Wednesday, December 19, 2007

School Security: Jumbo Shrimp

“If I had to choose, I’d rather the state feed and clothe my children than let it educate them.” -- Iowa grain dealer, Max Belz

“School security” is an oxymoron. Despite what school officials might say, no one is safe in public schools. I’m not talking about mad shooters. The primary attack on children comes from within the schools, not from outside, and it is constant. It comes from the staff, the boring classes, the academic mediocrity, the distrust, the coercion, the bullying, the unfair rules and restrictions. Together, those create the culture, the climate of frustration and anger. In turn, that causes some people to commit the violence -- often extreme. Public school makes everyone its victim.

Consider the following:
1. Violence is an ever-present possibility. Bullying is a natural result when humans are trapped against their wills. Anyone serious about doing harm cannot not be stopped. Also, the more schools become armed fortresses, the less educational they are.

2. Civil rights? In public schools, there are none, either for children or their parents. Federal District Judge Melinda Harmon ruled, “When you drop your kids off at Public School, you lose your civil rights.”

3. Freedom from coercion? Are you kidding? Coercion is the bread and butter of government school. We hear from the employees that schools are “democratic,” and yet any teacher or parent will tell you from experience that the schools are petty and dictatorial.

4. Freedom from verbal assault? Sorry. Taunting and harassment are part of public school's pecking order -- the result of forcing people together into ugly impersonal institutions.

5. Academic security? Ha! Only about thirty percent of this year’s sophomores in Guilford (my town--an affluent suburb) are even at grade level according to state standardized tests (CAPT). There are no goals or academic standards whatsoever. The basic skills are virtually ignored. Dumbing down appears to be the guiding principle.

6. Emotional safety? Students are at the mercy of psychological conditioning and peer-group therapy. The curriculum is designed as a feel-good exercise, not a learning path. The children know they are being cheated. Many parents realize that they are being conned.

7. Drug-Free Zone? The schools recommend Ritalin and other mind-altering drugs to kids who are anxious, stressed and bored. Who would call that a safe practice? The drug companies are on an aggressive program to “diagnose” children’s “disabilities” in order to sell their wares on a national scale. If the schools will drug our children for behavior, what won’t they do to them?

8. Integrity? Honor? Virtue? No chance. The system’s culture is corrupt, dishonest and self-serving. The employees constantly seek “respect” and yet, they are the ones who do not respect either the children or their parents. They are the ones who start the school wars, by violating the wishes of parents for their children.
9. Financial responsibility? Not a chance. Management by crisis is the norm. Waste is the rule. The system uses every trick to take more money from taxpayers in order to enlarge itself. For example, smaller classes means more hiring and a bigger union, not better instruction.

10. Local control? There’s no such thing. Public school is a state and federal system. The local school board and the administrators are puppets of the teachers’ union and the state bureaucracy. There is no autonomy. There is no accountability.

There is no safety of any kind in public schools. In fact, what permeates the schools is insecurity and fear. The problem is government control. The solution is local control, possibly by establishing a "charter district." That would at least eliminate the teacher union and burdensome state mandates. Let anyone apply who can, teach. Let teachers and parents control what goes on and most of the corruption would end. The ideal, of course, is private schools and/or homeschooling.

Where there’s no force, there’s no resistance. Where there’s no coercion, there’s no rage, and contentment increases. Happy, free and responsible people don’t harm each other. end

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