Further Extension on Thoughts on Education
After further consideration, I realized I failed to point out a key component of the whole "decay of education" argument....THE PARENTS. As a conservative, I firmly believe in the idea that first and foremost, it is the parents responsibility for raising their children by instilling values, morals, etc. That glaring omission does not indicate a change in my philosophy, but rather an inadvertent lapse in my original argument.
Where are the parents? More and more families have two working parents, due in large part to the taxes that they have to pay, the over-taxation of the American people. Also, it is due to the increased costs for education they must pay. Furthermore, parents are working due to increased senses of keeping up with expectations, instead of being worried about substance, they worry about perception. It takes so much more to “keep up with the Jones’” these days and our young parents are spending more time achieving “status” than they are with their children.
Where are the parents? Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce or separation of some sort. You have many children being raised by one parent, or used as a football by the parents for some sort of financial or emotional gain. You have a culture that has, through media manipulation, encouraged a lack of trying to work through differences, that has caused people not to want to work at relationships, because they can find someone else anyway...this creates a disconnect of families. Also, especially in inner cities and rural areas, there are a lot of single moms out there with multiple kids. These single moms are doing their best, but the dads are nowhere to be seen...again, due to a culture that glorifies promiscuity and objectifies women. And, contrary to the rosy picture of the “do it all” mom, most single moms do not have Murphy Brown jobs... Most single mothers really struggle, and the fathers do little...many times the divorce or separation is because the family ran from its problems, appeased the problems rather than trying to work through things and take responsibility.
Where are the parents? The parents continue to be caught up in the culture of “me first,” which is about fulfilling yourself before anyone else and loosening all responsibilities. They let Playstation or TV babysit their kids, again because they run from the responsibility. Why do most parents today do this? It is because they were not prepared by their parents, and/or they had kids at such a young age.....
We are seeing kids having kids, and while some polls say otherwise, it is still a problem. In the school I referred to before, this district teaches 3rd graders sex-ed and condom use, and discusses sex with them. Why do 3rd graders need to know this? Since the implementation of this program, this district has become the county capital of unwed teen pregnancy and delinquency. Also, these young mothers are encouraged to continue in school, to let others care for their baby, to bring the baby to school to show it off. It has become like a badge of honor, and I see this more and more.
Where are the parents? They are busy engaging in other behavior and have allowed their children to run wild. They have been told by the media that discipline is bad, that we must allow children to do whatever they want, that is how they learn. We have to not be so hard on them...We also have parents who care more about being liked than in doing what is right for their children. They so want to have it both ways, that they sacrifice discipline to hear their child say what great parents they are. I have seen it....I have seen robbery and sexual imposition excused as “kids being kids” or “Johnny really is a good boy”, or its “her fault” All because parents have bought into the idea that they should let others raise their children. Well, in some instances, they are right. We in the know should have been taking the initiative instead of propagating sexual exploring, we should be teaching abstinence. As, according to surveys, the best thing to avoid poverty comes down to three things, and this comes from articles referenced by respected African American EconomistWalter E. Williams: finish high school, don't get pregnant before you are 20, and do not get pregnant until you are married......90+% of people who did that never go through poverty. (See here
for source material)
Where are the parents? Many are defending their children's deviant behavior in school to protect their own images. Rather than side with teachers and schools, parents are believing Little Johnny more, even with mountains of evidence to the contrary. Here is a story: I caught Johnny harassing a girl, with notes of what he wanted to do to her, the girl and I went to the principal; and the parents came in. They defended Johnny's behavior saying he just had a crush and didn’t know how to discuss his feelings, and that the girl "had led him on." Give me a break. Saying you want to rip a girl's clothes off and hear her scream for mercy while you engage in sex is not misstating a crush, it is threatened sexual assault! Luckily, the authorities were called as well, and despite threats of lawsuits, the school went ahead and pressed charges. I see this more and more....and the defense for the children is: “who are you to tell me how to raise my kid?” Well, obviously no one else told you how, and you better learn. I hear all the time, " I take care of my kids..." Well, caring for a child is more than outfitting them in Aeropostale and Abercrombie and Fitch...it is instilling values, one of which should be a value in betterment and education....What I am seeing more and more is the installation of us (kid and parent) against them (the school) instead of it being a partnership and team effort. The parents will use the schools as bad guys to enforce discipline until it conflicts with a golf schedule...
Where are the parents to teach their children that sex should not be about sinking to our animal instincts, and only about self-gratification, but a beautiful meeting of two people and mutual fulfillment? We have objectified sex to where it is merely something to do, and it has taken the mystery out of it. Why do you think there is more promiscuity among young people? Sex has been turned into something to do, the meaning of it has been taken out, and we have regressed to being just above dogs and animals in sexual self-control. No wonder relationships don't last, most are based on sex, and when that gets boring, there has been no other attempt to connect....
Unfortunately, many parents have accepted the cultural line of abdicating responsibility, for fear of being labeled a mean person. They have taken being liked as being better than doing what is best for your children. That is what the pop psychologists and the Oprah culture have done to our parents....that is what the folks who do the "more social" approach to learning have done...Instead of empowering parents, we have undercut them, through media presentation and through legislation and the whole "if you hit a kid, you are automatically bad." I have been spanked, I am not abused... and I have not engaged in sexual deviancy, drug abuse or illegal drug use (though I did drink some when underage, which I regret to this day), or being a troublemaker at school. I was taught to value achievement, that teachers were there to help, and that if I did wrong I would pay at school and worse at home...That is not being taught today, instead children are being taught how to shift blame for their behavior on others, and to self-victimize themselves to avoid any responsibility.
Some criticize the teaching of abstinence...Tell me another method of birth control that is 100% effective? Not one....Abstinence is the key, to quote Earvin Magic Johnson, HIV sufferer and advocate for Abstinence education. He realizes that some teens will still do the deed, as it were, but he encourages abstinence, because it is the only 100% effective method.
In conclusion, while there may be many reason why the parents aren’t involved in the development of their child, they are vital. We must find ways of engaging the parents if we ever hope to achieve success. So much of the fight against poverty begins with the values that are instilled in our children. It is imperative that our children receive a positive message about sex and education. Some argue that this is a problem that money can fix, I couldn’t disagree more. This is a problem that parents and teachers, together in a partnership for the betterment and development of our children, can handle. That can happen if the message becomes one of personal responsibility as we abandon the concept of shifting blame.