Yes, it's important that our children learn character and manners and independence as they learn the skills of reading, writing, arithmetic and the scientific method, but it's not the school's job to teach them all of these things. When the public schools announce that small children at an impressionable and dependent age must be taught "independence," they mean "independence from parents, transferring dependence to the school."
The founder of American public education was John Dewey, an avowed socialist whose express goal for public schools was in loco parentis - in the place of the parents. Not everyone can, nor should, home-school their children, nor can every child walk with her mother to the classroom every morning. But parents need to take charge of their children's education and let the kids know that the schools are not the last authority in their lives.
Be the real bastions of wisdom - not Miss So-and-So's first grade. Nothing against Miss So-and-So or any other teacher, but they are not your children's parents. You are.
Josh Griffing, Augusta