Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Soapbox

Last week a 12 yr old girl was arrested in her school room, handcuffed and marched across the street to the police station where she was booked and charged with lord alone knows what. probably 'inappropriate use of a magic marker".

What she did was, in a moment probably of 12 year old emotion, write the names of her best friends on the desktop. The teacher called the police and they arrested her.

This was not a troubled kid, not a problem child. She had perfect attendance and good grades. She is now suspended from school.
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Two or three weeks ago a little boy of about seven was removed from the classroom and his parents called, because the teacher found a Lego marine (with rifle) belonging to him. He may have been showing it to a buddy. It was suggested he undergo therapy. By now, he may need it.


In Pennsylvania the school sent home special laptops for the kids so they could do their homework on them. What the kids and parents did not know was that each laptop came with a small camera that could be activated remotely by the school. They activated it a LOT. The school is now having its doors sued off by parents.



this is one side of the coin.

the other side is, the schools no longer hold kids back if they cant do the work, and they all graduate with their class (it looks so good on the record books) whether they can read or not, so as not to damage their tender psyches. When there is a death of a dog, rockstar, hamster, or grandparent the school holds grief counseling sessions, thereby nailing the grief to the wall forever for those kids, rather than letting them deal with it their own way...


does anyone else see a huge discrepancy between the first part and the second part?

2 comments:

  1. It's insane. It remends me of the honor student who was expelled (expelled, mind you) when they found his fishing knife in the bed of his truck. Not even on his person. They can't tell a weapon from a tool...

    It reminds me of what you were saying about the cushioning, the helping them out of the egg by making the egg bigger by padding all surfaces and removing all challenges.

    It reminds me of Heinlein's ruminations about raising adolescents like training dogs. "What they did, in the Crazy Years, was let them mess on the floor and then when they weren't puppies anymore, taking them out and shooting them for messing on the floor."

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  2. That's it, Eponymous, and so much more. It's taking no account of age or intent or possible after effects. It expects 7 year olds to understand what zero tolerance means, and punishes them for being seven, or liking a toy soldier because it reminds him of his dad.

    The sad thing is, in the inner cities kids carry knives as badges, as armor, as protection. Perhaps the suburban teachers dont want That to Happen Here, and lack the imagination to see that it probably won't.

    We are removing all the challenges, but also removing all the acting out that is vital to growth, to imagination, to self expression. When you do that, you have probably very effectively lobotomized the very kids you think you're educating.

    George Orwell's 1984 just took a bit longer to surface.

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