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PPTA Horror Stories

PPTA Horror Stories

The stories coming out of the annual PPTA conference are horrendous: overcrowded classrooms are often war zones where drugs are dealt and assaults on persons and property are commonplace. Teachers blame the parents. Parents blame the teachers.

It is the parents' fault. For generations they've allowed the schools and teachers to ignore, challenge and undermine their parental authority. They've put up with dumbed-down, politically correct curriculum. In good faith they've sent their children into environments saturated with verbal and physical abuse, places where the peer groups breed self-centred, irresponsible and immoral attitudes. Yet the parents thought these things didn't happen "at our school". Fact is, parents rarely have any idea what goes on in the classroom or on the schoolgrounds, though they are aware of the flu, diarrhoea, TB and head lice epidemics that sweep through these institutions with incredible speed and regularity.

It's the teachers' fault. They've been trained to consider themselves as the experts and that many parents are incompetent. After dealing with a few rat-bag kids, teachers are convinced it's true of nearly all parents. Teachers reckon children must be separated from these dolts (the parents) and herded together to socialise one another to the lowest common denominator. They've also been trained to hold all cultures, moral codes and lifestyles as equally valid They are not to assume they are "teachers" with a useful body of knowledge to pass on. They are now "facilitators" to help children, as a group, construct their own body of relevant knowledge from pre-selected, politically correct, secular sources.

It's the system's fault. It was designed to drive a wedge of alienation between parents and children. It was designed to intellectually dumb down the population into malleable units who wouldn't challenge the political or industrial elite but would be resigned to "life-long learning" of what these "experts" said they needed to know. It was designed to replace the church with the secular government school as the centre of community life. With both the family and church marginalized to near irrelevancy, the individual became mostly separated from either, a sitting duck for intimidation and control by a growing government bureaucracy with increasingly totalitarian tendencies.

As succeeding generations of parents felt increasingly disconnected from both their children and their parenting tasks because the state required them to send their precious children away to be raised by agents of the state for six hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year for ten years, abdication of parental responsibility seemed normal. After all, everyone else did it. And it became normal for schools to take on more and more parenting tasks to where today many schools toilet train and feed as well as provide pastoral care and counselling services. And it became normal for children to be even more ill-behaved and undisciplined than the year before. This year's PPTA conference horror stories illustrate the point, as did last year's horror stories. Teachers have gotten it off their chests, parents remain oblivious since it all happens in another world to theirs, so nothing substantial will be done, and society completes another loop in the downward spiral.

While there are some exceptional schools around, they are exceptions. If the government could see past its desire for maximum control and encourage home education, where parents teach and train up their own children at home, we would see a growth in de-institutionalised thinking, a growth in parental responsibility, healthier and more connected family life, stronger academics, more practical down-to-earth learning and less of the me-centred brand of socialisation than we've seen in ages. Such people are at the cutting edge of our civil and religious liberties. Their efforts in these areas would benefit us all.


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