I debated whether or not I should've sent the below letter off to the editor of our local newspaper. I was afraid that it sounded to radical, or to impractical. I mean come on, kids have to go to school, right? Could you imagine what the world would be like without schools? Children don't really know whats best for them. We do!
Well, I got beyond those thoughts and sent it off anyway. I thought about some of the great writing I've come across questioning and criticizing our systems of schooling. I looked back on my own experience of 13 years of schooling. I hated it. I would've rather been outside. And I've read a lot of good authors that've had similar things to say. Like: Jon Taylor Gatto, Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen and Carl Rogers. It's nice to know that I'm not the only person that hated my schooling experience.
Here is the letter I sent:
Time is Precious
This letter is in part response to last weeks article titled, “Spooner Schools must cut-again.” Deep down inside I was glad to see the district has to cut its budget again. The less money that people have to pay for a system that doesn’t benefit the well-being of each and every child the better. And I want to be clear that I’m not criticizing the employees of the system but the system itself.
I bet if we asked all of the students who attend Spooner Schools if they wanted to be there an overwhelming majority of them would say NO. This is sad but true. And that is one the primary reasons the system exists; to condition our children into spending the precious time they’ve been gifted as human beings into doing things they don’t want to do. After all, we only have so much time before we die. And we’re forcing our children to spend their time watching the clock (The best piece of technology in the classroom) wishing away the hours of their life waiting for the bell to ring. Wishing away your time is like cutting off the fingers on your hand, once gone you never get either of them back.
And this conditioning very effectively carries over into our adult lives. Try asking people on the job if they really want to be there. Again, I bet the majority would say no. Essentially, we live in a culture where the majority of its members spend the majority of their time wishing they were doing what they wanted to do. This is a crime. Judging by the high rates of depression, suicide, alcoholism, rape, child abuse and violence, spending our time this way just isn’t healthy. I might add the rates of all these aren’t declining.
If you’ve read this far ask yourself, how would you spend the majority of your time if you had 5 million dollars in the bank? Are you living out the dreams you had as a child? Or do you find yourself wishing the hours of your life away? These are all important questions to ask ourselves as our children spend most of their waking hours within the confines of a block building learning what they’re SUPPOSE to learn instead of what they want to learn.
“We begin with the children. It is imperative to catch them in time. Without the most thorough and rapid brainwashing their dirty minds would see through our dirty tricks. Children are not yet fools, but yet we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high I.Q.s if possible.” Dr. R.D Laing
Ishmael Education Unschooling Northern Wisconsin