A few weeks ago I addressed some issues I have with compulsory attendance laws, namely the governmental role in education and truancy laws. While wrapping my brain around the entire matter, I also delved into what life might be like if there were no such thing as compulsory schooling.
I never know what I’m getting myself into when diving into sensitive discussions like that, but one of my passions as a writer is to engage and inform people about serious problems within the public education system so that they are no longer content simply accepting the status quo.
Hence this new post today.
One thing that surprised me in the comments of the aforementioned posts is the fervor people have for this very subject, no matter what their stance may be. Some people completely agreed with everything I wrote, while others were very concerned about what would happen to children with less than involved parents if compulsory schooling were ever to disappear. (Although this is very unlikely because the powers-that-be enjoy governmental control too much for that to happen.)
Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers for that. But these concerns have brought to light something that I’m astonished so many people seem to have missed.
The onset of compulsory schooling was the catalyst for the downfall of the family.
Before compulsory school laws were put into place, the family was central to everything. Children learned by helping their parents in the day-to-day things that their families depended upon. Their parents were not just Mom and Dad; they were mentors. They were involved. Children knew how important their familial role was, and they felt valued because of it.
Post-compulsory schooling, that all changed.
In fact, that may well be how we got into this sorry mess we’re in today. It’s completely ironic to me that people are concerned about abolishing mandatory public education because of bad parenting (and rightly so) when a major factor in the epidemic of bad parenting is- you guessed it- public education.
Confused? Let’s take a look at the one major factor that has caused this inevitable breakdown of the family:
Compulsory education replaced the parent’s role as primary caregiver and teacher.
Let’s be honest here. How can people learn to be decent parents when their children are taken from them 6 hours a day minimum, 36 weeks a year? Parents today no longer consider themselves solely responsible for their children. How many times have you heard someone say,
“I can’t wait for school to start. Let their teacher deal with them.”
“My kids are driving me crazy. I hate summer vacation.”
How many times have you seen parents cheer on the first day of school?
I’m not judging here because I’ve done it. Thankfully, though, I’ve realized that the reason people can’t handle their children anymore is because they aren’t with them enough. They defer to the teacher’s advice on just about everything because their teachers spend more time with their kids than they do.
This was never a problem before compulsory school laws were legislated. People knew how to be parents.
Once the responsibility of raising our children was taken away, it opened the doors to things almost unheard of, and certainly not considered the norm, before school existed:
- A skyrocketing divorce rate
- Latchkey kids
- The devaluing of the role of the housewife and stay-at-home mother
- A neverending journey for material wealth
- The notion that you can “have it all” (although it’s usually the children who suffer the most from this falsehood)
- Someone other than parents making medical decisions for their children (schools handing out birth control)
- ADHD (As a parent of a child with ADHD, I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but I am suggesting that school does not provide the proper outlet for it, thus the large number of medicated children.)
- The “quality over quantity” lie
The list goes on and on. So before you decide that school may be the best thing for some children, I want you to think about this one thing:
Ultimately, school is what got them into this predicament to begin with.