Today, The United States of America is decaying from within. Every social conscious human being is doing everything they can to fix the growing problems that start with our kids. Programs like the Family Life Program, The Door, Outreach Alliance and Just Say No are trying to get kids back into the fold. Some towns in the United States are experiencing as high as 50% high school dropout rates. Drugs, teenage pregnancy and teenage suicide are all problems that these organizations are trying to combat.
There are many reasons for the decay and I certainly don’t have the answers to all of them. I do know that the family unit as it was years ago, does not exist. I do know that morality with or without a religious connection is all but swept under the carpet.
I am reminded of the public service message on TV, where a father is questioning his son “Where did you learn to use drugs?” and the son answers, “from you Dad.”
While we, as parents, are not all drug users, what are we teaching our kids by allowing them access to the obscenities that exist in television, movies and records? What are we teaching our kids when the family unit is disappearing?
The family unit I’m talking about is the one that consisted of family values, family tradition, family support and most important of all, family responsibility. The responsibility that is accepted by parents who understand their number one mission in life is serving what they created. This includes punishing them while loving them, by caring enough not give them anything they want but instead an example and set of rules to live buy. To have the common sense to understand anything not worked for, is not appreciated.
Our education system has been taking an awful lot of flak as worsening SAT scores imply the teachers are failing us. It’s not the teachers who are failing us; it’s the parents who have failed their children by not accepting the responsibility for their children’s training and education.
On a recent CBS week long look at our educational crisis, it was pointed out that the average parent spends thirty seconds a day talking to their children. That seems incredible, but if it is even remotely true, what are we teaching our kids about education if we don’t spend at least one hour a night with them on homework.
Even if it’s having the child do his homework in front of you while you’re reading the newspaper and then reviewing what was done. Caring about whether or not the homework gets done is important. Caring enough to attend school functions and really becoming a part of them, not just a facade.
Caring enough to entrust the faculty with the responsibility and authority to discipline our children in our school system.
When I was a junior high school student, I can remember my wood shop teacher having a wooden paddle to discipline us with. The paddle had six one-inch holes drilled through it so air could more easily pass through allowing his swing to be faster. When you goofed off in class, you got the paddle. The day I got the paddle he must have lifted me two feet off the ground. It hurt like hell, but I didn’t cry in front of my classmates. I learned two lessons that day, not to goof off and to maintain a pride in front of other boys by not crying.
What would happen today if a wood shop teacher did the same thing? I would venture to say, he would be fired for child abuse.
If child was consistently in trouble with the school, he was sent to reform school. He was removed from mixing with kids trying to go to school in earnest. The reform school was staffed with people that could and would enforce the rules. Older students that refused to study enough to pass were also sent to reform school. To ensure that separation between 8AM and 3PM, school campuses remained closed.
Fence gates were locked and the only entrance/exit was through the main building. A genuine effort was made and enforced to keep the good kids in and the bad kids or any unauthorized person out.
Today children in Tucson can opt to drop out once they reach the tenth grade or 16 years of age. This is the easy way out for both the school system and the child. Unfortunately, the 16-year-old child will make a child’s decision and regulations like this only add to the problems we have today.
We should revise the regulation and raise the age to 18 and not give the child the option to drop out but instead kick them out at that age. Until they turn 18, they should be required to attend a reform school if they didn’t pass a grade on the second attempt or did not conform to the regulations of a school.
It is reported that 50% of high school students in America don’t participate in physical education. The showers in the Tucson High Schools boys’ gym have not been used in years. Solve these problems and you have gone a long way in solving the overall problem.
Why don’t they participate in physical education or take showers? It’s because they apparently have the option. Take the option away! Start enforcing rules! Don’t let kids off campus during school hours! Create a separate reform school! Get tough on education! Lobby to keep the ACLU out of our schools.
Teachers should not live in fear of their students and students should not live in fear of other students. Separate the kids that bring this fear to the majority of the students and faculty. The leniency and liberal attitudes that have gotten us where we are must be reversed and we must care enough about our children to discipline them when they go awry. I don’t believe we need psychologists in schools, we need discipline.
Most importantly, we have to get out of the mode of justifying a child’s actions because of the way he or she was raised or any other social condition. We owe it to our children to provide them the finest education available, and they must be held responsible for conforming to the rules regardless of their background.
Years ago, the saying “Spare the rod and spoil the child” has become spare the discipline and ruin society.
Since the early 1970’s many of the decisions concerning our schools have been influenced by a kindlier more lenient and understanding point of view. The problem that arises is the point of view that included some discipline has been given a back seat. While the instinct that influences the kindlier logic sounds more understanding we shouldn’t automatically reject some discipline in our school system.
