In the emotional wake created by the killing of children in schools in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, a cacophony of voices loudly lauded this or that proposal to stop this madness. There were calls for civilian disarmament, for the arming of teachers, and for every the erection of every kind of obstacle in the path toward a repeat of these tragedies.
One seemingly obvious suggestion, though, has been overlooked by most observers: reduce the power of public schools.
In an article published by the Mises Institute, writer Thomas Eckert is one of the few making such a bold recommendation. Eckert examines the role of “school” in “school shooting,” writing:
When examining school shootings between 2000-2018, we find that 94% took place at a public school. Now, let’s think about how insane that is for a moment. Had 94% of those shootings been done with an AR-15, or 94% of shooters been neutralized by an armed teacher on the premises, there’s no question that the right and left would both consider it a slam dunk for their talking points. Yet, this goes largely unnoticed by those claiming to care about solutions.
And that’s not all. Unlike the hackneyed ideas thrown around in mainstream circles, abolishing public schools is good for everyone, regardless of politics. It doesn’t require confiscating private property from uninvolved third-parties or turning vast swaths of law-abiding citizens into felons overnight; it doesn’t require more tax dollars levied against property owners, regardless of whether they have schoolchildren; it doesn’t involve forcing people to be around guns against their will; and most of all, it doesn’t require a sweeping federal overhaul to be implemented, thereby forcing a one-size-fits-all solution onto 300+ million people.
Think of it this way: if you knew that crazy people were going round to all the dry cleaners in town and throwing buckets of red paint on freshly cleaned clothes, would you not be at least a little inclined to do your laundry at home?
Mind you, that is not an analogy intended to equate stained clothes with slain children, not in the very least. The analogy is meant to point out that in something as insignificant as cleaning clothes we would make better decisions than we do about the welfare and education of our dear children.
It seems at once dangerous and neglectful for parents to send children to a place where the most deadly of dangers is an ever-present possibility. Sure, there are the six percent of school shootings that do not occur at public schools, but what about the 94 percent that do? Why take that chance unnecessarily?
In an elegantly written piece published by Freedom Project America entitled “Mass Shootings Spark Growing Interest in Homeschooling,” author Alex Newman reports that many parents across the country are fleeing the fear and teaching their children at home, the way so many other generations were. Newman reports:
But the fact is that, before God, prayer, morality, and common sense were expelled from school fifty years ago, school shootings and teen suicide were almost non-existent. Decreased parental involvement has also been cited as a factor.
But the increased interest in homeschooling in response to the evil that now permeates government “education” — the fruits of which include suicide, mass murder, promiscuity, abortion, and more — should be considered a welcome development. Hopefully the growing interest in homeschooling will turn into a mass exodus from government indoctrination centers in the years ahead.
While the school shootings are a horrific tragedy, they must be understood as the inevitable consequence of the lies and wickedness being pushed on children in government school. The solution is not gun control — after all, guns were far easier to access in the 1950s, and dozens of school children are massacred in knife attacks in Communist China to this day. The kids need protection not from guns or knives, but from the lies and indoctrination pushed at school that motivate people to kill.
We live in a time when millions of self-described “conservatives” send their children to government-funded schools where these families’ values are mocked and made to seem silly and out of touch. They send them to schools where when the kids get home after 8 or 9 hours of indoctrination, parents are forced not only to endure another 4 or 5 hours of homework (a concept completely foreign to education prior to the late 19th Century), but diligent and dutiful parents must deprogram their children, explaining why they don’t agree with the practices and principles that their teachers have praised all day.
All of this is apart from the legitimate fear of violence not only from armed sociopaths, but from the bullying that keeps so many kids in a state of perpetual fear of going to school in the first place.
Americans’ devotion to and support of the public school culture is a mystery. One is reminded of James Madison’s statement in The Federalist, No. 46:
That the governments and the people of the States should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism.
Are we suffering from the “misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal” when it comes to the role and the relevance of public schools?
Do we not stop and consider the costs: physical, intellectual, and psychological of our perpetual support for public schools?
With our lips we draw near unto doing away with the public schools and abolishing the Department of Education, but our hearts continue to somehow justify sending our precious children to those same institutions.
I’ll close with a similar question posed by Eckert in his Mises Institute article:
We’re often told that “Enough is enough” when it comes to school shootings, and I agree. Enough with the blatant partisan talking points; enough with making excuses for outdated education systems to protect the interests of unions and lobbyists at the expense of children’s lives; and enough with using the poor as a scapegoat for the necessity of public schools when they suffer the most from their underperformance. If we want to get serious about stopping future school shootings, we need to seriously discuss the future of public schooling in America.
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