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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Parent's Perspective


Dealing with Discipline

The following post was written by Kristen Burroughs in response to Frank Beard's, "How My School and District Failed its Students." Burroughs holds an MA from Yale University in Philosophical Theology and a PhD from the University of Chicago in History. She taught high school science and history at a private school, humanities and philosophy at a community college, and religion and politics at a state university. Her three kids have been schooled in public, private, charter and home environments. She's currently writing a book on teacher tenure.

I'm a mom who pulled her three kids out of school several years ago, in part because of the lousy curriculum and lifeless teaching, but in larger part because of the other kids. 

I’ve noticed that "good" suburban schools have disruptive kids, so much so that parents like me are pulling their children out. I suppose we could rightfully blame lousy parenting for the disruptive kids, but that doesn't correct the school ambiance. Please note: this isn’t an urban problem, though it is probably worse in high-crime areas. And it is not a consequence of poverty, as poor parents often have delightful kids. 

So, moving past lousy parenting, are administrators the real culprits? I’m not so sure. Can administrators do anymore than they're doing? Are their hands tied by PC regulations and rules, including the threat of lawsuits and judicial reprisals? If an administrator expels or deals with more kids of color than white kids, as is often the case, won't he/she be accused of racism? And, is disciplining more boys than girls is sexism? Is there a place to which administrators can send their worst kids (other than prison)? 

Are teachers the culprits? Some teachers can't control the classroom -- true. Most teachers could control the classroom sans about ten to twenty-percent of the troublemakers, I'd presume. So it's that bottom cohort of miscreants that ruin a school.

From my perspective, the bottom line is we have an educational culture that excuses poor behavior, fears courts, demonizes parents who remove their "special snowflake" as a "helicopter parent," chastises parents who pull their kids out of the huge mess, offers few if any viable options for administrators and teachers who want to be rid of the problem children, etc.

Here's my advice:

1. Push for universal charters with selective admissions policies. Let artsy kids go to artsy schools, nerds attend math/science academies, traditionalists use Saxon math, etc. Let the kids -- or their parents -- self-sort into whatever schools fits their needs. This applies only to the kids who behave in class. The rest … well, read on. 

2. I’m sure many will detest this suggestion, but kids need to be tracked and grouped according to behavior AND ability, interest and talent. Specialized charter schools with objective entrance requirements -- cut-off scores, for example -- could permit self-tracking. Within a school, let a kid take any level of class, but be clear to that child that he or she is responsible for the consequences of taking a class that may be too difficult, or easy. If a bright child enrolls in remedial classes, a teacher or counselor could suggest, gently, that the child take more challenging classes, but ultimately, that choice is for the child to make.

3. Kids who are disruptive get sent to military-like schools by administrators. And administrators must deal with any child sent to the “office” by the teacher. Period. We can't allow the majority of kids who are well-behaved to be poisoned by the minority who need discipline. Let the state deal with the most poorly behaved kids, perhaps in boarding schools or reform schools. Kids who could be easily mainstreamed into schools, without too much extra time and effort by the teacher, should be allowed to enroll in whatever school fits their fancy. Those who consistently misbehave need to feel the consequences of their behavior. There's nothing wrong with telling a teenager that her or his behavior has been so reprehensible that the options remaining have been limited to X, Y, or Z. But always -- and I mean, ALWAYS -- give a child a goal and plan to earn his or her way back into mainstream schools, perhaps by earning points or doing particularly well in a "reform" school.

4. View all forms of education -- home, tutored, private, charter -- as viable options to be considered by all parents. There should never be a preferred form of schooling that functions as the default option. All schooling is schooling. Period. Again, public schooling IS schooling by any parent or institution. We're all part of "public." We all have a stake in our country.

5. Give up on the idea that there’s a single public with a single ethos – this isn’t the 1950s. The time of neighborhood schools has passed. We’re a permanently fragmented society. Let each family, then, choose whatever school best represents their ideals and vision; let their fragment fill its niche among the bits and pieces that make up our society. Again, the notion that there’s an American “center,” represented by the local public school (usurped by federal strictures and demands) to which all American families must acquiesce, is risible. To the extent that we keep on trying to fit all kids into a neighborhood school – the smart, dumb, quirky, misbehaved, mentally ill, oddly talented, untalented – we will fail.

You can contact Kristen Burroughs at kristen@keepahead.org.

