Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Walking to School

Yesterday: Each morning, during the eight o'clock hour, there are dozens of youngsters walking along the sidewalks, in groups of two to maybe seven or eight, sometimes singly, and sometimes on bicycles. They're laughing and talking, goofing around, but generally moving along in the same direction. As they pass an intersection, more kids come running up to join the parade.

This boy is showing his friend his new jacknife. That girl is with three friends, giggling and pointing at a small group of boys clowning around up ahead.

They're carrying books; they're on their way to school.

Today: Stylish sedans and suv's line up along the street for blocks, clogging the street and moving forward, feet at a time. Late-sleeping neighbors suffer angry horn honking and dozens of idling engines as they do the stop-and-go crawl. The sidewalks are empty.

Amid exhaust fumes and the heat of engines, the kids are disgorged in the school parking lot, one or two at a time, barely able to greet their friends as they rush to their classrooms, arriving late. Parents, afraid to upset those in the long line of cars behind them, say hasty goodbyes.

Everyone who's read these pages for any time at all knows what I think about government schools. In a short phrase: Government schools are child abuse. In a longer sentence: If government school teachers spent half as much time teaching students acedemic subjects as they do spreading propaganda, we'd have very intelligent graduates, indeed.

This entry isn't about schools, however. It's about what teachers call "socialization." Not teaching kids to be good little fascists (which they will), but rather making friends and doing fun stuff.

Government school teachers complain that kids who don't go to "public" schools don't socialize well.

Years ago, we "socialized" on the way to school in the morning, then goofed around more on the way home in the afternoon. We got to know the kids in the neighborhood that way, and parents got to know each other as they told each other what "those darned kids" have been doing in the back yard.

Now, it's out of the car, into the classroom and out of the classroom into the car. I suppose they get a little time during lunch or during whatever passes for recess these days. But don't dare show your friend your new jacknife. Don't even bring it. Not only will you be carried of in irons by the police, but the record of it'll follow you through your entire academic career, and perhaps beyond.

Let's look at the school in which your youngsters spend almost a third of their young lives. Crackerbox buildings, often without heating and air conditioning. Sometimes they're literally trailers, set in rows. All this, for over $8k per child per year. The grounds are surrounded with tall chain link, to condition the kids to know their choices are limited and that they can't escape. They'd be better referred to as Children's Prisons.

The most intelligent kids are kept down to the progress level of the slowest kids in the class. When they get bored and start entertaining themselves, they're required to take tranquilizers to dope them down. On the other hand, if one of them smokes a joint, it's virtual death. If they smoke a cigarette on school property, it's even worse!

Don't give an asperin to your classmate who has a headache. That makes you a drug pusher and you're scarred for life. And never, ever point your finger at a pal and go "Bang!" They'll hang you by the thumbs from the chain link fence, for that.

Well, I said this wasn't about schools, and it is, sort of.

While the government teaching establishment talks about socializing, and spends millions on programs to teach kids to be good neighbors (money that could go into academics) if allowed to walk to school and play in the afternoons between school and dinner, and if parents arranged outings for groups of friends, etc. kids would "socialize" quite nicely without the schools' help, thank you very much.

"But," the government school advocate asserts. "There are child molesters and drug pushers who'll victimize our children."

My Answer: If parents teach their kids how to defend themselves against criminals, they won't be victims. The key is that parents have to do their jobs as parents. It's not a school problem. Or is it?

In government schools, the teachers are often the drug pushers--requiring that kids use various psychoactive drugs to make the kids more compliant. Occasionally, we hear about a teacher sexually victimizing a student. How can they escape, when they're surrounded by chain link?

Like a prison.

They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California

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