Thursday, December 19, 2013

Will more guns solve the "knockout problem?"

I say "more guns" is not very Ghandi, very Jesus, or very rational. I think that there is a lot in the boredom idea, though. And a lot of truth.

I have taught in urban schools, and I have felt the boredom of these kids. It is systemic.

They have been taught in many ways and for many days, that school is little more than a way to spend some time, and get some food. Since it is imposed, though, and it takes more focus and attention to stay out of school than just to show up and go through the motions, that is what happens.

Many of these kids are sent into the classroom with orders to "observe and report" back on the teachers. Suing and collecting a legal settlement for some kind of mistreatment is seen as one of the few immediate and purposeful chances that can improve the parent's lot in life. They have no faith in themselves and their own actions. This is a long-term problem.

Sure, we can try to address it by scaring the crap out of some of the kids. But history has told us that this solution never works for long.

What we need is a systemic change so that we stop producing this kind of fatal boredom. This is a much larger problem, a much slower solution, but it deserves to be considered.

Thank you for your time.


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