As stated in the public slaughter card, public schools have forced parents into hundreds of reported cases in hundreds of cases reported in A Conflict on topics such as freedom of expression, religion, morality, creationism, evolution, multiculturalism, sexuality and many other topics. Since the map only lists conflicts reported in the mainstream media, it probably covers only a fraction of the actual frequency of conflicts. In the 1840s, dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured in a series of riots in Philadelphia to teach the Bible in public schools. In 1925, an argument took place over the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools in the famous “Monkey Trials”. In the 1970s, in Boston, students and parents engaged in sometimes bloody fights on court-ordered bus lines. These conflicts, along with countless others, reveal deep flaws in the “unity and democracy” argument in favour of state education. In a market-based education system, parents can choose the school closest to their priorities. On the other hand, if these issues are resolved by a political system such as elected school boards, parents with different views must fight against each other for the school to reflect their views. Inevitably, some parents will lose this fight. To offend the violation, all citizens are obliged to pay government-run schools through their taxes, even if these schools are hostile to their lowest values. A system of choice of education not only promotes the peaceful resolution of conflicts, but also contributes better to the transmission of knowledge and civic values. The education system, which is best placed to support a free society, is itself on its way to freedom.
A pluralistic society should create a space for a variety of perspectives in education. State education naturally favours certain points of view over others and forces parents to come into conflict. A more pluralistic education system allows parents to choose schools that conform to their values, and universal access to these systems can be achieved through scholarship tax credits. Throughout American history, public education has led to political clashes, hostilities and sometimes even bloodshed between different people. Such clashes are inevitable in state education, because all Americans must support public schools, but only those with the most political power control them. Political conflict – and sometimes even physical conflict – was an inevitable reality of public education. But in reality, state education often forces citizens to fight politically. Different families have different priorities on topics ranging from academics and the arts to moral and religious issues. No school can echo a wide range of mutually exclusive views on these fundamental topics. This kind of conflict is not just a topical phenomenon. As Neal McCluskey explains in Why We Fight: How Public Schools Cause Social Conflict, such conflicts date back to the origins of state education.
The prevailing narrative about state-run schools is that they are the linchpin of democracy. These “common schools”, according to the argument, harmoniously bring together people of different races, ethnic and religious backgrounds and awaken to their children the bourgeois values necessary for a pluralistic democracy.