The school year has started again and, with it, the insanity that is Zero Tolerance in America’s public schools. The Washington Post, which originally reported the story, helpfully explains that our nation’s schools have been busy little bees for the past year when it comes to criminalizing child’s play. I wonder if we’re looking at this anti-gun fascism a little bit backwards. We’re seeing it as an attack on guns. But in the context of public schools, isn’t it just a subset of the school’s over-arching hostility to boys?
Public schools like boys in the abstract, but they really hate the reality of boys: boys are physical beings who live in a hierarchical world that reveals itself when they are as little as two or three years old. For a nice discussion about the spectacular differences between boy and girl social interactions, if you haven’t already read Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, you should.
Boys’ physical, hierarchical world means that they have a terrible time sitting still, even when they’re in their teens or 20s. (Heck, I know much older men who are still kinetic, whether it’s a jiggling leg or a tapping finger.) They engage in physical or verbal play that is intended allocate them to their place in the day’s (or the minute’s) hierarchy. They practice male roles of warfare and command.
All of this is antithetical to the hyper-feminine, hyper-feminist atmosphere that pervades America’s schools, especially her elementary/primary schools. I don’t know what it’s like outside of Marin County, but here, almost without exception, elementary school teachers are female, with a handful of gay men thrown in for good measure. Schools want students to sit still, which girls do naturally and boys don’t. Schools want students to talk about their feelings, which girls do naturally and boys don’t. Schools want to destroy physical competition, which is a hard sell to girls, and an even harder sell to boys.
What schools should be doing is to allow boys maximum physical activity, such as full physical breaks every hour. Rather than prohibiting physical and competitive play, they should encourage it, while enforcing concepts such as honor, fairness, generosity, and loyalty, as well as the difference between play and cruelty. Boys should learn to be good winners and good losers.
The schools’ anti-bullying programs also persecute boys. Often, bullies are testing out their competitive and pack instincts. Schools could address this by giving boys meaningful competitive and pack opportunities, with strong expectations about honorable behavior, or they should work to teach other students how not to become victims. (This would be akin to teaching home owners how to lock doors. There are bad people out there, but you certainly lessen your exposure if you take responsibility for protecting and defending yourself.)
Instead, schools out-bully the bullies by bringing the full weight of the school to bear on a kid who is, as likely as not, just testing boy boundaries. The victim learns that people should never defend themselves because, if they do, they’ll get in trouble, and if they don’t, they’ll be celebrated for calling in the heavy-hitters. The “bullies” learn that the best way to win is to be the biggest bully of them all.
When boys do not respond to this constant hammering away at them in an effort to wipe out their biological imperatives, they get labeled as “problem” students, or ADHD kids. The schools then start pressuring the parents to put the boys on psychotropic drugs. It seems appropriate to mention here that, in every one of the school shootings in the last twenty-years, the shooter has been on psychotropic drugs. The “turn boys into peaceful girl” drugs and the fact that the boys’ families have Democrat political identities are the ties that bind these youthful mass murderers.
I understand that there are boys who are violent and angry, and that bad things happen. I’m not blaming everything on the schools. I am saying, however, that in their efforts to feminize boys, including taking away the pretend war games in which boys engage to test what they can do, the schools are creating boys who do not know how to harness their boy energy in a healthy way, and who too often become dependent on psychotropic drugs that have strong links to murder and suicide.
In this context, the anti-gun policy, while it is definitely related to the Progressive push to wipe out the Second Amendment, is also just another front in the Leftist war against men. The stakes are high in this war, by the way, because manly men — men who are self-reliant and responsible — don’t like a big government that tries to infantilize or feminize them.
(For more information on the schools war on boys, check out Christina Hoff Sommers’ The War Against Boys: How Misguided Policies are Harming Our Young Men. I haven’t read it myself yet, because it’s expensive, but I’m keeping an eye out for it on our public library shelves.)