Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sit down, shut up, and pay attention

I was listening to the local (Cincinnati) talk show in the car this morning and the host Mike McConnell was talking about how over protected children are today. His plan, if he were in charge of the U.S. Dept. of Education, would be, "Sit down, shut up, and pay attention," and it wouldn't cost the tax payers a penny. This made me think of one of my high school teachers, Warren Burstrom, and I think those were his exact words to Glenn Orr and Marv Miller in Chemistry class. We all loved him and learned a lot. Murray sent me these memories of the "good old days" when we were in school. He was class of 1956. I, of course, am much younger.

Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.

1956 Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.

2006 School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

1956 Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

2006 Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

1956 Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.

2006 Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.

1956 Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2006 Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.

1956 Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.

2006 Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Mary turns up pregnant.

1973 5 High School Boys leave town. Mary does her senior year at a special school for expectant mothers.

2006 Middle School Counselor calls Planned Parenthood, who notifies the ACLU. Mary is driven to the next state over and gets an abortion without her parent's consent or knowledge. Mary given condoms and told to be more careful next time.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

1973: Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2006: Pedro's cause is taken up. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1956 Ants die.

2006 BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary, hugs him to comfort him.

1956 - In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2006 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison.

Gimme 1956 back please!


Anonymous said...

Why don't you send this in to the Carnival of Education this week? Very good post.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely awesome! And sadly, true.

Anonymous said...

When I read the post, I was going to make exactly the same comment that Joan did. Send it to the Carnival of Education. Those are the kinds of posts I love to read. Great job.

Norma said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed it. However, since I can't credit the writer, I'd rather not submit it. [a librarian thang] I googled the phrase "Scenario Pedro" and stop counting after the first 20 blogs that were posting it in early December--so it has obviously made the rounds, particularly of conservative bloggers.

Anonymous said...

You live in Cincinnati? I am from there! Small world, eh?

I wish I gew up in '56. It would've been nice to have lived my young life like a Wonder Years episode. :)

Norma said...

No, Columbus, but I'm mad at WTVN so I was listening to Cincinnati.

Jane said...

Norma, that was a great post. I worry about the children in school today. Things have changed dramatically from my school days and even from the days of my children. I am appalled by the way schools over-react to problems that would NOT have been an issue in my day.
Our children are suffering for it.

mdoneil said...

That was brilliant.

I had 12 years of nuns, and I recall bringing a gun to school in 4th or 5th grade. It was an old musket and we used it in a display about the Colonial Convention or some such thing. The world did not come to an end.

Randy Kirk said...

I wish folks would pay more attention to one of my favorite quotes from President Reagan (not his exact words.):

Once government puts in a stop sign, it is never removed.

Life is sapped from our society one stop sign at a time.