Just a brief glimpse into my life here. I work as a substitute teacher in the public school system. I have worked with children in some form or another since I was about 15 years old (barely more than a child myself). Kids are one of the few things in this world that I do love and hold out some small glimmer of hope for. As a result, I don’t like to see them getting fucked over, as is so often the case. More on this another time though.
I’ve worked in the public school system for about a year and a half now. I gotta tell ya, it’s much worse than I had ever imagined. I used to laugh at people who spoke ill of the public education system. This was before I had seen it from the inside. Going through it as only a student, so many things are hidden from you and even though most kids think school is fucked up anyway, they really just don’t know the half of it.
So, what’s the problem with schools? Mind you, I’m not just talking about public schools, I’m talking about ALL schools. The problem is that schools today are no longer just a place for pure book learning and the formation of peer relationships. No, today our schools are the bastion of government-sponsored indoctrination. The words “Public School System” should be changed to “Youth Indoctrination Authority.” The school system is the government’s tool for teaching our young people to think as they wish and to act as they wish. Children are blatantly told to never question authority of any kind, even when that authority is obviously wrong. They are taught to act in a manner deemed “appropriate” by the state. They are taught to think in a manner deemed “appropriate” by the state. And in school’s where uniforms are enforced, they are even taught that their appearance must meet with state approval! The job of the modern educational system is to make kids smart enough to contribute to society while keeping them docile enough to conform to the every whim of whoever happens to be in authority. Not an easy task, for sure.
Why the hell is it that our schools have gotten the power to teach our kids pretty much anything (except religion, of course)? Schools are there to instill factual knowledge into the minds of children, NOT to make them memorize the “Pledge of Allegiance!” Tell me, what fucking educational value does the PoA serve? If the students were being taught the pledge in a Social Studies class, I could see it, but come on….
What’s really frightening (and I mean, terrifying) is the government, via the schools, is being given an inordinate amount of control over the lives of our children and our ability to interact with them. Many schools have policies in which you cannot pick your child up from school before dismissal for any reason whatsoever. I have read of nightmarish scenarios in which children have been placed in military vans and bussed away from their schools during some type of preparedness drill for terrorist attacks. During such situations, parents would not even know where their children are being held!
Many schools, including the one I work at, claim to be “putting children first” when in fact the opposite is true. Case in point: The school where I work was selected for some prestigious bus tour involving members of the state and federal Boards of Education. It was a VERY big deal and a tremendous honor for the school. What did the superintendent do in response to this? She authorized the spending of funds (that’s YOUR taxpayer dollars) to put down new carpeting in the school, paint the school (it wasn’t necessary, by the way), put up bulletin boards outside each classroom in the school (completely fucking retarded), etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Odd how it is that the school board is always bitching about not having the funding to do this or that, but they can drain the funds to buy fucking bulletin boards, can’t they?! My school’s after-school program started quite late in the year as a result of this (the bulletin board/paint/other bullshit money came out of our after-school program’s funding).
Putting children first? Oh no, my boss (like every other superintendent in the land) put her reputation and appearance first, NOT the educational needs of those children. The problem is that being a school Superintendent is one of the first stepping stones into a political career. How can we expect people to actually give a damn about the children in their care when they occupy an office full of political motivations!
Oh hell… I need to stop writing now. If I start in on the politics behind the school system, we’ll be here all damn day! To put it mildly though, your children’s educational needs are not considered in a light of what’s best for them. Your children’s needs are considered in the light of “what will make us look good?” I admit that quite often these two ideas are not mutually exclusive, but there are plenty of times when they can be.
Anyway…. I’m sure you’ll hear more on this. Every time I see some cowardly act of politics interfere with the children I care for, you can be sure you’ll know about it!
Fuck…. I gotta get onto another topic.
“Sometimes what you’ve learned conflicts with what you know”
-Children of the Corn II