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September 2011
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Schools not Prisons

Drug WarRant has been a big fan of LEAP member David Bratzer. Well, he is taking a leave from his work as a police officer in Victoria, BC in order to run for School Board Trustee in Victoria.

His campaign theme is “Schools Not Prisons.” It recognizes education as a major factor in determining whether a young person ends up in jail.

The interesting thing is that he is not hiding his involvement with LEAP and his views about the failed war on drugs, but rather making that part of his positive candidacy. Very refreshing.

I’ll keep you updated on his campaign.

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21 comments to Schools not Prisons

  • damaged justice

    Eliminate compulsory attendance. Then schools won’t be prisons.

  • claygooding

    They would be empty damaged!!!!

    If smoke is such a bad thing,,,why does our government keep blowing it up our ass?

  • darkcycle

    Schools or prisons. That is the basic choice. If you don’t fund one, you’d better fund the other.

  • darkcycle

    David Sirota on binge drinking and college marijuana policy, It’s kinda on topic:
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/university_of_hypocrisy_20110916/

  • MaineGeezer

    @darkcycle: Yes, that is the choice. Do you want your kids educated in a quality school, or in a jail or prison? Right now we’re spending more money on prisons than on education. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world.

    Apparently we want our kids educated in prisons.

  • kaptinemo

    I immediately thought of:

    “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” – Victor Hugo

    I also immediately thought of the REAL history of public education in America.

    Modern schools are not meant to educate. Not in the classic sense…which is ‘the classics’ are not taught in them, subjects like ‘Rhetoric’ which enabled the student to pick apart BS and learn how language is used to manipulate them.

    No, modern schools are propaganda mills designed to create easily manipulable consumers. As well as politically nullified citizens who are acclimated from an early age to accept authoritarianism.

    To call modern schools ‘prisons’ isn’t hyperbole.

    • Drwoo

      Couldn’t agree with You more and we won’t mention the other problems with our school system. My son and daughter Are both unschooled. Daughter is 17 son is 5. My daughter spent 1 day in school, My son will spend 0, unless of course he really wants to go to school.

    • darkcycle

      Sorry, Nemo. You don’t give enough credit to the TEACHERS. I’ll agree the institution has served far too extensive a role in propagandizing. In many cases, school boards, administrators and policy makers have had anything BUT the best interest of our children at heart. But I guarantee that all of that is for naught as long as the teachers are educated and allowed to think for themselves. That is the case right now to a far greater extent than most realize. And think back… I bet there was a teacher in little Cabin-Boy Nemo’s life who was seminal in teaching him to ask hard questions and challenge assumptions. And I’d bet dollars that goes for everybody here as well.
      Home schooling is not what we need right now in this country and I’ll tell you why. It has to do with Human nature.
      One of the functions that school has in our country is socialization. Not of the individual children, as most mean when they talk about this, although that is also a critical function. No, socialization of a society that is regional, in places isolated, and very very diverse. The benefit to society of causing children of all economic strata and ethnic backgrounds to learn in the same environment is incalculable. When learning occurs in the home, the parent is in control of everything, from the content that is studied, to the contacts and aquaintences a child makes, who his friends are, everything. On it’s surface that may not sound so bad. But the real life implication is that the content will only be that with which the parent is comfortable and familiar. The friends made during these early years will likewise wind up being subject to parental convenience. Also, there will be little standardization of subjects children will be moving on to college with huge gaps in their education, not because their parents deliberatley left those parts out (although some already don’t teach evolution) but because the parent had failed to master the topic. People will only teach the parts they’re comfortable with. Friends will also be home schooled, and the children of the parent’s friends and church members (in other words, children just like them, from families exactly like theirs), and on and on. On a national scale that would be catastrophic….we’d become even more fragmented, factionalized and ignorant than we clearly are now. A nation of cloistered and superstitious tribals.
      When free public education ends in this country, you can kiss darkcycle’s ass goodbye.
      Malcom, how’s the apartment situation in your neighborhood?

      • kaptinemo

        DC, I am not slighting the type of teacher you are describing.

