do you want to create a nation totally unable to succeed? Remove all adversity from the formative years of its youth. Seriously, how do you expect to get ahead in life if you never learn how to stand up for yourself, how to compete, or how to have a good time while doing both. Enter this school in New Hampshire that apparently thinks the time honored tradition of Dodge Ball is going to somehow cripple the youth of the nation. Are you serious?
the whole point of Dodge Ball is that you don't hurt anyone. The point is to learn strategy how to compete despite stronger faster, or more talented opponents. Seriously I was picked all over the spectrum, from dead last to first, and I've been pummeled so many times as a kid that I lost count. But Dodge Ball was always fun. The strange twists and gyrations one would go through to avoid said balls would often lead to fits of hysterical laughing. Kind of hard to see this as a negative.
More to the point, if your psyche can't take Dodge Ball how in the hell will you be able to take on project deadlines? If you can't take a little potential "bullying" in the form of a red rubber ball that does no permanent damage, how are you going to deal with an irate boss? If you can not take a massively lopsided team selection and not go into it with at least a sense you want to win (if for no other reason than bragging rights) what hope do you have of being even remotely competitive in a marketplace?
The problem with this is it's part of a larger pattern that is beyond disturbing. A Principle canceled an awards program for honors students because it might hurt the feelings of the under preforming. In another incident a student was suspended after fighting to remove a loaded .22 pistol from another student. Even though the kid did the right thing he was suspended, for even being involved. There was a case where a little boy was suspended for throwing a pretend grenade. I seem to recall throwing a real grenade once, and they're nothing compared to a little kid with a Mk. 2 imagination. Seriously this crap has to stop.
Our kids can't skin their knees because they might get infected and die. They can't learn to stand up for themselves because that would require that they suffer adversity. We go on endless campaigns to stop bullying by in essence bullying the bullies but never once think maybe we ought to enable our children to do more than run to teacher. We don't even hand out F's any more or use red ink because it might somehow cripple their self esteem. Look I've earned a lot of F's in my time. It didn't kill me, but it did make me realize I had damn well work harder or any hope of a future was gone.
Have I given enough examples yet to show that our public school system is totally and utterly inundated by people that have no clue about basic childhood development? Our children are not ticking time bombs, nor are they as fragile as we seem to think. All throughout the 50's kids across the country would actually compete in rifle shoots, bringing their guns to school. No one died. We keep lowering the standards, and are somehow mystified that our country can't seem to preform anymore.
The worst part is that any of the alternatives to the madness of our current public school system are so ridiculed that getting broad based public support is next to impossible. Home Schoolers are treated like freaks or borderline paranoid nuts. The worst part is that there is almost no accreditation process so the best that these kids can get is a GED which sadly is still looked down on by a majority of jobs, and higher education. Charter schools, are treated like some sort of dangerous radicals. To be honest to hear public school teachers talk about charter schools it's like watching Doctor Zhivago and all the insanity of the Russian Civil war. You're either a Red or a White, but more often than not you're caught in a crossfire. The idea really does deserve a hearing seeing that a lot of charter schools are having results that blow their public rivals out of the water.
Sadly the only other option, private school, is really the best option. With a caveat. It's too damn expensive for a majority of Americans. I have personally been enrolled in Public, private, charter and a form of home schooling. I've seen and done it all, and you know which school prepared me for life the most? Private school. the teachers actually cared about their students and could actually relate to them. More than that they had the time and resources to make the lessons actually meaningful. I have severe dyslexia, ADHD, and about a million other LD issues, to help me my parents sent me to Landmark School in Prides Crossing Mass. A lot of the lessons I learned there helped me get by, when up to that point I'd been bouncing around with no real strategies in how to cope.
The question that we really have to answer is how do we bring the success of Private, Charter and Home Schooling to the Public School? For a lot of good reasons the alternatives are not open to some parents, so how do we deliver the results without the price? For one we need to actually look at what we're spending money on, not simply assume we're not spending enough. We're spending ungodly amounts on education yet they system is failing more and more. Clearly how much we're spending isn't the issue, how we're spending it is.
We need to stop excusing failure. Rather than worrying about esteem issues if someone fails we need to prepare children for the cold hard truth of the world, you either succeed (to varying degrees) or you fail (to varying degrees). You can make allowances for the level of success or failure but at the end of the day it's one or the other. The second thing you need to do is stop having people running the system that have a view of children as Fabergé eggs. Children need to be encouraged to tussle, run around, and yes actually scrape their knees. It didn't kill their parents it won't kill them, and might actually help avoid a lot of the issues with bullying (as in not making them so easy to target). If needs be, we might actually need to teach our kids to defend themselves. I did Taekwondo, Tonssuedo, and Karate. I didn't kill anyone, and believe it or not it actually helped build confidence. Why not make that an actual school activity? Most of all we need to learn to treat adults like adults and remember that "you tried really hard" stops working at age 4.
I'm sick and tired of the stupidity in the education system. I have stated that if ever I have children (at this point that seems like it will require a minor miracle) I will not allow them to go to public school. I don't care what the alternative is, but I will not subject any child of mine to a system that seems to promote being a pansy, and rewards failure. I'd rather teach them myself than watch them become the completely useless inept tools i see graduating High Schools today.