistant principal Jeremy Boland declared, “You don’t hire them.” Read On Gender Policies, Bishop Says Schools Must Defend Catholic Identity by John Lavenburg at Crux. “The loss of Catholic identity, the loss of a mission, is not like a blown-out tire, it’s like a slow leak,” said [Bishop Thomas] Daly, the U.S. bishops’ conference’s education committee chair. “You begin to compromise – the teaching, the classes offered, hiring practices, leadership of your board – and more and more the mission becomes not even secondary, and then you cease to really be Catholic.” Read Youngkin Blasts 'Progressives' in Fairfax Schools for Ignoring Parental Rights by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. At a "Back to School" rally in Fairfax County with several Virginia GOP congressional candidates on Wednesday, [Virginia Gov. Glenn] Youngkin offered scathing criticism of the county's school district for pushing several policies allowing students to choose a different gender identity at school without parental notification or consent…. "They think that parents have no right to know what your child is discussing with their teacher or their counselor, particularly when some of the most important topics that a child may want to discuss are being determined," Youngkin said. "What's their name? What pronoun will they use? How are they going to express their gender? This is a decision that bureaucrats in Fairfax County believe that they should be able to make without telling parents." Read Teacher Who Refused to Use Students’ Preferred Pronouns Settles Lawsuit Against School District by Edie Heipel at National Catholic Register. In April 2021, [Pamala] Ricard was suspended for three days and received a written reprimand filed under the school’s “bullying” and “harassment” policies because she called a female student by her legal name instead of her preferred name. Afterward, the school announced a new policy mandating that teachers call students by their preferred names and pronouns and “not communicate this information to parents unless the student requests, according to the district-wide policy sent to teachers. Read
Throwback Thursday A Teacher of Generation Z by Mark Bauerlein on First Things Podcast with Jeremy S. Adams on November 22, 2021. What high school teachers and elementary school teachers are understanding, that maybe non-educators aren’t understanding, is we’re raising a whole generation of young people who are not in the same physical, mental, moral, or spiritual space as adults. So, we’re raising a generation that’s untethered to adult values, adult expectations, adult role models. Young people today spend 9-10-15 hours a day on their devices and there’s not a lot of traditional wisdom, traditional culture, traditional religion…. Our young people are absorbing values from other children, from people on YouTube, from Instagram influencers. When I first started teaching 22, 23 years ago, we would talk about politics and the kids would talk about, well, my mom says this, my dad says this, my pastor says this. Nobody says that anymore. Nobody talks about their families. Nobody talks about mom and dad and what they think about politics. They talk about LeBron James. They talk about all the people who are kneeling or outraged or making these videos on social media. So, we’ve really outsourced the job of influencing young people to people we don’t even know in a space that we don’t even understand. Read. Listen on SoundCloud.