Posts Tagged ‘Our Barbaric Youth’

“Lord of The Flies”: In Our Schools!

December 15, 2012

Dear Reader,

Yesterday’s shooting rampage of a grade school has left me numb and, at times, on the edge of tears. I will address this issue at some time in the future. For today I will post something that I was working on the day before this unthinkable tragedy. That post is more generally related to the kind of crazy and horrific behaviors we are witnessing accross America at an increasing rate. 

This blog must not be construed to reflect negatively upon the children and teachers at the site of this tragic shooting. Rather, it is a general commentary on conditions at many of America’s schools and the stressful demands  facing many of this Nation’s fine teachers.


“Lord of The Flies” In Our Schools!

Perhaps you have read “Lord of The Flies”. Or, Maybe you have heard this classic book described by others. You may wish to refresh your memory:

It is a story about children that become isolated on a deserted island. At first they play and enjoy their new freedom from adult supervision and appropriate limits to their behavior.  But, as the days pass,  predictable changes in the children’s behavior begins to emerge.

The strong begin to dominate the weak. Emotionally immature selfish and brutal behaviors occur with increasing frequency and intensity. Finally, among the children, behavioral chaos and barbarism prevail.

As a practicing psychologist, I have treated many teachers who are stressed to the point of depression, anxiety and physical illness by the children who they have done their best to help socialize and educate.

The teachers speak of newly mandated constant assessments of student progress, frequently revised new teaching goals and plans, and more reassessments and new goals and plans. All of this, in the face of students who do not and will not learn because they are hostile to their teachers and actively fight against learning. The teachers tell me they are negatively evaluated when they cannot make students stay awake, stay in their seats, stop fighting, or when they send such children out of their rooms in order to teach those who want to learn. Imagine yourself in such a no-win situation, with no end in sight. 

One teacher stated that she was told by students, “you can’t kick us out, you need us to keep your school open”.  Another, reported that she was called a “F…in Bitch”, told “you ain’t nothin”, “You can’t make me do anything”, “you can’t touch me”, etc.

I am told by numerous teachers that they cannot control many of their children and, as a result, they can lose control of their entire classrooms.

Angry, pathologically oppositional students have learned in their dysfunctional homes and shattered families that they can report parents, care-takers and teachers to the police and the Department of Family and Children. They can do this to punish those who they do not like, to intimidate those who dare to set limits upon them, and to catalyze a process which paralyzes institutions and adults with fear at the thought of confronting out-of-control children.

Teachers are now told they cannot touch children, they cannot even touch a child to wake them up. They must tap their desk. The institutional fear is palpable and the barbarian students feed off of it.

Police must now be assigned to many of our schools and even they suffer assaults at the hands of such students.  When they must act to protect themselves or others from attack…they are sued  and their reputations are damaged for “over-reacting” with personal force or with pepper spray or stun-guns: Independent of the truth of the matter.

Of course, there are bad schools and bad teachers. The same can be said of other professions and institutions. But, the teachers that I have worked with, who have told me of these impossible conditions, were very good people and professionals and they were at their wits ends.

If you will  interview some of the school teachers you know, you may discover that schools near you are being destroyed because hostile and disruptive intellectually impaired and emotionally disturbed children. Many of these children are being “mainstreamed” and retained in normal classrooms because of ridiculous governmental mandates. Such decisions should be carefully made on an individual by individual basis, and when a student is beyond help and is destructive to the educational process for the many, the child must be swiftly removed and placed in a specialized teaching environment along with a strong behavior modification program.

The result of the status-quo is chaos and barbarism among our children and the contagion of various psychological health issues among our precious innocent children and our very good teachers.

All of this is just one more reflection of decades of failing liberal/permissive cultural designs in America.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Health Services Provider in Psychology

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