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FSM 123: HOME SCHOOLING NO.2        (FN 232)  DO
Copyright: February 1989 By Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

       "I believe that it's an absolute sin for Christians to send their children to public schools if they can possibly avoid it. Do you want to know why my kids are the way they are? We kept them in Christian schools all we possibly could, & when we couldn't, we taught them ourselves & ran for our lives when necessary!--And I'd do it again if I had to. When public schools denied the faith, I took my kids out & took'em on the road & fled the government & its laws & taught them myself before I'd let the System propagandise & brainwash & poison the minds of my young people!"--Dad.
       In past Letters, such as "Are Your Children Becoming One?", even Dad has considered the benefits of allowing our children to go to some public schools, especially outside of the United States where our children could be a witness, learn the language & become one with the people. However, as many families are returning to their home countries, they are discovering that "times have waxed worse & worse", especially in America. "The love of many has indeed waxed cold" (Mat.24:12) & "evil men & seducers have waxed worse & worse, deceiving & being deceived" (2Tim.3:13), & in many places, especially in public schools, "transgressors are come to the full" (Dan.8:23). Parents returning to such conditions now more than ever see the urgent need to protect their children & keep them "separate & out from among them". (See 2Tim.3:1-7.)
       Dad himself sometimes had to go to public schools, & has described the hell it involved even when schools were less dangerous than they are now; but for his own children he did all he could to avoid sending them to public schools:
       "We kept our children out of public schools for literally years either by travel--during which we did have them taking correspondence courses most of the time as a sort of an excuse in case anybody asked--& by keeping them in Christian schools part-time. Part-time on the road, part-time in Christian schools & part-time in public schools." (ML#1039:28)
       "Thank God most of our kids don't have to go to Godless, devilish, anti-Christ, anti-Bible U.S.A. schools!--They are Hell on Earth! The law compelled me to go to school, my parents didn't know what a Hell on Earth U.S. public schools were, & you had to go! So I let the devils go their way, but I certainly didn't associate with them! But I survived, & I guess it helped me to learn how to take the hard knocks, roll with the punches & become a tough fighter myself! PTL!" (ML#727:152; 1512:28)
       Thank the Lord Dad survived & kept true to his convictions or we would not be here to talk about it! But as long as an alternative to public schools exists, such as home schooling, it would seem wise to keep our children separate & pour into them all we can while it is still possible.
       Here then, to help you clearly see & explain to others, are the reasons Why We Don't Send Our Children to Public Schools!


       The arguments against public education in this category include:
       1. The public school curriculum teaches beliefs that are totally contrary to our Christian faith & belief. Evolution is taught as a fact which excludes the possibility of a Divine creation. History is secular & humanized to exclude or de-emphasise the role of religion & belief in the founding & formation of the Nation.
       2. Our children suffer emotional & mental trauma from the cruel & unkind taunting from other students because of our children's moral & Christian upbringing.
       3. Our children are not allowed to conduct their normal expressions of faith & practice of prayer in the school.
       4. The Bible as the Word of God is a necessary part of a Christian child's continual education, which needs to be taught & presented in the context of life & learning activities. This is not possible in secular & public schools.
       5. Moral & spiritual education & training are not subjects that can be isolated but rather are continual learning processes. Public schools are not equipped nor trained nor in fact allowed to participate in & provide this sort of intimate attention, guidance, explanation, & direction to children. Homes can provide a stable environment with a consistent & continual learning opportunity.
       "Modern public education is an enemy of Christ, an enemy of the true Church, an enemy of God & an enemy of the Bible & an enemy of your faith, a tool of the Devil to try to destroy your soul & damn you!"--Dad

       "U.S. public education is officially anti-God, no prayer, no Bible any more, officially anti-Christ! The U.S. government, through its Supreme Court rulings, has officially made itself anti-Christ & anti-God! Jesus said, `You're either for Me or you're against Me', & if the U.S. government is not for Jesus Christ & God & the Bible & prayer in its public schools, then it is against the Bible & against prayer & against God, & it is just as anti-Christ as Russia!"--Dad


       The U.S. Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional a Louisiana law which required teachers in public school systems to give equal time to teach creation-science in any public school that teaches the theory of evolution. Justice Antonin Scalia & Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who disagreed with the ruling, said that there was no justification for the court's decision to strike down a law that had a clearly stated secular purpose, the protection of academic freedom.
       In Arkansas, a federal judge struck down their creation-science law, saying it was a deliberate effort to require religious teaching in the state's public schools. In his ruling, Judge Overton said that teaching creation-science would "have serious & untoward consequences for students, particularly those planning to attend colleges." He called evolution the "cornerstone of modern biology" & noted that it is involved in many academic subjects.
       Under earlier guidelines adopted in 1969, the state of California agreed to permit the inclusion of various theories of Man's origins in state-approved science textbooks. But since July 1978, theories suggesting that the Universe was created by God have been booted out. The state school department is reinstating the theory of evolution as the only scientifically acceptable explanation.
       Texas bowed to liberal critics & repealed a decade-old law that required textbooks to describe evolution as only one theory of the origin of humanity.
       A Florida school refused to let an 8-year-old girl give Christmas cards that bore a picture of Jesus to her classmates. School administrators are advised not to hold "school-wide attendance programs depicting the religious theme... of Christmas."
       The Supreme Court reaffirmed its ban on teacher-sponsored prayer in public schools. It struck down an Alabama law that required a moment of silence each day for meditational prayer. Vocal prayer & Bible-reading in the public schools were outlawed in the early 1960's.
       Former Secretary of Education William E. Bennett, voicing his support for a heightened role of religion in American society, has attacked school textbooks that have "excluded religious history" & politics that are "deprived of religion". Citing a study, he said that U.S. textbooks "go to extreme lengths to ignore the role of religion in American history". He said the books contained "exclusions, misrepresentations & distortions, ranging from the silly to the outrageous". One history book defined pilgrims as "people who take long trips", & another defined fundamentalists as "rural people who follow the values of an earlier period". He added that it is impossible to understand people's aspirations & accomplishments "without understanding the religious roots from which they sprang".

