I suppose that Kansas House Bill 2236 is as good a starting point as any. An education bill emblematic of our crossroads, and certainly representative of a culture in steep decline and disarray. I commend Rep. Rebecca Schmoe for introducing the bill, not because I agree with it — I most certainly do not, but because the bill’s subject matter tapped into a fond memory of my third-grade teacher at Prescott Elementary School, Ms. Collins.

She had that rare human gift that made her chosen profession of teaching inevitable. Her desk was situated at the back of class. She was soft-spoken. When she looked at you, she paused and looked into you — straight through the fabric and into the heart. I was 9 and can’t recall a thing I learned that year except that I meant a lot to her. Got a birthday card from her the next year; I had moved far away, to Georgia. Not sure how she got my address.

Just one Ms. Collins — among the 3.5 million U.S. public school teachers. Have you had a “Ms. Collins”? I hope so. That breed of teacher is on the endangered species list, and for reasons that have much to do with the time and energy invested in disappointing legislation like House Bill 2236. The proposed law would allow parents to arbitrarily dismiss their child from any class not to their liking and do so without effect on the child’s grades. Why? Because “parents have the right to direct the education, upbringing and moral or religious training of their children.”