Many of the problems in schools today arise from giving children too many freedoms or rights at an early age. The child mind is like a bowl of Jell-O. When they are very young it is very liquid. As they grow up the mind starts to firm up and by the time they are teenagers, it still may be pliable but it can break apart once the mold is set. That is why the mold must be introduced at a very young age.
Those who support children’s rights to determine their own destiny are doing more harm to the child than they realize. Laws that take away parental control over their children have been harming the family for years. Parents are afraid to spank their kids for fear of being accused of child abuse. And kids know it.
It was reported that 50% of high school students do not participate in physical education. While using physical education as an example of our problems may seem silly, it represents the options children are given. They must not be given options, they must be taught conformity of rules. The word conformity is enough to raise many objections from a parental population that grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s and that is part of the problem.
The things kids are doing today like drugs, killing each other and the like are breaking rules of conformity and when it reaches that point, all are shocked. Even the ones who don’t like the word conform.
Things like respect for others and themselves are reinforced by not giving kids options. When we compare our kids with the Japanese and Koreans in academic achievement, we conclude they are scholastically ahead of our kids and we blame our educational system and the teachers. What we don’t realize is, the oriental educational system doesn’t just teach their kids the three R’s, they teach them conformity to the max. They start at a very young age and keep it up through their entire scholastic life.
What are we teaching our kids when at a sixth-grade school graduation we allow our little girls to dress in provocative clothing with makeup, earrings and mature hairdo’s?
What are we teaching our kids when a reported twenty percent of them have had intercourse in the school library? For that to happen a flagrant disregard for any rules must first be imbedded in a child’s mind.
USA Today reported 13% of students out of 3000 could not find Canada on a map. 63% could not locate Southeast Asia.
Combined SAT scores hit an all-time low in 1990 and the president of the College Board stated, “Students must pay less attention to video games and music videos and begin to read more.”
In years past we were not as rigid as the Japanese, but we had codes of conduct and dress. We even had limitations on how long a boy could grow his hair. The rules weren’t there to intimidate us they were there to start teaching us we had to respect rules just because they were rules.
In 1965 a thirteen-year-old little girl wore a black armband to school to show her opposition to the war in Vietnam. Two days before that day, the Des Moines school board had banned the armbands as a “disruptive influence.” Without getting involved in an argument as to whether the Vietnam War was right or wrong, the resulting Supreme Court decision introduced the idea of children’s rights.
In a 7-2 decision Justice Abe Fortas wrote, “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights…at the schoolhouse gate.”
While the idea of “rights” will usually bring a “Don’t take my rights away” attitude from most people, we took a sharp left turn with that decision. If one were to put forth a proposal that children should not have any rights, the goodie two shoes of the world would condemn you as someone who supports child abuse, which is not the case.
The whole idea of a child having rights that supersede institutional rules and regulations is at the base of many of the problems the family, our school systems and our kids are having today. If children are protected by the Constitution, then a dress code would interfere with a child’s right to choose or of expression.
Would a female student have the right to dance topless at her senior prom? If you follow Supreme Court logic, she would. Does a child have the right to bear arms? Same answer. We’ve reached the point where if a child showed up in school with his hair down to his ankles, wearing a swastika with a safety pin stuck through his cheek and burning the American flag, and tried to stop him, the teacher would be arrested.
The idea that children are responsible is a farce. When a child first reaches school, they must have rules to follow. Rules do not mean treat them cruelly. The rules must be made by responsible adults whose sole intention is for the good of the children.
However, to define “for the good of the children ” can encourage some heated debate.
We have become a society that believes never saying no to a child is a kindlier, more understanding and definitely more today. We’ve been led to believe the alternative can only be child beatings for not doing homework. Both conclusions are wrong.
What we have done is load children down with adult decisions they aren’t prepared to make. A child is just a child and must be led through their formative years. Part of that leading is learning to follow rules just because they are rules. A dress code may not be enforceable when you are an adult but in school it’s mandatory. While some may view PeeWee Herman’s conduct in a movie theater as acceptable, it’s not in school.
When parents drop their child off at school, they are transferring control of that child to the school system. They should insist on the child’s safety as number one priority. Second should be providing the best education possible. Educating a child should also include teaching them manners and respect. Teaching manners and respect starts with following rules.
During the Gulf War a high school student decided not to participate in the pledge of allegiance as a protest. When the school suspended him, the ACLU came to his rescue. The snowball just gets bigger.
And then there are those, like Hilary Clinton, who believe an 11-year-old little girl should have the right to an abortion without her parents’ consent. In California, the “teach kids about sex” advocates are reconsidering their decision to teach the kids about intercourse.
They are considering teaching them “outer course” in an effort to curb the increase in children’s sex. Outer course is defined as teaching them creative ways on how to successfully masturbate their partners. According to their reasoning, the children will then choose this over intercourse.
I’ll end with the first sentence I started with. Today, The United States of America is decaying from within.
Now, go read this and see what all this has lead to:
Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School
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