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13 Ways Public Schools Incubate Mental Instability In Kids

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13 Ways Public Schools Incubate Mental Instability In Kids

The correlation between public school environments and the deteriorating mental health of children has been intensifying for decades.

 

thefederalist.com

By Stella Morabito

February 21, 2018

 

Why doesn’t anyone investigate the toxic effects of today’s bureaucrat-run mega-schools in the wake of a school shooting? It’s high time we place a share of the blame there.

 

Apologists for these noxious systems continue to shift blame for their failures using the media, various left-wing lobbies, and the kids themselves as programmed mouthpieces for statist agendas like gun control. Meanwhile, they keep feeding the beast by mass institutionalizing kids.

 

The correlation between public school environments and the deteriorating mental health of children has been intensifying for decades. We ought to consider how these settings serve as incubators for the social alienation that can fuel such horrors.

 

First, consider how common it is for a public high school today to house thousands of teenagers for most of their waking hours for four solid years. (More than 3,000 students attend the Florida school where the most recent shooting took place.) During their time in that maze, kids learn to “socialize,” basically by finding their place in a school’s hierarchy of cliques.

 

This sort of pecking order dynamic tends to breed resentment, status anxiety, and social dysfunction. Combine that with the toxic effects of social media and family breakdown, and you’ve got a deadly brew. Public schooling is increasingly unhealthy for kids’ emotional stability. Let us count the ways.

 

1. The Size and Model of Mass Schooling Is Alienating

 

Back in 1929-30, there were about 248,000 public schools in the United States, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. How many today? Far less than half. By 2013-14, the number had shrunk to 98,000.

 

When you consider that the U.S. population nearly tripled in that timeframe, there’s no question this factory model of schooling has grown exponentially. The numbers speak to the intense bureaucratization of a public school system that is becoming more centralized with less local control, packing ever-larger numbers of students in one place.

 

The natural effect is an emotional malaise that fuels a sense of confusion and detachment. I believe the sociologist Emile Durkheim coined the term “anomie” to describe this sense of isolation. Even the physical architecture of public schools is getting more estranging. They tend to be larger and more looming, almost blade-runner-like in their effect of shrinking and sequestering individuals to irrelevance.

 

There’s already much to be anxious about in those settings: the intensity of testing, the long days, the labelling, the constant social—and now, political—expectations that students must meet to fit in. The alienation of amassing larger groups of children enhances that.

 

2. Public Schools Are Abnormal Settings That Feel Like Prisons

 

Dr. Peter Gray at Boston College has studied in depth the harmful effects of mass schooling on children’s mental health. Gray makes the point that school is simply an abnormal setting for children. But instead of admitting that, our culture prefers to say that the children are abnormal for squirming. In short, school is a prison that actually causes trauma in children. (You can read more on this subject here, here, here, here, and here.)

 

Anxiety is a natural effect of being cooped up in a compulsory setting for hours on end, especially when you believe your future depends on your performance there. Yet few consider that environment as the cause or source of depression.

 

According to a neighbor of the shooter in the recent Florida case, the shooter “always had his head down. . . He looked depressed.” According to his public defender, “’He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being.”

 

3. Public Schools Are Breeding Grounds for Hierarchical Cliques

 

In large settings that promote conformity, people will naturally self-segregate into smaller groups. But the groups tend to be hierarchical. At the top are the “popular” queen bees and jocks, who tend to make it their business to oversee and regulate relationships among their peers.

 

The diva students sort and label their peers in various ways, such as brainy, prudish, a-hole, and geeky. Their lesser peers duly gravitate to a group that accepts them. At the bottom are those deemed “weirdos” or “loners,” who tend to face intense ostracism. That dynamic only hardens their situation as isolated, alienated individuals. So why can’t we guess which social strata school shooters tend to come from?

 

4. Giant Public Schools Are Breeding Grounds for Aggression

 

Public mega-schools are breeding grounds for relational aggression, behaviors intended to harm peers’ social standing. This “Mean Girl” dynamic gets reinforced in the schools and youth culture, as it’s modelled and promoted over and over again in hundreds of movies and TV shows geared towards teens.