       At the University of Missouri, Kansas City campus, it is permitted for students to sit on the lawn & read the works of Karl Marx, but it is forbidden for students to sit on the lawn & read the Bible. The university tolerates a student homosexual society & gives the gays a room to meet in, but a student Christian society is denied the same privilege. A legal representative said, "In the context of this case, reading the Bible stretches freedom of speech too far," & that to authorize it would be to advance an establishment of religion.
       In Washington D.C., anxious to comply with Supreme Court rulings, to sidestep community controversy, & avoid hurting students' feelings, area schools have bent over backward to keep Christmas out of the classroom. In deciding how to observe Christmas, they decided that if the activity creates a religious reminder, the answer must be no to the activity, says Superintendent of Schools Larry Cuban of Arlington County.
       In Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal has turned down as unconstitutional a provincial regulation that imposes Christian religious exercises in public schools. "The recitation of the Lord's prayer which is a Christian prayer, & the reading of Scriptures from the Christian Bible impose Christian observances upon non-Christian pupils & religious observances on non-believers."

       "Already you are living under an anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-Bible system!--The students who have to attend the public school are living under a dictatorship that denies their faith & forces them either to deny their faith by keeping their mouth shut, or be suspended from school! In other words, it's against the law to be a real Christian in the public schools!

       "If you're a true conscientious faithful Christian & a genuine witness for Christ, you're going to stand up for your faith & speak out for Jesus!--And that is against the law in the American public school system! You're violating their Educational Code. It is now absolutely against the law for you to be a real Christian in the public schools. Your faith is already outlawed by the government.

       "I'm of the opinion that no decent faithful witnessing Christian can possibly be a student in the public educational system of the United States, or they will be suspended.--And I wonder about you if you're not! Because if you faithfully witness as Jesus Christ commanded you to, if you `Go into all the world & preach the Gospel unto every creature', they'll throw you out!"--Dad

       And Christians are not the only ones that suffer in public schools. Here are the words of a Muslim mother in defense of home schooling:               "It is of the greatest importance to us that our children grow up in an atmosphere which is not destructive to their religious orientation & values. We are obviously in total disagreement with many social & moral values (or "unvalues") which are being propagated in schools, as well as with the limited educational approaches. In our faith, religious & other learning is not to be approached as two separate matters.
       "Our three older children passed through the hands of a series of junior & senior high school teachers & situations in which religion, & anyone who upholds high moral & ethical values, was viewed with contempt or at least stigmatised as being very, very strange & abnormal.
       "Young people have no support & are even afraid to voice their opinions under prevailing conditions.
       "My husband & I wrote a very brief statement that `because the religion of our family, Islam, is a complete way of life, which requires that religious education go hand-in-hand with secular education, the educational needs of our children cannot be met in a normal school situation.'
       "I cannot express what a satisfaction it is to see my children growing up with stable, integrated, happy personalities, especially after the struggle of watching the harmful effects of school on the three older children."
       "The whole idea of modern man-made education is to destroy
faith in God in every field & every subject." (ML#376:34)


       The most common argument you will hear in support of public schools is that they are essential for social unity, communication, "normalizing" your child, & helping him to "adjust" to "real" life (as though real life needs to be Hell). Home-schoolers are intimidated by this phoney attack that they are seriously depriving their child of his social life by home schooling.
       Home-schoolers rightfully counter this social pressure & intimidation with arguments like:
       1. Current peer pressure in school does not help to create good citizens who are resistant to destructive, negative, & illegal behaviour.
       2. School is not a happy & pleasant experience for most children, but rather an ordeal & often becomes a cruel struggle for survival with little place for dignity & self-esteem.
       3. Putting many children together in an institution without regard for the moral & mental state of those involved is not a wise nor fair treatment of children. Those with serious symptoms of emotional, mental & spiritual illnesses do not get the help they need & in the process often express themselves by hurting or corrupting others.
       4. Schools are not staffed nor equipped to effectively cope with deep personal disturbances in children. They simply try to restrict it at certain times of the day through force.
       5. Children suffer extreme mental & emotional anguish because of the physical harassment & social & emotional cruelty, unkind & cutting remarks by students & teachers alike. Sensitive, "refined", & religious children especially are hurt & corrupted by foul speech, rebellious behaviour, the spirit of competitiveness, exclusivism, mean-spiritedness, snobbishness, etc. Too often this "evil" is brushed off as being a necessary "part of life & growing up".
       6. We do not agree with the negative effect that television is having on children & do not wish our children to be in an uncontrolled environment with victims of indiscriminate television viewing & conditioning. Peer pressure also encourages children to want to be like the others & watch the same destructive, violent, negative TV shows & movies their classmates are watching.

       As John Holt said in Teach Your Own, "The `peer groups' into which we force children have many other powerful & harmful effects. Wanting to smoke, or feeling one has to smoke whether one wants to or not, is one of the many fringe benefits of that great `social life' at school that people talk about. The same is true of drinking." (Not to mention drugs!)
       "Of course, children who spend almost all their time in groups of other people their own age, shut out of society's serious work & concerns, with almost no contact with any adults except child watchers, are going to feel that what `all the other kids' are doing is right, the best, the only thing to do.'"--John Holt.
       Merry White, lecturer & Director of International Education at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, says, "The ordinary school, avoiding ideology & even explicit pedagogies (teaching techniques), limps along hoping to keep order & get through the day. All these types of schools may educate our children to varying degrees, but they provide no coherent standard for all children, & in any case, the best education is available to only a small percentage of our society. Simply increasing our present 180 days per year to 240 (as in Japan) is no guarantee that our children will benefit."
       Home-schooler Mrs. Cochran in Iowa, says, "Look through any textbook & you can see that the public school teaches humanism. They teach that Man is God, & that there is no right, no wrong & it's all right to do your own thing. They call it `value clarification', but it can undo what the children's family has taught them." ("Growing Without Schooling", a home-schoolers' magazine)

       "What is the greatest problem of society today?--They are not able to cope with the pollution that their society has produced in their own children!" (ML#264:25)

       "The whole principle of modern Godless education is: There are no absolutes, nothing is sure, nothing is certain! Pilate asked Jesus, `What is truth?' Jesus answered him & said, `I am the Way, the Truth, & the Life.' (Jn.14:6) So if nothing is so, then nothing is true, then there is no Truth--& no Christ! Nothing is right.--You understand? So to disprove the existence of God they had to disprove the existence of Truth & rhyme & reason, order, plan, laws, rules, etc. To abandon the Ruler they had to throw away all the rules: The result is total anarchy. To get rid of God they had to get rid of the Absolutes--the right & the wrong & the meaning & reason for things, & the result is total insanity, madness!" (ML#376:6,22,25)

