By Dave Hodges
As our students go off to school later this month, what will be waiting for them? Will there be eager teachers ready to ignite our children’s fires of curiosity? Will there be books, lessons and curriculum designed to move our children to the top rung of educational achievement on the planet?
The Failure of NCLB
Gone is the failed educational initiative we called “No Child Left Behind (NCLB).” After a decade of experimentation NCLB made our education system the laughing stock of first world nations as we witnessed an SAT decline of 30 points in reading comprehension scores. NCLB has been judged by nearly all to have caused irreparable harm to our children by doing nothing for learning, while turning them into testing machines with seemingly endless standardized tests which subsequently replaced many previous days of legitimate instruction.
NCLB was based upon two guiding principles: (1) the premise that telling school officials that if their students did not pass “standardized” tests, which contained the statistical properties of little to no reliability or validity measures, that they would all lose their jobs and the government would take over their schools; and, (2) students would not graduate if they did not pass these bogus tests. In most of these standardized tests, the reliability measures between the test and the curriculum was not fully documented.
If a test does not contain measures of the various types of validity and reliability, you have no legitimate test. NCLB was nothing but nonsense. However there is one element, related to NCLB,; namely, the introduction of “Zero Tolerance” policies, that has survived NCLB intact. This concept of unyielding Zero Tolerance philosophy is preparing our children to live in an age where the only acceptable use of force is that which is applied by the government.
Obama to the Rescue
Just as Obamacare is preparing to right the wrongs of the managed healthcare industry, “Obamacore” promises to do the same in education. In reality, Obamacore will do for our children’s education what MERS has done for the sanctity and security of home mortgages.
The Obamacore that I refer to is formally labeled as Common Core. In this series, it will become clear that Common Core should be labeled as Communist Corps because this is, in essence, preparing to have our children live in a dumbed down society and to accept whatever edicts are thrown at them by those inhabiting the ivory towers.
Let’s begin our analysis of the new directions being taken by the educrats by first looking at a program, which survived NCLB and is walking in lockstep with a culturally dangerous and legally unconscionable program known as Zero Tolerance. Zero Tolerance is the authoritarian bridge between the failed NCLB and the new Common Core standards.
If a student brings a gun on campus, they are expelled and they should be expelled. If a student brings any kind of weapon on campus, they are also expelled; and, once again, they should be. However, like it is with all tyrannical programs, the initial principles of Zero Tolerance are reasonable and most people would concur with the application of these policies as expressed above. However, in the following paragraphs, you will quickly see how Zero Tolerance is based upon the antithesis of our time-honored legal codes.
The Right To Defend Oneself
Two men meet by happenstance. One man attacks the other man. The victim fights back against the attacker. The police arrive at the scene and cite the instigator, and the second man is allowed to go home without being arrested. The legal principles contained in the above example are basically universal in our culture in that an attacked victim has the right to defend themselves so long as they use reasonable force.
In every governmental jurisdiction within the United States, a citizen has the right to defend themselves from harm except within the confines of the public school system where self-defense is outlawed and punished. In fact, not only is the inherent right to defend oneself from harm outlawed by most public schools, the schools have even gone so far as to criminalize being a victim. As our children return to school this month, the following scenario will be repeated over and over again.
A bully approaches a boy on the playground and begins to punch him, without warning, in the face and continues to pummel the victim while he lies helpless on the ground. The beating continues until a teacher breaks up the fight as he escorts the perpetrator and the bloody victim to the office. The facts are clear: one boy was the aggressor and one boy was clearly the innocent victim. However, Zero Tolerance has replaced fairness and common sense as both boys are suspended for 10 days. Yes, that is correct, both boys receive the same punishment regardless of who started the fight and regardless if the victim fought back or not. It is called Zero Tolerance and it is the policy in most schools. This Fall you and your child may have to deal with this nonsense.
