The schizophrenia of modern public (i.e., Progressive) schools

We spend a lot of time talking here about the way our Progressive culture infantilizes young people.  Just think about the way the whole liberal world had a collective head explosion when Newt suggested that young people get jobs to learn the value of discipline and achieve the satisfaction of wages.  But all is not perpetual babying of our youth when it comes to the Progressive education establishment.  Woe betide the child, even a 7-year-old, who dares to transgress political correctness.  Under those circumstances, no consequences is too severe, both to punish the malfeasor and to stand as a warning to all other children tempted to violate Progressive norms.

I speak, of course, of the child who punched a bully in the crotch (something, by the way, that we are all taught in self-defense classes is the best way to disable a predator) and was charged with sexual harassment.  The story would be a non-story had the incident been treated the old-fashioned way, with both bully and victim hauled off to the principal’s office, to get proportionate punishments (with, I hope, more serious punishment going to the bully).  In my day, those punishments included staying after school, missing recess, perhaps a one- or two-day suspension and the dreaded “I’m going to have to tell your parents about this.”

Mark Steyn summarizes perfectly the horror unfolding here, and I do mean horror.  This is not just a silly joke about an over-reactive school administration.  This is a life-long sentence for the 7-year-old:

There may be “another side” to this story, but it’s hard to foresee any version of events in which a First Grader can plausibly be guilty of “sexual assault”. Nevertheless, if found guilty, Mark Curran when he turns 18 will be placed on a “sex offender registry”, and his life will be ruined. If officials of the Boston public schools system genuinely believe that when a seven-year old kicks another seven-year old in the crotch that that is an act of “sexual harassment”, then they are too stupid to be entrusted with the care of the city’s children. If, on the other hand, they retain enough residual humanity to understand that a seven-year-old groin-kick is not a sexual assault but have concluded that regulatory compliance obliges them to investigate it as such, then they are colluding in an act of great evil.

Sometimes societies become too stupid to survive. If you’re wondering how a candidate’s presidential campaign can be derailed by allegations of “gestures” of “a non-sexual nature” that made women “uncomfortable” two decades ago rather than by his total ignorance of foreign policy and national security, well, this stuff starts in kindergarten. The loss of proportion and of basic human judgment in the American education system ought to be an unnerving indicator.

Yeah, you got that right.

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  • bizcor

    We have to figure out a way to stop the public education system from indoctrinated the kids. Eliminating the Department of Education would go a long way in doing that but there needs to more. In another incident the past week a 2nd grade teacher in New York told her students there was no Santa Claus and that the presents under the tree were put there by their parents. I am sure however this same teacher believes in global warming. I wish I could get her teacher to tell her global warming is a myth put forth by the progressives. So very frustrating.

  • David Foster

    Horrifying, and there are a lot of stories like this. As the schools become more and more micromanaged by top-down policies, they attract more teachers and “administrators” who are the kind of people willing to operate in that kind of an environment–such people cannot be relied upon to show intelligent initiative on their own, so that brings still more top-down micromanagement, in a malign positive feedback loop (aka vicious circle)

    See my posts zero tolerance–zero judgment–zero compassion and Philip Queeg public high school.

  • Michael Adams

    Depending upon the individual school, Austin schools, indeed, most Texas schools, are pretty good, measured by objective nation-wide criteria.  Nevertheless, my kids attended mostly private schools, or home schooling, beginning with our son, even when we were still mired in “Liberalism.” Today’s story illustrates why this was so.

  • Mike Devx

    I applaud the crotch-kicker with all the enthusiasm I can muster.  

    Those who say “Ignore the bully, and he’ll go away”  have no FRICKING clue what they are talking about.  The bully *needs* a target, and loves nothing more than a willing victim.  Day after day, an endless stream of harassment?  Pure joy for the bully, pure misery for the victim.