       "(In school) they told you, `There are no absolutes, nobody's right, there's no such thing as right & wrong!'--Teaching people that in school! What horrible things to teach people with demonic impulses & horrible compulsions!--So the murder rate starts rising & the crime rate rises & the violence rate rises & they encourage it on the movies & the television & the videos & everything else, even encourage it in schools with their
doctrine, but try to control it with a few corridor guards." (ML#2141:40)

       "I don't believe in integration, frankly, not the Devil's kind. I don't believe in integrating the Devil along with the Children of God, or the Devil's crowd along with God's Children. Now if they're all God's Children, I don't care what colour they are! But being forced to integrate Christian children with little demons & maniacs of the Devil, be they red, white or blue, I don't go for it!" (ML#1581:30)

       "Any kid that goes to public school in a place like Los Angeles & hobnobs with kids that live in a city like that is bound to get in with the wrong crowd!" (ML#1711:34)

"All the American boys were interested in was fighting & violence & crime & thievery & robbing you at the point of a knife & all the rest! I can hardly remember a good boy the whole time I was in school, from first grade to high school!--Not one good boy like myself who was really serious, concerned about his studies & well-behaved. They were all a bunch of hellions! Those guys I went to school with deserve the kind of Hell they've had to go through! They gave me Hell, they got Hell! I mean
to tell you, it was Hell! School was Hell amongst a bunch of devils!" (ML#1512:36)


       In Canada on Oct. 14, 1988, an Ontario court ruled against prayer in school, but the wording of their reasoning very much supports Christian home-schoolers' grounds for taking their children out of school. The court said: "The peer pressure & the classroom norms to which children are acutely sensitive, & in our opinion, are real & persuasive, operate to compel members of religious minorities to conform with majority (atheistic) religious practices."
       Dr. Raymond Moore, of the Hewitt Research Center, said: "Our children depend much more on their peers today than they did 10 or 20 years ago at every age & grade level. Parents are becoming less important as information & security sources. Perhaps some parents & educators would have it this way. But not those who are really concerned with the welfare of the child."
       Martin Engel, who headed the National Day Care Demonstration Center (HEW) says: "An increasing number of psychologists & psychiatrists are dreading peer dependency as a `social contagion' & are now questioning unnecessary preschool & day care."
       American college fraternities face charges of sexism, racism & even criminal activities. The fraternities, predominantly white social clubs, have a tradition of secrecy, exclusivity & bouts of debauchery. Some of the common practices include: Dangerous initiation pranks, harassment of women & minorities, vandalism & wild drinking parties which are becoming much more serious, vicious & are even causing death.
       Los Angeles white middle-class gang members, who engage in gang fights, robberies & take part in Satanic rituals, said that they were drawn to the gangs for protection from other gangs, & because they were outcasts by their own peer group.

Evil influences of System TV & music is not being countered in schools but rather proliferated:

       Most children watch 7 hours of unsupervised television a day! By the age of 7 or 8, the average child experiences more hours of TV than schooling, & the school system is no longer able to cope with or counter the negative influence that TV is having on the students. "Television programs do permanent & irreversible damage to the most decent & precious parts of the human spirit," says Stephen Lewis, Canada's ambassador to the U.N. "What children are watching--more frequently than not--is violence, sexism, a debasement of human values & a destruction of the English language."
       A child will probably have seen on TV 75,000 examples of alcohol being consumed before he is of drinking age, & almost all of those portrayals will be neutral or favourable. What the TV won't tell you is that 50% of all murders, suicides & crimes & family violence occur under the influence of alcohol, & 40% of all U.S. males have alcohol-related problems. Alcohol is America's most serious drug problem, resulting in 100,000 deaths a year.
       "Russian TV offers its people ballet, beautiful music etc. American TV offers its children perversions. No wonder America is producing dangerous spoiled brats!" (Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines.)
       70% of all TV violence seen in a sampling of 8 countries came from the U.S. Dr. Radecki said, "America is exporting violence & hatred Worldwide."
        Violent war fantasies that make war seem masculine & fun are standard fare on American TV. "Rambo", the biggest movie of the year in the U.S. in 1985 depicts an average of 150 acts of violence per hour. "Gymkata" engages in 202 violent acts per hour. "The A-Team" TV show averages 54 violent acts per hour.
       Few people realize that they personally are affected when they entertain themselves with TV & movie fantasies of violence, yet research from 22 countries around the World documents the harmful effects on normal children & normal adult viewers. Research shows that only 3% of American viewers realise that they are being personally affected. After seeing the film "Taxi Driver", John Hinckley Jr. stalked & shot President Ronald Reagan. His psychiatrist said he completely identified with the taxi driver in the film.
       The documented evidence is overwhelming to show that violent acts--graphically depicted in movies or on television--are often copied in real life. There are studies galore to show that violence on the screen leads to violence in the streets & schools.
       War toy sales in the U.S. are setting all-time records, up by 350% since 1985, to 842 million dollars in one year!
       Approximately one-third of American radio stations have rock music formats. Rock music has become a plague of messages about violence, sexual promiscuity, bisexuality, incest, sado-masochism, Satanism, drug use, alcohol abuse & misogyny (women-hating).


       Arguments for removing children from public schools because of physical dangers include:
       1. Crime rates are climbing at alarming rates among youth.
       2. Public schools are not able to guarantee the health & safety of children even in the school, let alone the victims of out-of-school situations which by nature extend from the school environment. Even if the raping, shooting, stabbing or gang beating is not actually done on school property, this does not change the fact that it was through going to school that the child became exposed to those criminal elements.
       3. The parent does not wish his or her child to be exposed to either the use or influence of drugs. Those who would force a child into a situation that they know condones the use of drugs would in effect be contributing to the corrupting of that minor. Public school teen subcultures are known to be involved in drugs. Therefore a conscientious parent should not be forced nor even expected to send his child to a public school.
       4. Schools may not be able to exclude AIDS victims from attending school (either the staff or student body) but a parent must maintain the right to protect his or her child from exposure. Surely if an AIDS victim spitting in the face of a policeman can be charged with attempted manslaughter, then most certainly a careful & cautious parent cannot be condemned. One must maintain the freedom of choice of parents to not send or allow their child to habitually go into close living quarters with unscreened & untested students who openly admit to sexual promiscuity & intravenous drug abuse. A parent must insist on the right to decide what is an unsafe environment for his or her child.
       5. Public schools are hampered in their ability to properly protect the student body from the unlawful use of firearms, knives, razors, & other weapons in frequent use in schools. The ACLU may feel right in fighting against lockers being searched for weapons in schools, but parents have just as much right to keep their children away from the school as long as there is even an all-too-certain possibility of one student being armed for unlawful reasons.

