Invisible shackles

Chapter Five: The Beast Within

     If you send your little one to a public school, he will be assigned to a room. He will spend most of seven hours in that one room. He may not leave. He must even get permission to go to the restroom. Think about it. Do you have to get permission to go to the restroom? Your little one would not be trusted to go to the restroom without permission. Can you think of why? Does he ask you for permission to go to the restroom? In Public School there is a time for everything, even going to the restroom. And that happens when a bell rings telling your little one that it’s now OK to go to the restroom.  I read somewhere that bells are a great way to condition minds and behavior, in, should I say it? Dogs.

       A little person in the Public School spends most of her time in an assigned room. She is held to an assigned desk by invisible shackles. She may not get up from her assigned desk. There is great power exerted on her to keep her there. And it is very effective. When she is very young and impressionable she will be punished or humiliated if she leaves her chair without proper authorization.  At such an early age the punishment doesn’t need to be severe to have powerful results. A young child’s mind is made so that it will learn and adapt quickly. The lessons learned by a young child are so profound that they will stay with her all her life.

       It is inhumane to cage and shackle little people. Some of their dignity is lost when they are forced to stay in one place except when authorized. The effect is especially profound in those early years.

       Some teachers use a sort of cap and trade system. So if a little person needs to go to the restroom during class he will give up time from recess. It will take about 60 seconds to get the job done. But it will cost him precious time out of the cage. The trade-off is very expensive!  

       What would happen if the children were allowed to go to the restroom whenever they needed? Chaos! Here’s why:

       Being shackled and caged strips some of what is human out of little people. So that when they are temporarily freed, they act like animals. The invisible shackles that bind them to their desks have similar effects on personality and behavior as real shackles do. Confinement is inhumane. The human spirit rebels at it. Even when, after years of conditioning, there is still rebellion in the heart against it.

       What happens to animals freed from confinement? Some stand in a terrified stupor, not knowing what to do. Others run wild. Excuse the comparison of little people to animals. But we can see how little people are being reduced to animal behavior by constantly depriving them of what is human. If you take a serious look, you will find many, many more comparisons between the Public School and a chicken coop or feedlot.

       We hate captivity. In any form, captivity, or the prospect of it, will drive otherwise courteous, well-behaved people to uncivilized actions. These actions are why little people are not allowed to go to the restroom without permission.

       When little people are allowed out of the cage, it is only after a bell rings signaling that it is permitted. They are temporarily released, but only to move in certain ways and to certain destinations. When the bell rings again they will be expected to move back to the cage. There are sentinels posted to make sure the commute is done properly. Though they smile, the little people know exactly why they are there.

       I’m not for letting kids run wild. I am not for disrespect. I am only pointing out what the Public School has to do in order to maintain control. Is that the environment where you want your little one to form his opinions about himself and the world? Remember, that to your little one the Public School would be his world. Generally he would spend more time there than with you.

       If you take away what is human in us, what is left? Public School deprives little people of the opportunity to discover and create. This is a very basic element of humanity. Humans must discover. We must create. Maybe it is the intention of the school staff to give opportunities to create and discover. But you must measure reality, not intention when it comes to your little person.

       There is an electrical thrill in the moment of discovery. There is a sensation of well-being and satisfaction that can only come from creating. This is true for children and adults. But it is much more important for little people have as endless opportunities as possible to discover and create. They are forming their ideas about themselves and the world. We run a terrible risk if we deprive them of these basic human needs. If Pete discovers how to sound out the word “instrument”, that moment is its own reward. The word becomes his. He discovered it. Ownership of “instrument” means that Pete will retain it and be able to use it.

       Humans must discover. We must create. When your little one is allowed to naturally discover and create, he invigorates and enlarges his mental and emotional capacity. Strong self-worth is fostered. Where there is no creating or discovering, boredom, monotony and tedium will cause a revolution in the soul. It can show itself in ugly ways.

       As an adult you get to choose to do some creating and discovering. Maybe you’ll crochet. Perhaps you’ll take a picture or work on an engine. Maybe you’ll just take a walk outside and discover what the weather is doing. Little people in the Public School have no such freedom.

       The same electric thrill that comes with discovering a planet comes with the discovery of a new math fact. Public School effectively removes that thrill, leaving nothing but cold stale oatmeal. Too often teachers are just regurgitating information; regurgitating oatmeal and feeding it to little people hour after hour. They are required to sit quietly and receive the informational gruel.  There is no discovering, no creating.

       I have seen very nice, bright children become anti-social and obnoxious after time in the Public School. I believe it was because of the spit up oatmeal their teachers pushed down their throats. Intelligent children can be seen staring forward with dull expressions, in a state between sleep and waking. Oatmeal. More oatmeal. Just-warm oatmeal, hour after hour. Can you feel the wave of nausea?

       The benefit to the spit up mush is that, taken long enough, the little people won’t be confused or distracted by silly things like bread or bananas.  When it comes time the little mouth will be able to gag up the same mush that’s been fed. This is particularly important when it’s time to take a test. Is it any wonder that children crave the stimulation of a video game or movie?

       If all little people do is sit there and swallow mush that the teacher spits up, some negative response can be expected. Even those that seem willing to swallow it for a sparkling sticker still have an intellectual gag reflex. Staff at the Public School may not see the correlation between the bad scores and behaviors to the constant mush spitting. When combined with incessant, unnecessary competition, and confinement, withholding opportunities to discover and create will produce results that no parent or teacher wants or intends. However well chewed it is pre-eaten oatmeal is just not palatable. Humans must discover. Humans must create.

       Mush-spitters are, themselves so used to this warmish fare that they don’t notice or even care if the little mouths take a liking or not. It’s the prescribed food. It may or may not be interesting, tasty or nourishing. It will be eaten. Some care so little that they don’t even bother to thoroughly chew it themselves before spitting it into the little mouths. They only have fringe knowledge of what they are teaching. They just skim over the material. They will let a DVD or recorded book serve up the mush.

       As adults, if the TV show is boring we can shut it off or change the station. We can get up from a boring meeting or lecture and just leave. Little people are not that lucky. They are forced to sit there and take the mush. The mush spitting teachers know it, too. They know that the little one has no choice. They are not in any danger of losing their audience.

       For the little people in the mush-spitter’s class, seven hours are agonizingly long. Recess is agonizingly short. Some just cannot take it. The human in them cries out for something to discover. The human in them clamors to create. Often they are given drugs to help them cope. They wiggle. They squirm. They call out. They need endless restroom breaks. They daydream. They chew their pencils. They endlessly sharpen their pencils. They giggle. They tease. They sleep. They sigh. They get headaches. They get stomach aches. They are starved! Please! Someone! Save these kids from the gagged up oatmeal!

  Education, real education requires discovery, it requires creation. If your little one is free, he naturally discovers and creates. His mind is built that way. I plead with you to seriously consider the consequences of putting your little one into the Public School. With you as his teacher he will flourish. He will learn faster. He will own what he learns. The only mush he will get will be for breakfast.

       Are you willing to force your little one day after day into a situation that will deprive him of such human needs as discovering and creating? Will you put him where he will be shackled and caged? Will you let “50-in-a-minute” and the thousands of like programs decide his potential and personality? Are you willing to look back and wonder what he might have accomplished if you had kept him free to truly learn?