Monday, September 07, 2015

Whither Bullies

This is certainly an interesting thesis:
Last year, lawmakers in the state of Minnesota imposed a vast new anti-bullying bureaucracy in public schools. The argument for it centered around the experience of gay and transgender students. The new anti-bullying gestapo aspires to eliminate any possibility of such students encountering criticism or the slightest hint of rejection. Of course, in order to do that, those holding opposing viewpoints must be criticized and rejected. Bullying remains. It’s just been institutionalized and directed toward Christians and anyone who fails to fully embrace homosexuality.

During the debate, a case was made that bullying points to a broader systematic failure within public education. The problem, some argued, is coercion. The entire system is based upon force. Students are forced to attend. Taxpayers are forced to fund. Curriculum is imposed. There is thus no way for students or parents to control their experience. You can’t leave a bad school, or leave a school where you’re not being treated well. You can’t create your own alternatives which are free of any associations you find disruptive or undesirable.

The public education system has been designed from the ground up to punish individuality...

The root cause of school bullying and subsequent suicides is the public school system itself. We have turned our children over to an institution of collectivism which punishes people for being different.
I believe the argument to be overstated but still worthy of some consideration.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that the pervasive one-size-fits-all mindset of the edworld contributes to student frustration and resentment. The insistence on heterogeneous grouping, often including full inclusion (even of students who clearly can't function in a regular classroom) means that some students are chronically unchallenged and bored, some are struggling or completely lost and some are/all are distracted by misbehaving classmates. The insistence on group work, "pair-sharing", and -worse - peer tutoring makes resentment even easier. Group work also brings the playground dynamics into the classroom, with the most socially adept dominating and the less-adept ignored or ridiculed. Separating kids by academic level/need would be a step in the right direction. Separate placements for the spec ed unsuited to regular classrooms (such placement should be determined by what is best for the rest of the class) and the most academically talented would also be welcomed by many.