       "To me, school was the nearest thing to Hell on Earth,
full of devils & demons! The majority of the schools were full
of rough tough violent criminals. They were always picking on me,
especially because I was a preacher's kid." (ML#1361:130)

       "With the most expensive educational system in the World,
America is producing the most ignorant & violent children the World
has ever known, who are going to destroy their own nation!" (ML#51:49)

       "To me, the public high schools of the United States
are a good example of the hellish system! They are Hell on Earth &
full of hellions & the God-damned damned in their very worst savage
form at that age! They are savages, cruel, merciless, horrible!" (ML#1398:89)


       From a study of 11,000 8th & 10th graders in the U.S. done in 1985:
       --3 in 10 teenagers reported a bout of heavy drinking within 14 days. 4 in 10 said they had ridden in a car with a drunken driver. 1 in 7 admitted a suicide attempt.
       --One-third said that they had been threatened, robbed or attacked at school in the past year.
       --One quarter of the boys said they took a knife to school at least once.
       --When asked why they carry razor blades, students replied: "Because sometimes people from other schools come to hit us, so we just take it & cut their faces."
       --About 280,000 school incidents of assault occur each month in America.
       --"My knife was a part of my everyday wardrobe," says a teenager. "When you've had as much experience as we have had, then you would understand that you need that knife out there."
       --School officials admit that some children do need protection from the crack dealers & gang members.
       --In Jacksonville, Florida, officials with metal detectors conduct spot checks of students. Some students think the spot checks don't go far enough. In 1985 55 guns were found.
       Children are increasingly committing crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder, say sociologists & criminal justice experts. "Ten years ago it was a shock to see a 7, 8, or 9-year-old being charged with such crimes, but now," according to Danny Dawson, chief of the Orange-Osceola County Attorney's juvenile division, "It's a trend".
       About 10% of adolescent killers confess that they enjoy hurting others.
       1311 youths under the age of 18 were charged with murder in 1986 in the U.S.A.
       In Florida in 1985 & 1986, children aged 5, 8 & 9 have been charged with killing younger playmates. A 10-year-old was described as "nonchalant" after drowning a 3-year-old boy.
       According to crime figures compiled by the FBI, based on reports from 11,249 agencies in 1985, youths aged 15 & under were responsible for 318 cases of murder, 18,021 aggravated assaults, 13,899 robberies, & 2,645 rapes. Children aged 12 & under were responsible for 21 of the killings, 436 of the rapes, 3,545 aggravated assaults, & 1,735 robberies.
       The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says it's hard to determine the number of suburban gang members, but they estimate that there are 1,200 White gang members in Los Angeles County, exclusive of the city of Los Angeles. Officials say there are 50,000 members of street gangs in Los Angeles, & 70,000 to 80,000 in California as a whole. "The White gangs use dope, commit drive-by shootings, robberies, etc.", says the L.A. Police Department.
       One out of 31 Americans over the age of 12 will likely be the victim of either robbery, rape or assault, during the year. (1986) At the present rate, Americans face one chance in 133 of being murdered, & the chances are increasing. (For Black men, there is a one in 21 chance of being murdered.)

       3% of the teen & adult population in the U.S. (6 million people) will be raped, robbed or assaulted this year, & young people are more likely to be involved than old people. (Based on 1982 figures) These figures did not include those that are murdered, killed by drunken drivers, kidnapped, suffer child abuse or other violent crimes. The U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice statistics said that this risk factor may be understated.
       In 1981, as many Blacks were murdered in the U.S. by Blacks as were killed in the Vietnam war. One Black man in 29 dies a violent death.
       At least 15% of American teenagers from 16 to 19-years-old (2,375,000) are unlikely to become productive adults because they are already involved in drug abuse, juvenile delinquency & other anti-social activities.
       Drug & alcohol abuse among young people is 60% higher now than in 1960.
       Teen-age murder is up 232%, & suicide is up 150% since 1950.
       In 1980, handguns killed: 77 people in Japan, 8 in Great Britain, 24 in Switzerland, 8 in Canada, 23 in Israel, 18 in Sweden, 4 in Australia, & 11,522 in the United States!
       In Tennessee, legislators are considering a bill that would allow junior high & senior high school principals to wear guns, the logic being that they could maintain order during an outbreak of violence until the police showed up. It is also proposed that students be searched for weapons.
       In L.A. some secondary schools have become "closed campuses" with only one entrance & exit during the day. School police officers are stationed fulltime in high schools & in patrol cars around the campus.
       In Baltimore the school board has started a "weapons hot line" so that students can anonymously warn school security personnel about those carrying guns.
       A record 41 Detroit children were shot to death just in 1986!
       11-year-old Jeffrey Hilson of Detroit was shot to death by a 14-year-old who wanted his new shirt. He was one of 41 Detroit residents under 17 killed in 1986 by handguns. 333 other children were wounded by handguns.

       "Our children are killing our children," said Elnora Arrington, whose 19-year-old son, Keith, was killed this summer by a high school classmate who pulled a 22-caliber pistol from a belt & shot him four times.
       The mayor of Detroit, where the murder rate was double that of its closest rival Dallas, & where there is at least one gun in private hands for each of the city's 1.1 million residents, said: "I'll be damned if I'm going to collect guns in the city of Detroit while we're surrounded by hostile suburbs & the whole rest of the state who have guns & where you have vigilantes practising Klu Klux Klan in the wilderness with automatic weapons."
       To meet the growing threat of weapons in schools, Detroit for several years has required all students to pass through metal detectors as they enter school in the morning.--But students say guns have become a part of everyday life in high school hallways. In 1985, 236 were shot & 28 were murdered, & in 1986, 333 were shot & 41 were murdered.
       The School Superintendent of Detroit has announced a "tough new policy" of ejecting gun-toting students from his schools. However the ACLU wants to forbid school officials to search lockers for those guns!