  • jj

    We need to start making some sense with the “register” of sex offenders.  (Though even as I say that, I realize that we as a society make so damn little sense about so many things, why should we make this a logical exception?)
    You do something bad, you go to jail, you serve your term, you pay your debt – are you not done?  In pretty much all cases you are – even if you went to jail for murder, allegedly the most heinous of crimes.  Do the time, and get released, or paroled.  The debt to society is paid; you’re finished, society leaves you alone to get on with your life, for the most part.  I wonder – and maybe one of the lawyers knows the answer to this – if the constitutionality of being put on a list; having where you can live be restricted; being subject to the cops stopping by unannounced whenever they feel like it; and being available for neighborhood hounding for the rest of your life – all after you’ve served the time, expiated the crime and paid your debt to society – has ever been tested in any serious way.  Or do we just do it, with these dopey “sex offender registries,” because we can – and the hell with their constitutional rights?  I know there was some brief conversation about the constitutionality of these lists when they were first being promulgated, but I never heard how it came out.  Officially, I mean – in a constitutional sense.  Or was the constitutional standard so high they knew they couldn’t meet it, and just said the hell with it, do it anyway?  (That’s sort of what it looks like – at least to me.)
    I spent some time with sex offenders – real ones, child molesters – when I was interning.  One of the things that I learned was that they don’t do it because it’s fun, or because they want to.  (For the most part they in fact don’t want to.   They know they disgust everybody, and that’s really not a fun place for human beings to be; we are gregarious creatures.)  They do it because they have no choice in the matter, it’s an obsession.  Which is why people like Bill O’Reilly and his “Megan’s Law” stuff is neither useful nor relevant.  Hanging the certainty of sure and swift punishment over these guy’s heads means nothing.  The surety of punishment only matters to you if you think in terms of consequences, and when they’re in the moment, gripped by the obsession, they aren’t thinking at all, let alone mulling the possibility of consequences.  As a brake on the activity, it’s a dopey law, and a waste of time.
    The unfortunate reality is, there’s nothing society can do with them.  This is because of the nature of the problem.  Not only is there nothing society can do, there’s nothing they can do themselves.  It only submits to control very rarely.  That’s the nature of obsession, and it’s why girls with anorexia die of starvation in this country of plenty every goddam day of the week for no earthly reason anyone can see or truly understand.  (It isn’t because they’re trying to look like models, either.  That’s nonsense spouted by people who never looked into it and don’t understand –  i.e., most of us.  It comes from deep inside, deeper than images of Karlie Kloss ever get.)
    So here we are, with a problem.  You can’t threaten them with the law, or even extra-legal consequences: they’re not responsive to threats.  You can’t reliably control them, they can’t control themselves.  So what do you do?  There are really only two possibilities: you execute them on first offense – because they will do it again, they can’t not; or you buy an island somewhere, a big one, and you put them there and lock them up forever.  They do the 25 years in the jail part of the island, then live out their lives on the “open” part of it, where they can have a garden, go to a movie, take a shower when they feel like it, but they can never leave.  That’s all you can do: kill them, or lock them away forever.  And – as I have said here before – forever means forever.
    Which is the solution everybody will eventually come to, because it’s the only one.  In the meanwhile, while society makes its slow, turgid, painfully-reasoned (reasoning is painful) way there, we have to be very, very careful about these dumb-ass lists.  So far we aren’t being careful.  A guy meets a girl at a dance club, they spend the evening dancing and go reeling drunkenly out into the parking lot at 2 AM, he playfully pulls her dress up to her ears, she screams, the bouncers call the cops, the guy ends up on a sex offender register, and his life is, effectively, over.  When a young schoolteacher gets it on with a 16 year old boy, she is not a “sex offender” and should not have her life destroyed by being put on such a list.  This little kid under discussion might as well kill himself right now, because his life is effectively over if Massachusetts – which was stupid enough to continually re-elect people named Kennedy – and Barney Fwank – is stupid enough to put his name on one of these witless, useless, worthless, dangerous lists.
    This whole topic is in need of serious re-thinking in this country.  If only we had some people who can think.

  • 11B40


    Back in my Catholic school daze, seven was thought to be the age of reason, and even I was out of the first grade by seven.  

  • Ymarsakar

    This is what happens when you allow the Left to manifest control and influence in various organs. Those organs will not only fail, but be used against you. Somebody got surprised that injecting themselves with HIV would turn their own immune system against them? Really…