It’s getting alarmingly close to the point at which we can declare that the system of government-run schooling in the United States has officially gone off the rails.
In New Jersey, a 7th-grader was suspended, strip-searched, compelled to give urine and blood samples for drug-testing, and sent to get his head shrunk. For? For twirling a pencil in his fingers. In a way that some other child alleged “made him uncomfortable.” Turns out the child alleging discomfort may have been bullying the pencil twirler; at least that’s what the suspended child is reported to have alleged. Some educrat responded to criticism that it’s the school system’s “policy” to
act stupidly “investigate” and “do our duty” whenever a child’s behavior “raises red flags.” Like, you know, twirling a damned pencil.
I agree with Bryan Preston over at PJ Tatler: This nonsense is not going to stop until the educrat class has to begin pondering whether any idiotic jack-boot treatment of students will or will not perhaps cost them their livelihood, their house, their retirement. For the life of me I cannot understand the logical basis for claims of immunity for what can only be described as a child’s civil rights (and by the way, such immunity exists nowhere in the law; it’s purely a judge-concocted doctrine, one group of government workers covering for another). Would we tolerate this behavior from, say, the staff at Home Depot towards its customer? Why then would we tolerate it from an adult schoolteacher to a child?
Here I ought perhaps to point out that I have zero problem at all with corporal punishment in schools. I and all my fellow students grew up knowing the (simple, short, and common-sense) rules and knowing that if I broke them I’d earn myself a trip to the hallway and three of the best, administered in drumhead court-martial fashion. Don’t start fights. Don’t break school property. Don’t talk back to the teacher. Don’t you dare strike a teacher. When the teacher tells you to sit down and be quiet, you sit down and be quiet. Don’t throw food in the cafeteria. Stay in your classroom unless the teacher gives you a hall pass. If you’ve got a pocket knife, keep it in your pocket. Don’t bring an actual gun to school. Seriously, those were just about the only rules you had to keep in mind. Many is the time I’ve sat around, at age 45+, and traded stories with others in my age bracket about whippings we took and whippings we witnessed. And you know what? Not a damned one of us was warped by the experience, not even a little. None of us is or ever was any more saintly than the average run of the mill, or noticeably more stoic than normal. Break the rules, take your punishment like a man, and go on with life. And years later you can sit around drinking a beer and laughing about it all.
But this foolishness about “making others uncomfortable” just smacks of the 1930s Soviet Union, when wrapping a fish in an issue of Pravda that had Stalin’s photograph on it could earn you a “tenner” in the Gulag. Or observing that a Parker pen (Western product) wrote well. Those aren’t made-up, either. The first is related in Solzhenitsyn, and the latter — in sarcastic fashion — in Dolgun. Complain about the quality of boots they sell in the stores? Counter-revolutionary agitation: Ten years. Solzhenitsyn tells a joke: A guard asks a prisoner what his term is. “Five years.” For what? “Nothing at all.” The guard responds, “You lie. The punishment for nothing at all is ten years.”
The Blogfather has repeatedly observed that, with imbecility not only running rampant in our schools, but actually running our schools, the question has to be asked whether entrusting a child to your local public school system could be characterized as parental malpractice. A child gnaws a pop-tart — a pastry, fer cryin’ out loud — into the shape of a gun. Suspended. A six-year-old kisses a girl in his class. Charged with sexual assault. A child brings a key-chain to school, on which is a tiny pendant in the shape of a gun. Suspended.
The radical left long ago figured out that lawfare and mob action work. Irrespective of the merits of your cause, if you can threaten others with bankruptcy, with years of litigation, with its discovery, its depositions, its time wasted in lawyers’ offices, its emotional drain, then you can force them to change their behaviors in ways you’d never be able to if you had to rely on mere persuasion or even legislative action. To borrow a maxim from Saul Alinsky, one of Dear Leader’s heroes, pick your target, freeze it, polarize it, personalize it. If you dig around in enough public records, you’d be able to find the names and addresses of every single educrat involved in that disgrace in New Jersey. They need to be sued, and every dismissal appealed and appealed again. Their houses need to be picketed, morning and night. Their political donations need to be identified and aired. Their pictures need to show up on billboards. They need to be accosted in every restaurant they go to eat. If they so much as show their faces at a little league ballgame they need to have swarms of angry citizens in their faces.
It’s time, as Dear Leader encouraged his acolytes, to punch back twice as hard.