Do you have a child who is doing poorly in school? It is not at all uncommon for a child to choose to be the “class clown” or deliberately underperform on tests and in class in order to gain peer acceptance and therefore avoid bullying. What you may not know is that your school is making this problem much worse. The blame can be placed squarely on the shoulders of moronic “zero tolerance” policies, which vilify self-defense and force students to seek alternative “legal” ways to avoid harm.
“Zero tolerance” policies are an outgrowth of an attempt to deal with, and control, undesirable technology and behavior. Specifically, the first “zero tolerance” polices had to do with weaponry. A student caught with a gun or a knife in school would be expelled immediately and without question. No tolerance, no mitigating circumstances, would be shown, and for good reason. Such a policy sends the clear message that possession of illegal weapons on school grounds, and the danger to other students this represents, is absolutely unacceptable, period.
This, of course, sounds perfectly reasonable to parents, who want a safe environment for their children. Let’s be honest about something: In the absence of a viable school voucher program, parents have three options. They can pay twice, sending their children to private school while forking over vast sums in confiscatory public school taxes (even as the nation’s public schools continue to churn out graduates who cannot read, but who have been thoroughly indoctrinated in whatever liberal whims are currently in vogue). They can pay once and homeschool their children, which requires a tremendous investment of time and energy that is prohibitive to most working parents. Or they can simply send their children to government schools, where those children are at the mercy of teachers’ unions, autocratic school administrators and their increasingly feral peers.
This is not to say that government schools (for this is what “public” schools are) can’t be well-run, or that teachers and administrators are always bad. Far from it. Many school administrators and educators are extremely dedicated individuals who care deeply about the children in their charge. They cope with problems that range from spending their own money on classroom supplies to fielding the demands and insults of unreasonable and often disengaged parents. There are two sides to this coin. But popular culture, including our hysteria over the technology of violence, is making everything worse, insinuating itself at every level of the government school system. As a result, children are punished for perfectly innocent activities. Worse, they are punished for doing the right thing under a cruel, capricious and arbitrary set of non-standards that is guaranteed to make our children cynical and apathetic.
You have probably already heard about the ludicrous case in which a young child was suspended for nibbling his breakfast pastry into a shape vaguely resembling a gun. You may have heard about the idiot teacher who confiscated a batch of cupcakes because they had plastic army men topping them. These are recent examples, but this nonsense has been ongoing for years. Back in 2007, an Arizona student was suspended for drawing a sketch of a gun by itself.
All of these incidents pale in comparison to the story of a Florida boy who actively intervened in a potentially deadly school shooting. When the 16-year-old wrested a gun from a fellow student, he saved multiple lives, averting another ugly “active shooter” incident before it could begin. But his school suspended him for his “role” in an incident involving a weapon. This is quite possibly the stupidest, most miserable response any school could make. It sends the message that if you dare even to do the right thing, you will be punished just as will the guilty party. It establishes false moral equivalency between the shooter and the person who stops him. It says there is no context to violence, no difference between being assaulted and preventing an assault.
This is, of course, the goal of all “zero tolerance” policies. It mirrors the push by liberals, at the societal and governmental levels, to remove from all violence the context surrounding it. To the libs, there is no such thing as justifiable force, no such thing as self-defense, no such “option” as protecting yourself. Liberals see no difference between the murderer and the murdered, between the rapist and the raped, between the aggressor and the defender.
The ONLY acceptable response to this is civil disobedience. When your child is suspended unfairly, refuse. Walk with him to school. Take the day off and attend his classes with him. Tell the administrators, NO, your child is NOT suspended, because only an idiot would suspend a child for saving lives or eating Pop-Tarts.
Liberals seek to make us all victims equally. It is very important, in establishing this wrongheaded thinking culturally, to root it deeply in our young. Students must be taught that any attempt to defend themselves will be met with arbitrary and unfair punishment. Further, they must be taught that anything that even vaguely looks like a tool of violence makes everyone in its proximity guilty of thoughtcrime by association. This is the goal of all liberals, who hate and fear the individual and wish to eliminate the individual right to self-defense. “Zero tolerance” policies are one way they further that goal.
This attitude is behind the encroaching web of laws liberals use to control every waking and sleeping moment of your life. By removing human judgment from the system, by attempting to codify punishments regardless of context and irrespective of morality, they annihilate the distinction between initiated force and retaliatory or pre-emptive force. In so doing, they render our citizens helpless and hopeless, convinced that no matter what they do, they will be punished. This is crucial in creating a population of whipped dogs who do whatever Nanny Bloomberg, Kim Jong Andy Cuomo and Glorious Leader Barack Hussein Obama tell them to do.
And it starts with your kids.