Monday, November 3, 2008

The Hawg avoids picking a fight

Here is a photo of my seven-year-old daughter, Brenda.

Brenda told my wife something today that made me seriously consider going to my daughter's school and raising hell with someone.

Now, I won't mention the school or the particular teacher at issue as I've learned something over the past couple of weeks. After getting called in to visit with my boss a couple of times due to some complaints that had been lodged about things I've written, I've concluded that the quickest way to get people to read this blog is to give them something to gripe about.

Ordinarily, that's fine with me. However, I've decided that work and anything that could come back on one of my children is taboo.

So what got me riled up about my daughter's school? They've got a mock presidential election in the morning and Brenda's teacher was extolling the virtues of Barack Obama. I don't pay taxes so my kids can get indoctrinated.

I was making plans to wander down to the school in the morning and yell at someone, but I figured that would do more harm than good.

Now, I know some of you are thinking, "Oh, come on, The Hawg. You're only mad because that teacher didn't endorse John McCain."

Nope. I'm firmly opposed to my daughter's teachers pushing any of their politics on my children. Those institutions are in place to teach kids how to think and not what to think. My kids will figure out their political ideas when they mature, do some research and figure out what views appeal to them. I'd rather not see that maturation process tainted by a bunch of teachers who are convinced they're right and want to pass their revelations on to my kids.

Furthermore, I'd rather avoid the herd mentality which seems to influence most voters these days. If those kids get knocked in line early, how much more difficult will it be for them to think for themselves when they're adults?

I don't want teachers pushing their political views on my children any more than I want them pushing their religious views on them (we're Methodists in an area dominated by Baptists, after all). The same goes for abortion, the death penalty and most things that kids ought not be bothered with.

Besides, I don't much trust the schools here, either. When my son was in the second grade, my son's teacher and the principal of his school decided that he was suffering from ADHD and needed to be put on Ritilin. It turns out that an alarming number of kids in that school were on Ritilin and I got into a spat with my son's teacher when I told her that there was no way in hell I was letting them drug my kid.

Now, Ritilin is definitely needed in some cases, but I do believe it's been overused. My son's main problem was that he was bored. Yes, schools teach to the slowest kids in class these days, and my kid would get his work done early. He was just plain bored and decided to act out (not much of a surprise when we're talking about small children, is it?)

My son is in the sixth grade now, he gets all A's and B's and is still suffering from boredom. His behavior is improving, however, as teachers have learned to give him more work to do to keep him busy

The folks who are running schools these days are coming up with some screwy ideas, see? I'll be damned if I'll let them get away with imposing them on my kids.


spicybugz said...

I agree with you 100%. I probably would have said something to the teacher, something like, teach age appropriate topics and let my daughter grow up to think on her own, without brain washing her. Also want to add that your daughter is beautiful!

The Natural State Hawg said...

Awww, thank you! That little girl owns me. Someone that cute, with a smart mouth and difficult to ruffle (hurl and insult at her and she'll hit back twice as hard) will likely be dangerous one day.

Here's what I want for both of my kids -- I want them to make up their own minds about things. That leads to independence for both of them. For my daughter, that also means she'll be more likely to get a career so she won't be beholding to anyone to get by in the world.

It's like this. My wife and I didn't need someone to support her. She was doing fine on her own. That lack of dependence takes a lot of stress out of a marriage, I think.

Well, it's just a working theory...

Allure said...

Your daughter is very pretty. I am sure your daughter got her looks from her mother. hahahaha!

clair said...

I totally agree but the fear about making a fuss at school is the teachers may take it out on the kids later.

The Natural State Hawg said...

allure -- Oh, I'm certain she gets her looks from her mother. Young Brenda rather looks like a miniature version of my wife, in fact.

claire -- That's precisely why I didn't go have a visit at my kid's school.

The temptation was certainly there, however.

lala said...

I don't blame you for being upset. I mean, it's one thing to teach civics and the election process but teaching one candidate over the other is like a catholic teacher telling baptist kids why catholicism is better. Opinions have no place in school curriculum. That's the one place that should be objective.

btw, the grade school my son attended in Ft. Smith did the same thing, telling us he was ADD and needed to be on Ritalin. It was discovered later that the school had an unusually high number of children on Ritalin and I think they got spanked in a law suit because of it. said...

What's next, sex education for kindergarteners?

And I'm glad you stuck up for your son in regards to Ritilin.

Did you know that kids who have been put on Ritilin are not allowed to join the military when they get older?


