Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Children and violence in schools

One thing that's different today than when I was a kid (a time when teens weren't shooting up their schools), we had compulsory recess and P.E. classes--only terrible rain storms, or below zero cold kept us indoors. We ran, screamed, climbed, and terrorized each other on the playground. I did have a bloody nose once from being hit in the face with a trapeze bar on the swing set, but it was my own fault. Maybe some kids were medicated, but the idea that little boys, and a few little girls, have pathological doses of energy that only Big Pharma can solve came much later. We had kids who were hungry, some smelled bad, some had no father, some were not smart enough to even complete elementary school, and I'm sure they felt rejection, but I don't remember being afraid of them, or that they feared for their own safety.

The first DSM (1952) didn't recognize ADHD or any of the earlier names, and that's when I was in elementary school. But it was recognized in 1987 DSM-III, and now there are many, many medications to "fix" a non-disease, non-virus, non-disability and to keep primarily boys more manageable for teachers and parents. Once it had a name, lots of parents began reporting it to their pediatricians who could write prescriptions. Articles about hyperactivity (the earlier term) was a cottage industry for women’s magazines.

Also, in the 50s and 60s we weren't exposed to violence constantly as children. In homes, on TV, and in video games. Desensitization starts very young.  In fact, in my home growing up, we didn’t even have a TV—the worst I’d see was a Tom and Jerry cartoon at the movie theater on Saturday.

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