I asked him what BCE and CE was counting from and he didn't know. I asked him if he knew about how the Romans lead lives of debauchery, violence to their political leaders, cruelty to an unprecedented level to their slaves and their conquered nations, and this was news to him. I asked him if he knew how the Romans treated the early Christians by burning them and throwing them to the lions to which he said that they were only to focus on the good things about them. I asked him then if he knew about the fact that the Romans only turned to Christianity for political reasons as they saw that that was the way the empire was turning on its own and as they were losing their power, this was their final method of trying to gain control. Once again he knew nothing about this.
Now, I can understand that for younger children some of the unpleasantness of history can be played down, but not for 7th graders. I know that the actual year of the birth of Jesus is in dispute, but the idea of what date we set our calendars from is at least worth teaching as to what event we are counting from. And granted the Romans gave us many of our military, engineering and political foundations, but to suggest that they were the nice guys of history is quite misleading.
Is this an example of how our children are being taught a lopsided view of history. Is this softening up of the past giving them a realistic attitude of history. Are we taking away important facts when we teach history without teaching about the importance of religious events and motivation in the lives of the historical figures we consider important.
If this is really what is being taught, then I am worried.