       A nationwide worry is the increasing drug use in elementary schools. Officials say that although the national incidence of drug use is decreasing, drug use by children is increasing dramatically. "Drug use used to be a decision of adolescence," said Hunter Hurst, director of the National Center for Juvenile Justice, "Now it's a 4th grade decision."
       From 1978 to 1983, referrals to juvenile court rose 38% for 12-year-olds, 37% for 13-year-olds, 22% for 11-year-olds & 15% for 10-year-olds. The explanation given was the increase in drug & gang activities in elementary schools, including the use of crack, a highly potent & addictive form of cocaine.
       Law enforcement officers in New York are alarmed at the accelerated abuse of drugs among adolescents. Fearing AIDS from drug needles, people are turning to Crack, a more potent form of cocaine. Use of the drug leads to sexual degradation as its users often describe an increased sexual appetite & an interest in previously untried sexual practices. The drug causes coronary arrests, strokes, convulsive seizures as well as other less serious disorders.
X Drugs accounted for 4.2% of all juvenile arrests in 1985 & 6.8% in 1986.
       James A. Payn, chief of Family Court for New York City's Law Department, said drug use was part of the reason for a marked increase in violent activities by young juveniles in recent years. "We've had almost a 50% increase in drug crimes. Crack is the main reason." He further added that the 10 & 11-year-old drug dealers making $800 dollars a week only stay in school because that's where the customers are.
       About one-quarter of American high school seniors smoke marijuana at least once a month. This is down from the near 40% in 1978, according to a University of Michigan survey. 6.2% use cocaine & 0.4% of students in their last year use cocaine daily. 30% of high school students smoke cigarettes.
       Student drug dealers & student prostitutes, some in junior high school, have been using electronic beeper pagers in New York City schools, says N.Y. Schools Chancellor.
       California state drug enforcement officials estimate that 20% of the 130,000 heroin addicts in California are using a synthetic form of the drug made by chemists in back-room laboratories. These "designer drugs" cause serious brain disorders, turning young people into zombies & the condition is permanent, says Dr. Langstrom, professor of neurology.


       Evidence on the sexual & drug-using behaviour of American teen-agers indicates that they may be at a greater risk than previously thought of contracting the virus that causes AIDS, according to a new report by the Washington-based Center for Population Options. Two-thirds of teen-age boys in a survey across the U.S. have had sex with a girl by the age of 15. One in every 7 teen-agers annually contracts a sexually transmitted disease. 200,000 teen-agers, a very conservative estimate, have used intravenous drugs. "Thousands of teen-agers are at risk because they engage in risky sexual behaviour or drug use, or both." Only one-twelfth of sexually active teen-agers use condoms. 1 million American teen-agers will have pregnancies each year in the foreseeable future, 80% of them unmarried.
       A physician of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine & a scientist from the National Institute of Health, who have studied AIDS in children told a court in N.Y. City that they disagree with the decision to permit a 2nd-grade girl with the disease to attend regular classes in elementary school. Their studies indicate that the AIDS virus can be communicated without a liquid medium such as saliva or blood. If the current rate of AIDS continues, the entire American population will be destroyed in 15 years.
       The L.A. city council has unanimously adopted an ordinance banning discrimination against people who have contracted AIDS. Schools are prohibited from barring students or teachers who have AIDS.
       National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland has discovered the AIDS virus in the teardrops of patients.       
       Concerned parents in Indiana & thousands elsewhere are worried about wiping tears of AIDS-infected classmates of their children, or having their children share a coke with an AIDS child. It isn't an irrational concern. The virus has been found in tears & saliva. We are not talking about a common cold. We are talking about an incurable, fatal disease!
       There have been 80,538 confirmed cases of AIDS in the U.S. & the number is rising, & may prove to be the most potent threat that the nation has ever faced.
       A public high school for homosexual students has been opened in Manhattan.
       A charity for homeless children warned that young male prostitutes with the AIDS virus are knowingly spreading the disease in London through "revenge sex" to get back at the World. Psychologist David Pithers said he knew of 18 boy prostitutes who kept on plying their trade even though they were infected with the AIDS virus. "They are so consumed with hate they want to infect as many as they can as a way of getting back," he said.


       Many parents take their children out of school simply because the child can't handle the social pressures, the humiliations, the degrading discipline, the competition, being grouped according to intelligence or class, forced conformity & lack of personal attention. Young children in particular can become very disturbed, disoriented, fearful, unhappy, lose confidence, & develop many nervous disorders, & even sicknesses due to being in "hostile" school environments.
       In "Teach Your Own" John Holt says, "Most people take their children out of schools to prevent the schools from hurting their children, or hurting them any more than they already have. The teacher orders him to do the work the other children are doing, & if he doesn't, the teacher punishes him--takes his books away from him, stands him in a corner, shuts him in a closet, strikes him, gives him a failing grade, calls him `hyperactive'. The child has to do what the others are doing. If confronted, the teacher usually says, `I can't be giving special help to your child, I have all the rest of the children to look after.'
       "One kindergarten teacher, after only eight days of school, & entirely on the basis of appearance, dress, manners--in short, middle classness--divided her class into three tracks by seating them at three separate tables, which remained fixed for the rest of the year. One of these tables got virtually all of her teaching, attention, & support; the other two were increasingly ignored except when the teacher told them to do something or commented unfavourably on what they did. Worse yet, the children at the favoured table were allowed & encouraged to make fun of the children at the other two tables, & to boss them around." --John Holt
       Pat Sebald of California took her son Eric out of high school. She said, "We had agreed to meet with a county mental health worker before we took Eric out of the high school. Increased violent attacks had deeply troubled Eric & our family & we shared this with the young woman from the Mental Health Department."
       Another home-schooler comments: "We presently are home schooling our oldest daughter, Vivian, age 11. The change from an uptight, angry young girl to one who is much more at ease & self-confident has been remarkable in the five months of being out of school. I come under a great deal of criticism when I talk about the futility of counter-productive methods such as ridicule of students. I find it very hard to tolerate the constant put-downs the students in our school are subjected to, yet when I suggest changes, I'm told they will never work." --Art Horovitch, Alberta

       Educator Donald Felker reports that: "From the time that children enter school they show a steady downward trend of self-concept as they meet the pressures of the early school years. An implication of this is that the very nature of school is detrimental in its effects on children's self-image. At the 5th grade level they begin to improve again in their self-concept. Though school is hard on all, the children who begin with a negative or low self-concept have an especially hard time."
       Educator John Holt says that the tension of public schools affects children's health. "Many parents have written that their children's physical health improved strikingly once they were out of school. A mother wrote from Indiana: `Let me tell you what happened to our son after we removed him from a local public school's first grade last November. He stopped wetting his bed, he stopped suffering from daily stomach upsets & headaches & he has not had a cold for six months, & he is happy!'"
       A report from Fort Lauderdale News & Sun-Sentinel, July 1, 1979, speaks of similar changes in a child:       "It was the disappearance of a smile, a simple thing, that led Ms. O'Shea, a certified elementary school teacher, to question the value of public education & begin home schooling. She told about her daughter's reaction to public school: `When Kim was little, she was such a happy, laughing little person. When she went to school, that completely changed. She stopped smiling.'"


