Friday, May 23, 2008

It took about three years to break most kids

While I would certainly support a get tough approach to get our public schools under control what is described in this piece I found via Newsalert would bother me. I'll provide an excerpt but read the whole thing:

A local reader writes in:

"I have been reading your series of columns on schools with much interest and I'm in full agreement with you. But I was wondering if you are aware of what goes on in the Clark County school system in regards to the treatment of students, ... policies and actions that border on something straight out of a prison.

"Students who are deemed 'behavior' problems are expelled from regular school and sent to something called 'behavior school'. Once there they can expect to be strip searched -- strip searched. I still find this hard to comprehend. The system apparently treats children as some sort of enemy, to be controlled, to ensure docile compliance.

"Some schools have instituted dress codes whereby a student can be expelled if their clothes are wrinkled, if they wear a belt deemed 'inappropriate.' ... One mother expressed to me her feeling that it's almost as if the district wants students to quit, rather than bother trying to actually educate them in anything."

There's a lot going on in this post. Going along with the history of the school system in this country. Here's another telling excerpt:

"School is the first impression children get of organized society; like most first impressions, it is the lasting one. Life according to school is dull and stupid, only consumption promises relief: Coke, Big Macs, fashion jeans, that's where real meaning is found, that is the classroom's lesson, however indirectly delivered.

"The decisive dynamics which make forced schooling poisonous to healthy human development aren't hard to spot. Work in classrooms isn't significant work; it fails to satisfy real needs pressing on the individual; it doesn't answer real questions experience raises in the young mind; it doesn't contribute to solving any problem encountered in actual life. The net effect of making all schoolwork external to individual longings, experiences, questions, and problems is to render the victim listless. ...

"As I watched it happen, it took about three years to break most kids, three years confined to environments of emotional neediness with nothing real to do. ...

"The strongest meshes of the school net are invisible. Constant bidding for a stranger's attention creates a chemistry producing the common characteristics of modern schoolchildren: whining, dishonesty, malice, treachery, cruelty. Unceasing competition for official favor in the dramatic fish bowl of a classroom delivers cowardly children, little people sunk in chronic boredom, little people with no apparent purpose for being alive. ...

Something to consider when it's time to send your child to their first day of school ever!

1 comment:

Cal Skinner said...

I've thought since high school in Crystal Lake that prison is the best comparison to high school.

They wouldn't even let us take our tests home. Guess some teachers were too lazy to make new tests each year.

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