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What happens when a state tries to purge its state universities or a community tries to purge its public schools of alleged subversives? […] What happens is the demoralization and eventual corruption of the school system. This is not a momentary or even temporary affair; it is something the consequences of which may be felt for years. The search for subversives results in the intimidation of the independent, the original, the imaginative, and the experimental-minded. It discourages independence of thought in teachers and students alike. It discourages the reading of books that may excite the suspicion of some investigator or some Legionnaire. It discourages the discussion of controversial matters in the classroom, for such discussion may be reported, or misreported, and cause trouble. It creates a situation where first-rate minds will not go into teaching or into administration and where students therefore get poor teaching. In the long run it will create a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience. In the long run it will create a generation not only deprived of liberty but incapable of enjoying liberty.

Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) American historian, writer, activist
“Free Enterprise in Ideas,” Freedom, Loyalty, Dissent (1954)

Originally published in the Saturday Review (1952), based on a speech to the Advertising Council's American Round Table, New York City (1951).
Added on 9-Feb-22 | Last updated 22-Jun-22
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But your spiritual teachers caution you against enquiry — tell you not to read certain books; not to listen to certain people; to beware of profane learning; to submit your reason, and to receive their doctrines for truths. Such advice renders them suspicious counsellors. By their own creed, you hold your reason from their God. Go! ask them why he gave it.

Frances "Fanny" Wright (1795-1852) Scottish-American writer, lecturer, social reformer
A Course of Popular Lectures, Lecture 3 “Of the more Important Divisions and Essential Parts of Knowledge” (1829)
Added on 4-Sep-19 | Last updated 4-Sep-19
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We cannot blame the schools alone for that dismal decline in SAT verbal scores. […] What happens at home really matters. And when our kids come home from school, do they pick up a book, or do they sit glued to the tube watching music videos? Parents: don’t make the mistake of thinking your kids only learn from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You are and always will be their first teachers.

George H. W. Bush (1924-2018) American politician, diplomat, US President (1989-93)
Speech, Lewiston Comprehensive High School, Maine (3 Sep 1991)

Often misattributed to his son, George W. Bush.
Added on 8-Jun-16 | Last updated 8-Jun-16
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Teachers need our active support and encouragement. They are doing one of the most necessary and exacting jobs in the land. They are developing our most precious national resource: our children, our future citizens.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Speech, Centennial Celebration Banquet, National Education Association (4 Apr 1957)
Added on 9-Jul-15 | Last updated 9-Jul-15
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