THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 120, May 7, 2001
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"INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL WASTELANDS"
The tragic school shooting in Santee, California, forces Americans to ask once again: What is going on in our schools? When the 2 killed and 13 injured in Santee are added to those in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; West Paducah, Kentucky; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Springfield, Oregon, the total stands at a staggering 29, with scores injured. ...
In attempting to explain why this is happening, sociologists and educators have advanced several possible causes. Some think that the shootings are a consequence of America's "gun-crazed" culture. Others blame Hollywood, video games and the Internet for their gratuitous glorification of violence. And yet, we seem to be missing the obvious.
The shootings have one thing in common: they all took place at school. The boys didn't kill on the weekend, they didn't kill after school, and they didn't shoot up the local Dairy Queen.
So what's happening? Why are America's adolescent boys so angry, and why are they expressing their anger through mindless acts of violence? That they all killed at school is a fact worth pondering.
The explanation for all these shootings might very well be found in the destruction of the minds and souls of America's young people by an education establishment bent on using our children as guinea pigs for their bizarre experiments in schooling. The fact of the matter is that most US public schools today are intellectual and moral wastelands. ...
A good many schools in America are simply providing day-care for teenagers and in the worst schools they are providing incarceration. Class time is more like a prison lockup.
If Americans want to stop school-yard violence and address the social pathologies that increasingly afflict our young, if they want to turn our schools into serious places of learning, they should abandon their deadly experiment in Progressive education and restore a curriculum that emphasises reason over emotions, knowledge over feelings, moral judgment over moral agnosticism, and self-control over self-expression. ...
Source: Bangkok Post Mar 11, 2001 - "US schools are the real killers" by C. Bradley Thompson, senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute http://www.bangkokpost.com/110301/110301_Perspective05.html
GOVERNMENT DECLARES WAR ON SUICIDE!
WASHINGTON (AP) - Broadcasters should run public service ads. Doctors and lawyers need to learn to spot warning signs in their patients and clients. And religious groups can help remove the stigma of talking about suicide, the government said Wednesday in its first national prevention guide.
The Surgeon General's report also calls for a uniform way for hospitals, police and coroners across the nation to identify and report suicides. The goals are all part of developing better strategies to address a problem that claims 30,000 lives a year, officials say.
"Suicide exacts an enormous toll from the American people," said Surgeon General David Satcher, who has focused attention on mental health issues.
The plan, promised in 1998 after a national suicide prevention conference, was debated by experts who compiled some 80 recommendations. Pared down to 68, the goals are set for 2005 and would be voluntary on the part of states, local agencies and anyone else who wanted to follow them, officials said.
"We're using the science to provide a foundation for policy-makers," said Satcher's spokesman Damon Thompson. The report was compiled with help from doctors, nurses, counselors and other health experts. ...
A key report recommendation urges the creation of a national violent death reporting system that includes suicide; only 17 states require hospitals to use a special code for suicide and attempts, officials said. Often local coroners, doctors and health officials rule suicides as something else to spare a family embarrassment and pain, they said. ...
Among the report's recommendations are:
DAYS ARE BREING CONSUMED!
... after just one school year at Ballenger Creek, the first school at which he has been principal, Mr. Phillips wonders if he should change careers. Fear that a student will kill someone at school is producing debilitating physical and emotional stress for county school administrators, according to Mr. Phillips and some of his colleagues.
For one thing, rather than concentrating on observing and helping teachers, administrators said they are now forced to spend time investigating student behavior.
Interviewing students suspected of making threatening remarks, or students who heard such remarks, "basically consumes days," Gov. Thomas Johnson High School principal Casey DeLauter said. ...