 

5. School Bureaucracy Tends to Reinforce Social Pecking Orders

 

There seems to be a special pact between the alpha students and the school bureaucracy. I’ve concluded the bureaucrats in charge actually have a stake in maintaining such pecking orders and the psychically destructive social dynamics that feed status anxiety.

 

After years of observation as both a student and a parent of students who attended such mega-schools, I’ve come to compare this cooperative relationship to how prison wardens might single out special prisoners for privileges to keep order over the masses. I suppose this is the effect of an inherent divide-and-conquer impulse sewn into all bureaucracies.

 

6. Public Schools Are Increasingly Politicized

 

Identity politics and leftist politicization in the schools is pervasive these days. It especially piles on young men the label of guilty oppressor. Schools are becoming hotbeds of all sorts of political activity instigated by administrators and teachers. Privilege theory is now morphing into a new stage in which students engage in tell-all criticism-and-self-criticism sessions disguised as exercises in empathy. The message is loud and clear: take part in this political activism, or your social and academic standing will suffer. It’s now commonplace to get students to take part in political marches and protests, getting them acclimated to acting in concert with a mob.

 

7. Reduced Content Knowledge Promotes Conformity

 

Radical education reform has gutted school curricula of meaningful content, replacing it with identity politics, fads, and political activism. Kids are increasingly ignorant of the U.S. Constitution, the basics of civil society, and how our system of government works and why.

 

This growing ignorance of history, geography, and classics makes it harder for children to find context and their place in the world. It disables their ability to think clearly and independently, and it cripples imagination and creativity. Such ignorance creates a vacuum for a more cynical and nihilistic approach towards life.

 

8. Public Schools Disregard Students’ Family and Non-School Lives

 

School life and activities take up more and more time. By the time today’s public-school children graduate from high school, they will have spent about 17,000 hours in K-12 schools. When you factor in homework and other activities such as riding the school bus, it’s more than 25,000 hours. That’s a huge chunk of life, especially when kids can learn the basics of reading and math in about 100 hours of attentive instruction.

 

That figure comes from John Taylor Gatto, award-winning veteran New York City schoolteacher. Like the Borg, public schools are invading family life and every other aspect of life. Parents and families are increasingly treated as nuisances to the collectivist agenda of training children to conform to politically correct attitudes and emotions.

 

Children are also strongly influenced by the age segregation inherent to government schools, which teaches kids to be laser-focused on expectations for their age, judging anyone who might have been “held back.” This has an intensely narrowing effect on perspective.

 

9. Schools Are Becoming More Repressive

 

The article “The New Face of Punishment in the Public Schools” from the Rutherford Institute gives a raw look at the growing use of force and lockdowns in the public schools, including the use of tasers and shackles. The alarming rise of such measures in schools condition a child to accept school as a police state.

 

10. Public Schooling Is Increasingly Hostile to Christianity

 

Growing and intense aggression against any form of Christian prayer in the schools has a further alienating effect. It teaches any child who is emotionally hurting that he can’t even seek solace in a private and silent conversation with God without knowing he’d be ridiculed if his peers knew. The hostility towards religion also leads us on a path to utter lawlessness, since the rule of law evaporates when left to the devices of elites.

 

11. Enforced Conformity Promotes Peer Victimization

 

There are really no universal policies against bullying in public schools that would afford all students equal protection. (Such a policy would actually be Christian.) Instead, schools’ so-called anti-bullying policies pick and choose among various identity groups, in a classic divide and conquer mode.

 

The highly politicized nature of today’s public schools serves to draw virtual targets on the backs of students whose beliefs don’t align with its own. A bully is free to target with the taunt “bigot” any child who comes from a traditional Christian home, and the curricula will back them up. The “It Gets Better” campaign provides protection exclusively to LGBT kids. And, if a child’s parents are not on board with the transgender social engineering project, they can lose custody of their children, as the recent case in Ohio demonstrates.

 

In sum, the message is this: if you want protection from bullying, take on the persona of a protected identity group. It shouldn’t surprise us at all that “straight white males” are considered fair game for de-humanization.

