The College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri dates back to 1907, when pastor James Forsythe was inspired to start a school where students would cover the cost of their education by working a job instead of paying tuition.
As an institution founded upon strong Christian principles, critics have harassed and targeted the school for years, including most recently over their policy of single sex dorms.
We begin this morning with a word from their president, Jerry Davis, a courageous man and leader who embodies the words of the poet Robert Frost, who once said, “Freedom lies in being bold.”
1. Administration Policy Disrespects Both Science and Religion
Jerry Davis, president of College of the Ozarks, writes in this morning’s Wall Street Journal:
College of the Ozarks faces an existential threat, as a federal court will hear on Wednesday. The Biden administration has declared that we must start letting men into our young women’s dorm rooms, showers and locker rooms—or else face the wrath of the federal government.
The Biden administration issued a February memo under the Fair Housing Act, declaring it will “eradicate housing discrimination.” If we don’t cease what it calls “gender identity” discrimination, the federal government will punish our 115-year-old institution via laws that were written to stamp out racism.
College campuses have certainly been superspreaders for the sexual revolution, and since then some campuses implemented coed dorms. But until now no one has forced private colleges to reject the wisdom of having separate dorms for men and women, half of whom are teenagers. Nor has the government compelled colleges to deny the basic biological reality that there are two sexes.
College of the Ozarks has a singular purpose—to provide a top-notch Christian education for students who cannot afford to attend college elsewhere. Our religious beliefs define who we are. Our students know these beliefs, most share them, and all commit to respect them when they join our community. We don’t enforce our principles with the edge of a sword; but, like most colleges, we establish clearly defined expectations for students, faculty and employees.
In my 44 years as a college president, I have learned that sometimes we must adapt to changes and sometimes we must stand firm. This is a time to stand firm. The U.S. is at a political and spiritual crossroads. Will our country allow the whims of elite opinion to impose a novel redefinition of humanity on ordinary Americans? Or will we stand up for the fundamentals of freedom that were endowed by our Creator and guaranteed by the Constitution?
Typically at a college, the dean of students manages student life. The character of a college is determined by its trustees, who are bound to maintain its mission. Can you imagine what would happen if a dean revoked these policies without consent, without notice, without input, without authority? That’s what the Biden administration is trying to do.
- High School Student Punished for Saying There are Only Two Genders, Sues School
From The Daily Citizen:
A high school freshman at Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire was suspended from the school’s football team for one game for expressing his belief to a fellow student that, contrary to school policy, there are only two genders, male and female.
M.P., as he is referred to in the Complaint filed on his behalf by his mother in the Rockingham Superior Court on November 4, is suing his school district, the New Hampshire School Administrative Unit 16, and his school’s vice principal, Marcy Dovholuk, for violating M.P.’s constitutional right to free speech.
The lawsuit stems from a conversation M.P. had on a bus with two students about the district’s gender identity policy, which requires students and staff to use the preferred pronouns of students who don’t identify as their biological sex. M.P. expressed his view that there are only two genders. That conversation was overheard by a third person, a female, who challenged M.P. on his views.
That second conversation on the bus with the female who confronted M.P. carried over to texts between the two, and those texts were ultimately given to the school administration, which imposed the suspension on M.P.
- National Strategy on Gender Equity Implodes Upon Launch
From The Daily Citizen:
In the midst of all the serious crises going on with our nation, bureaucrats in Washington have delivered the U.S.’s “first ever” “National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.”
But the document, while highly aspirational, is a dramatic failure on multiple levels. The Daily Citizen read the entire official report and was struck by its stark weaknesses. No one expected it to promote conservative ideals on gender, but it fails miserably to advance even the most basic ideals of the new gender ideology this administration claims to champion with statements such as this:
“The full participation of people of all genders is critical to the functioning of democracies … across the globe.”
Let us start with the failure to define its most important terms.
4. How to Be on the Right Side of History
From First Things:
Let’s assume, a decade hence, that current trends in American K-12 education have continued and intensified.
How are the two populations of high school graduates going to compare after a decade of independent development? The graduates of woke K-12 education are going to be incurious ignoramuses. Even if they possess a lot of raw intelligence, they will be intellectually torpid because a system of schooling that aims at indoctrination must smother natural curiosity and a sense of wonder about the unknown, the spring of all true education. They will lack creativity because knowledge—knowledge inside your head, not merely retrievable data—provides the raw material of the imagination.
Meanwhile, children brought up in classical schools will know stuff. They will have a much fuller grasp of the amazing story of America. Having taken courses about Western civilization, they will have a grasp of the broad sweep of history, and they will be able to compare Western achievements fairly with those of other civilizations. They will have been brought up on a rich diet of Western art, architecture, music, and literature. They will have been taught that good character is a person’s most valuable possession. They will have been taught logic (the art of reasoning) and rhetoric (the art of eloquence and persuasion).
So ten years from now, which group of high school graduates will constitute the elite? I don’t mean the credentialed elite, but the true elite—the young men and women with the best characters, the best skills, and the best, most creative minds? I think we know the answer to that question.
- FBI Counterterrorism Unit Tracking ‘Threats’ Against School Officials, School Boards, Whistleblower Docs Show
From the Daily Wire:
FBI counterterrorism officials are compiling and tracking investigations into “threats” directed at school board members and other school officials, whistleblower documents show.
House Judiciary Committee Republicans, led by the committee’s ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), released a whistleblower email on Tuesday showing that the FBI is using counterterrorism tools to track threats against school officials.
