Young, immature people - many of whom are brutally mean to each other - forced to spend hours together in a place where they don't want to be, under the supervision of unionized authorities

Is anyone willing to consider that public schools are inherently unsafe places?

By —— Bio and Archives--February 22, 2018

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Is anyone willing to consider that public schools are inherently unsafe places?
One of the tropes you often hear in the aftermath of a school shooting is that the incident is particularly egregious because a school should be an especially safe place. Most would nod their heads at the sentiment. Yes, we should all feel confident that when we send our children to school, they’re in about as safe a place as they could ever be.

But when you think about what it’s like in a school, there is every reason to realize that makes no sense whatsoever. Schools are tinder boxes for violent explosions and disastrous tragedies, especially high schools.

First consider the daily reality of a high school: Young people generally between the ages of 13 and 18, forced to spend six to seven hours a day in the last place on Earth they want to be. They are told where to go and when. They are given work to do that they don’t want to do. They are constantly judged on the quality of this work. They are pressured to exhibit “school spirit” and to get involved in any number of extracurricular activities for whatever reason.

And each and every day they are forced to deal with a harsh social atmosphere in which some are elevated as leaders and winner, while others are made to feel like rejects and outcasts. Yet no matter how miserable this experience is for you, it is mandatory that you be there six or seven hours a day, five days a week.

The group of people with authority over you certainly include many serious, caring professionals. But they are part of a unionized workforce that resists any freedom you might have to pursue educational alternatives, because it is in their best interests that you be forced to be there - and only there - every day. The teachers, the school administration and the school board have a vested interest in presenting the public with an image of the school as peaceful and trouble-free. So when there is an egregious incident of bullying or brutality, it can often be like pulling teeth to get school authorities to acknowlege or seriously deal with the problem.

Most people know students and parents who have been frustrated trying to get justice when an incident of bullying happens, even as the schools go through the absurd charade of anti-bullying assemblies that make a show of caring, but make little if any difference.

I have seen estimates that there are more than 37,000 high schools in the United States. Every one of them has these dynamics in place - some more than others, but all to some degree. Why should anyone think that all 37,000 such high schools would be so inherently safe that we would not see school shootings? It’s astonishing we don’t see them more often.


Three years ago, my son came home from school absolutely despondent. He was a freshman in high school at the time. He had become so upset with the harsh social atmosphere at his school, that he simply did not want to go back for even one more day. He asked if he could be homeschooled. That was really not a viable option but we discussed other alternatives, and discovered a very excellent online Christian school in which the classes are teacher-led, but he would not have to go to a school building and deal with all the negative things associated with high-school education. We told him he had to finish the final two months of his freshman year, but that after that he could switch to online school if he wanted to.

We have never regretted it for a second. In June he will graduate, having learned everything he needs to know without having to deal with all the nonsense discussed above.

This is the sort of alternative that has only been available to people fairly recently, because the technology has only made it possible recently. But now it’s here, and I wonder how many other people are going to start realizing that sending their children every day to such tinder boxes of madness really doesn’t make any sense, and might start to consider other options like we did.

Maybe it starts with people recognizing it’s a complete fantasy that schools should be inherently safe places. That is a comforting sentiment, but when you consider actual reality, it makes no sense at all.

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Dan Calabrese -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com

A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.

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