 

12. Public Schooling Stunts Personality Development

 

In mass schooling, students who try hard to fit in among peers tend to get their uniqueness beaten out of them. That’s what socialization through mass schooling generally does. As Judith Rich Harris notes in her book “The Nurturing Presumption,” socialization “adapts children to the culture, making them more similar.” (Personality development, on the other hand, leads to more differences in individuals.) In this scenario, unique individuals who don’t conform so easily end up being seen and treated as oddballs.

 

http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/21/13-ways-public-schools-incubate-mental-instability-kids/.

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Rock N' Roll Right Winger

Great article and spot on.

 

I can relate to this back from when I was in grade school with small class sizes and then moving up to middle school then high school with larger and larger class sizes at each.

 

In grade school (we had city schools before they merged them with the county schools) the class sizes were about 20 students per teacher. In middle school (which was a larger county school) the class sizes were about 35 students per teacher. I high school the class sizes were 45 to 60 students per class.

 

They are right on the money about the cliques too and class warfare, the rich against the poor, etc. and the teachers instilling their crazy leftarded PC crap all along the way. I had very few conservative teachers and of course they were my favorites and I remember them all well.

 

This was from the 1960's through 1980.

 

It's gotten much worse here since then.

Edited by Rock N' Roll Right Winger

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RedSoloCup

Ditch the NEA, for starters.

Edited by RedSoloCup

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satellite66

Ditch the NEA, for starters.

Get the federal government out of education also

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Wag-a-Muffin (D)

There is no accountability for wrong-doing in school.

 

Most schools have an "equal punishment for all offenders" rule.

This means, if a group of kids steals a child's possession, or hurts a child, all are treated exactly the same. (Even the victim.)

 

Schools are paid for butts in the seats. There is no benefit to punish a child by removing him/her from the school population. Therefore, all students who should be booted out of the school for violence are kept in the school. Students who SHOULD be expelled are not expelled, because economically it is isn't to a school's advantage to do this.

Edited by Wag-a-Muffin (D)

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MontyPython

Good article. I agreed with some, disagreed with others.

 

But #6 was especially accurate. Spot on. Bullseye.

 

:coolshades:

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Rock N' Roll Right Winger

Ditch the NEA, for starters.

:exactly:

 

Get the federal government out of education also

:yeahthat:

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Severian

Number 2 is interesting, yes, many schools feel like prisons. Brutalist architecture and layout. But, unfortunately, the very things that can limit the carnage a shooter can do, restricted entry/exits, small windows, metal detectors, thick walls and doors, guard posts, etc. all will do nothing to relieve that particular issue, though they will help. Help in preventing the kind of damage a kid touched off by the prison mentality of school helped produce in the first place.

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Ladybird

If an instructor or administrator is forbidding a child to pray, whether it's at recess, lunch time, or just quietly to himself, it's time for the parent to visit the school and educate them on the rights of the student. Unless you raise a fuss, they'll get away with anything, and many 'educators' are completely ignorant of the law. Some are under the impression that saying the pledge of allegiance is compulsory. A few weeks ago, a teacher allegedly assaulted a child for not standing up during the pledge. She's clueless (and probably off her meds).

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Taggart Transcontinental

Good article. I agreed with some, disagreed with others.

 

But #6 was especially accurate. Spot on. Bullseye.

 

:coolshades:

 

Reason's 1 and 2 are rather solid too. I hated school, despised it even though it was a no effort system for me. It's just a feeling of prison. Why do kids have to go to the "job" of learning for 8 hours a day. Other countries do fine educating their kids with 4 hours / day. Yet we put our kids into a full 40 hour work week. We need to apply to Obama care standard of full week here too. They can go to "work" for a full time job at 26 hours a week!

 

They may actually learn a few things other than socialism 101.

 

I never conformed, in my Junior year I was debating a teacher on a point about some marxist nonsense she was peddling back in California. She interrupted my point at a point in the conversation where I had her in a circular argument and she stated to me "What the hell is wrong with you, and why can't you understand this is good for the country?" My response was "the states indoctrination has failed to convince me that surrendering myself to the collective is warranted". She then kicked me out of class and sent me to the principle. Who told me I shouldn't be proving to the teachers how wrong they really are.

