You know what's the problem with kids today?
Seriously. Especially adults involved in the government school system. Put simply, they are treating these kids like total idiots.
A trio of stories, to illustrate:
Story the First: Remember wearing your Halloween costume to school in elementary? Yeah, that's not so much a thing anymore. The girls' current school forbids it altogether. Why? Not, as you might first assume, because some kids don't celebrate it. (Don't get me started on Jesusween...) No, because some kids might be scared by the costumes. F'r real, y'all, that was the explanation given on the note sent home the week before. Even the last school they went to that did allow costumes to be worn expressly prohibited anything that might be scary--not ghosts, ghouls, zombies, vampires, etc. (Nothing "promoting violence" either, 'cause guns are bad, mmkay.)
Story the Second: A couple of weeks ago, Bobbie came home and said she'd been disappointed that day in PE because she didn't get to participate. Why not? Seems she'd been one of the kids selected to help monitor the other kids. Where were the coaches, whose job it presumably actually is to monitor the kids? At one certain part of this game, standing there watching constantly to ensure none of the kids cheated. To recap: half the PE class couldn't play the game because they were monitoring the other half of the PE class, except for one certain station where the coaches were monitoring them, because the operating belief was that the kids would cheat.
Story the Third: Mark is working at one of the local playhouses here in SA. He was at work yesterday when a teenage couple came in to watch the show. Seems it was his prom night. So why weren't they at the prom? They had been turned away. Because prom dates who were from different schools had to pre-register and presumably be approved by the school beforehand, and although she actually had registered, no one from the school had ever contacted her to finish the approval process.
Ooh, I just thought of one more thing, so you get a Bonus Story: My oldest two girls are above grade-level in reading. Like, no longer elementary school level (Bobbie hit 6th grade reading level in 3rd grade, and Linda's a better reader). Their school library has very few books at their level, and most of these they have read already. Not all, though. See, they're only allowed to check out one "difficult" book at a time--for their other book, they have to check out a grade-level book Also, there is a computerized reading program they use which is actively trying to force them to read more slowly. See, they read the passage at their normal speed, and the program responds with something along the lines of "There's no way you read that that quickly, try again."
Common Thread? The beautifully-put soft bigotry of low expectations.
I find it incredibly hard to believe that kids today really are that dumb. Mine certainly are not, and although I have the typical parental pride in my offspring, I doubt they're truly that rare. I bet most kids are pretty smart.
But they are being treated, actively, as though they are stupid. I am reminded again of Neal Boortz's claim that Education majors are basically the dumbest people to make it to college. It's beginning to seem as though not only is this true, but they're actively trying to pull everyone else down
to their level.
Expect excellence from kids, and you're not going to be rewarded with stupid little lumps.
Expect kids to be stupid little lumps, and, well...Self-fulfilling prophecy time.