Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Government schools confiscation of school supplies for the purpose of "sharing" sends kids the wrong message

When I was in elementary school in South Miami in the 70's, our teachers did not confiscate our school supplies to put in a pot to share with everyone. Parents were responsible for seeing to it their children had the supplies needed for the school year. My parents worked hard to provide for us, their first concern was taking care of their own children first. This didn't mean they didn't help others in need, but their first priority was their own children. 

Now, for those who say the economy was different back then, well it was, but remember while things cost less back back then, people also earned less too. The economy of the 1970's was no picnic, there was a real crisis going on, not just in America but all over the world. I remember long lines at the gas stations, high prices, and inflation. My parents talked about the economy quite a bit when we were kids, we picked up on a lot.

We're told these days that throwing all the school supplies into one big pot teaches children the value of sharing but that is not necessarily the case. Actually, it teaches children that they are not allowed to have anything that belongs solely to them. They are taught they are not allowed to own property.  They are taught that it is wrong to own something if others do not own it as well. They are taught that it is wrong to have more of something than someone else. They are taught that the good of the many outweighs the good of the individual. They are taught that their identity is tied not to individuality but a group. Also, take into consideration that if these children grow up believing that as individuals they have no identity, that what is best for the overall group takes precedence over what is best for the individual, what does that mean in regards to accountability for their actions and behavior? If one is identified according to a group and not as an indiviual, who is accountable? Is anyone?

Despite the fact my school supplies weren't confiscated to be shared with my classmates, I grew up to be a pretty damn fine human being. I am compassionate, understanding, educated, hardworking, and law-abiding. I understand the meaning of sharing, I contribute to charitable causes, I help people and animals, and I do my part to be a productive member of society.

Sure, I started talking about sharing and school supplies but this is just part of a much larger problem with the younger generation. These kids are being raised in the mindset that the individual no longer matters, everyone is rewarded for everything, and everybody is treated exactly the same in every situation regardless of their individual circumstances.  They don't understand the difference between equality and equity.  Guess what happens to them when they grow into adults? They can't make their own decisions, can't balance a checkbook, don't know how to interview for a job, have zero social skills, think exceptions can be made for everything, and believe everyone should be praised even if they don't deserve it.

Perhaps the public school system should quit wasting kids time trying to teach them that they are entitled to everything and that everyone is exactly the same, and go back to the basics, you know things like...uh...this?




2 comments:

  1. Oh, girl...you hit my hot button...education! My husband an I are both products of public schools and I have no fault with the education we received but the public schools of today are entirely different environments. That being said we have spent a small fortune on our children keeping them in private schools that hold to the values we want them to have reinforced. Notice I said reinforced....I don't expect the school to teach values, morals, etc... that is MY job. I do, however, expect the school to reinforce those lessons and help us produce positive, productive, self reliant adults! I also strive to teach my children (and expect them to adhere to it outside of my home...and yes, that means at school!) a self of being accountable for ones actions regardless of situation.

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  2. Glad you liked it Michelle! Of course I suppose I have to add in the standard "yes I know not every child is as I described" but I think we know that....unfortunately many of them are. There's two kinds of parents, those who let the schools parent their kids and those who don't. Simple enough. The problem children are generally the ones whose parents leave the lessons of values, responsibility, accountability and morality up to the school system.

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