We Americans pride ourselves on sophistication without evidence. Take any “on-the-street” interview. Does the ignorance of the pedestrian amuse you? Beware the flagrant lapse of education and awareness. Apparently, we stopped requiring and inspiring “common” knowledge thirty or more years ago.
We have become a sort of third-world country in terms of awareness; clowns of not-so-funny, serious lapses of informed smarts.
A television sampling of instant interviews prior to the recent eclipse was a frightening display of the absence of even elementary information and knowledge about the nature of our planet, our solar system, our universe. We were supposed to laugh at these peoples’ abject ignorance.
What a condemnation of our education system, and any ill-informed populism we might engender. Finite knowledge, and unbounded ignorance go hand-in-hand with fascism, and other forms of mindless collectivism.
A glaring, and shocking example of this growing surrender to rude “democracy,” is the recent Fox News segment, “Next Revolution,” with Steve Hilton. He calls it “positive populism,” I call it a thinly clad predecessor to the failed notion of communism. We have entered a dangerous period of power without knowledge. A democracy of fools is a vast and dangerous mob, incited by the slightest of mistaken thoughts and gossip.
Harlequins were clever, cultural foils for royal courts of yore. They raised obvious points of regal stupidity through not-always-subtle, but carefully-clad humor, and thinly-disguised ridicule.
I fear that we Americans have become so arrogant, so conceited, so vainglorious, that we cannot see the truths in the humor of our harlequins.
Civilized societies set behavioral norms, and prescribe consequences for violating those norms. For example, it is not okay to harm another person without cause; it is not alright to harass someone, or “disturb the peace.” Families can set broader boundaries inside their homes, but not in public. However, sadly misguided federal laws and rules subject public school children and their teachers to violent, threatening, disturbing, unpredictable, disruptive behavior every day, in the name of “equal education.” This violates common sense and the rights of the other children to a peaceful education.
In the so-called “real world” normal people do not put up with violent or disruptive people. The disruptive person is usually fired from a job in a work environment, ejected or arrested in social or public environments. Medical treatment is indicated, to the extent emotional disabilities or mental illness are involved; punishment and fines are indicated otherwise. In other words, society separates or isolates disturbed citizens and insulates normal citizens from their disruptions.
I do not know any normal, emotionally healthy people who are made to endure the disturbances of disruptive adults. Why do we subject our children and public school teachers to behavior normal society does not allow? Most teachers are not trained psychologists, and none of the students are trained to accept and deal with such frightening, threatening behavior either. Even if they were, there is no excuse for making public school so trying, and perhaps harmful.
The current federal laws paint children with “disabilities” and public schools with a broad brush when they require inclusion and mainstreaming without stipulation. Do they think normal classrooms are therapy for violent and disturbed students? Do they think the distress and disruption help normal students learn? Disturbed, violent, and disabled students need added, special resources and treatment that normal students do not. Why subject the whole class to special efforts that scare them, delay normal learning and deny them the knowledge they are present to obtain?
Special needs children deserve to be taught the same knowledge as other kids. Many special needs children are not disruptive. However, their special needs may require different teaching approaches and intensive, trained, instruction to attain that knowledge.
The advocates of “mainstreaming” tout the marginal benefits to special needs students, but blithely avoid discussion of the serious detriment to “mainstream” students and the teachers that must cope with the stress and interference required to produce those benefits. This attempt at social engineering is so obviously lame, it cannot stand a reality check. Does anyone remember when even whispering in class, and passing notes were punishable infractions? They were infractions because they distracted students and teachers from the purpose of the class. Has this idea expired from political correctness?
If the needs of the few can be met without expense to the many, I say, so be it. Find another way to fulfill the needs of violent, threatening, and disruptive students.