Just Northeast of Austin is a little community called “Pflugerville.” Actually, Plugerville isn’t so little anymore, and it definitely isn’t a backwards Texas town if it ever was one. The German tradition here in central Texas is very strong with beer festivals, celebration of music and a general live and let live attitude to politics. So, while I was delighted to hear that Pflugerville was the first school district in Texas to end discrimination against nontraditional families, I certainly wasn’t surprised .
Because our church gets so many of its members from Plugerville, I have often been asked to speak on panels or events for various schools in the Pflugerville ISD. I have been amazed at the courage of the teachers in challenging the dominant worldview in Texas, which is the willed ignorance of fundamentalism. The district has tried to avoid presenting liberal propaganda, while helping young minds question the limits of conservative propaganda. In other words, as a whole they have taught children not what to think, but how to think.
One cannot be a truly educated person within the confines of one’s own habits and culture. The purpose of education is to open us to a wider world where we can see all of nature as our home and all of humankind as one family. The similarity of the words “universal” and “university” is not a coincidence. A universal view recognizing the validity of beliefs and traditions other than our own is the goal of every educated person.
So Pflugerville ISD becomes the first school district in Texas to end its discrimination against nontraditional families. Here is hoping they will be the first pebble in a landslide of change.