Friday, March 25, 2005

Schools As Parents

I hesitate to rant over a subject as painful as the gutless murders that took place at Red Lake High School earlier this week, so I will not.

But, I will rant about the opinion piece I found in today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press.

I’m don’t know why kids feel the need to open fire on their fellow students before killing themselves. But I guaran-damn-tee you, following Dan Gartrell’s prescription of adding to the already top-heavy bureaucracy will do nothing to either find the cause or solve the problem.

I can say this with great confidence because what he proposes is more of the same. More money, more staff, more cradle-to-grave involvement in our lives:

From the beginning — from a well-funded, coordinated preschool system and full-time kindergarten classrooms straight on into college — we need mental health professionals in our schools.

Give us your kids when they’re three and we’ll mold them and shape them into productive citizens. We will instill in them the proper values – as chosen by the government – and prepare them to serve the master – government again – when their education is complete.
He wants the “time and support for every teacher, every day, to teach the meaning of a community of learners, of an encouraging classroom, in which cooperative communication is used and the need for rejection and bullying of individual students is eliminated.”
He’s missing an important element that no longer exists, in any meaningful way, in today’s society: Firm and strict disciplining of those who step out of bounds
This “conflict resolution” crap is just that...crap. Until teachers are allowed to discipline properly – I’m not talking about physical punishment, necessarily – and parents are willing to back up the teachers, we’re going to get nowhere.
Speaking of parents, how can Mr. Gartrell spend 704 words talking about how to fix the problem and give only a passing mention to family and not one word about Mom and Dad?

Then, on word 531, he goes for the close: The only way to really solve this problem is to – surprise, surprise – raise our taxes.
What’s most refreshing about his pitch is he doesn’t couch it in euphemisms:
It will take weighing the need for new taxes against the lives of all Minnesotans lost in schools and finally recognizing that new taxes are indeed needed.
There it is, schools and schools alone can solve the problems of today’s youth going berserk and killing each other. No need for you, as parents, to be involved. Oh, we’ll build trust-based relationships with you, but only so you’ll rubber stamp our plans.

Parents are an unnecessary distraction in the lives of their kids and, if they have input in their upbringing, may not teach the proper values – again those as deemed proper by government (primarily Education Minnesota).

Therefore, the earlier educators get their hooks into our kids, the less need there will be for re-educators later on.

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