American Public Schools and the New British Self-Defense Laws
For the moment, if an intruder breaks into your home and you subsequently arm yourself with a knife and chase away the intruder, you will not be charged with a crime. Under new British laws, if an intruder breaks into someone’s home and the homeowner arms themselves with a knife and chases off the intruder, the homeowner goes to jail and the intruder is afforded victim status.
Aren’t you glad that our forefathers fought a revolution so we didn’t have to live under British law? You may not live under British law, but your children do. Please explain to me the difference between the British criminalizing self-defense and our public schools doing the same thing? In fact, your children are afforded less protection than a British citizen when it comes to self-defense, because this fall your child could be punished if they are a non-participating victim.
Zero Tolerance Has Been Reduced to a Propaganda Machine
Billy writes in his notebook that he wants to get a gun and kill Tommy. Should Billy be punished by school authorities? Of course he should, and no reasonable person would argue against punishing Billy in this circumstance. However, Zero Tolerance has been structured, particularly with our elementary school children, to teach the young that nobody should have guns. This means that public schools are enforcing policies which is in direct contradiction to the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
The following paragraphs will demonstrate that this bald-faced propaganda is befitting of the label, The Hitler Youth Movement.
Gun Grabbing Obama and Your Schools
Anyone with a pulse knows that Obama wants to seize all privately owned guns. The Zero Tolerance policies now in place promote the Obama gun-grabbing agenda.
In Loveland, Colorado, school officials at Mary Blair Elementary School have suspended Alex Evans, a second grade student, for throwing a make believe grenade. You read that correctly, Evans was suspended for throwing an invisible, pretend grenade followed by a reported “pshhh” sound. It is unclear from the news reports if Evans threw a pretend flash grenade or a pretend grenade containing pretend shrapnel.
The administrator in charge of administering this lunatic policy is Principal Valerie Lara-Black who enforced her notion of Zero Tolerance policy for make-believe grenades in the fight against evil located in a box. It is not clear if Lara-Black called in an imaginary bomb squad in order to defuse the imaginary grenade which was thrown into the imaginary box of evil. I just wonder if Lara-Black obtained her administrative credentials from an imaginary university.
We should not be surprised, because Loveland is located inside of what I have come to call “The People’s Republic of Larimer County.” Besides having a reputation for corrupt politics and rogue police, Larimer County is the home of the number one Agenda 21 program in the United States and is frequently referred to as the crown jewel of the ICLEI empire.
Daniel McClaine Jr., whose goal is to enlist in the military upon graduation, was suspended for displaying a picture of a gun on his school laptop. McClaine, a freshman at Poston Butte High School located in suburban Phoenix, said he saved the picture as his desktop background on his school-issued computer. An alert teacher noticed the picture of a gun, turned McClaine in and bravely saved the school from further harm. The picture shows an AK-47 on top of a flag. McClaine said the school initially suspended him for three days. After the media became involved, his suspension was reduced to “time served.”
This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are children who have been suspended for shaping their lunch bread into the form of a gun. Another boy in Maryland was suspended for using his unloaded index finger as a pretend gun.
These ridiculous enforcement policies do nothing to make our schools safer. The insane applications of Zero Tolerance does speak very clearly to serving an agenda related to gun confiscation by our current President; and Zero Tolerance is propagandizing our children to this end.
Zero Tolerance is the disciplinary bridge between NCLB and Common Core and this bridge should be burned and replaced with a simple reliance on the law and the good judgment of school administrators.
I have recently conducted a re-examination of Common Core and I will be sharing with the reader what I call NCLB 2.0 and what it will consist of. Meanwhile, tell your children to uniformly eat their bread from left to right, keep their hands in their pockets and for goodness sake, do not put pictures of anything on your school computer. With a just a little more cooperation and mindless capitulation, we will all be a little safer as we continue to trade liberty for security.
Dave is an award winning psychology, statistics and research professor, a college basketball coach, a mental health counselor, a political activist and writer who has published dozens of editorials and articles in several publications such as Freedoms Phoenix, News With Views and The Arizona Republic.
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