Schools (Part 1 – It Can’t be Fixed)

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-22.

Complaining has never changed a thing, especially when the thing you are trying to change won’t be changed.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: Psalm 127:1

Can something be so commonplace that it is never challenged? Is it possible to have something that is seen to be so “normal” that no one questions its workings or products? Even if occasionally seen as out of sync with truth, right, good, common sense or anything else, is there any use in complaining about something when there is simply no alternative? Such is the case with modern day compulsory education.

In spite of having “choice” in education, when the only options available are different forms of a single thing, namely a school, school becomes the accepted, standard way of educating children. However, what if “school” is not actually what it is being presented as? While some folks may have seen school for what it really is (and likely started home educating), most simply “go with the flow” without considering that whatever flows, goes down hill! Let me give you a bit of an “insider” view of what has come to be the commonly accepted standard in education.

I am now thankful for having had a very different career from most educators, who simply get the training, find a job and stay with that school until retirement. True, some may change schools once or twice, but usually within the same system. Not I! No sir! I have always had a very healthy disrespect for schools! I have always seen school, any school, as squelching individual thought and freedom. I am a bit too cynical to believe that perfect strangers, who know nothing about an individual student can determine what, when and how something should be learned, even if presented within a Christian context, so I searched for truth.

How I ended up being a teacher is testimony to God’s sense of humour! After having “trained” (another story for some other time), I became a soon-to-be-disillusioned teacher. Like many new to the profession, I thought I could come in and change the system from the horrible one I had attended to one in which each student becomes more than just a number. Boy, did I fail! My first principal told me that the overarching “philosophy of education” was to protect one’s “ass” (I don’t believe he meant donkey!)! Great start! That first year was so traumatic that I found my faith in Jesus! It was after sincerely making this most important decision of my life with every intention of fully serving Him forevermore, that I prayed a prayer that would redirect my life and career.

I stayed a teacher (not without protesting!), but in keeping with my prayer request, I got to see the insides of many different schools, in two provinces; public, separate, private, rural, urban; K to Post-Secondary; in English and French. I helped train 22 student teachers; marked diploma exams in two languages; did everything I could to positively influence the bureaucracy, administration and fellow teachers towards improving the system, but found myself completely powerless to do any more politically than be a thorn in the flesh. Since I could do nothing about the school, I eventually came to the conclusion that I could only affect the direction of my students. As for my own children’s education, I exercised my right, no…, my responsibility as a parent to teach and train them myself (Faye, my help meet, helped me meet that goal) by bringing them back home, the safest, most caring and “sensitive” environment possible for any child.

Why this story? I happen to know school in ways that few do. I have many good reasons for keeping children out of any institutional school, too many to list in a blog. In fact, this story began forty years ago, and by the time we were done training our children at home, a new millennium had begun. A lot of things have changed since then and I am ever so thankful not to have to be teaching in what has become the most dysfunctional system ever invented by man! A minority ruled system that disenfranchises parents, puts the “inmates” in charge of the asylum so to speak and offers limitless opportunity to demonstrate the normalization of deviation and the madness of relativity under the guise of being “neutral” and “progressive”. I am not a do-nothing wimp. If I have not been able to make a dent in that system over forty years, how can Christian parents think they can change it by sending innocent children to “salt” it?

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