By Edward B. Driscoll Jr.
Everyone is talking about bathrooms these days, and with good reason. The federal government is threatening to withhold funds from public school districts if they don’t guarantee transgender students access to whatever bathrooms they want.
This attempt at political blackmail is the latest sign of how toxic U.S. public schools have become, and it may spell doom for schools across the country. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick predicted as much the day the policy was announced. “People will pull out. Homeschooling will explode,” he said.
But transgender bathrooms are the rule, not the exception, when it comes to the educational environment in government-run schools today. The problems have been mounting for decades, and the e-book “Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future” documents it in great detail.
The book, pulled from more than 20 essays published by PJ Media, catalogues what’s wrong with public education and why homeschooling may be the best solution for frustrated parents. If you see these signs of decay in your schools, it may be time to abandon those factories of indoctrination and bring your children home:
- Prison atmosphere. Rhonda Robinson cut to the chase in her essay on public schools. “After you boil away the Friday night lights, dances and hook-ups,” she wrote, “all you have left is a state-run institution, excreting the same social sludge as its cousin, the prison system.” Schools unwittingly prepare children for prison by creating an atmosphere of powerful cliques, intimidation, violence and insurrection. And attendance is compulsory. There is no way out, often literally because of fenced campuses.
- Conformity. How could a school shooter defiantly reveal in court a T-shirt that says “KILLER” and vulgarly mock the families of his victims without anyone intervening? Paula Bolyard had a theory after watching that scenario play out in Ohio: “A century of progressive policy – in particular, progressive education – has turned us into a nation of obedient zombies, unable to question authority and unwilling to stand up in the face of injustice.”
- Social engineering. Parents don’t want their children to be bullied at school, but liberal bureaucrats too often use legitimate concerns about bullying to push their politically correct values. The current battle over bathrooms is a perfect example. And it won’t stop there, as Walter Hudson explained. “So long as a single school exists where [progressive] values are not taught, their gut-wrenching intolerance drives them to legislate. Rather than live and let live, they demand you live as they say.”
- The boy gap. Boys and girls go to school together, but they don’t learn at the same rate. The end result is that boys are not as prepared for life after school, whether in college or vocational training. Unfortunately, some schools foster this “boy gap” by labeling boys as hyperactive, bipolar or autistic just because they act like boys. Boy-friendly classrooms that let students move, explore, daydream and challenge rules could help, but they are rare.
- Challenge Day. Any idea inspired by an MTV reality series should have no place in public schools, but this “intrusive, emotionally manipulative, Oprah-endorsed program” has taken root. The laudable goal is to tackle problems like bullying, cliques and gossip, but the tactics are designed to “coerce and manipulate students into reacting in predetermined ways.” The program also diverts money and resources from coursework.