28 comments:

  1. You believe, as do I, that many kids don't fit in at school. This causes kids to be bored, disruptive, rude, unmotivated, etc. You assume that we should do something with the kids. I would suggest that we should do something with the schools.

    School doesn't have to be a place with five subjects where students sit at desks and do worksheets, listen to lectures or do an occasional directed project. When you dismiss the neighborhood school, you dismiss the current model of schooling, not the fact the it is in a particular neighborhood, I think.

    Our school reformers want higher test scores, but they really have nothing to offer in the way of true innovation on what a school is. We need to ask what we want a school to achieve - and the answer doesn't have to be a singular one - we already have many goals. Perhaps we just need change school so that it serves more students where they are and addresses where they want to go. We currently try to mold students into something that we HOPE they become, rather than help students mold themselves into what they hope to become.

    We aren't nearly bold enough for fear of failure and fear of change.

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  2. Abellia,
    YES! I feel as if we’re trapped in 20th-century thought-boxes. Our thinking is small. Truncated. Repetitive.

    School reformers, as well as anti-reformers who fight to preserve the status quo, aren’t stretching their imaginations. Why do they keep thinking of school as a place where kids go to learn in square classrooms with teachers. Can’t they push the top off that mental box and re-conceive “school”?

    Perhaps some kids need to get away from destructive neighborhoods -- or families – and so for them, school must include a building and teachers as parental substitutes as well as educators. This vision of school is one of a full-service institution -- meals, mental health, dental and medical, after school tutoring and play, etc.

    But many kids -- most? -- don't need such intervention. They just need to learn. And if that's the case, then learning can happen at home, in a small group setting, at the library, while traveling, and in a classroom.

    Frankly, I don't think it is the role of the state to limit how kids learn, but only to determine if they are learning, that is to say, the state should test outcomes only, and not worry about how those outcomes are reached.

    I imagine the state funding all sorts of learning environments, including but not limited to the 20th-century vision of classrooms in a row, each with a teacher. I imagine parents realizing that education is their responsibility, and therefore spending more time teaching and mentoring their kids. I imagine tutoring centers springing up which help kids past temporary intellectual bumps. Or, retirees volunteering to help kids learn to read, or to help an older kid write lab reports for an advanced chemistry class. I imagine parents getting together with other parents and sharing bits of knowledge and expertise with their grouped kids. And I imagine kids dropping into a classroom situation, to learn a particular subject in a traditional way, under the tutelage of a teacher.

    By the end of third grade, for instance, a kid should read reasonably well. But does it matter how that child learned to read? I don’t think so. So why not let all kids take a reading test, whenever they're ready, before they pass to the next level of learning? Ditto with numeracy skills. Geography. Literature.

    I imagine a cascading series of exams, something like NY's Regence exams, that become increasingly difficult. Kids learn at their own pace, taking exams when they feel ready. The state could provide pre-testing and testing places, Internet sites, etc. If the kid needed help, he could come to a building or ask for help online.

    The state's role, then, would be to provide tests, on a rolling basis, for all kids, and to keep records of their learning. Also, the state would pay for tutors, schools, or whatever works for a particular child. When a child progresses, the state would have distinct, easy-to-understand goals and expectations online to guide parents to the next step. In this vision, the state offers a smorgasbord of ways to learn, with clearly defined goals. The parent, then, selects whatever learning-way best gets their kid to the goal.

    Of course, some parents won’t cooperate as they are accustomed to abdicating their responsibility to the state. And I do think, then, that the state should provide some sort of teacher-parent situation that meets the needs of that child. But, again, most kids don’t need this sort of intervention. They don't need schools. They need goals and the means to reach those goals. No more.

    Kristen

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  3. I must admit I skimmed your blog post but just a few comments.

    Dismissing parenting?? Parents are the first 'teachers' of their child and to dismiss parenting is wrong. Teachers have to endure bad parenting and I include helicopter parents in the definition of bad parenting.

    Tracking students?? This suggests you only teach to a child's strength. Therefore, how would a child learn to deal with a situation in which he or she is not being coddled? For instance, a boss that doesn't give instructions that favor the strengths. Or, what if the child has to take a job that doesn't fit their 'track' because there are no jobs and they must look into another position?? In other words, if you don't stretch a child how do they learn to deal with any adversity??