“We share an obligation to ensure all individuals are able to do their jobs without threats of violence or fear for their safety. This can only be accomplished with effective coordination and engagement with our law enforcement partners and United States Attorney offices,” says the email, sent on behalf of the assistant directors of the FBI’s counterterrorism and criminal divisions.
“As a result, the Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions created a threat tag, EDUOFFICIALS, to track instances of related threats. We ask that your offices apply the threat tag to investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” it continues. “The purpose of the threat tag is to help scope this threat on a national level and provide an opportunity for comprehensive analysis of the threat picture for effective engagement with law enforcement partners at all levels.”
- Rittenhouse Judge Bruce Schroeder receives hundreds of menacing emails during trial, wishing murder of his children and more
Judge Bruce Schroeder has reportedly received hundreds of disturbing messages throughout the Kyle Rittenhouse trial — many of them accusing him of being racist and some of of them advocating for violence against his children.
One message, which included wishes of violence against Schroder’s children, stated the hope that Schroder’s children one day become “victims to the most heinous homicide known to man so he feels the pain.”
Schroeder on Monday handed the case over to the jury with a message to deliver a fair verdict following their deliberations.
“The time has now come where the great burden of reaching a just, fair, and conscientious decision in this case will be placed totally with you,” Schroeder told the jury. “You will not be swayed by sympathy, passion, prejudice, or political beliefs. You will disregard any impressions that you may have, which you may believe are my opinion on the guilt or innocence of the defendant … You will disregard the claims or opinions of any person, news media, or social networking site. You will pay no heed to the opinions of anyone — even the president of the United States, or the president before him.”
“The founders of our country gave you, and you alone, the power and the duty to decide this case,” Schroeder added.
- Cannabis use during pregnancy linked to mental, behavioral health issues in kids
From NBC News:
Women who use cannabis during their pregnancies could be putting their children at risk of developing mental health and behavioral problems early in life, a study published Monday finds.
Recent research has shown that heavy cannabis use during pregnancy can harm the fetus. Less clear, however, is the effect of the drug on child development in children born to women who used marijuana while they were pregnant.
As cannabis use becomes more prevalent, especially during pregnancy, it’s important to learn what the potential risk factors are, said Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscientist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and the lead author of the new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“It’s not that I think that cannabis is a horrible thing,” she said. “But it is a drug that we need to make sure we understand which individuals may be more vulnerable.”
8. How Smartphones Stifle Childhood Creativity
From the Gospel Coalition:
Today, the smartphone allows for more creativity in the hands of a child than ever before. But is creative output the result?
I marvel at the worlds my kid create on Minecraft. I enjoy playing the levels my kids make on Super Mario Maker.
But most of the time, the smartphone seems more like a drug draining the creativity out of the next generation. In the grocery store, you pass by toddlers in the grocery cart, oblivious to their surroundings, captivated by an iPad. Next time you’re at a stoplight, look at the people in the cars around you, and you’re likely to see adults, teens, and children with faces lit up from the soft glow of their devices. Even worse, you may find the driver texting.
Of course, we can be grateful for all the good today’s technology makes possible. The capabilities of these devices never cease to amaze.
But what if, instead of relying on technology for creative development, we are stunting the next generation’s imaginative growth? What if the endless horizons available on the iPhone screen keep us from scanning the horizon of the world around us, or tapping into the depths of our creativity?
Will the next generation enjoy memories of an imaginary fortress in the back yard, know the thrill of sailing down the creek after a thunderstorm, or the backstories of imaginary kingdoms, complete with wars, castles, and the annals of each king’s reign?
Parents, for the sake of the art the world is waiting for, for the sake of the mental and emotional health of the next generation, for the sake of fun-filled imaginations that make the years of childhood a delight, please limit your kids’ access to the phone.
They will thank you later. And, with you, they’ll forever enjoy the fruit of childhood creativity.
9. The Secret Power of Reconnecting With Old Friends
From the Wall Street Journal:
Nostalgia increases positive mood, self-esteem and self-confidence, according to studies conducted by Dr. Routledge and others. It makes us feel more socially connected and optimistic. It helps us feel that life has more meaning. And it’s highly motivating, pushing us to pursue goals, reconnect with people who were once important to us, and make new relationships.
We can become nostalgic about any period in our life. But it’s most common to feel a longing for our adolescence or early adulthood, likely because that’s when we developed our sense of identity and forged our own relationships.
Dr. Routledge says that most people feel nostalgic about social experiences, typically with family or friends. We may long for their support or feel we can trust them. Old friends—especially ones from our youth, who may also know our family—are often the people we believe truly understand us.
10.Hershey unveiled its largest Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and called it a Thanksgiving pie. 3,000 sold out in hours
From USA Today:
This Thanksgiving, your pie doesn’t have to be pumpkin. Hershey has released a Reese’s Thanksgiving Pie, the largest Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ever made.
It’s 9 inches long and 3.25 pounds of solid peanut butter and chocolate.
“When you bring together friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner, no table spread is complete without dessert,” said Bo Jones, senior associate brand manager at Reese’s in a Hershey press release Monday. “At Reese’s, we wanted to create a dessert that everyone wants a piece of.”
Only a limited number of pies were released, 3,000 total, and each pie is $44.99 plus tax. But bad news for anyone who craved this for Thanksgiving dessert: In just a few hours, all the pies sold out, according to a Facebook post on Reese’s page.