 

Lesson learned. I now disregard that lesson, and realized that if I allow them their points it cedes ground I will have to fight back to regain later. I now fight every battle.

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Taggart Transcontinental

Number 2 is interesting, yes, many schools feel like prisons. Brutalist architecture and layout. But, unfortunately, the very things that can limit the carnage a shooter can do, restricted entry/exits, small windows, metal detectors, thick walls and doors, guard posts, etc. all will do nothing to relieve that particular issue, though they will help. Help in preventing the kind of damage a kid touched off by the prison mentality of school helped produce in the first place.

 

Or we can decentralize schooling, making it more tailored to the individual. Maybe even using this interwebs things I keep hearing about to teach in a home or less stressful environment over a shorter period of time?

 

Or we can just keep building bigger and better prison buildings to house our future Arkham Asylum members.

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MontyPython

Reason's 1 and 2 are rather solid too. I hated school, despised it even though it was a no effort system for me. It's just a feeling of prison. Why do kids have to go to the "job" of learning for 8 hours a day. Other countries do fine educating their kids with 4 hours / day. Yet we put our kids into a full 40 hour work week. We need to apply to Obama care standard of full week here too. They can go to "work" for a full time job at 26 hours a week!

 

They may actually learn a few things other than socialism 101.

 

I never conformed, in my Junior year I was debating a teacher on a point about some marxist nonsense she was peddling back in California. She interrupted my point at a point in the conversation where I had her in a circular argument and she stated to me "What the hell is wrong with you, and why can't you understand this is good for the country?" My response was "the states indoctrination has failed to convince me that surrendering myself to the collective is warranted". She then kicked me out of class and sent me to the principle. Who told me I shouldn't be proving to the teachers how wrong they really are.

 

Lesson learned. I now disregard that lesson, and realized that if I allow them their points it cedes ground I will have to fight back to regain later. I now fight every battle.

 

Yeah, I was like that too. I remember one incident when I corrected my French teacher's grammar, LOL. He didn't much appreciate it...

 

:whistling:

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Censport
Ditch the NEA, for starters.
Get the federal government out of education also

Absolutely.

 

Number 2 is interesting, yes, many schools feel like prisons. Brutalist architecture and layout. But, unfortunately, the very things that can limit the carnage a shooter can do, restricted entry/exits, small windows, metal detectors, thick walls and doors, guard posts, etc. all will do nothing to relieve that particular issue, though they will help. Help in preventing the kind of damage a kid touched off by the prison mentality of school helped produce in the first place.

That's the trick: Ending the cycle that creates the damaged kids.

 

Reason's 1 and 2 are rather solid too. I hated school, despised it even though it was a no effort system for me. It's just a feeling of prison. Why do kids have to go to the "job" of learning for 8 hours a day. Other countries do fine educating their kids with 4 hours / day. Yet we put our kids into a full 40 hour work week. We need to apply to Obama care standard of full week here too. They can go to "work" for a full time job at 26 hours a week!

 

They may actually learn a few things other than socialism 101.

I hated it too. Especially high school. It felt like punishment. It didn't help that school started at 7:00AM and was in another part of town. Meaning I had to get up at 5:30AM to get ready. They still start classes at 7 (I looked it up), despite years of medical research proving that teenagers are not morning people.

 

I suspect all the classes are politicized now. The three Rs have been replaced by the letters S, J, and W.

 

Or we can decentralize schooling, making it more tailored to the individual. Maybe even using this interwebs things I keep hearing about to teach in a home or less stressful environment over a shorter period of time?

 

Or we can just keep building bigger and better prison buildings to house our future Arkham Asylum members.

I think one of the best things to do is break up the mega-schools and have small schools in every neighborhood. Cut out the busing. Kids will be able to walk to their school, so buses (and teen drivers will be unnecessary). Traffic will be better, schools can operate on more humane hours, and there would be more accountability between teachers and parents.

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