    Home schooling? I am leary of home schooling because the child is taught only by the parent. The child does not learn how to adjust to different styles, different methods and they are with a parent that will coddle them. We all love our children and it is inevitable that at times we baby them. Therefore, at what point does the child learn life lessons? It is funny how we feel it is fine to teach our own child and most parents have no teaching experience and yet teachers must go through rigorous training?? In addition, we don't believe a doctor should treat his own family member so why do we think parents would be effective teachers?? Parents are not objective. Of course, teachers are not objective (human beings all carry a bias to some extent) but they certainly hold more objectivity than a parent does with their own child.

    Unfortunately, parents have no respect for teachers and they believe they can do the job easily. It is funny, parents respect doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professions that require degrees and continuing education but they do not offer teachers the same respect and yet teachers must get a degree,many states require a master degree after 5 years of teaching and all states require some type of certification along with continuing education but parents treat teachers like they know nothing.

    From reading your blog I can tell you want the best for education and in the end you just are hoping for reform but I am not sure home schooling is a great option or tracking?
    I think we need to work on parent and teacher trust and communication.

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  4. Lucy: To be clear, this blog, with the exception of the last two posts, is written by me, The Reflective Educator, not Kristen.

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  5. you mention basically three different things

    a.) increasing homeschooling, vouchers, private schools etc.

    bad idea. a non-starter. basically helps rich people and children with two parents, leaving public schools with all the problem children and the poor.

    b.) discipline problems.

    all children, by federal law, are entitled to an education. you can forget about forcing such children to go to boarding schools or military schools ... seriously? you think that is possible? forcing parents to give up their children? you went to yale university right? not yale county community college?

    if you come up with some serious answers to this problem teachers would love to hear them.

    c.) flexible curriculum

    ummmmmm ... what you are basically talking about is a montessori-ish curriculum.

    good idea. it works well for both advanced and special ed students.

    i suggest you look up the montessori method.

    many teachers would love this.

    it is the only part of your post that makes any sense.

    lisab


    c.)

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  6. Hi Lisab! Good to hear from you.

    1. Yes, some of these schooling options help kids with two parents (is there something wrong with helping kids from intact families?) Other schooling options could help kids with no parents, or one parent who works constantly -- so called "full service schools." Lets have many, many, many kinds of schools -- after all, we have kids from many different backgrounds, abilities and talents. More choices. Better choices.

    2. I see nothing wrong with some schools having most of the problem kids, because those schools could adjust their structure and ambiance to best deal with these kids.

    Right now, we force well-behaved kids to attend schools that are ruined, in part, by problem kids. Their educational opportunity has been truncated by miscreants. That's just wrong.

    Badly behaved kids must learn that their behavior has consequences, and one of these consequences is that the range of schools which will accept them has been reduced to reform, boarding, strict day schools, etc. We need to offer them a highly structured environment, which other kids don't need.

    3. I love Montessori.

    K

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  7. Just a question: who determines what "disruptive" is? Is it a student's team of teachers, administrators,a school district? What happens is that definition is not, for lack of a better word, standardized? I fear the students who would qualify for special education, or who are simply different (whatever that means for whatever school or part of the country) would fill these military schools.

    For some groups of children (I am specifically thinking about African American boys, who are traditionally overidentified as needing "special" services), I have some worry that a system such as the one you suggest will only benefit the haves as opposed to providing some benefit to every child.

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  8. Zzzzzz. Nothing new here. Shuffle the "bad" kids off to elsewhere so they "won't poison" the "good" kids who will grow up and drug-date-rape coeds, destroy our economy, and poison our waters.

    Lady, those "bad" kids are going to be around when your pristine kids are adults and their kids are going to be around when your grandkids are born. Trying to isolate and segregate is NOT going to solve the problem. To the contrary. My husband & I have discussed this difference between self-centered, defensive parents of nihilistic social bullys and other parents who are real and who know that they are part of a greater community -- that they and their children are part of the solution and that requires getting your hands dirty some times. Of course under good supervision, but having children watch adults with confidence handle conflict, get cooperation from difficult people, and handle challenging situations are the better for it.

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  9. "I see nothing wrong with some schools having most of the problem kids ..."

    strangely ... parents from poor communities have a problem with this. (sarcasm there)

    especially those from poor neighborhoods

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  10. "More choices. Better choices."

    for two parent relatively well off families ... yeah.

    for halfthe population ... no ... clearly not.

    right now, a wealthy person can send their child to a private school, and they pay extra to keep their child with the muckety mucks.

    vouchers just allow rich parents a rebate so the get to send their children to wealthy schools, while paying less than they did before.

    no thanks. you can pay full price ...

