Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Real Dangers to Kids Now

You probably should not be worried about child molesters in the classroom. Too many witnesses, too much supervision, also, they are outnumbered. The “Free Candy” van does not work in a school setting. No, there are far more insidious and powerful dangers out in an educational institution, things that nobody likes to talk about.

Certain kinds of religious people
They will attempt to convert your kid. For the most part religious people believe in indoctrination. Indiscriminate indoctrination. When they join up in their religion they are commissioned to bring in new believers using whatever platforms they have available to them. Speaking to children from a position of authority is a powerful platform. The absolute certainty that some faiths require the faithful to ostentatiously display, can, and will creep into every discussion of every subject. The fact that they are violating rules and upsetting parents allows the indoctrinators to feel martyred and heroic.

People who want to be liked
There is probably something deeply wrong with adults who desperately crave the approval of children. Yes, you want your child to feel comfortable around their teachers. You definitely don’t want them to be afraid to ask questions, or be scared away from a subject, but an adult who wants a group of somewhat diverse kids to actively like them, probably won’t have time to teach, and, if they do find time, will probably tailor their lessons with popularity in mind. It is not a viable, practical objective. I strongly suspect that the whole phenomenon of female teachers molesting male students comes from this. What better way to secure the approval of a horny, hormonal, adolescent male than via sex?

People obsessed with status and power
For some people the role of teacher is about the position of being the one educated person in a room full of impressionable morons. You get to affect their entire lives, most middle-aged people can still remember their favorite and most hated teachers from elementary school. You get to be the one who teaches them new things, you give them knowledge, you are the dispenser of it. You are the authority figure, sole source of power in the room. The problem with this power-obsession is that to keep that sense of superiority, the students must always be dumber than their teacher, at least while they are still that teacher’s students. Ambition, genius, excelling, or even just not being like all the others, are often subtly, or not so subtly discouraged.

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