As reported in the Charleston Post an Courier (the link can be found
at http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/nov/11/bad_kidsor_abad_rap21869/), more and more school discipline issues are ending up in law enforcement's hands and getting into the family courts.
Some blame the growing big state views of the education elites. Some educators blame lawyers and lawsuits. Some blame the culture of the times we live in. But, one thing is certain: life in school has changed.
I think of my own childhood. I have only been out of public schools for twenty years. I grew up in a small town, and I had a habit, instilled in me by my father and grandfather of toting a pocket knife at all times, including when I was at school. I never thought to cut someone with it.
However, there are times when a knife, and especially the blunt "screwdriver" end of one of the blades, can come in handy. The can opener blade is pretty useful as well.
God and the public defender be with me I were a student and got caught with a pocket knife today. Years ago I would "show off" my new pocket knife I got for Christmas to some of my classmates and even one of male teachers. Now if a student did such, he would be suspended, arrested, and DSS would be knocking at his parents' door.
If you doubt that, think on the case in West Columbia a couple of years ago. A little girl was suspended and her family faced investigation because the little girl's mother packed a butter knife in the little girls lunch box to cut an apple with. The school officials stated their position of "zero tolerance" of weapons on campus.
Then, and now, so called zero tolerance makes zero sense. There was a time if two young men got into a scuffle, they would get a stern lecture from the principal and some cleanup duty or some laps ran around the football field. Now, those same young men get arrested and have criminal records.
I am not a teacher. But, I did coach youth basketball for five years. Young people, especially those in their early to mid teens, tend to be unsure of themselves. They sometimes act out in stupid ways. They also tend to live up or down to the expectations placed upon them by the adults in their lives. My uncle was a youth coach for years as well, and he taught me the valuable lesson of never telling my youngsters not to make mistakes. He told me that because, "if you tell them not to turn the ball over, they will, they will think about turning the ball over."
If we as a society have an educational system that makes the kid who pulls a prank, gets in a scuffle, or dares to carry a pocket knife feel like a criminal in his most formative years, should we be surprised when he does not achieve in life? Further, if we create a generation of mindless sheep, afraid even to do something such as pull a prank, how can we expect them to compete with the rest of the world who does not live by our wimpy standards?
I know some will say I just don't get it. And, perhaps I don't. You see I went to a high school where students could smoke at lunch in a smoking area if their parents consented. I grew up in a time when moms and dads would be less concerned about Junior if he was caught behind the barn drinking one of dad's beers then if he was caught behind the barn hugging on his buddy Jack.
Forgive me, but there is something wrong with this country when teachers can not break up scuffles and deal with pranks without calling in the cops. Our educational leadership is filled with mind numb people who have went to seminars in which they tell each other how much smarter they are than everyone else and how parents and children must be controlled, even if at a law officer's gunpoint.
And, then we wonder what is wrong with our young people today. I am not saying give youngsters who mess up a pass. When young people mess up, punish them, but don't give them marks on their record that last for life such as arrests. If earlier generations did that, half of the business and political leaders of nation's history would have never made into a college or their first job. This power hungry thing education elites are doing toying with the future of young people's lives just sickens me. To know we are all paying for them to do so sickens me more.