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  11. 3. I love Montessori.

    good. it is the only sensible idea you have proposed.

    our current public school system is based on the prussian model ... yes the same prussians that fought napoleon. a switch to a montessori system is

    a sensible, reasonable, modern suggestion that many teachers would support.

    btw, the last three posts are all mine

    lisab

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  12. Lt Uhara,

    The rich are able, now, to put their kids into private schools, thus avoiding some of the behavioral problems in public school (but gaining other problems, some worse).

    It's the children of the middle and working class that has to contend with misbehaved kids in school. Putting the misbehaved kids into a highly structured schools will help these kids the most, not the rich.

    It will permit all kids a good education ... and would do more to preserve and create a "real" community than trying to fabricate community-lite feelings by keeping all kids together in one building.

    Lisab,

    Jeez, girl, you're so critical! :) Vouchers aren't just for the rich -- that's silly, Lisab -- for canceling the voucher program in DC didn't impact the rich, did it? Its the kids from poor and working class families that benefit most from vouchers. And those from the middle class. The rich don't need them.

    But a simple notion of fairness means that all kids get equally treated -- not just those who thrive in a particular sort of schooling environment. All kids are part of our community, not just public, charter, or voucher kids. ALL kids. We are ONE country, still, with many fragments, and I firmly believe that children from each fragment are part of the whole, and deserve to be treated as such.

    Again, LIsab, it is the kids from poor neighborhoods that would benefit most from ridding their schools of the 15 percent, or so, that ruin classroom teaching. Frankly, I think you'd find the MOST support for reform schools among the poorer communities, not the idealistic rich (who put their kids in private schools anyway, and thus politely aver their eyes from the social discord they can pay to avoid. Witness: Obama's kids.)


    Thanks,

    Kristen

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  13. "it is the kids from poor neighborhoods that would benefit most from ridding their schools of the 15 percent, or so, that ruin classroom teaching"

    yes, but this is the united states, not a henry james novel. we cannot just send trouble makers off to boarding schools, no matter how much we want to.

    lisab

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  14. "Vouchers aren't just for the rich -- that's silly"

    said by a yale graduate.

    you would benefit no doubt. i bet you would happily pay full price for a private school for your child. but even better would be a voucher system that would give you a nice discount!

    most poor people, even with vouchers, would be unable to send their children to private school. private schools know the value of the vouchers and raise their prices enough so that the vouchers only partially pay for tuition, allowing the rich to send their children to good schools while taking money out of the public schools.

    private schools also kick out those they do not like leaving the public schools filled with the poor and the troubled.

    no thanks.

    you want to send you child to private school, fine. pay full price.

    lisab

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  15. "But a simple notion of fairness means that all kids get equally treated -- not just those who thrive in a particular sort of schooling environment. All kids are part of our community, not just public, charter, or voucher kids. ALL kids"

    yes ... so they can all go to the public school together.

    maybe if your children had to go to public school you would be more focused on improving them instead of finding ways to get a rebate for the rich.

    lisab

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  16. Lisab!

    Poor kids already have vouchers to go to inner city Catholic schools, for example. I haven't heard that RC schools have yanked up their tuition in response to vouchers -- is this the case? Many private schools are less expensive than their local public counterpart, so a voucher can easily cover the cost. Again, we aren't talking about a rebate for the rich, but parity for ALL. The rich may not need a voucher so their kids can go to schools in which they best learn, but the rest of us do.

    I want good public schools to be one of many choices available to all parents. My daughters graduated from public schools, by the way, and my young teen sons are attending the local community college and state university in lieu of high school. They love it.

    Yes, we should most definitely improve public schools, at the same time we're permitting other options for kids who don't learn best in a public school setting. I'm very concerned about the many kids who don't fit in schools, Lisab. We need to help them find a educational setting that fits their needs.

    Why should ALL kids go to public schools together when only some learn best there? Why try to shoehorn a kid into a school when he/she needs ... whatever. ALL kids deserve school settings in which they learn best. All.

    And lastly, AS AN OPTION we could provide boarding schools for the roughest behaved kids. Some find their way to involuntary boarding institutions anyway -- prisons. Why not provide boarding school intervention first for the most vulnerable? And why not provide highly structured day schools for kids who need that sort of environment?

    Sending trouble-makers to structured schools would make it possible for you, a public school teacher, to better teach remaining well-behaved kids.

