The challenges that our children are facing today are so much more stressful than they were fifteen years ago. A nation of paranoid superiors has stacked the odds completely against them. Zero tolerance means zero leniencies. Children no longer have the option of falling behind or struggling. That used to be a normal part of growing up. Now is has become the qualifying attributes of outcasts and potential criminals, future suicide victims and terrorists. Any child exhibiting these attributes are usually left behind and thrown to the winds of chance. This is counterproductive to growth and in fact leads to the very circumstances that establish violent activity in the first place. Kids don’t just wake up one day and decide to shoot up a school or hang themselves from the rafters. They don’t do these things because they are bored. They do them as a result of the negative influences imposed on them by the zero tolerance advocates. Extreme paranoia is not a disposition ladies and gentlemen, it is a symptom. This is a disease that has been injected into our future generations through our own paranoid ignorance, not some universal terrorist paradigm.
A teacher that I spoke with recently told me that she was being pressured by the school board to pump grade A students out of her class at a rate of seventy percent per school year and if she failed to do so she would be charged an administrative fee for every student that dropped below that percentage level. This is ludicrous. It forces teachers to concentrate their efforts on students that they feel can produce the desired results and leave the rest of them to deal with the consequences of their failures. This is a godsend for the students that actually receive the guidance and a sociological death sentence for the ones who actually need it. When you consider the direction that the zero tolerance philosophy is heading, a class of struggling grade school students today could turn into a group of unemployable adults fifteen years from now. This is not an acceptable solution to education.
Children need us to be parents now more than ever. Denying a child the guidance that they need to succeed will create a snowball of negativity the will never stop growing. Positive parenting can prevent that negativity robbing them of their futures. Read to your children every day. Introduce them to music and art so that they learn to appreciate the beauty of the human form. Train them to step outside of their comfort zones and accept new challenges on a daily basis. Above all, teach them how to be social gurus. Show them how to properly deal with difficult people and difficult situations. Raising educated children is up to us now. It’s not on anyone else’s agenda.