        Yes, I was damned lucky to have gone to school in the era and places that I did, for I did have a (sadly, very) few truly inspirational teachers. But the first 4 years of schooling I received came from a very no-nonsense Catholic school which brooked no student hijinks and corporal punishment was authorized by parents. You learned real quick you were there for learning, not play.

        Those inspirational teachers, in both parochial and public schools, must have seen something in me that they believed was worth cultivating, and maybe there was.

        But I already had an insatiable curiosity (and a healthy suspicion of adult motives) that caused me to spend countless hours in the Library researching all manner of things, to determine if what I was being taught was in fact truth…or a hollow echo of it.

        But to become a teacher, anymore, is to be forced to subscribe to a catechism of sorts, one replete with its’ own dogmas. Not to mention being subjected to (or worse, engaging in) the political machinations of the various ‘Mayberry Machiavellis’, the self-serving agents who get to decide what curriculum content shall be. Ultimately lost at sea are the very constituents that the whole endeavor was supposed to serve and support, namely, the student.

        So, in the end, when the subject of public schooling comes up, I invariably state that I received an education in spite of the public school system, not because of it.

      • kaptinemo

        And as to the ‘socialization’ aspect, when that is used to excuse passing a student with serious learning disabilities through the grade structure, despite them being barely literate, I question its’ value.

        And I am not speaking rhetorically; that’s what happened to my then-young nephew. He had to be specially tutored, costing my sister no small sum (which we all helped pitch in for) so that he would receive what he (and we taxpayers) had a right to expect. It also forced her to partially home-school him, and he’s a well adjusted young man now. Again, no thanks to the very system we pay to keep in operation.

        • darkcycle

          Not socializing the student (and I agree that using that as a justification for passing an otherwise failing student is inexcusable), making our society a society that functions. Perhaps I used the wrong word, but that’s part of what makes (or made) our country function in the face of huge ethnic, social and economic differences. Look to pre revolutionary France for an example of how completely disconnected a society can become if the classes have literally no experience of each other. And look to the social situation in Somalia for an example of how extreme factionalization can paralyze and bring down a country.
          Really, I’m NOT the best person to mount a full throated defense of public education. My experience was much like yours, and I have NO fond memories of the time I spent in public school. For a comprehensive history and defense of the free public school system, I would have to defer to my wife. But I’ll warn you Cap’n, get yourself a bowl and a brandy and a comfy chair because it will be a comprehensive presentation, and your ears will be ringing for some time with the echoes of what she has to say about it.
          But I’m a believer, even a marginally dysfunctional free public school system is a far, far better bet than not having one at all.

    • Windy

      Yeah, kaptinemo, I call them indoctrination centers.

      darkcycle, the teachers are as propagandized as the students, they grew up and were indoctrinated in the public schools and teaching colleges, too. The link I provided above is not about “homeschooling” its about “unschooling” where the child pursues his/her own interests. The parent, of course, would make certain the basics were learned first (reading, writing, math, civics) then let the child fly on his/her own. As for the “socialism” aspect of which you wrote, that can be handled by communities making certain there are lots of activities for the kids that are inexpensive to free and fun for kids of a varying age range, and family affairs that are fun for all ages from toddler to dottage. Grouping kids, for so much time, by their age, limits their ability to socialize with other age groups.

  • darkcycle

    Windy and everybody else…there’s a REASON that EVERY DEVELOPED COUNTRY, EVERY one without exception, has a robust Public School System. Now look at the third world, and the public systems in underdeveloped countries. I’ll let it stand at that. And I’ll restate: when free public education ends in this country, darkcycle and his family are splitting. It’s over, as far as I can see, that’s the end of our society as I once knew it.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      …there’s a REASON that EVERY DEVELOPED COUNTRY, EVERY one without exception, has a robust Public School System.

      First let me say that I’m in favor of public education. I actually think it should include grades 13-16.

      But DC the quote above is an appeal to authority fallacy. Can’t you hear Gil Kerlifries saying, “…there’s a REASON that EVERY DEVELOPED COUNTRY, EVERY one without exception, has a criminalized mind altering drugs”?

      The exact same argument in favor of public education apply to universal medical care.