- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Stephen Lendman
Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 at 5:18 AM
Police State Public Education in America
by Stephen Lendman
Democracy requires an educated citizenry. America's founders believed it was insurance against loss of liberty.
Jefferson said “(e)very government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render them safe, their minds must be improved…”
Public education is vital because it serves the public interest - giving meaning to “we the people.” Father of American education Horace Mann called “(t)he common school...the greatest discovery ever made by man.” He meant public, not privatized, prioritizing profits over teaching. He believed all students should be educated equally and responsibly.
In America today, they’re intimidated, persecuted and controlled, not taught the way young people were when I grew up in inner city Boston from kindergarten in 1939 to my 1952 high school graduation.
Then college and graduate school when both were extremely affordable, extraordinarily cheap by today’s standards. America’s student loan racket didn’t exist - debt-entrapping millions of students repressively, some facing a lifetime of debt bondage.
Standards in those days stressed teaching. Children learned basics to advance to higher education - important preparatory steps for life. Kids today across America have none of the advantages I had. Things today are deplorable by any standard.
Bush's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Obama's Race to the Top (RTTT) are Exhibits A and B. The former leaves behind most kids. The latter is a race to the bottom. Both reflect schemes to destroy a nearly four century tradition.
Public schools in America don’t teach. They’re institutions of intimidation and totalitarian control. They produce uneducated youths unprepared for the adult world they’re about to enter - most facing a working lifetime of rotten jobs with poverty wages along with few or no benefits.
No wonder many end up in prison, mostly people of color, ruthlessly abused throughout America’s sordid history.
John Taylor Gatto is an author and former New York City and State Teacher of the Year. “We live in a time of great school crisis,” he stresses.
US children “rank at the bottom of nineteen industrial nations in reading, writing and arithmetic.” Schools “don’t teach anything except how to obey orders.” Institutionalized education in America “is psychopathic - (with) no conscience.”
US society is “disintegrating.” It’s decadent. Kids during school hours “are under constant surveillance, (with) no private time or space…disciplined if they try to assert individuality.”
Wealthy parents send their children to private schools where they’re educated the way all kids in America were decades earlier. No longer.
Hofstra University’s Alan Singer says many inner city US schools function like prisons. He’s a former guest instructor at Rikers Island, calling it “the last stop on the New York City school-to-prison pipeline.”
Schools “reflect and reinforce society,” he explains. They don’t “transform it.” Industrial America no longer exists. Schools evolved accordingly, notably in inner city minority neighbors.
They’re “organized on the prison model where (children and youths) are treated (like) criminals,” Singer explained.
“Students enter buildings through metal detectors. If the device goes off they are bodily searched. Armed police stand guard.” They conduct random locker searches, a Fourth Amendment violation. Use of drug-sniffing dogs is commonplace.
“Uniformed security crews that report to the police sweep the halls. Students are forced to sit in overcrowded uncomfortable classrooms doing rote assignments geared to high-stakes Common Core assessments,” said Singer.
“Stressed out teachers, fearful that they will be judged by poor student performance on these tests, use boredom and humiliation to maintain control of the classroom.”
“When young people react to these conditions they are disciplined. The ultimate goal of school policy is to sort them out with a few destined for success, some to menial jobs, and others for imprisonment.”
Public education in America reflects its racist, punitive, disturbingly ugly dark side - institutions of police state control, not learning, schools run like prisons.
Brown v. Board of Education is dead. Segregation afflicts America’s people of color, harmed by the school-to-prison pipeline - US policy at the federal, state and local levels, kids treated like criminals.
They’re pushed out school doors into prisons - ultimate institutions of intimidation, tyrannical control and abuse, Blacks and Latinos mostly affected, a shocking indictment of a ruthless, dystopian society, unfit and unsafe to live in.
Rutherford Institute is a civil liberties organization. Its founder and president John W. Whitehead calls US public school students “the new inmates in the American police state.”
“(Y)ou’re either a prisoner…or a prison bureaucrat (police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.),” he explains.
Anyone today can run afoul of the system unwittingly and end up in prison, he says. For kids, it’s much worse, he stresses.
“Microcosms of the police state, America’s public schools contain almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues those of us on the ‘outside.’ “
America is a rigorously controlled police state, ruthlessly threatening and harming most of its people, reflecting tyranny, not democracy.
From the time US kids enter public schools through graduation or sooner if they drop out, they’re “exposed to a steady diet of draconian zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior, overreaching anti-bullying statutes that criminalize speech, school resource officers (police) tasked with disciplining and/or arresting so-called ‘disorderly’ students, standardized testing that emphasizes rote answers over critical thinking (and real learning), politically correct mindsets that teach young people to censor themselves and those around them, and extensive biometric and surveillance systems that, coupled with the rest, acclimate young people to a world in which they have no freedom of thought, speech or movement,” Whitehead explained.
Nearly one in three youths are arrested after leaving school. Millions of kids are suspended or expelled for so-called “disruptive behavior” or “insubordination” - minor things too insignificant to matter.
“Black students are three times more likely than white students to” be targeted, says Whitehead. “Acts of kindness, concern or basic manners can (bring) suspensions.”
A child was punished for sharing his lunch with a hungry friend, another suspended for saying “bless you” after a classmate sneezed.
Shocking things happen unheard of when I was growing up. “(H)and-drawn pictures of guns, pencils twirled in a ‘threatening’ manner, imaginary bows and arrows, even fingers positioned like guns) can also land a student in detention,” said Whitehead.
“(V)isits to the principal’s office are transformed into punishments such as misdemeanor tickets, juvenile court, handcuffs, tasers and even prison terms.”
“(A)rmed police officers…patrol school hallways…de facto wardens…doling out their brand of justice…(using) tasers, pepper spray, batons and brute force. The horror stories are legion.”
Irving, Texas 14-year-old Muslim student Ahmed Mohamed was suspended, handcuffed, arrested and detained by police for bringing a homemade alarm clock to class. Racist school officials accused him of making a fake bomb.
US public schools today are dangerous places for children and youths. They’re more prison-like than educational institutions. They reflect ruthless state-sponsored policies - serving the privileged few at the expense of everyone else.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
Report this post as:
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens
More Breaking News...