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The Classes of the
American Schooling System

By Punkerslut

Image by Eric Drooker
Image: By Eric Drooker

Start Date: August 14, 2009
Finish Date: August 14, 2009

"Do not you see that by your methods of teaching, framed by a Ministry for eight million scholars, who represent eight million different capacities, you only impose a system good for mediocrities, conceived by an average of mediocrities? Your school becomes a University of laziness, as your prison is a University of crime. Make the school free, abolish your University grades, appeal to the volunteers of teaching; begin that way, instead of making laws against laziness which only serve to increase it."
          --Peter Kropotkin,
          "The Conquest of Bread," 1892, Chapter 12, Part IV

     In the compulsory schooling system of America, there are three separate classes. At the very bottom, there is the most immediate and obvious of these castes; like finding the endless working classes in urban centers, you will find just as many herds of students at schools. Just above this class, there are the teachers. That there is a separation of interests, positions, and power between students and teachers should be the most clear to everyone.

     But what lays beyond the teacher class is not always so apparent. It is the administration class -- those who regulate and control the teachers in whatever particular way they are legally required.

     As students, we often did not distinguish between teacher and principal, between teaching aid and truant officer, between coach and superintendent. We found the teachers and the administrators to both treat children with a superiority complex -- like the Christian missionaries who went to indigenous people, just to bless the chains of a new slavery. They consider themselves a separate class, above and beyond others, close to the divinity of the ultimate creator, with their ear to the pulsing rhythm of truth and objectivity.

     Whether a teacher or principal, they are never short to consider their superiority in every single act they take. In some cases, they merely cut all the students at the lunch lines, or forbid them to talk or communicate without raising their hand, holding a sea shell, or some other nonsense. But in other cases, the law allows teachers to beat their students with wooden paddles, and the police arrest and charge students for missing class.

     Holding the face of a youth against dirty ground, with a knee in their back -- the kind of soul that would do this is the kind of person who can become an administrator in a state school; it is in the same spirit as the inquisition. Only those closest to god's absolute truth are to be entrusted with the right to enforce and impose, violently if necessary, upon helpless children.

Image from WikiMedia
Image: From WikiCommons, Edited by Punkerslut

     As a child, you make no distinction between your school's administration and teachers. But they are separate interests. The teachers have spent their lives longing to be valued in their ability to teach and uplift. But instead, they force you through dreary and meaningless schoolwork; and you are not allowed any bit of liberty or time until you can provide grades proving that you memorized useless information.

     All of this is required because of administration's demand. There may be only a few administrators in your school, but they have their own department in the US federal government. They have calculated exact and very specific methods for the rearing of children. And no single deviation is allowed.

     Teachers are required, by their need of paychecks, to submit to administration's demands. The teacher, having no control over their own life, makes up for it -- by practicing control over the lives of their students. Their career was never the uplifting of students, it was always the fulfilling of administrative regulations. The teacher always considers this demand a burden.

     Some students will always fail to be imposed upon -- they are far too much of an individual. When students fail, in their behavioral or academic expectations, the teachers consider it an attack. Educators even more rigidly impose regulations now. They are afraid they'll be suspected of not pushing them onto students well enough, which could cost them their job. Instead of looking at children as the potential for society, they are looked at as a threat to job security. This will dictate the decision-making in a teacher's lesson plans, classroom rules, and in the day-to-day judgments they must render.

     From the most righteous administrator, to the lowliest teacher, each has participated in crushing individuality and in suffocating creativity. Each holds a responsibility in giving the next generation an emotional and intellectual lobotomy.


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