Why public schools suck.

Heads up; This is part gun blog rant, and mostly personal rant.

There was an article this past week about some public school officials wringing their hands because the No guns allowed sign had a picture of a gun on it, and that disturbed them.  Those administrators are the product of the same public school education system that they now run.

I frequently hear about complaints from teachers, school administrators, and the NEA (teacher’s unions) that they need more money to do their job adequately. Zero tolerance policies are enforced which only serve to amplify how stupid our educators have become, and these are the people entrusted to educate our children?

A hearing impaired child’s name is “Hunter” but he can’t sign his name, because the symbol looks like pointing a gun.
A student eating a toaster strudel is suspended when a teacher gets bent out of shape over what his Pop-Tart resembles.
A student gets criminally charged for wearing an NRA T-shirt to school. I did a search for “Student suspended for plastic knife” and I got so many results I didn’t know which one was the one that got national coverage.
Students are bullied daily in schools and the administration does nothing, or worse punishes everyone involved including the victim.

I was bullied in Junior High. In the 8th grade I was friends with Marc and David. At one point about halfway through the school year, I suddenly found myself friends with no one. (During the last two weeks of school that year, I finally befriended another group of kids, but the emotional and mental damage had already been done. I had failed the 8th grade, and had to repeat it the following year.) When Marc and David had suddenly turned on me, at one point on my way to class, I was on the receiving end of an elbow to the collarbone. The school had sort of a split level, with one hallway being half ramp and half stairs in the middle, it’s difficult to explain.  Marc had jumped off of the step ledge while I was on the ramp and landed his elbow in my right collarbone causing me excruciating pain. I’m surprised he didn’t break it. This was not provoked and I had no idea what I could have done that would warrant that attack. The administration’s solution was to punish both the bully, and the victim, and I got an in school suspension. Marc was also suspended, and we spent our suspension together, in the same room frequently unsupervised.  I’ll give you three wild guesses how that went, and the first two don’t count. (Hint: It was nothing like the movie “The Breakfast Club.”) It may please you up to know that Marc grew up to be an upstanding member of society (dripping sarcasm), and was killed shortly after he graduated from high school by his associates, from what I understand.

That was one instance, of about four or five that I can remember.  Most were in high school. I was mostly a good kid, but was bullied by several people and the teachers and administration either turned a blind eye, or punished all parties involved, so I spent at least one day a year with an In School Suspension, and once during my freshman year I was really fortunate to have a two day out of school (long story). In every case except one, I was the victim. I was the one who was taking a beating, getting a black eye, being kicked in the ribs, for no apparent reason.  The one time I was not the victim, I turned myself in moments after it happened. The other person also got a suspension, even though there was really no reason for it, and I didn’t agree with it, I was the one in the wrong.  “Zero Tolerance” is but one of the reasons that I despise the public school system.  “Zero Tolerance” is actually just a substitute for “Zero Intelligence.” 

I frequently find myself repeating “If common sense was so common, why don’t more people have more of it?” I find I use this most frequently around our educational institutions, since that is where it seems to be the least common, and I’m not referring to the kids.

This year we moved to a much smaller town for my son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome. In the place where we used to live, there were two high schools that he could have gone to, and both of them were the size of shopping malls. My son would get lost in the shuffle, and just be a number there. That wouldn’t do.  So we moved to a school district that is much smaller, so that he could get more of the attention that he needs to be successful. We now live in a town with a population of about 4,000, and I commute about 4 hours each day. As if to prove our point, one of the high schools by our old house called us on the first three days of the school year this year to inform us that our son had missed 3rd, 4th and 5th periods each day. They swear he was there for the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th periods. They still do, even though it would have been physically impossible because he was over an hour away at his current high school. If my son went to that big school and something like what happened to me, happened to him, I wouldn’t know where to begin. (There have been a few occasions where my son was the one who got in trouble, for defending himself. I’m sure you know exactly how I feel about that.)

Each school gets allocated a certain amount per student. They want to claim him, since as a special education student, the school gets double the allocation for him.  The ONLY reason we don’t send him to a private school, is because we can’t afford it. We would then be paying for his education twice, thanks to taxes. Our public education system is so horrifically broken and full of bureaucracy that instead of teaching our students to think for themselves, they teach to a standardized test.  Outcome based education is alive and well, and I have seen it first hand.  We have fought with our son’s teachers to hold him accountable, and not give him a pass on anything. It is what he needs. Instead they drop bad grades that he receives so that he can pass. This of course teaches my son that he doesn’t have to do anything, because someone will either do it for him, or it doesn’t count.  That inadvertent lesson has stuck, and the damage from it may never be undone.  Thanks assholes.

Teachers have time and again gone against what we prescribe for our son because they know better than we do. They have a degree in education after all, and we are just parents, of an autistic kid.  We don’t know what they have to put up with, trying to get tenure and all.  We have had to correct my son’s “education” on so many occasions it sickens me.  We have been told, defiantly, by our son, “That’s not what my teacher says!”  Then you introduce Common Core which is so full of wrong that we have to spend as much time fixing what my son learned, as he did learning it to begin with.  Things like the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, part of the Bill of Rights that makes up the first ten amendments.

It states; “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In the Common Core curriculum it states; “The people have a right to keep and bear arms in a state militia.”

That is incorrect. No, “incorrect” is too subtle. That is blatantly fucking WRONG!!! And something that we had to fix. We had to fix omitted information. We had to correct patently false information. We had to correct inserted information that was incorrect, and we are still doing it.  If you are a public school teacher bitching about wanting more money to do your job, why don’t you do your job to begin with?

Private schools have much better results in educating our kids. Don’t believe me? It’s actually highlighted in this study (PDF Warning) by the government; The National Center for Education Statistics.  Those statistics speak for themselves. Private schools are better.  And it isn’t because they have more money, or that their teachers get paid more. Private school teachers actually get paid less, by a wide margin, than their public school counterparts. 

So it’s no surprise when we, as parents, get pissed when those in the public school system try to pass off an agenda. And we aren’t pissed with the school, we are pissed with the people, the teachers, the administrators; the ones who run it. The school is just a building. It is neither good nor bad.  The adults that operate it are the ones with intent that we despise. Now that I think about it, it doesn’t surprise me that most teachers are against guns, another inanimate thing that is neither good nor bad. They have tried to pass their own shortcomings off on a building for so long that it has become second nature to them to blame a gun, or a knife, or a pop-tart, or a sticker, instead of an individual that they can’t help it. 

I wish the schools would do us all a favor, and start teaching our children how to think, instead of what to think.  I fear that the teachers don’t know the difference though, since they were taught what to think by the same system they are now a part of.

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