    I see it as a win-win, to be honest. Troubled kids get an opportunity to "reform" and well-behaved kids get a chance to learn.

    ___

    We can't jump into a time capsule and time travel to the 1950s, when kids from stable two-parent families and communities went to a neighborhood school. What we have now is fragmentation both within families and communities. One sort of school can't meet the needs of such disparate cohorts. thus, we MUST diversify. We must make sure that educational options are as varied as the kids who need to learn.

    Its only fair.

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  17. "From my perspective, the bottom line is we have an educational culture that excuses poor behavior, fears courts, demonizes parents who remove their "special snowflake" as a "helicopter parent," chastises parents who pull their kids out of the huge mess, offers few if any viable options for administrators and teachers who want to be rid of the problem children, etc."

    I couldn't agree more.

    And sadly it's poor communities that more often than not have to send their children to schools where chronically disruptive students are tossed into the regular classroom setting. That needs to stop immediately.

    This country needs to have an honest discussion about student accountability, but I don't see that happening anytime soon in the current education climate.

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  18. "Again, we aren't talking about a rebate for the rich, but parity for ALL"

    somehow parity in your world means your children go to private schools, you get a tax payer voucher and the children from single parents and poor parents are left in public schools with less money then they had before.

    again, no thanks.

    any system where you are eligible for a voucher is not parity

    it is helping the rich

    lisab

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  19. how about we send your children to a public boarding school in guam.

    and just to make it equivalent to what a poor single parent would face, since i am sure you could actually afford to visit guam weekly ... we will make it a rule that you cannot see your child except at christmas ... for half a day.

    that works for me. does it not work for you?

    lisab

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  20. Are you Kristen Burroughs, the losing Arizona Republican candidate in 2010?

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/questionnaire2010/azrep.php?action=ViewAns&canname=kburr190

    If so, I understand better your position.

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  21. Hi, This is Anonymous from yesterday at 9:35 pm. I am still waiting for a reply in regards to my question about the definition of disruptive, especially in relation to the overidentfication of children of color in special education.

    Anyone have any thoughts about the definition of "disruptive" as mentioned in the orginal piece?

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  22. anonymous,

    obviously african american boys would be the ones most often shipped off to military boarding schools

    surprisingly some have a problem with this

    and

    having "Specialized charter schools with objective entrance requirements "

    would favor those with three nannies and tutors from birth

    and again, some of us have a problem with that too

    lisab

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  23. LisaB: Thanks for the reply. I am still dumbfounded by the original post, though.

    I can't wrap my mind around the subjective nature of an idea like "Kids who are disruptive get sent to military-like schools by administrators. And administrators must deal with any child sent to the “office” by the teacher. Period. We can't allow the majority of kids who are well-behaved to be poisoned by the minority who need discipline. Let the state deal with the most poorly behaved kids, perhaps in boarding schools or reform schools. Kids who could be easily mainstreamed into schools, without too much extra time and effort by the teacher, should be allowed to enroll in whatever school fits their fancy." It's all completely subjective, and assumes a lot in terms of the skill (and cultural responsiveness) of the teacher, school and district. As a parent of three children of color and a teacher, I could never even imagine wrapping my mind around that. It sounds way too simplistic, and way too dangerous.

    Anon9:35

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  24. Efavorite does it again. An Urban Ed, can you post this report - it makes great reading.

    efavorite wrote:
    There's a new report out by a retired DOE official who did an analysis of DC NAEP.

    It goes into detail, showing that what I and others having been posting about previous DCPS superintendents' role in raising scores is accurate -- the increases started long before Rhee and did not hasten during her stay in DC.

    The link below is an introductory article, which links to the full report:
    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/District_Dossier/2011/02/rhees_record_on_dc_academic_ga.html

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  25. Lisab -

    I like the idea of vouchers. When the lovely bride and I married 17 years ago, we weren't too concerned with the school rating near where we were - but when the Incredible Son came along, we found it was at the 30th percentile for the state. And the state was 49th.

    We joked we needed to just teach him to say "Do you want fries with that?" and we'd save him 12 years.

    So we started him on the Montessori thing (expensive) and then looked at private schools when he first grade. We ended up moving (expensive) to a better school area (80th percentile, though still in 49th state) so we would have a fallback if the private school (expensive again) wouldn't work out. We're not 'rich', we're middle class w/two earners - but we want our son to get the best possible education. And so far, we're really pleased. He MIGHT have done as well in elementary school, but I doubt it.