       If unchecked or undetected, which is often the case in the impersonal school environment, emotional turmoil can lead to very tragic ends:
       One American teenager commits suicide every 90 minutes.
       Suicides by young people have climbed to epidemic proportions. The rate has tripled in the past 3 years (1983-1985). Drugs, alcohol & the failure of parents & teachers to see the problem & offer help are cited as the main causes. Easy access of firearms in American homes was a significant factor, as most of the young people kill themselves with firearms.
       More than 6,000 people 15 to 24-years-old killed themselves in 1983. This is more than 5 times the number that committed suicide in 1950. These figures do not include those that attempt suicide. 90% of those attempting suicide are girls.


       This argument is well summed up by home-schooler David Kendrick who says:
       "We have not felt right about sending our children out of our home to be influenced in their formative years by people whom we do not know personally & whose morals, values, & political & religious beliefs may differ from ours. Once a child starts school, the home becomes school-centered, not family-centered. The hour getting ready before school, the six hours of school, the hour or two of unwinding afterward & the hour or more of homework later in the evening leave little time for parents & children to communicate & involve themselves jointly in activities not directly related to school. We do not feel that this amount of routine & regulation is essential to education per se, but rather is the outcome of attempting to teach large numbers of people with few teachers. The necessity for control & discipline outweighs the energy devoted to discovering & meeting each child's needs." (Quoted by John Holt in Teach Your Own)
       Unfortunately, not all parents are as concerned about their children as those in the home school movement & have abandoned their responsibility as parents, filling public schools with their hostile, rejected children who do not have the benefit & security of a solid family life as an anchor.
"Selfish parents have abdicated their responsibility as
individuals & turned their pitiful little living sacrifices over to
the greedy clutches of the mammoth god Moloch to be cast into its
gaping, massive, fiery maw to their eternal destruction--to come
out in identical molds of dead, lifeless, mindless, leaden robots!"


       Studies show that the higher incidence of suicide, crime & drug abuse among teen-agers are signs of social alienation & disconnection due to the breakdown in family unity & the failure of community, school & other agencies.
       Officials in California are baffled by the rise of gangs among middle-class White suburban youth who engage in gang fights, robberies & take part in Satanic rituals. They blame decreasing parental supervision & the breakdown of the traditional family & alienation from the values of parents. "For the most part parents don't recognize what they're seeing, & if they do, there is such an absence of discipline in the home that there are no restrictions," says Lieutenant Al Chancellor of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.
       According to a recent report by American teachers, 80% of all students in school suffer from neglect & indifference from parents. (Little wonder--they never see them between TV & school & homework!)
       Psychologist Dr. Pamela Cantor says that studies show that the typical American father spends "an average of 37 seconds a day with their infant children, & American parents spend less time with their children than any other nation in the World."
       The epidemic increase in teenage suicides is blamed partly on the failure of parents & teachers to recognize the child's "cry for help".
       A growing number of children are being placed in mental hospitals by frustrated parents who are either unwilling or unable to cope with problems that have traditionally been handled at home. In 1986, 36,000 American teen-agers spent time in locked wards at private psychiatric hospitals. Psychologist Ira Schwartz found that more than half of these admissions were totally inappropriate & unnecessary. He also charged private hospitals with trying to seduce parents with scare tactics to turn their kids over to them. Institutions receive as much as $16,000 a month in fees for treatments that use drugs to attempt to modify behaviour.


       "Our enormous union high schools & mammoth universities have become heartless machines, producing unguided little monsters which are going to destroy them--the Frankenstein that made them--& the churches are the same. The ideal school system was that of the early settlers & pioneers, in which the local pastor used the simple little church house, which tripled as a town hall, church & school with full 100 percent usefulness all week long as his schoolroom, housing only a dozen or two students in several different grades, with the older students being taught to help, teach & care for the younger, as assistant teachers even in so small an operation.
       There was more individual attention--much more, far more, than in the schools or churches of today!--And this little one-room school system produced America's greatest statesmen, leaders & heroes of those bygone days, which are no more, along with no more great statesmen, leaders or heroes either. You just can't produce that kind of product with the massive machinery, mass production & rapid, hasty, impersonal assembly-line type of an operation of our present educational & religious systems! It's impossible!" (ML#61:38)
       The Director of the National Association for Gifted Children, Mr. Frank Sherwood, estimates that 2 in every 100 children are gifted children, but that their potential talent quickly withers & dies when all children are expected to be exactly like each other, & all forms of individuality are frowned upon.
       Albert Einstein said that public education stifles creativity: "It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack & ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing & searching can be promoted by means of coercion & a sense of duty."
       John Holt, Teach Your Own: "Children are put in tracks almost as soon as they enter school, long before they have had time to show what abilities they may have. Once put in a track, few children ever escape from it....The odds are very good that most elementary school classes have a kind of caste system in action. Even in small & selective private schools, I found that many of my fellow-teachers were quick to label some children good & others bad, often on the basis of appearance, & that children, once labeled bad, found it almost impossible to get that label changed."

       Mary Pride, educator & author says, "Everything is mediated to the student through a controlled source: the teacher, the computer, the textbook. The teachers are controlled by the rules that allow administrators to fire them for not following `curriculum guidelines' (but they will not be fired for homosexual solicitation). Computers are controlled by choice of software. Textbooks are controlled by feminist & one-world-government censorship committees. The ultimate, desired student outcome is a crop of good little robot workers & good little robot welfarites who have learned to support the System."
       Actor & director Peter Ustinov said: "Schooling tends to kill creativity & discourage initiative. The so-called `drop-out' & `dunce' can be the real scholar; he or she has decided to think for themselves & to refuse the stultifying conditioning of the classroom....I do not have a single qualification to my name & the World has a need for unqualified people." He realised the danger of "schooling". He said he concluded long ago that "schooling" & "education" are not synonymous; they are often polar opposites. "Education is the sum total of all one's experiences no matter how or where one gets them. Alas schools (& universities) fill those people who have attended with an inflated sense of self-value, & those who have not attended with a lifetime sense of inadequacy."
       An actual comment taken from a student's report card shows how the inflexibility of public education stifles a child's natural behaviour: "Marielle has been quite talkative & playful, but over the past two weeks has shown considerable improvement."
       John Holt comments about the Salem Children's Villages who have wonderful success in the care & recuperation of emotionally & physically sick children from foster homes: "They give the children a great deal of physical affection & contact, something that will get teachers, especially men teachers, fired in most schools. If these gentle & humane methods of dealing with children can, in a very short time, make sick children well, the absence of these methods--& they are absent in all but a few schools--can in just about an equally short time, make healthy children sick."


