12 January 2012

At Least They’re Socialized


Each day, hundreds of schoolchildren appear before courts in Texas charged with offences such as swearing, misbehaving on the school bus or getting in to a punch-up in the playground. Children have been arrested for possessing cigarettes, wearing "inappropriate" clothes and being late for school.
In 2010, the police gave close to 300,000 "Class C misdemeanour" tickets to children as young as six in Texas for offences in and out of school, which result in fines, community service and even prison time. What was once handled with a telling-off by the teacher or a call to parents can now result in arrest and a record that may cost a young person a place in college or a job years later.

As education has become increasingly federalized, parents have been cast to the side.  Unsurprisingly, parents tend to not care as much about their children’s academic well-being, or how they behave at school.  As such, students’ behavior tends to be worse, and there is little teachers can do to handle this, particularly in light of the high degree of regulation that constrains teachers’ behavior (Life without Lawyers discusses this in some depth).

Therefore, teachers and other educators have apparently begun to resort to bringing the police to do a job that was at one time handled by the parents.  Having a police force to handle student misbehavior, then, is a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, as excluding parents from being directly involved in their children’s upbringing and education has led to children acting like their parents aren’t directly involved in their upbringing and education.  Who could ever have guessed that this would happen?

There is one benefit to public schools, though:  Children will now be better equipped to deal with the inevitable police state.

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