Tag Archives: Parents

Virtual School Dangers: The Hazards of a Police State Education During COVID-19, by John W. Whitehead

Virtual public education is giving the state one more way to gather information about you. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984

Once upon a time in America, parents breathed a sigh of relief when their kids went back to school after a summer’s hiatus, content in the knowledge that for a good portion of the day, their kids would be gainfully occupied, out of harm’s way, and out of trouble.

Back then, if you talked back to a teacher, or played a prank on a classmate, or just failed to do your homework, you might find yourself in detention or doing an extra writing assignment after school or suffering through a parent-teacher conference about your shortcomings.

Of course, that was before school shootings became a part of our national lexicon.

As a result, over the course of the past 30 years, the need to keep the schools “safe” from drugs and weapons has become a thinly disguised, profit-driven campaign to transform them into quasi-prisons, complete with surveillance cameras, metal detectors, police patrols, zero tolerance policies, lock downs, drug sniffing dogs, school resource officers, strip searches, and active shooter drills.

Suddenly, under school zero tolerance policies, students were being punished with suspension, expulsion, and even arrest for childish behavior and minor transgressions such as playing cops and robbers on the playground, bringing LEGOs to school, or having a food fight.

Things got even worse once schools started to rely on police (school resource officers) to “deal with minor rule breaking: sagging pants, disrespectful comments, brief physical skirmishes.”

As a result, students are being subjected to police tactics such as handcuffs, leg shackles, tasers and excessive force for “acting up,” in addition to being ticketed, fined and sent to court for behavior perceived as defiant, disruptive or disorderly such as spraying perfume and writing on a desk.

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The School Closures Are a Big Threat to the Power of Public Schools, by Ryan McMaken

Parents forced to stay home are getting a better idea of how there children are being educated, and that’s not good for public schools. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Twenty twenty is likely to be a watershed year in the history of public schooling. And things aren’t looking good for the public schools.

For decades, we’ve been fed a near-daily diet of claims that public schooling is one of the most important—if not the most important—institutions in America. We’re also told that there’s not nearly enough of it, and this leads to demands for longer school hours, longer school years, and ever larger amounts of money spent on more facilities and more tech.

And then, all of sudden, with the panic over COVID-19, it was gone.

It turns out that public schooling wasn’t actually all that important after all, and that extending the lives of the over-seventy demographic takes precedence.

Yes, the schools have tried to keep up the ruse that students are all diligently doing their school work at home, but by late April it was already apparent that the old model of “doing public school” via internet isn’t working. In some places, class participation has collapsed by 60 percent, as students simply aren’t showing up for the virtual lessons.

The political repercussions of all this will be sizable.

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Forbidden Parenting, by John Stossel

There is absolutely nothing with which governments won’t interfere. From John Stossel at townhall.com:

South Carolina mom Debra Harrell worked at McDonald’s. She couldn’t afford day care for Regina, her 9-year-old daughter, so she took her to work.

But Regina was bored at McDonald’s.

One day, she asked if she could just play in the neighborhood park instead. “I felt safe there,” tells me in my new video, “because I was with my friends and their parents.”

“She had her cellphone, a pocketbook with money in it,” says Debra. “She had everything she needed.”

Regina was happy. Debra was happy.

But one parent asked Regina where her mom was, and then called the police. Officers went to McDonald’s and arrested Debra.

In jail, they berated her.

“You can’t leave a child who is 9 years old in the park by herself!” said one officer. “What if some sex offender came by?”

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Black Education: A Glimmer of Hope, by Walter E. Williams

There’s no substitute for parents’ involvement in a child’s education. From Walter Williams at lewrockwell.com:

In reference to efforts to teach black children, the president of the St. Petersburg, Florida, chapter of the NAACP, Maria Scruggs, said: “The (school) district has shown they just can’t do it. … Now it’s time for the community to step in.” That’s a recognition that politicians and the education establishment, after decades of promises, cannot do much to narrow the huge educational achievement gap between Asians and whites on the one hand and blacks on the other.

The most crucial input for a child’s education cannot be provided by schools or politicians. Continued calls for higher education budgets will produce disappointing results, as they have in the past. There are certain minimum requirements that must be met for any child, regardless of race, to do well in school. Someone must make the youngster do his homework — and possibly help him with it. Someone must ensure that he gets eight hours of sleep. Someone must feed him wholesome meals, including breakfast. Finally, someone must ensure that he gets to school on time, behaves in school and respects the teachers. If these minimum requirements are not met — and they can be met even if a family is poor — all else is for naught.

Scruggs says that it’s time for the black community to accept part of the blame. Part of the problem is the lack of parents’ involvement in their children’s education — for example, their not attending parent-teacher nights. Having children’s books around the house and reading to preschoolers is vitally important. According to Mariah Evans, who headed a 20-year worldwide study that found “the presence of books in the home” to be the top predictor of whether a child will attain a high level of education, “one of the things that is most striking … about it is that the book’s effect appears to be even larger and more important for children from very disadvantaged homes.” By the way, one doesn’t have to be rich to have books around the house. Plus, there are libraries.

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Tech gurus don’t let their kids have smartphones. Here’s why, by Jenny McCartney

Tech gurus don’t allow their kids smartphones for the same reason they don’t allow them crack, cigarettes, or vodka: they’re addictive and destructive. From Jenny McCartney at spectator.us:

Students are back in classrooms and parents can finally have a brief respite from worrying about their children’s excessive screen use — or, at least, worrying it is all their fault. This angst peaks each year in the summer holidays, those long, sunny weeks illuminated in large part by the blueish light from children’s smartphones, tablets and laptops. The beep and ping of devices triggers complicated emotions. In many homes, parents simultaneously castigate their offspring’s use of tech and are relieved by it: like some goblin babysitter, it squats in the corner of family life, whispering powerfully, turning children silent and glassy-eyed.

The erratically applied adult phrases ‘That’s enough screen time!’ and ‘Give me that iPad!’ ring hopelessly around family homes, interspersed with squeals of refusal. Cannier parents have worked out that if they cannot contain the addiction they can manipulate it to their advantage: the threat of sudden iPad withdrawal is a behavioural corrective that trumps the useless ‘naughty step’ every time.

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