       Several reports show that the 6 to 7 hours a day consumed by public schools is neither necessary nor even used productively.
       John Holt says, "It was a rare day indeed in my schooling when I got fifteen minutes of teaching, that is, of concerned & thoughtful adult talk about something that I found interesting, puzzling, or important. Over the whole of my schooling, the average was probably closer to fifteen minutes a week. For most children in most schools, it is much less than that. When teachers speak to students, it is only to command, correct, warn, threaten, or blame."
       "So much of this life, the way the World & the System wants
you to live it, the educational system in particular, is
really a lot of wasted time." (ML#1825:29)

       "They go to school, college, university, post-grad & try
to stay in school as long as they can as an excuse for not getting
out & doing something in the World, absorbing all that time, sopping
up all this head-stuffin' like a sponge, soppin' it up & soppin' it
up! But what good is a sponge, no matter how nice it's sopped up with
soap & water, if you don't put some energy into it & start scrubbin'?"


       In a report on teacher competency, the American Association of School Administrators cites a study by the Austin, Texas, Independent School District that documents waste of classroom time. The study found that students were getting only three hours & 45 minutes of classroom instruction out of a school day of six hours & 30 minutes. Instructional time was eaten away by listening to announcements, bathroom trips, taking out or putting away supplies, discipline, or just waiting for the teacher's next instructions.--The Baltimore Sun, 17/9/80
       "Elementary school children spend too much time on homework, because a lot of what they do is busy work. Young children have a strong need to do things other than school work, such as play outdoors & get good physical exercise, enjoy music & arts & receive personal time with their parents, or read a book that they enjoy."--Helen Featherstone, The Harvard Education Letter.
       Advocates of home schooling say children can learn the basics in 2 to 3 hours of instruction a day. The Colfax family who have home schooled their children all the way to Harvard, spend about 2-&-a-half hours a day of study at home. Their son, Drew, commented that the difference between him & his college classmates was that he enjoyed learning.


       John Holt in Teach Your Own: "One reason people take their children out of school is that they think they aren't learning anything. Schools are appallingly incompetent at their work, they blame all their failures on their students. `Good' schools & `bad', private & public, with only a few exceptions have always run under the rule that when learning happens, the school takes the credit, & when it doesn't the students or the parents get the blame."

       "It's gotten to be a common scandal in the United States that the kids are failing in school & aren't learning anything practical about geography or anything else. Even the newspaper is commenting that this is a lost generation, that they'll be about 85% useless upon graduation from high school." (ML#2141:27; 2088:19)

       "School in the U.S. has gotten to be a joke! In fact, they mostly just played around & did nothing instead of studying or doing anything! They got to where so many of them were flunking they just passed them on the social scale--in other words, by their age. They just kept passing them along by their age regardless of whether they studied or passed the test & they graduated from high school without being able to read or write! It got to be a tremendous scandal! 18 & 19 years old & they still couldn't read or write! Our kids start learning to read & write at 3 & 4 years of age! (Maria: They were smart kids, though, they could have learned if their teachers had taught'm.) Yes, there's no reason they couldn't have been smart, but it's the System. The System just didn't make'm study & didn't inspire'm to study, didn't teach'm right, just let'm do as they please." (ML#2204:56)

       "All that this generation wants to do is get stoned on drugs or hard rock & now the noise videos, & they don't want to think, they don't want to have to think. They've got to make subjects in school so palatable & so enjoyable & so entertaining & amusing that schools have turned into entertainment palaces instead of educational institutions, trying to entertain & amuse the students, hoping they might learn a little something in the process. They don't want to work, they're lazy, with lazy minds, they don't even want to know, they're on drugs." (ML#2141:29)

       "If most of the Americans who were my high school students when I was a teacher, are now the labour force of the U.S.A.--I can understand why the U.S. is slipping! They couldn't even read or write!" (ML#283:103)


       The United States prides itself in being "advanced" but its level of illiteracy mocks the term. It has the poorest literacy record of all the industrialised nations. Vast numbers of citizens lack basic reading skills. According to the best available estimate, 29 million American adults cannot read the warning on a can of pesticide or a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper headline or a letter from a child's teacher.
       According to Barbara Bush, wife of President George Bush, the United States is having an illiteracy epidemic. In the 1950's it ranked 18th among the United Nations' members in literacy. Now it ranks 49th. It is estimated that there are 60 million people in the country who are considered illiterate or functionally illiterate.
       Newspaper sales, calculated by the number of papers sold per thousand residents, provide the following comparison: Japan 575, West Germany 408, United States 269. 54 daily American papers have gone to their deaths since 1979 due to loss of readership.
       70 million voters in the U.S. are not able to read the U.S. Constitution.
       The White House said, "Our nation is at risk because of the collapse of literacy skills."
       40% of adult Americans cannot make use of a road map.
       80% of adult Americans do not have math skills sufficient to calculate what their restaurant tip should be, or figure out which bus will get them home by using a schedule.--Jonathan Kozol, author of "Illiterate America".
       One third of the 6943 would-be teachers who took California's first basic skills test in Reading, Writing & Mathematics failed, according to the superintendent of public instruction.
       A recent survey of high school students in 17 nations sponsored in part by the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment showed that U.S. students rank near the bottom in Chemistry & last in Biology.
       A Forum of 11 U.S. educational organizations warn that as many as one third of the 40 million school-age children in the U.S. are at serious risk of failing in school & society, creating massive urgent problems for the nation. The Forum represents the views of teachers, school administrators, superintendents, school boards & principals. Many students are handicapped by drug problems, poverty & their own criminal behaviour. Further they add that:

