The Stealthy War

During the trailer for a documentary – The War on Kids, John Gatto says this about the particular institution and its culture: "If you wanted to invent a mechanism to drive people insane, I mean literally insane, that's the system you would invent."  

There's a drug or two for that.  Where else could a school bus ride yield kids selling ritalin to kids as a  Little Helper.

It's also been a bit shocking how the socialization aspect keeps regurgitating regarding the importance of school.  If you want to make a homeschooler roll their eyes, bringing up that "S" word will do the trick.  Illinois inserted Social and Emotional Standards of Learning into their official education onslaught of words. The Standards have much to do with being School Ready. Often homeschoolers and other enlightened parties realize this has little to do with learning.  

Prison is the only other place an innocent party can be routinely called into an authority's office and bullied and coerced into squealing on your friends or peers. In the school environment, it could be to find out who was at the busted kegger last weekend.  Shows who's The Boss.  

But prison is for criminals.  This enforcement could surely do some damage to young minds forced to bow down day after day for most of their childhood.  

Regarding school as most in our communities know it from a Critique of Public School Culture (Village Voice review of The War on Kids:

 Soling shows how, in the service of controlling rather than educating students, we hem them in with prohibitions we ourselves wouldn't tolerate (what adult would agree to being forbidden to go to the bathroom?) and punish them too harshly for activities we overindulge in (drink, drugs, too much television and Internet). With their "zero tolerance" policies, public schools have come to function like prisons. Kids are overdiagnosed and overmedicated to a dangerous degree, not to mention deprived of the civil rights that would teach them how to live in a democracy. 

I haven't seen all this War on Kids documentary yet, but the points are issues homeschoolers have been driving home for decades.  Mostly in defense of what we do while trying to mind our own family's education.  Freedom to learn is important.  

I sent the review on to my adult kids, who had been homeschooled and public schooled.  One replied with this:

Who's living in a democracy? Seems to me that they are being socialized quite well in fact.

Indeed.

Naomi Wolfe submitted an article a few years ago:  Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

A related post: Elephant in the Room: “Children don’t like school because they love freedom”

Some optimism in use within our tiny homeschooling minority: Open Education – It’s the Learning that Counts

This documentary airs on May 6 at 8 and 9 pm ET/CT

Hat tip to Home Education Magazine's Networking yahoo group.  


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