The Natural State Hawg said...

lala -- Obviously, I agree with you. The purpose of their mock election today is to get some insight on how the political process works. They don't need teachers campaigning for one candidate or another.

As for Ritalin, my father was a vice principal at Benton Middle School for years and he said the number of children on Ritalin there was alarming. They prescribe too much of that stuff, for sure.

I'm surprised a lawsuit hasn't been filed already. Sadly, I think a lot of parents love Ritalin -- keeps those kids calm at school and at home.

Paul -- We may be closer to sex education in school than you think. I could see the book now -- Why Do Mommy and Daddy Touch Each Other?


I didn't know the military excluded Ritalin users. Both of my kids have a choice when they get out of high school. They can either go to college (my preference) or join the military. Whether they carry a textbook or a rifle is completely up to them.

Patricia said...

Amen. And if you think it's bad in elementary school, just wait until your daughter is in college. Then, "academic freedom" takes over, and she will have to sit and listen to a professor express his/her political views for hours when he/she should be teaching chemistry or some other academic subject.

HebsFarm said...

My 11 year old told me they had a mock election at his school, and that Obama won. He said, "What does that tell you?" I said, "That tells me there's a reason why we don't let children vote." He thought that was hilarious.

Don said...

Public schools are a disaster due mainly to government interference. Fault for that lays largely at the local levels for ever allowing it to happen. So, unfortunately we got what we paid dearly for and that's a bunch of crap! said...

Boy, that ticks me off. I would be VERY tempted to talk to the teacher and the principal. But the teacher would probably hold a grudge against your daughter so it's good you abstained. Your daughter is beautiful BTW! :)

Da Old Man said...

Tough choice, but overall it maybe for the best. As Patricia said, just wait until college. Oy vey.

Bill Ayers teaches teachers. pretty scary, huh?

lala said...

Honestly, Ethan, with the Ritalin thing, I did a report years ago for a college class...most data I gathered was from 1996. It showed that more schools in states such as Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, etc, were seeing higher rates of Ritalin use, and overwhelmingly higher in boys, and prescribed mostly to boys who were deemed "discipline problems."

I know that my son's teacher at the time was constantly complaining about his talking in class. That was really his only discipline problem. And quite frankly, she didn't like him. Plain and simple because we never had as many complaints with previous teachers.

To me the problem is teachers who can't handle these types of children (and come on, you know when we were in school there were always one or two in the class), but more striking is that the schools receive additionally funding for "special needs" kids and those on Ritalin qualify as special needs. And if I remember correctly, that is how the school in Ft. Smith got into trouble and why it was eventually sued.

Matt said...

Amen, brother! But you notice that every time this happens it is by liberal teachers pushing their devotion of Obama on our kids, never the Republicans. And you better get ready for a lot more of this nonsense. It's a new America. Like it or not.

My plan? Do no EVER give in to them, whether it's about the school issues, the fairness doctrine, spreading the wealth, socialized healthcare or anything else. I'll never give an inch to something I think is bad for my country.

The Natural State Hawg said...

Patricia -- That worries me, too. I got a degree at one of those smarty pants, liberal arts colleges where almost everyone was a liberal (honestly -- there were five of us in the College Republicans my junior year. Sad). At any rate, I earned my degree in political science there and we were encouraged to take any view we wanted, so long as we could defend it well.

I hope that hasn't changed. Sadly, I feel that it probably has.

hebsfarm -- Good point!

don -- You are exactly right.

laura -- That's exactly why I didn't make an issue of it. Every time my parents got sideways with the folks at school, I'm the one who paid for it. Not happening to my kid.

I'll pass that compliment over to young Brenda (she's coloring right now and wearing one of my tee shirts -- cute as a bug). By the time she's a teen, I will have decided whether a double-barrel or a pump shotgun is more intimidating and just how to convince little boys that I'm dangerously insane.

da old man -- Hmmm. Maybe a couple of years in the military first will do the little girl some good. My wife is a veteran and she's strong-willed and tough as nails.

lala -- I can almost promise you the exact same thing is still going on today. Makes me sick. I wonder how many parents will tell those schools there's no way their kids are getting hopped up on Ritalin.

matt -- Yes, I have noticed that. Strange, huh?

My plan is to start trying to figure out what the hell went wrong in the Republican party and push to fix it. My party is so beat down right now that it can't even slap down a screwball leftist like Obama.

That's just pitiful and frustrating.