November 09, 2005
by: jovial_cynic
I have a running philosophy on public education. I'll share it here now.

After reading this tragic news story, I can't help but be furious about this.

The public education system is comprised of individuals who are paid by tax-payers (that's you and me) to educate our children. It's convenient, really - I go to work and make money, and a small percentage of the money I make/spend (I'm talking general taxes, here) goes towards funding the teachers who make it their job to instruct children in education. I don't have the time to both make money and educate my children in english, math, history, etc., etc., so I appreciate a system that's willing to take on that responsibility.

A teacher's job is not to instill morality or force compliance in my children - they are there to simply educate. A teacher has a particular responsibility to separate their own personal ethics from the materials they teach. The moment a teacher steps out of their role as teacher and into the role of authority, they've cross a boundary. This is particularly dangerous when you consider that a child often believes that their teachers are *absolute* authority figures.

In the news story, it is a principal that takes on the authority role and drags a student from class to class to humiliate them; principal or teacher, the situation is the same - a paid-member of the public education system has no right to enforce disciplinary measures that I personally do not endorse.

This story actually hits home for me. When I was in the second grade, I had a student accuse me of spilling juice in a back room. The teacher (a Ms. Keran) called me a jackass, grabbed me by my ear, and forced me to the back room to clean up the mess. Unacceptable. If I had known what I know now about my own rights as a student and as a human being, I'm sure I would have kicked, screamed, punched, and bit my way out of that situation.
np category: politics


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