       --Delinquency rates among children age 10 to 17 have increased 130% since 1960 & is on the increase.
       --Drug use by teen-agers in the U.S. is the highest of any industrialised nation.
       --Nearly one quarter of American children live below the poverty level.
       --More than half of all four-year-old children will live in a single-parent household before they are 18.
       --The rate of births to U.S. teenagers is twice that of any other Western nation.
       Vandalism in public schools amounts to millions of dollars a year. A teacher in Washington, D.C. described her room at the beginning of the school year as follows: "Four blackboards & one bulletin board are completely covered with graffiti written in Magic Marker. The blackboard has no chalk tray. The two math instruction blackboards have been destroyed. Only one of the 8 windows on the sunny side has a window shade. There are no handles to open the windows. There is no clock. The teacher's desk is missing drawers & none of the drawers can be locked. The room does not lock. The storage closet door has been ripped half open. There is no place teachers can put their personal belongings safely to protect them from theft."
       The National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federally-financed project set up by Congress, has reported that writing skills of American elementary & secondary school students have remained poor in spite of 10 years of emphasis on writing instruction. Most of the students tested in 1984 were unable to write an adequate paper. "A clear cause for concern" concluded the report.
       Most Americans cannot write well enough to make themselves understood, & only a fraction demonstrate the writing skills necessary to succeed in school, business or the professions, according to a government study. The experts warned that the students performed worse in writing than any other major subject, & that their writing problems are linked to serious shortcomings in critical thinking & communication.
       Because of the extremely low standards of American public education, the nation is at risk from a rising tide of mediocrity. So said a report by Frank Newman, former President of the University of Rhode Island, for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. American colleges are producing uncreative graduates with little sense of civic responsibility. Students too frequently sit passively in class & are discouraged from challenging the ideas presented to them.

       American school children are fatter than they were 20 years ago & only about half of them in grades 5 through 12 are getting enough exercise to build healthy hearts & lungs.
       American school children are not getting faster & stronger, but rather fatter & unhealthier. They have little endurance, strength or flexibility. When a child's lifestyle includes junk food, long hours in front of television & an aversion to physical exercise, long-range health problems are almost a certainty. In 1983, nearly one-half of the 1,500 fourth graders in Los Angeles who were examined by a University of California research group, exhibited at least one major risk factor of heart disease, arteriosclerosis & stroke, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol & obesity.
       American public school classrooms at all grade levels are revealed as a world of talky teachers & uninterested students who work in a context of unclear goals & serious social & educational inequalities. "American schools are in trouble," said the director of "A Study of Schooling", John I. Goodlad, former dean of the graduate school of education of the University of California, Los Angeles, after 8 years of research & more than 27,000 interviews. The atmosphere in most classrooms in the study was "emotionally flat". Rarely was laughter, anger or any overt displays of feeling shown. Dr. Goodlad said, "If I myself were in such classrooms hour after hour, I would end up putting my mind on some kind of `hold' position, which is exactly what students do."
       The lessons of history & civilization are perishing in America. Recent studies of one thousand 16 to 18-year-olds found that over one-quarter of them thought that Franklin D. Roosevelt was the President during the Vietnam war. 10% said Peter Ustinov was a leader of the Russian revolution. Two-thirds couldn't date the Civil War within 50 years. 50% were equally vague about WWI & didn't know who Stalin or Churchill were, & one-third said Columbus sailed for the New World sometime after 1750.
       In a 1950 survey, 77.5% of U.S. college students could name Brazil as the country drained by the Amazon River. The same question was posed statewide in colleges in 1985 in North Carolina, & only 27% of the students got it right--proving that students today are less geographically sophisticated than their counterparts in 1950. Only 8.4% of the college students were able to guess within a margin of 5 million, the population of the United States.
       71% of college students said they had never had geography in elementary school; 65% never had a geography course in junior high; & 73% had no geography in senior high.
       In a test given to first-day geography students at the University of Miami, more than half of the students couldn't locate Chicago on a map, 41% couldn't find Los Angeles, & 42% had no idea where to find London. 8.5% of the students couldn't find Miami! 7% couldn't locate the North Atlantic Ocean & some placed Cape Town at the the tip of South America.


       Diplomats, people accepting foreign posts, actors, missionaries, military personnel, people living far from schools & others, find that their lifestyle, location, work or travels make it impossible or impractical to have their children attend a fixed school. They rely on tutors, correspondence courses & home education to meet the educational needs of their children. The System makes provision for these people & public schools accept this as a legitimate reason for home schooling.

       "Often you can learn a lot more by travelling than you can in college. And you can learn a lot more by studying on your own, if you'll study the things that you need to know, reading the Bible or even reading the newspaper, practical things that are more important than the things you waste time on in college."--Dad


       Miscellaneous other arguments against public schooling are summed up in the following article by John Holt concerning children's civil liberties:
       Though the courts have not yet agreed, compulsory school attendance laws, in & of themselves, seem to me a very serious infringement of the civil liberties of children & their parents, & would be so no matter what schools were like, how they were organised, or how they treated children; in other words, even if they were far more humane & effective than in fact they are.
       Beyond that, there are a number of practices, by now very common in schools all over the country, which in & of themselves seriously violate the civil liberties of children, including:
       1. Keeping permanent records of children's school performance. This would be inexcusable even if there were nothing in the records but academic grades. It is nobody's proper business that a certain child got a certain mark in a certain course when she or he was eight years old.
       2. Keeping school records secret from children &/or their parents, a practice that continues in many places even where the law expressly forbids it.
       3. Making these records available, without the permission of the children or their parents, to whoever may ask for them--employers, the police, the military, or other branches of government.
       4. Compulsory psychological testing of children, & including the results of these tests in children's records.
       5. Labelling children as having such imaginary & supposedly incurable diseases as "minimal brain dysfunction," "hyperactivity," "specific learning disabilities," etc.
       6. Compulsory dosing of children with very powerful & dangerous psychoactive drugs, such as Ritalin.
       7. Using corporal punishment in school, which in practice often means the brutal beating of young children for very minor or imagined offenses.
       8. Lowering students' academic grades, or even giving failing grades, solely for disciplinary &/or attendance reasons. Not only is this practice widespread, but school administrators openly boast of it, though what it amounts to in fact is the deliberate falsification of an official record, a kind of printed perjury.
       Mr. Holt goes on to say that to return once more to compulsory school attendance in its barest form, you will surely agree that if the government told you that on one hundred & eighty days of the year, for six or more hours a day, you had to be at a particular place, & there do whatever people told you to do, you would feel that this was a gross violation of your civil liberties. The State, of course, justifies doing this to children as a matter of public policy, saying that only thus can it keep them from being ignorant & a burden on the State. But even if it were true that children were learning important things in school & that they could not learn them anywhere else, neither of which I admit, I would still remind the ACLU that since in other & often more difficult cases, i.e., the Nazi rally in Skokie, Ill., it does not allow the needs of public policy to become an excuse for violating the basic liberties of citizens, it ought not to in this case.

Copyright 1996 The Family