Watergate Perspective: Lessons Unlearned?

I found it fitting that on the day the House approved $28 billion to build more prisons and "get tough on violent offenders," students in an advanced-placement history class at Chatsworth High School were unable to articulate the Watergate scandal.

Here we spend billions on protecting society from its criminal element, yet we are unable to educate our children on the crimes a former President committed less than 20 years ago. Surely our future prison system will be able to accommodate the ignorant messes currently bred by our public school system.

It seems Chatsworth High hasn't changed much over the years. I got my substandard education there too, finally learning about history, politics and art in the university. I cannot blame the school for my limited interest in learning, but when I see an advanced-placement teacher saying "the worst thing that Nixon did was to try to cover up what his friends did" and used his "position of power to obstruct a criminal investigation," I can readily understand why I came to believe in college that all I'd learned in my history classes were lies. I was angry and I continue to be angry with the education offered to the young people who are the future of my country.

Pouring money into the prison system and chipping away at the funds for our schools will continue to breed ignorance. We will have children who believe that Watergate was no big deal, an event blown up by the media.

TANYA PAMPALONE

Chatsworth

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