The Charlotte Observer reports that McClintock Middle School in Charlotte, NC is imposing a “lock down” on all 7th grade students because they are being “too rambunctious” as Spring weather approaches. The policy has been enacted by their principal, Ms. Espinosa.
The answer? Force them to remain in one classroom for the entire school day, make them eat lunch in that classroom, suspend all physical education classes, and give them only short exercise breaks until they earn the privilege of returning to a normal schedule.
In short, because these 7th graders are acting far too much like human beings, they will be treated like animals. The expectation seems to be that they will then act like civilized adults. The problems abound here.
1) These are 7th graders. Perhaps the problem is that our culture treats childhood as an annoyance and works to rid children of it at all costs.
2) The definition of insanity. Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing in the same way over and over and expecting different results. Civilized behavior will not result from being treated like an animal.
Could not the problem at McClintock be solved by recognizing that our government-run education requires things not nearly as significant as letting children be children? Couldn’t they suspend one of their revisionist history classes and give them more time outside? Oh, wait, they might miss something for one of the standardized, multiple-choice “End of Grade” tests!
Schools are perhaps the most dehumanizing institution in the world, where the only thing that is praised is absolute control, force-feeding of facts, and the effeminization of boys. This is not to say that facts are not important – they are the bedrock of learning – but students are only being taught what to think and never how to think. Mind control vastly differs from true education, which feeds and nurtures the mind and soul to love what is good, true, and beautiful. Government schools prize “teaching to the test” and staying in your seat.
For what, precisely, do the leaders of McClintock hope? Apparently, that the spirit of these children will be so severely destroyed that they no longer desire to act like children. Do they sincerely believe that children should enjoy and want to pay attention to this brand of education? Has it ever dawned on them that part of the problem is the approach to education and not in the children themselves?
The result can only be dehumanized children that merely desire to plant themselves in front of the TV or game console when they get home. This, in turn, will eventually fuel the problem – shortening attention spans and intensifying anger and bitterness.
Suppressed energy in the 7th grade may well be the ticking time bomb of high school and non-contributing adulthood.
3) Finally integrating the curriculum? But, allow me to play devil’s advocate with myself. Perhaps I am being too hasty. Perhaps Ms. Espinosa is somehow embracing a modern, dystopian approach to classical education – simply trying to integrate elements of the science curriculum into the entire school experience.
Perhaps, she hopes, that by treating the students like caged animals, they will more fully grasp their evolutionary roots. They are, after all, being taught that they are merely evolved, soul-less animals. Why allow them to live under any delusion to the contrary?
The soul of man, however, cannot be killed by mere rule-making and, ironically, it is far more likely that the eventual rebellion of these children will prove it. For those who do not, however, will only demonstrate that their spirit (though not the soul) has been crushed – making them perfect receptacles for the Marxist education they are receiving.
May God deliver schools, parents, and children from the abusive idea that our little ones are simply to become cogs in a national economy. May we return again to the belief that we are to raise and teach them to love truth, goodness, and beauty. May we nurture their souls not destroy them. May we give wings to their spirits while bringing their wills into subjection to God. May we feed their hearts and minds upon truly great and lasting things that they will desire to live by them.
You may read the article from The Charlotte Observer and the disturbing reader comments here.