Stand by for some examples of Weapons-Grade Stupidity. The kind of stupid that takes effort to accomplish.
At school, an eight-year-old boy is asked to draw a picture of what christmas means to him. He produces a crude image of a stick figure on a cross. His teacher goes completely off the rails and orders the lad to the principal’s office, where he is suspended from school and forbidden to return until he has received a psychiatric evaluation for his “violent and disturbing” drawing. What really set the teacher off was the inclusion of little x’s for eyes, to indicate the stick figure was dead.
If you follow the link above, you can see this “violent” drawing for yourself. Scary stuff, isn’t it?
What’s really scary is the fact that the teacher and principal are both so lacking in any shred of common sense that this warranted anything more than a chat with the child’s parents- if that. Looking over some of the papers from my time in school, I find far more heinous things: edged weapons drenched in gore, tanks, airplanes, sharks, dinosaurs, guns, and literally thousands of stick figures in various states of dismemberment and violent death. Despite these doodles, I somehow managed to survive to adulthood without requiring extensive psychotherapy or lengthy imprisonment for the safety of others. What the Hell happened to our schools in the intervening years?
I will now introduce two terms to explain the current state of education today: Parental abdication of responsibility and Zero Tolerance.
Far too many parents have abandoned the task of actually raising their precious crotch-goblins to the schools. This abdication of responsibility has forced schools into a no-win situation of heightened expectations and diminishing returns- coupled with increasing class sizes and budgets which do not keep pace. As a result, school administrators have developed a strategy which helps them avoid lawsuits and keep their cushy jobs without having to actually teach their students anything: zero-tolerance policies.
Simply by adopting all manner of asinine restrictions, rules, procedures, and policies and then slavishly following them regardless of logic or reality, school administrators can pretend that they are incapable of doing their jobs while avoiding responsibility for this incompetence. A kid draws a picture of a pistol in his notebook? Gotta suspend the little thug. Zero-tolerance policy for weapons, you know. Another kid points his finger and says bang? That’s an expulsion. A little boy gives a little girl a smooch at recess? Have the little bastard arrested for sexual assault. Sorry, ma’am. Those are the rules. My hands are tied.
Speaking of sex crimes, there’s a young man in Michigan who is a registered sex offender, and has been for the last six years. His “crime” was having sex with his girlfriend when he was seventeen. Trouble is, she was only fifteen at the time. He was convicted of sexual criminal conduct and required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. I’m trying to figure out what Public good is demonstrated by this nonsense, but I’m drawing a blank. Anybody out there have any ideas?
Matthew Freeman duly registered his address with the police and tried to move on with his life. One evening he was outside in his parents’ driveway shooting hoops, which happens to be across the street from an elementary school playground, when a state police car pulled up. The officer used a laser rangefinder to determine that Matthew was only some 300 feet from the school, and he was charged with a school safety zone violation. I’m certain that the public in Pittsfield Township can now breathe easier knowing that this dangerous predator has been prevented from playing basketball in his parents’ driveway.
The quote from the county prosecutor has the dangerous terms in it. See if you can find them:
“We view these as public safety issues,” Hiller said. “That’s the paramount concern we have when dealing with sex offender registry cases. This particular law is in place to protect children, so that’s obviously a very serious matter.”
Any luck? Allow me to paraphrase for you: It’s for the children!
Those four little words are being used all over this country to completely destroy our society. FSM forbid that any children get exposed to the real world at any time in their delicate little lives. We can’t be bothered to teach our own kids the difference between right and wrong, and the people we’ve stuck with the task aren’t willing to take on the responsibility either, so the obvious answer is to create a whiffle-ball universe to protect the dear little tykes from anything which might hurt them- physically or emotionally.
What’s really tragic about the whole issue is the fact that the actions taken to protect children from anything “bad” are actually making kids more vulnerable to bad things. All those ridiculous wipes and disinfectants we surround kids with have the effect of leaving their immune systems vulnerable to just about everything. Refuse to discuss drugs or sex with kids and you pretty much guarantee that they’ll learn about them the hard way. Pretend that violence will just go away if you don’t pay attention to it and you guarantee that they’ll grow up to be victims. Hover over your kid’s every movement to provide support and you create a being unable to make a decision without mommy’s approval.
Parents all need to take a step back and take a look at these idiotic and self-defeating measures we’re taking to protect the children. Perhaps they could perform a basic risk-assessment before implementing anything “for the children”. How likely is this “bad thing” to occur? If it did occur, how much damage would it cause? What can I do to reduce the probability of severity of this “bad thing”? It isn’t difficult to make these sorts of decisions. It gets even easier when you can teach your kids to do their own risk-assessments. At that point, all you really need to do is make sure the kids have enough information to make the right choices and the training to ask for more input if needed.
Oh, wait. That involves dropping the iphone and turning off the latest reality TV show and actually trying to raise your own kid. You know, effort. Ugh!
It’s ever so much easier to leave all that tough stuff to a bunch of government employees who have to spread their attention among several hundred other kids in their classes.
So much for future generations of Americans.
Current status: Disgusted
Current music: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by J.S. Bach