Saturday, July 08, 2006

The State's Schools: Not a Place for Children

Via Moonbattery, a Mona Charen revelation, making it clear that State school officials are absolutely incapable of good hiring decisions:

A parent from Plymouth, N.Y., has sent along another example of liberals gone wild. Fishing through her son's backpack (he's a ninth grader), she found a crumpled up handout from the health teacher. The title caught her attention: "Dysfunctional 'Family Rules.'" The handout is reproduced below with punctuation, grammar and capitalization as in original:

"Here is a list of some of the unworkable rules found in dysfunctional families

"Boys shouldn't cry. (they should be like diminutive adult males, independent, self contained, and tough. they should bear pain and hurt with a kind of stoicism and emotional flatness exemplified by rugged males in cigarette commercials and by romantic depictions of fighters and the wild, wild west.)

"Girls should always be nice. (Talk nice talk. Never say anything negative. Do nice things. Never do anything that would make someone look askance at you. Nice girls DON'T.)

"Elders always deserve respect and come first. (No matter how the elder behaves, the elder must be treated gingerly, for and elder has power -- even if it used capriciously and irrationally.)

"There is only one way to do things. (That is, there's only one RIGHT way to do things. There's only one right way to handle a spouse, to deal with the kids, to have a birthday party, to dance . . .)

"Don't talk, think or feel about sex, money, and feelings. (Talk . . . well, talk stirs things up, gets people upset, well it just causes more trouble. When it comes to sex, money and feelings, silence takes on a precious eloquence. Silence is not only golden, it's high grade platinum.)

"Work first, play later. (Much later . . .)

"The older child must always set an example for the younger children. (Good example that is.)

"Children should always obey their parents. (And it's the parents job to see that their children make the RIGHT decisions -- the decisions the parents want. Then when the child reaches the magic age of emancipation -- 18 or 21 -- the Good Decision Fairy will plink the child on the skull with a charmed wand and make the child a full-fledged adult who always makes Good Decisions.)

"Don't talk about your family to anyone outside the family. (Outsiders will just spread malicious gossip. So always pretend that everything's OK at home, even if it isn't. there's nothing worse than being disloyal to your family.)"

Let's assume that this diatribe is the work of only one irritable teacher and not schoolwide, or, God forbid, countywide, instruction. Still, it represents something. This health teacher obviously believes that delicate matters of family dynamics, as well as highly intimate subjects like sex, obedience, money and family privacy are within the purview of her course.

While one doubts that Folkbum would endorse this screed, there are a couple of teachers in Port Washington who are copying this right now...


Anonymous said...

I think that you may have misunderstood the teacher's point in handing out such a sheet.

Clearly, the teacher is aware of the social dynamics that cause people to be maladjusted and unhappy in their lives. Only glancing at your blog (I'm just cruising around) it is obvious that you are Christian and a Republican. I assume that you would call the teacher a liberal or a democratic.

Politics aside though, the sheet highlights some of the oppressive family dynamics kids (and their parents) are forced to live with. The fact that the point about not talking about sex and money got your attention the most tells me a lot about your own discomfort with openness and honesty. If you have kids, you are heading for a world of trouble by not offering a open space for them to speak their feelings.

Essentially, the sheet is pointing out the constructed social norms that many people feel compelled to follow their entire lives (why shouldn't men cry? why do women always have to be nice?). To start off your post with an attack on the minor gammatical errors is narrow-minded - not a very good argument.

If you truly feel that the sheet is a attack on your idea of family values, then write a response that makes a coherent and logical argument (i.e. spend more time than one tiny paragraph at the end explaining why each of the ideas in the sheet make you uncomfortable/upset).

I'm just a random peson who stumbled on your blog. The more blogs I come across the more and more I am concerned with the State of American politics. You are not a happy people. Racial intolerance and violence is ready to spill over into the streets. Your economy is failing and your enviromental policies are contributing to global warming at an alarming pace.

What do those comments have to do with your post on schools? Well, I would hope that your attention and intelligence (because you clearly have both) should be directed to larger matters that are difficult to deal with. Of course, if you cannot openly talk about sex and money with anyone other than your spouse during the dark hours of the morning, then I guess you are not likely to move yourself to action to save yourself, your family and your country from sure implosion.

Dad29 said...

Given that the sheet was not made up whole-cloth by Charen's tipster, we'll proceed.

1) The teacher in question may be a liberal and may be a Democrat. I characterize this teacher as an antinomian, or as an extremist anti-authoritarian.

2) "Oppressive" family dynamics? Get serious. These are norms of a well-ordered society. And anyone who actually has a family will see that the "rules" as stated by this wacko are deliberate distortions. In real families, there is no such thing as "never"; a point carefully avoided by the writer.

3) I drew no more or less attention to the "talking about sex and money" phrase than to all the rest. YOU, however, found that to be a compelling item. Hmmmmm.

4) Actually, Charen pointed out the errors in grammar--MY text is black, hers is blue, and the quoted sheet is italicized blue. Next time I'll print a key for you.

5) From your final graf I infer you are not American. Since this country is so dangerous, you must be very lucky.

6) You might randomly read the rest of this blog--all the way through the archives. You will find that I'm very capable of discussing sexuality, immigration, governance, philosophy, art, and other random stuff.

Thanks for reading. Stop back some day.

WICatholic said...

I 'love' the guts of those who decry what is written by another under the ID 'anonymous', don't you?