    I've maintained classroom computers - though that was about 15 years back - and I could see the discipline problems back then, and from talking with teachers now there is no coherent, effective way to deal with the disruptors.

    This is a great problem, and it's not going to be solved by ignoring it, or disparaging the efforts of folks to first identify the causes of the problem and then dealing with it.

    Because objectively, there's not been a whole lot of success in dealing with what's going on system-wide, and it doesn't help to try to block any sort of discussion of alternatives by going "It'll just help the rich" (No, it'd help US out - we put about a tenth of our income after taxes into making sure the little guy gets a good education, so throw me a damn voucher!) or by going "It's discriminatory" (what is discriminatory is having kids in class who have no compunction about acting up in class knowing there's no penalty) while apparently hoping that the bad actors will somehow absorb enough of an education to be functional citizens.

    If something works, adopt it. If something doesn't work - try something else. Why that's so blasted difficult to get people to wrap their minds around is beyond me - it's simple troubleshooting. If X doesn't work, try Y. If Y doesn't work, try Z or a combo of X and Y, with a smattering of A through H and a side of M.

    If different schools for different types of students work - then screw a 'fairness' that seems to be a guarantee of a lousy education for all, I'll go for 'effective' for those who can learn well or want to learn. These kids have ONE SHOT at the public learning system - shouldn't they get the best possible schools they can?

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  26. Man, good solid stuff here to start/continue discussion. It is refreshing and not what you find on the news. What is common on blogs, where we find people writing who obviously care about creating solutions, are angry, over-critical people like Lisab. Who ridicule someones thoughts instead of providing alternative viewpoints, with respect and composure. We won't all see eye-to-eye, but we should certainly establish the level of respect needed to cultivate changes in flawed systems.
    Sad.

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  27. Lt. Uhura, lisab et al:

    You're quite right that sending the significant number of incipient Bezonians fermenting in our public schools off to facilities equipped and prepared to deal with them and try to resocialize them is not, at this time, a socially acceptable solution.

    However, you had better hope it becomes one, fast, because our society is approaching a very large number of tipping points. It was one thing to tolerate a permanent underclass - sort of malignant Eloi, if you will - when we could borrow our way into bribing them to stay in their places. That time is rapidly ending. Something is going to have to correct their behavior. If you think military/reform/secure boarding schools are radical, I have news for you: you have led a very sheltered life.

    THIS is radical: http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2009/11/dire-problem-and-virtual-option.html

    Absent the Singularity (or a singularity, in any event, in its general sense) there are two possibilities:

    1) The underclass continues to grow until the productive means of society are inadequate to support themselves and it. Result: collapse. For a fast version, read Raspail's "The Camp of the Saints." (Recently back on the bestseller lists in France, despite being available in a free online division.) For a slow version, think Roman Empire.

    2) The productive sector of society takes (or merely tolerates) radical and decisive action which removes the problem for quite some time. Result: massive Abandoned Areas with controlled access at best. At worst - well, read M. Moldbug's proposed solution as the best-worst outcome, and his argument as to how a really *efficient* society would deal with it and to which he offers his solution as an alternative as a worst-worst case. If you can't bear to read the essay, I'll give you a spoiler: it involves the fact that ammunition is very inexpensive in large lots.

    Do you think anyone in St. Petersberg could have seen what was coming as the last century began? Did the Weimar Republic see the camps and the ovens which it gestated in its otherwise impotent loins? Does anyone who lives in such a golden age and blessed realm as Americans and Western Europeans have enjoyed these past several decades EVER imagine the brutal suddenness with which life can change? If you have read your history you know that the answer to this is a resounding no. We have the Internet now, of course, but the people who use it are still humans biologically indistinguishable - and most of them, not far mentally removed - from those who saw all of those glories fall.

    Stop defending them, stop making excuses for them. Your defenses are righteous, your excuses mere statements of plain and simple truth. Most of these individuals hadn't half a chance in life and our system is not giving them much more. Granted, root and branch. That does not change the facts, which is that the rot is real and increasing. It must be treated or the tree will die, and the alleged travails and inhumanity of some honest effort to intervene will seem like blessings and mercy compared to what will come.

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  28. Actually, aside from sending your kids with a disruptive behavior to a military school you may also send them to a therapeutic boarding schools or any other boarding schools. The concepts are the same but the level of strictness is different but the results are alike. So what are you waiting for? Send that disruptive child of yours to a boarding school you please.

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