Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If Homeschooling Accomplishes Nothing Else...

...It will spare your child from the humiliation and bullying inflicted by state school bureaucrats. In Standish, Maine, one of these petty commissars, Superintendent Suzanne Lukas, denied high school senior Justin Denney his diploma on graduation day. Why? Because Denney bowed and blew his mother a kiss from the stage.

Judging from the article, Lukas had worked herself into a lather at the sight of other students possessing and throwing beach balls at the ceremony. One offender was forced to sit away from his classmates. Another was ejected from the civic center by police. Denney remained in his seat or in his place line, not even touching one of the beach balls, until his name was called. Walking onstage to receive the certificate of his completed twelve-year sentence, he conducted himself as something other than a dutiful, submissive drone. He showed a spark of happy independence in the midst of a typical, government-decreed, zero-tolerance lockdown. For that, Lukas let him have it, venting her control freak malice by ordering him back to his seat without handing him his paper.

John Taylor Gatto, a former, repentant public school teacher, has written of the "fiendish spirit" that animates American prisons and government schools alike:

Before you begin to blame the childish for being that way and join the chorus of those defending the general imprisonment of adults and the schooling by force of children because there isn't any other way to handle the mob, you want to at least consider the possibility that we've been trained in childishness and helplessness for a reason. And that reason is that helpless people are easy to manage. Helpless people can be counted upon to act as their own jailers because they are so inadequate to complex reality they are afraid of new experience. They're like animals whose spirits have been broken. Helpless people take orders well, they don't have minds of their own, they are predictable, they won't surprise corporations or governments with resistance to the newest product craze, the newest genetic patent -- or by armed revolution. Helpless people can be counted on to despise independent citizens and hence they act as a fifth column in opposition to social change in the direction of personal sovereignty.

Evidently, Justin Denney wasn't completely broken by this system. Good for him.

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