I’m going to start going through all of the documents I wrote during 7th grade about politics and philosophy, as I did with my paper on libertarianism as opposed to authoritarianism. The following are two pieces reflecting my opinion at the time of public school and the injustice of it all, the first titled Rights for Students.
The basic rights of students have been infringed upon. The scumbags who run schools wrongly think they have the right to control students’ lives beyond school property. First of all, students are already there against their will. Most if not all students hate the very idea of getting up early in the morning to go to a place with an extremely authoritarian structure and useless, illogical rules against simple things such as chewing gum, wearing hats, and talking.
The students are the very reason the institution even exists and the reason the principals and school board members have jobs, yet they still treat them with no true respect.
The problem is that there are too many rulers and not enough leaders. Leaders are those who treat their “inferiors” with respect and therefore earn it back sincerely, and also use common sense when making decisions. Rulers are those who demand respect and therefore the students have only fake respect for them. Rulers usually use reasons like “because I said so” instead of logic. They also do little to no work themselves and instead force it onto their subordinates, while leaders take on problems and inspire their followers to do the same, without forcing them to do things with the threat of punishment.
I have so many problems with our current school system that it can’t even be put on paper, but this is one of the main ones: the basic first amendment free speech rights are denied to students. I read about one kid who was forced to give his PERSONAL Facebook password to his school because he said something they didn’t like. This is one of the most insane and unjust things I have ever heard. Remember, the student wrote this post outside of school on his own account.
The best thing about free speech is that it protects everything: disagreement, insults, even profanity. And since the students are there against their consent, without the choice of being anywhere other than school, the rulers of the school have no moral or logical reason for saying “It isn’t public property, we make the rules.” Believe me, if students could be anywhere but your property, they would.
–Evan Xavier Hughes (January 28, 2015)
Well, I have had no significant changes of opinion since then. I still believe that public school and its plentiful layers of force (such as forcing kids to attend, forcing parents to pay, etc.) is a travesty in many ways. One thing I would have changed is some of the wording. It is clear I was outraged at the time of writing it. Of course, the outrage was entirely justified, but I would have toned down the hostility as some who would eventually read the paper would likely be turned away by it, hindering the persuasion effort.
The next one is titled School.
The way we “educate” kids in the U.S. is almost never opposed. Sure, some small aspects of what to “teach” are debated, but the core idea that kids should be brought away from their homes against their will for the better part of their day for most of the year until adulthood, is commonly accepted as the best possible thing for kids and rarely brought into question.
The reason public schools were created were to indoctrinate kids into illogical beliefs, like religion. If you think about it, kids aren’t just stupid, unreasonable beings. They ask basic questions that should be asked. Back in the days when everyone had to be Christian, they had to find a way to make kids more prone to believe in fantasy-like ideas – like that a magic man in the sky controls everything — and less likely to ask questions that would make their religion seem unrealistic. So mandatory school was put into place to condition the young to obey religious authority.
That same core system stays with us today, and when the balance of power shifted from the hands of the church to the hands of governments, it had to adapt to brainwash kids into obeying all authority and not protesting the way the government is set up. Think about it: in a democratic and free society, we should have the right to free speech, but how many times has a teacher told you to be quiet, or punished you for saying something that they didn’t like to hear? We live in a country with a self-proclaimed transparent government where reasons are used to justify actions, yet how many times has a teacher responded “Because I said so” to a student asking “why”?
As a student, I don’t truly respect teachers (not as teachers, at least, they could be good people). They say respect is earned yet demand it for themselves and therefore earn none in return, so they are secretly hated by those under their power who know what’s really going on. I don’t think I ever encountered one who was a leader to kids instead of a ruler. One who strived to educate us instead of command us to get our answers right on a test or to do our homework.
The ability and willingness of teachers to implement such authoritarian policies isn’t just a mass epidemic of twisted people yearning for power and discovering that being a teacher would let them unleash their inner tyrant unto kids who mostly don’t know any better, though I suspect that plays some role. It isn’t a freak accident that teachers continuously claim the right to punish those unwilling children who don’t obey them to the letter or who question them. It was designed to systematically get kids used to complying with authority of all forms, so as to limit the possibility of a justifiable revolution or rebellion once this generation grows up.
Of course, this is all disguised as education. Most parents wouldn’t be quite so willing to send their kids to “indoctrination,” a more accurate term. But the media and government do a good job at convincing the parents that state-run education is good for their kids, despite the fact that the U.S. ranks 14th in education. Despite the fact that kids are praised more for being a “good listener” than using common sense.
Of course, the government doesn’t care if you want to send your kids here or not. School is mandatory and parents of kids who skip school face fines and imprisonment. This is not done for the betterment of the child, obviously, but to set an example.
Again, I have no particular difference in opinion since the time of writing this. If you do, however, have a disagreement with anything in these documents, leave a comment below.