“I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.” – No. 6 – The Prisoner
I try to stick to tech topics on this blog but frequent readers will know occasionally I stray into policy questions. For example, I am not a fan of public schooling. I try to stay away from it because it’s really a question of politics not education, but I sometimes stray into it because you can’t look at upcoming changes in education without considering it in the context of society itself. Today is Friday the 13th so I say let’s have a stab at some policy.
First let’s look at this story from CNN.com (and everywhere else)
A 6-year-old boy near Colorado Springs, Colorado, was suspended from school for kissing a girl on the hand. You read that correctly.
Robin Gooldy, the superintendent of Cañon City Schools, told KRDO that Hunter’s record will remain within the district and that his behavior fits the school policy description of sexual harassment, which includes unwanted touching.
“Our main interest in this is having the behavior stop because the story is not just about the student that was disciplined, it is also about the student receiving the unwanted advances,” Gooldy told HLN. “We have to think about both students in the situation.”
No, there was no thinking going on here. School has probably the most rigid rules in society, second only to prison and even there the inmates get time to do what they want. On a happier note, as of yesterday the school reversed their position and is not going to suspend the boy. I’m sure most people would look at this story and think the system made a mistake right? Well that would depend on the purpose of school. School is not to teach children about math and english and such. It is to make controllable and predictable citizens. It’s a factory controlled by politicians. These politicians are dependent on their citizens to vote for them and do what they are told, therefore how could schools be done any other way?
Most insidious to me is the fact that I believe that schools are being used to condition people to believing in positive liberties. There are two kinds of liberties. A negative liberty says you cannot do something but everything else is ok. For example, society has laws that say you cannot kill somebody (I’m simplifying it I know). A positive liberty says you can do something and only that thing. For example, Obamacare says people have to buy health insurance. That’s a fairly unprecedented law at the national level (no we aren’t discussing the law here, that’s just my take on it). On many levels now, the school system is starting to lay down a list of positive liberties such you may only do what they permit. Don’t do anything we don’t say to do or else you will be made an example of to the others. Not only that, but the rules are flexible enough that with political pressure, the rules can be ignored or bent for some.
There are other places in society where this is happening. For example, a TSA agent confiscated a 2″ toy gun from a Doll. There is a complete lack of thinking on the part of the agent but it’s not their fault. They aren’t allowed to think. Neither are kids. For example, a boy was suspended for pretending to shoot somebody with a bow and arrow made with his fingers.
I don’t blame all the teachers for this, I blame adminstrators (and some teachers) who are brain dead. They just do their jobs and are protected from backlash (usually) because it’s hard to fire a government. worker. I could go on with more stories but you get the idea. It’s not about learning, it’s about conditioning.
So if you’ve made it this far I have a treat for you. Here’s a video of my son Nicholas. He’s 10 months old now and yesterday he found out the Christmas Tree has a switch on it.
What you are looking at is curiosity, discovery and the joy of learning in it’s purest form.
If I was to send him to school he would be treated just like a number and would gradually get that creative spark beaten out of him. Now if you are a teacher I know what you are thinking. I bet you are thinking, not in my classroom! God bless you. The fact you are even reading this means you try your best to think outside the box but are you the rule or the exception? How many teachers do you know who just do their job and coast along? To make waves is to bring administration down on you too. The government doesn’t value teachers no matter what they say. Just look at what they say when budgets get cut. Who gets let go first? Teachers, not admin. And don’t think the union is watching out for you either. The relationship between unions and teachers is exactly the same as the relationship between a rancher and his cattle. The only ones in a school system who care about the kids are the ones with the least power.
Therefore we are going to homeschool Nicholas. The public education system can’t have him because we have been entrusted with something very special and precious; a pure spirit, full of wonder and curiosity about the world. Our family will sacrifice to teach him. There are a lot of vacations we won’t take. Our cars will always be old but it’s totally worth it.
In the end, God willing, we will help him find his place in the world and become the best he can be, not according to some federal standard but according to his own.