Monday, August 15, 2011

American Schools Lose Sanity

I read an absolutely crazy article today: The 6 Dumbest Things Schools are Doing in the Name of Safety

We are talking electronic tracking devices, banning photography, monetary fines and prison jumpsuits for Dress code Violations. This is madness! It's making ever so proud of my kids' overly liberal school that I like to refer to as The Harvard School of Finger Painting.

I would pay money to see the reaction of Brazilians if a school did this down here. There's already talk that the British School is too strict because the kids have to sit at desks for long periods of time. I mean we're all about education but where the hell is the line?!

For starters, are the kids going to pay the fines? My 4 yr has yet to get a job, no matter how much I mention it to him. Damn child labor laws. So the money is coming out of my pocket. This makes me think that the schools are trying to hit parents where it hurts as a means of getting them involved in their children's scholarly lives. Well, when I say it that way it kind of makes sense. Maybe the "boys will be boys" attitude would disappear if it costs the parents $50 a pop.

But electronic tracking devices? Half the fun of high school is attempting to skip. The school eventually notices anyway. I know this partially due to the fact that American public schools receive funding based on attendance. Obviously you want the kids there because you get paid next to nothing even then, but let me point something out. Aren't kids supposed to learn accountability? Will that happen if they are on an electronic leash? Hell, your dog never learned to heel by being tied to the side of the house all day. Yes, I just compared kids with dogs. I have 2 so I'm allowed.

My personal favorite is the ban on photography as a means to deter pedophilia. Thank goodness they figured out that Chester Molester only acts when he/she can take pictures.

Freaking hell people, let the kids have photographic evidence of their memories from school. Let parents put together scrap books and teachers remember the children who innocently touched them. I mean, Americans would just crap themselves down here in Brazil. It is not uncommon for kids to take baths at school. They also put out kiddie pools in the hottest months and if parents forget bathing suits those kids go in their underwear if they want to. If this were the states the entire place would be shut down!

Of course I understand that we have to protect our kids but there are some things that they have to figure out for themselves (minus molestation of course). It's ok to give limits but to control, ban, and fine them is ridiculous.

For goodness sake America, you are really making it hard for me to ever want to live there! Don't worry, I'll always come back for a visit. What you lack in sanity you make up for in shopping and crap food.


  1. I completely agree Rachel. You have no idea how ridiculous it is here. Last year they banned kids from keeping antibacterial gels on their persons for fear that some children might drink it. So now it is given to the teacher and the kids have to ask permission and have it squeezed in their hand by the teacher if they use it. OMG, I can't tell you how irritated I became over this. Why not get rid of the glue, the crayons, and anything else a child might "eat". Really...everyone is so scared of being sued over anything, they are freaking out over EVERYTHING!

  2. See I don't necessarily disagree with certain bans/rules in public American schools. I taught in public schools for 6 years and kids are not like we were when we were in school. Times have changed A LOT. Middle school girls take pictures of their privates and text them to boys; often time there are uniforms because of local gangs. Sometimes they are too much though, I recognize. For instance, I worked in a school where they girls couldn't wear earrings larger than a quarter because there were many fights and one girl was sent to the emergency room because another girl tore the earring out. Snowman shirts were also banned one year because they were a symbol for drugs (cocaine). Now this school has a large gang population and is in the meth capital of Florida...

    Now that I'm teaching at a private school in Brazil I realize that the students have a lot of freedom. But in my opinion, it's too much. I'm tired of seeing iPhones and iPads out when I'm trying to teach the writing process. Students want to listen to music while taking a test....or so they say until you find them texting away. I believe that technology in the classroom is wonderful, but it's not being used responsibly most of the time (IMO).

    I don't have an answer for rules and bans because I believe that too many rules means that the teachers are policing and not teaching, but at the same time, students need limits on what they can and can't do inside the classroom.

  3. I just wanted to add that not every school in the US has such tight rules/bans, nor do they need it. However, there are too many teenagers who have TOO much freedom and need to be taught to follow regulations.

  4. Some food for thought.

    I always attended very strict schools and even though I loathed them back in the day today I appreciate what they did, for the most part.

    I must say though that every kid deserves to eat glue at least once: it is a right of passage.

  5. Humn, seeing that above I wrote "right of passage" instead of "rite of passage" perhaps I went overboard on the glue.

  6. Meredith you make a good point but my question is how have kids become so _________ (fill in the blank)

    I'm with Shay here are way too many restrictions. Fear of lawsuits and such. I can see some of them but definitely not all.

    Gritt, It can't be glue, only paste. I wasn't a paste eater myself. I mocked them ;)

  7. Humn. I knew it: a paste snob.
    I bet you frown upon Sloopy Joes as well :-)

  8. Kids have become so _____________ in my opinion because of lack of parental guidance/control.

    Too many parents want us (teachers) to raise their kids, they don't take care of them, talk to them, give them restrictions, etc.

    Parents don't teacher their children to respect adults/teachers/education.

  9. all these rules are absolutely extreme and insane specially the ban on photography as a means to deter pedophilia.
    u can't high five a friend?? that is just sick!

  10. I think in the 50's parents were just too strict, so it feels like parents today are just over compensating and allowing their children to do anything they want.
    I watched in horror as a kid kicked his mother in the ear, "while she was driving", because she was talking on the phone.
    She told me her kids didn't like when she talked on the phone with other people!!! I was horrified.
    Some parents are so afraid to discipline their kids and just let them do anything without limits...that behavior is definitely transfered to schools.
    The schools that are imposing all these rules must be doing it out of sheer desperation.
    I can asure you I am more afraid of highschool kids than inmates at a federal prision.


  11. Rachel- I read Cracked, too. My sister reminded me that we used to read it in paper form, as well. :-)

  12. next time they will ban 8 year olds from talking during breaks!! what if they are planning a terrorist attack or giving each other bad ideas???

    " The 6 Dumbest Things Schools are Doing in the Name of Safety" are ludicrous !!