A theologian, philosopher, and educator, from the last century Rousas Rushdooney wrote, “The messianic character of education has not changed, its mission has expanded exponentially, but its effects have been perverse.” The messiah’s daddy, Horace Mann, said, “The Public (Common) School is the greatest discovery ever made by man…other social organizations are curative and remedial…public education is a preventative and antidote…”
Speaking of the kids, Mann wrote, “…teach him the facts about his body, and youth will be less tempted by gin, swearing and tobacco.” Add to that list, teenage sexual irresponsibility, illicit drugs and bullying. Mann promised, “…let the public school be expanded to its capabilities…and nine-tenths of the crimes in the penal code would become obsolete…”
How has it worked out? The USA has the highest prison census proportionate to population in the world, 50 million plus dead pre-born since Rove v Wade and drug use is rampant. Has the theory that education leads to insight and virtue proved itself?
Do a Google search for the “effectiveness of sex education.” A flood of studies will pop up celebrating the wonderfulness of Planned Parenthood and school based Sex Ed. All of them will be singing their own praises. Do our abortion rates, STD rates, single motherhood rates seem like something to celebrate?
A few years ago, the Dare Movement swept the country–Drug Awareness Resistance Education. Police came into junior high schools in uniform to instruct kids on the look, smell, chemistry and protocols of illegal drug use. Officers told the kids that illegal drugs, pot to meth, were equally toxic and would destroy them, so don’t do them. They told gruesome horror stories of drug abuse and described the terrors of the prison life awaiting future druggies. Since middle school kids are usually still approval seekers, they parroted all the right catch phrases which anxious parents were aching to hear. For their efforts the kids were given a really cool DARE t-shirt, a diploma for completing the course and the school got a DARE decal for the front door. Really enthusiastic communities got a “We are a DARE Community” sign for the edge of town.
Result? Studies are mixed, but at best, DARE was a waste of time and ineffective. At worst, DARE grads were more likely to experiment with drugs than non-DARE students. Why? Because Sex Ed courses and DARE use a psychological technique called “consequentialism”. It’s the “decision based” model.
Dr. WR Coulson, wrote, “We’ve got youngsters now, under the authority of the school who are being persuaded that there is a better way. And that way is to make their own decisions. They’re being induced to make decisions about activities that the citizenry of the state have decided are wrong—drug use and teenage sex.”
Drivers Education doesn’t use the decision making model. “Stop” means “Stop”. Your assent isn’t required. Your decision making skills are not employed or even solicited. “Stop” isn’t negotiable. Your life and the lives of others may be at risk if you don’t comply. When it comes to stopping, your brain is supposed to be on automatic pilot. It used to be the same when it came to drug use and teenage sex. Then activists opened up the process for discussion. Responsible parents said, “Stop!” Government employees in the schools said, “Let’s talk about it”. What was once an absolute became something negotiable. Game over.
Currently, the anti-bully movement is the hottest fad in schools. Begun by the gay lobby to leverage its “victim status” into a protected class, anti-bullyhood is now a growth industry. Millions have already been spent and careers are being built as seminars, documentaries, plus, anti-bullying curricula have been designed to ride the anti-bully crest. Politicians are climbing over each other to out anti-bully each other.
It will come as no surprise that according to a new study, students attending those schools which have adapted the new anti-bullying initiatives may be “more likely to be a victim of bullying than children at schools without such programs.” The lead author of the study is Seokjin Jeong from UT Arlington in the Journal of Criminology. “…the students become highly exposed to what a bully is and they know what to do or say when questioned by parents or teachers.”
At best the anti-bully programs are ineffective. At worst, the anti-bully programs produce better bullies. Remember Rushdooney? “…its effects are perverse.”
Conclusion? Sex Ed belongs to parents. The costs of poor parenting should be borne by those parents, not by schools and taxpayers.
Drug Ed belongs to parents. The costs of poor parenting should be borne by those parents, not by schools and taxpayers.
Bullying? How should schools deal with bullies? A phone call home to the parent, “Hey, your kid is a bully. Here’s what he or she did. Deal with it. If it happens again they are out.”
If there indeed is a messianic institution which is responsible for the welfare of the next generation it’s the family, not the government school. It’s time for the taxpayers to get out of the messiah business.