In the last few years, we have seen many school districts imposing “progressive” values on their students through the enactment of such things as “Zero Tolerance” policies for things (or ideas) that don’t agree with the liberal progressive political values held by school administrators. This is nothing short of a “social engineering” endeavor, and when it was/is done in Communist or Fascist dictatorships (like North Korea, for example) we label it “Brainwashing” and decry it as a terrible affront to the population as a whole, and especially so, when it is used on impressionable young children. So why aren’t we equally upset when it is done in America, and especially when it is being done to our young school children. I think the main reason is that the schools are selling parents a “bill of goods,” and the sales “gimmick” used, is the use of fallacious, even ridiculous, arguments, that are hard to oppose because they sound so well meaning. After all, when the school’s administrators say something is “dangerous” or a “security risk” for our children, who can reasonably argue against that? The same is true when school teachers and principals tell us that something is being banned because it is “too distracting” in the school setting, and would detract from the “learning environment.” Those arguments are widely used for things like banning even obviously harmless things like toy guns, or the flying of American flags. The arguments are utterly ridiculous on their face, yet because denying the arguments puts parents in the position of apparently opposing security for the students or of creating a bad “learning environment,” they are too often reluctant to speak up about them.
We need to be clear about the real purpose of these policies, and we need to oppose them at every turn. First off, it is utterly ridiculous to think a toy gun, or even just pointing your finger and saying “bang,” can possibly pose any sort of security hazard to children, whether at school or at home. Obviously, our school administrators aren’t stupid enough to really believe that argument either. So what else could be the reason for them? Clearly, the goal is to demonize guns in general, to make children see them (hopefully for the rest of their lives) in a negative light, rather than the more positive one they get from TV and movies, where heroes carry guns all the time, and use them for good, rather than evil, purposes. Why would an American public school, funded by taxes paid by Americans, oppose flying the American flag? They commonly say it is either “too distracting” or that it may “offend some students.” I’ll get to the “distracting” argument in a moment, but the “offensive” argument is simply a way for school administrators to shirk their responsibility to deal with inappropriate behavior by some students in their school. If anyone is offended by flying the flag of the country that is educating them, at that country’s expense, then those people are free to drop out and seek other avenues of education. They are NOT free to cause disturbances in the school setting, and it is the administrator’s responsibility to put a stop to such activities whenever they occur. Had students in my old high school tried to protest the flying of the flag, my Principal (a Major in the USMCR) would have stopped it so fast your head would spin. HE understood, and never shirked, his responsibility.
We should all look askance whenever we hear the idiotic “it’s distracting” argument in support of ANY school policy. Think about it for a moment: It is simply idiotic to think that a toy gun that blows bubbles, or a pop-tart chewed into the shape of a pistol, or simply pointing one’s finger and saying, “Bang,” poses any conceivable danger to our children, whether it happens in the school setting or at home. A good “reality check” test for parents, is simply to think of whether or not they would consider the object or activity unsafe for their children at home. If not, then the school’s argument that they are banning the object or activity because it presents a “safety” or “security” danger in school is equally absurd. If letting your kids run around your backyard pointing toy guns at each other and “pretend shooting” each other is not unsafe there, then it is quite obviously not unsafe in the school recess yard either. When a school tries to tell you otherwise, they are lying and simply trying to make you acquiesce to their politically motivated policy without argument. Don’t fall for it!
But what about the argument that something would be too “distracting” in the school setting? Think about that one for a minute, too. When you were in school, didn’t you have distractions all around you? Didn’t you learn to focus on your assigned work in spite of them? And wasn’t that even an important part of what you were actually learning in school – to focus on what you were supposed to be doing? As a teenage boy, I was often (one might even argue constantly) distracted by thoughts about girls (I’m heterosexual – I suppose it would have been thoughts about other guys if I hadn’t been, but I digress). I learned to put my erotic daydreams, concerns about whether or not particular girls liked me, etc. aside and focus on class work when I was in class. THAT’s one of the important things our kids are supposed to be learning to do, along with learning the “three Rs”. So, as a reality check on whether or not something like flying the American flag, or having a toy gun in your backpack, is actually too distracting for the school setting, I’d suggest this: Would the same policy argument (ie, “it’s a distraction”) be used if your daughter brought pictures of her new baby brother, or your new kittens to school? That is equally distracting (everyone likes to look at baby pictures, especially of kittens!). The school might well make a policy that forbade showing your kitten photos (or your toy gun) to others during class time, and that makes sense; it does not make sense to ban doing so at lunch or during a recess – for either the photos or the toy gun, at least not on the grounds that they are too “distracting.” Again, if it fails this test, the policy has ulterior motives, and you shouldn’t fall for it. You shouldn’t just let it go unchallenged either. Everyone who just goes along and “partners” with the school, because it is easier (for both the parents and their children) becomes part of the problem.Tags: featured