My six-year-old granddaughter started school today. (She did kindergarten last year, of course.) For me, it's not a day of excitement because I am an 'old teacher' who knows that school is no longer a good, safe place for children. It's not because of the loonies who show up with weapons, though that's a consideration. It's because of the ruling monster, Political Correctness, which has infected every area of life today and particularly schools.
In California, the governor signed a law which allows students to use the restroom/locker room of their choice based on their own personal gender identity--not which body parts they have. Tell me how taking the rights of the 99% away for the rights of the 1% is a good idea. In the last school where I taught, faculty restrooms were unisex. I didn't like it one bit.
We scream about how our children aren't getting a good basic education, but there's no time for that. They must be taught The Test. It must be practiced, analyzed, remediated, practiced again...ad nauseum.
The mention of God, Christmas, Easter, etc. has been banished. A 6 or 7-year-old child who innocently chews a poptart into what a teacher perceives as the shape of a 'gun' is suspended. Zero tolerance. (And that's only the tip of the iceberg.) I'm waiting for the inevitable suspension of a child who dares to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays"--and is pounced on for bullying!
In one school in Texas (I think this fell through), high school students were being monitored through ID badges with chips in them. A single student who refused based on religious convictions was thoroughly persecuted by the district.
A kindergartener who innocently touches (hugged, I think) another student is suspended for 'sexual harassment'. God forbid a teacher should offer any kind of physical comfort to a distraught child--her license would be gone, and she'd be in jail. In my last few years of teaching, I never touched a child--no pat on the shoulder, no hugs, nothing. Not only that, I made sure I was never alone with a child of either sex--if I couldn't find a chaperone while providing extra tutoring, the tutoring didn't get done. How sad is that?
No, school isn't the safe, happy place I remember as a child, and I weep for all my grandchildren will grow up without. Meanwhile, I teach them what I can--what is no longer considered necessary to good education--by reading the classics, teaching cursive writing and geography among other things including manners! My oldest granddaughter has an outline map of the U.S. on the wall of my study, and she gets to place a gold star on a state as soon as she's learned the capital. She sits fascinated while I read Greek and Roman mythology one might consider far beyond her years--stopping me occasionally to ask for an explanation of a word or an event. She loves classical music and poetry. She's been dictating stories to me since she was three.
Yes, she's bright, but all children are sponges and will soak up what they're given. The problem is, they're being given all the wrong things these days.
I tell her she has a guardian angel, and I believe in them. I hope hers is on duty right now.