False Choice: Pseudoscientific Narrative



Children are sent to school, in part, to learn how to transition from their youthful self-centeredness to the mature understanding of their relationships to others that will be expected of them as adults. This includes an understanding that, in the adult world, rights come with responsibilities. Constitutional rights in particular, we teach students, have limits. Laws that benefit the whole of society will be personally inconvenient at times; an individual’s needs and desires are not all that matters because other people exist too, people with different perspectives, different circumstances, and different legitimate goals. Consequently, compromise is a necessary part of any negotiation in our democracy. However, these core values of responsibility, perspective, and compromise—values that adults say they want schools to teach children—are often openly violated in public by these same adults. For example, we do not tolerate intellectual dishonesty from our children in our schools. But it is apparently tolerated and promoted everywhere else. Educational standards cannot be improved until adults begin to model the education values that they loudly espouse.


  1. 1.
    Jessica Anderson, “Text messages show Gladden warned of bringing gun to school,” Baltimore Sun, March 15, 2013,
  2. 2.
    Confession of Perry Hall High School Shooter Robert Gladden, Baltimore Sun, March 16, 2013,, video, 12:55, accessed May 1, 2018,
  3. 3.
    Open Carry Texas is a non-profit 501(c) 4 organization that advocates for the open carry of firearms in Texas, accessed May 1, 2018,
  4. 4.
    Stephanie Strom, “Starbucks Seeks to Keep Guns Out of Its Coffee Shops,” New York Times, September 18, 2013,
  5. 5.
    John Mulligan, “Target Addresses Firearms in Stores,” July 2, 2014,
  6. 6.
    Photographs accessed August 17, 2015,
  7. 7.
    Elahe Izadi, “Ohio Wal-Mart surveillance video shows police shooting and killing John Crawford III,” Washington Post, September 25, 2014, video, 00:53, accessed May 1, 2018,
  8. 8.
    Full surveillance video release of Tamir Rice shot by police, video, 07:51, accessed May 1, 2018,
  9. 9.
    Updates on the status of the investigation on the killing of Tamir Rice can be accessed at:
  10. 10.
    Wayne LaPierre, Guns, Crime, and Freedom, (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 1994).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces (New York: Public Affairs, 2013).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    See blogs chronicling police misconduct and brutality: accessed May 1, 2018,, accessed May 1, 2018,
  13. 13.
    Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, Testimony before U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee on January 30, 2013, video, 10:21, accessed May 1, 2018,
  14. 14.
    Doug Stanglin, “NRA view on guns in café campaign angers Texas group”, USA Today, June 4, 2014,
  15. 15.
    Elizabeth Janney, “Despite Campaign Promises, Casinos—Not Schools—Are Big Financial Winners,” Maryland Patch, June 22, 2014,
  16. 16.
    “The state busts: How Maryland is losing money on table games,” Editorial, Baltimore Sun, May 7, 2013,
  17. 17.
    Heather Mizeur, “Marijuana Legalization: A Comprehensive Plan to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in Maryland,” accessed August 17, 2015,
  18. 18.
    John Wagner, “Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Heather Mizeur to propose legalization of marijuana,” Washington Post, November 19, 2013,
  19. 19.
    Tim Prudente, and Erica L. Green, “Baltimore City schools CEO looks to deep staff cuts to close $130 million budget gap” Baltimore Sun, January 27, 2017,
  20. 20.
    Luke Broadwater and Erica L. Green, “Casinos prosper; Schools do not,” Baltimore Sun, January 22, 2017,
  21. 21.
    Jessica Anderson, “Perry Hall High School shooter Gladden gets 35 years in prison,” Baltimore Sun, February 25, 2013,
  22. 22.
    Photograph of Daniel Borowy and Jesse Wasmer throwing the ceremonial first pitch at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on October 7, 2012 retrieved from:
  23. 23.
    Republicans in Congress, “Pledge to America: A new governing agenda built on the priorities of our nation, the principles we stand for and America’s founding values,” Republican Party, accessed August 16, 2015,
  24. 24.
    Jon Stewart, “Jon Stewart Enlists Mick Foley To Compare Politics To Professional Wrestling,” Huffpost, filmed in New York, NY on May 16, 2010, video, 09:32,
  25. 25.
    Stephen Colbert, “Sarah Palin Is A F—king Retard,” Huffpost, filmed in New York, NY on April 11, 2010, video, 05:12,
  26. 26.
    Jon Stewart, “Exclusive – Jim Cramer Extended Interview, Part 1,” Comedy Partners, filmed in New York, NY on March 12, 2009, video, 05:47,
  27. 27.
    “Grade 8 Literature Mini-Assessment, Excerpt from 1984 by George Orwell,” Student Achievement Partners, accessed May 1, 2018,
  28. 28.
    George Orwell, 1984 (London: Secker & Warburg, 1949).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (London: Chatto & Windus, 1932).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (New York: Penguin, 1985).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    “2012 Voter Turnout Report,” (Washington, DC: Bipartisan Policy Center, 2012),

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola University MarylandBaltimoreUSA

Personalised recommendations