Sometimes school propaganda comes out that is so obviously, shockingly dehumanizing to children and undermining of the parent-child relationship that it amazes me that anyone dared print it. The viral CNN article, What Teachers Really Want to Tell Parents by Disney-and-Oprah-endorsed Ron Clark, epitomizes the word "propaganda" and gets a gold star for its audacity in dehumanizing children and undermining the parent-child relationship. Homeschooling author, Linda Dobson, immediately tackled the article with a blog post that paragraph by paragraph exposed the hypocrisy and callousness of teachers' attitudes towards children and parents. Public schools are government institutions that have literally taken control of much of the global population and most world cultures. By holding all children under 18 as hostages, against their wills, this infectious institution forces the population to deny the self, homogenize, obey and consume. By choking down an irrelevant, carefully engineered "education" in a factory-like environment, children are conditioned to ignore their bodies, emotions, passions, interests, questions, ideas, creative impulses, purposes and needs. In the US, this multi-billion dollar social conditioning machine trains children to take their place assisting the United States in remaining the World power through economic and political globalization. This control of the population was the intent of public schooling when it was made into law in 1852.
Ron Clark pulls rank and admonishes parents that because teachers are "trained professionals", "don't fight it" when teachers give you their advice about your children- to blindly and unquestioningly take teacher's orders! He implies that teachers know each unique, living, breathing, holistic child better than his or her parents know them. Clark hypocritically insists that parents unquestioningly accept the teacher's accusations of their children as tried and convicted justice. Yet parents are told to stop believing their children's complaints about the teacher or classroom and if they must complain, phrase the complaint as,
"I wanted to let you know something my child said took place in your class, because I know that children can exaggerate and that there are always two sides to every story. I was hoping you could shed some light for me."
Not only does this dehumanize children, put them at risk for abuse and invalidate their feelings, emotions, perspectives and experiences, it undermines parental advocacy for their own children! For children under total control of both teachers and parents, it is a no-win situation.
Traditional school teachers routinely treat children with such a lack of compassion and empathy that if the children were adults, the situation might qualify as torture. Teachers routinely inflict an environment of chronic physical and emotional distress on children from kindergarten until high school graduation. Physiological needs are regimented and denied so that it hurts just to be alive- Children can't eat when hungry, eliminate bodily waste when in pain, hydrate when thirsty, move their bodies when they are restless or play despite explosive impulses. Emotional needs are ignored so that children must develop mental defenses just to endure- Children from tikes to teens are separated from their primary attachment source- their families- and are touch-starved and denied any nurturance, human respect or affection. Although schools claim to be the bastions of "socialization", attempts beyond a few minutes each day to interact with friends are punished.
These physical and psychological needs are all survival functions intended by nature, yet schools cruelly ignore them or coerce drugs into those who can't tolerate the pain of such an environment.
Summer is the respite that many children long for as the school year devours their free time. Summer is the time when children might possibly be able to bask in the freedom of what it means to be a child. Unfortunately, having less than three months to detox, many children still can't rediscover their passions and interests. But to make certain that children remain programmed and conditioned, schools now enforce summer homework! Clark displays an infuriating apathy towards a child's personal hardships as well as the child's natural right to play and have fun when he sardonically writes,
"And if you really want to help your children be successful, stop making excuses for them. I was talking with a parent and her son about his summer reading assignments. He told me he hadn't started, and I let him know I was extremely disappointed because school starts in two weeks. His mother chimed in and told me that it had been a horrible summer for them because of family issues they'd been through in July. I said I was so sorry, but I couldn't help but point out that the assignments were given in May. She quickly added that she was allowing her child some "fun time" during the summer before getting back to work in July and that it wasn't his fault the work wasn't complete. Can you feel my pain?"
Ron, apparently you can't feel the boy's pain, the family's pain or the pain of every other child who is forced to labor against their will, without pay, during their free time, family time, social time and play time, for no reason other than because a teacher said so.
With such dangerous power over children, it amazes me that Ron Clark dares to try to whip parents into aligning even more with teachers and abandon being their children's last hope for a voice or rescue!
Perhaps the most creepy part of the article is how it ends, with an Orwellian dose of Double-Think, with Ron Clark massaging us parents to believe that teachers "love" our children ("too") despite keeping our children in pain, miserable, stifled, imprisoned, silenced, immobile, distressed, overwhelmed, scheduled- even diagnosed and drugged- from morning till almost bedtime for the majority of our children's childhoods! Despite this daily disrespect and abuse of our children, he manipulates your sympathy and implores you to join the system, work with it and give teachers the respect he claims they "deserve":
"We know you love your children. We love them, too. We just ask -- and beg of you -- to trust us, support us and work with the system, not against it. We need you to have our backs, and we need you to give us the respect we deserve."
Parents, I might not be Disney and Oprah endorsed, but I have worked with over 1,000 youth and families in my 15 years of professional experience and I have worked on the front lines with the children who suffer at the hands of school teachers. I recommend that you distrust the school system, remove your children, yourselves and your lives from it and unschool. I recommend that you trust your children, support them, have their backs and give them the respect and love they deserve. You can do this best by restoring their lives to what nature intended for them- To be with family and friends, to learn through play, to have their needs met with compassion and to live in freedom and joy.