L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 75, June 5, 2000
Bill Gates Needs Ritalin
by Michael Haggard
E/S to TLE
As a young child in public schools, I did not get along too well with the teachers. I asked too many questions. I was interested in something other than the class assignment and always at the wrong time. Method was not as important to me as outcome. As a result, I was often sent to testing so that I could be labeled. Once labeled the teachers and administrators could come to terms with "Michael's problem."
The real "problem" was, schools were not yet getting funds and credits for every student they labeled with such things as ADD & ADHD. The psychologist had no reason to lean towards any one label. Without exception, I scored in the upper 10% of academic achievement through testing. I just did not reproduce that performance for my teachers, on cue, in the standardized and scheduled class regiment.
With the only tool that they had against a disruptive student in those days, I was marginalized and seated apart from the others. It wasn't long before I slipped into further poor performance by their design. It freed the teachers from dealing with me. It did not matter if I was learning disabled or gifted. I was simply out of the picture.
It was not until college that I was set free. There, I was allowed to learn my own methodology of study and to concentrate in the subjects that I was interested in the time that I was interested. I pulled a 4.0 g.p.a. in my senior year and hardly broke a sweat.
I am convinced that had I been a child of the 90's rather than growing up in the 70's, I would have been placed on Ritalin and been diagnosed with ADHD.
What does this have to do with Bill Gates? Bear with me a bit more.
Cut to the year 2000. As I was lamenting the lack of a personal jet pack and having no summer home on Mars as my 1970's social studies classes promised, I was thrust into the other legacy the year 2000 brought us.
Being a minister and libertarian activist, I am often called into situations that involve both social and political issues that affect people's lives on a personal or "spiritual" level. Increasingly, I am dealing with families who have children being bullied by the school system into being tested for ADHD and placed on Ritalin.
What I find interesting is that the schools are not saying, "let us test your child and see what the results are." These parents are being told by non-professionals (teachers and principals are not psychologists) that their children are victims of attention deficit disorder and must be put on Ritalin, so "will you let us test to make it official so we can get some funding to help with your child's condition?"
As I sat with one particular child who is being pushed into government drug control (less commonly known as chemical restraint) I considered the school's motivation. We played a two hour long, complicated game in a room full of human distraction. He never became distracted in our two hours. In fact, he showed better concentration than I did. Through conversation he proved intelligent and imaginative.
But I saw what the school feared in him. He asked questions. He wondered why things were so. Life, to him, was to be understood and enjoyed - not accepted and endured.
What my teachers wanted is the same thing his teachers want. Fortunately for me, my teachers had not been empowered with drugs and money from the federal government.
They want uniformity and control. It is understood that the "low end" 10% of the student body are in need of special education (which always ends up more like segregation, isolation, and marginalization) for such reasons as developmental deficits and sociopathic tendencies (the true needs, not the false labels). What is less understood is that the "upper" 10% of the student body posses the same dilemma to educators in the government public schools... and are often dealt with in exactly the same ways. The gifted who are not the acceptable gifted (because their giftedness leads them down politically incorrect paths) are separated, marginalized, and drugged because their presence upsets the "normal" students who only want to be told what to think and when to do it.
Has it dawned on anyone that this is the very same drive behind the anti-trust case against Bill Gates?
Society (read; the politicians) hates the upper and lower 10% - evidence Bill Gates and kids on Ritalin. It is the same treatment. All achievers and movers are the same to tyrants as the disabled and infirm, they do not respond to unearned authority. They question orders. They are more free than is allowed.
Janet Reno is the nation's school-marm, teaching us right from wrong as she sees it. She will not tolerate the smart-ass in the back row that dares to ask "why" in the middle of her instruction. But even worse an affront to her love of teaching (rather; authority) is little Billy Gates in the front row who has already finished his assignment and is drawing in his notebook or reading a novel.
Show any ability to achieve and you will be ridiculed into silence. Actually achieve and the "watchers" will use force to level the playing field.
Little Billy Snotnose asks too many questions and reads ahead of the class. That might disrupt the learning of others who can't work that fast and understand those concepts yet. The other kids will lose self-esteem and little Billy will be a social outcast. We must drug him and slow down his little mind before he harms himself and everyone around him. It is the only way to be fair to him and the other students.
Mr. Bill Gates has made too many products and sells more than other software makers. That might disrupt the economy and stifle the creativity of other geeks. Other companies can't grow and direct too much energy trying to compete. We must break up Microsoft before it harms the economy and the software industry. It is the only way to be fair to him and the other software manufacturers.
What it is about is that neither teachers nor Attorney Generals want anyone out there in the (student) population who can surpass them.
You are in danger. You must not show any success or ability or you too shall be subdued force.
The answer is simple.
For all of you parents with gifted children or children with special needs, get them out of the public schools. Find a private school or home-school and give them a chance to excel. If your kid is average, get him or her out of the public schools as well. Because they are not getting the environment that encourages learning. Once they are out, they may show exceptional ability! Also, once the gifted ones are gone, your average child will be the focus of the nanny-teachers who require as special-needs service project.
The answer to Bill Gates' problems with Janet Reno is the same. He will do every thing he can to get out from under her tender mercies. He should just relocate to a friendly nation. Then watch - Reno will come for you. She has to nurture someone.
The answer to keeping our kids off of drugs is to close the drug-pushing schools and keep our children close to home. Don't allow such schools to remain open another day. They will close with no students to control. They will suffer and close with only the average, unmotivated students of average, unmotivated homes. There will be no greatness for them to steal from others.
Must I spell out the answer to keeping government out of our commerce and taking back ownership of our own produce and labor?
Don't take the "cure" they offer. As a matter of fact, don't participate in the system they control.
Just say "NO" and walk away, Bill.