the wussification of education
[Title of post stolen from Joanne Jacobs because it fits the bill and wussification is such a great word]
I wonder if stories like the one on the peaceful playground (which I covered here and Kimberly Swygert covered here and Joanne Jacobs covered here) are the reason for kids who behave like this (todayís post about the kids burning down our playground).
By trying to wussify our kids we are, in turn, giving them more power. By elevating their self esteem on a daily basis, giving lectures on how wonderful they are, and not punishing them in the classic sense (real consequences instead of time-outs), we make them feel mighty and invulnerable.
Read any post over at Tongue Tied and youíll see why our children are growing up with no sense of boundaries; because there arenít any. The lines between permissiveness and correctness have been blurred to the point where schools and other institutions have become one giant field of political correctness and hand holding.
The programs that have been put into place run in contrast to each other. You can no longer call someone a bum, for instance, but if you do there will be a thorough investigation into why you called the person a bum, if the person deserved it, what that person did to make you feel like you had to offend him and your full psychological history will be written up in an effort to clear you of any wrongdoing because there are no victims, there are no perpetrators. There are only misunderstandings and misused words and any rifts can be healed with a group discussion and perhaps we can put on a play to help you solve your differences.
So you have kids who are shielded from every feeling bad, shielded from behavior or words that may be considered offensive or biased, for instance:
An essay about the plethora of life in a rotting stump in a forest was rejected because it compared the stump to an apartment building and that might make people who live in apartments or public housing feel bad.
While the efforts of the thought/language police may be well intentioned, they are, in effect, creating monsters. A child who grows up thinking that there are no consequences to his actions because he has heard time and time again, there are no bad kids, only bad actions, will think that the kid himself, because he is not bad, will not be punished. In a world where consequence means a time out or thinking about what you did or a walk in a peaceful maze, the strongest and boldest of the kids will invariably become even stronger and bolder.
Like the child whose mother and father are so afraid to punish him for fear of hurting his feelings that he uses this knowledge to get away with murder, a child who goes to a school where there is no real punishment for bad behavior will try to get away with bigger and bigger things.
We are wussifying the kids who were already too quiet and shy to bother getting into trouble. And we are empowering the bullies, the delinquents and the troublemakers.
Political correctness in our schools will reap no benefits. Some day, we will look back at this movement as the worst thing to happen to the education system since the beginning of time.