Though America’s public school system has been influenced heavily by leftist ideology for generations, the institution has only become more homogenized through the implementation of federal curriculum standards. Instead of nurturing the imagination for which children are known, lessons are designed to encourage groupthink through systematic indoctrination.
One of the most outrageous examples of this trend was found recently at South Easter Middle School in Pennsylvania. Earlier this year, fifth grader Johnny Jones was suspended – and faced a threat of expulsion – for pretending to shoot an arrow.
To be clear, the 10-year-old did not bring a replica bow set with him to school. Instead, he merely imagined the entire incident as virtually all children have done since the invention of archery.
When a classmate told the teacher that Jones was “shooting” at another student, school staff contacted his parents. According to principal John Horton’s characterization, the young boy’s actions constituted “making a threat” toward others in the class.
While the incident took place during the fall, Jones’ story only recently gained national attention when the Rutherford Institute agreed to intervene on his behalf. The legal experts released a statement detailing their position and castigating the school for such an unwarranted punishment.
Institute President John W. Whitehead explained his group has received pleas to get involved in “hundreds of cases like this,” citing a common thread of “zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior and punish all offenses severely, no matter how minor or non-threatening the so-called infractions may have been.”
As with almost everyone else, Whitehead confirmed that he is concerned with maintaining safe school environments; however, he questioned the effectiveness of ejecting students for acting their age.
“We all want to keep the schools safe,” he explained, “but I’d far prefer to see something credible done about actual threats, rather than this ongoing, senseless targeting of imaginary horseplay.”
In just a few short decades, America has gone from a nation that promoted a healthy imagination through interactive play to a culture of mindless propaganda and hysterical school administrators. Not only has this change led to an inability for those in the next generation to fully develop their minds; it is implicitly teaching these children to consider virtually any act a potential threat.
Unbelievably, such atrocious overreactions are quickly becoming the rule instead of the exception.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: Florida State Library (Creative Commons)