Free Markets, Free People

Of homeschooling and purple penguins

So I’m reading Kevin Williams National Review article about the state of Connecticut wanting to pass a law that requires homeschooling parents “to present their children to the local authorities periodically for inspection, to see to it that their psychological and social growth is proceeding in the desired direction.”  This is in the wake of the Sandy Hook killings and implies that the problem was centered in “homeschooling” and not the fact that the killer was a mental case.  Not only that he was a well-known mental case having been in public schools until, as a last resort, he was home schooled.  Williamson then goes on to put forward the real reason the Sandy Hook excuse is being used.  And it is something any life long observer of the “progressive left” figured out years and years ago:

The Left’s model of society is still the model of Marx and Bismarck: one big factory to be managed by experts. The government schools are an assembly line for human widgets, who are in theory there to be taught what the state requires them to know in order to fulfill their roles as workers, administrators, and other bits of human machinery. That is the assumption behind President Obama’s insistence that “if you quit on school, you’re not just quitting on yourself — you’re quitting on your country.” Students are also there to be instructed in the official, unspoken state ideology: submission to official power.

The Left’s organizing principle is control, and the possibility that children might commonly be raised outside of its control matrix is an existential threat from the progressive point of view. Institutions such as free markets and free speech terrify progressives, because they are the result of arrangements in which nobody is in control.

This is just another attempt at exerting control over a segment of society which eschews that control and the indoctrination it entails.  And the thin gruel provided by the Sandy Hook tragedy was all the excuse necessary to try to exert control over this segment.  It also sends a message – “we believe homeschooling may be the bastion of extremists”.

More than anything exerting such control serves both a constituency and an ideology which identified education decades ago as the road to political success.

If you have not followed the issue closely, it is probably impossible for you to understand how intensely the Left and the government-school monopoly hate, loathe, and distrust home-schooling and home-school families. Purportedly serious scholars such as Robin West of Georgetown denounce them as trailer trash living “on tarps in fields or parking lots” and write wistfully of the day when home-schooling was properly understood: “Parents who did so were criminals, and their kids were truants.” The implicit rationale for the heavy regulation of home-schooling — that your children are yours only at the sufferance of the state — is creepy enough; in fact, it is unambiguously totalitarian and reduces children to the status of chattel. That this is now being framed in mental-health terms, under the theory that Lanza might not have committed his crimes if he had had the benefit of the tender attentions of his local school authorities, is yet another reminder of the Left’s long and grotesque history of using corrupt psychiatry as a tool of politics.

But take a moment to fully appreciate the absurdity of the Malloy gang’s assumption. Our public schools are dysfunctional, depressing, frequently dangerous places. Their architecture is generally penal, incorporating precisely the same sort of perimeter control as one sees in a low-security prison, with dogs, metal detectors, and the whole apparatus of control at hand. They are frequently run bynakedly corrupt, self-serving men and women who are not above rigging test scores to pad out their bonuses and who will fight to the end to keep pedophiles on the payroll if doing so serves their political interests, as in the case of California. They cannot even keep their teachers from raping their students, but they feel competent issuing orders that every family present its children for regular inspection in the name of the children’s “social and emotional learning needs.”

Contrary to all of the sanctimony surrounding them, the government schools are in fact the single most destructive institution in American public life, and they are the bedrock of the Left’s power, providing billions of dollars in campaign contributions and millions of man-hours for Democratic campaigns. But they do more than that: They are the real-life version of those nightmarish incubator pods from The Matrix, and home-schooling is a red pill. We entrust our children to the state for twelve or thirteen years, during which time they are subjected to a daily regimen that is, like the school buildings themselves, more than a little reminiscent of the penitentiary: “bells and cells,” as one of my teachers used to call it. They are instructed in obedience and compliance, as though the most important skill in life were the ability to sit quietly and follow instructions; those children who are more energetic than the authorities care for are given psychiatric diagnoses and very often put on psychiatric drugs: Since the 1980s, the rate of antidepressant prescription for children has increased five-fold, while the rate of antipsychotic prescription has increased six-fold. Locking children up for the largest part of the day, in a dreary room with 20 to 30 other children all born within nine or ten months of each other, is a model that make sense — that is something other than insane — only if you think of children as batches — if you believe, as our president and those who share his views believe, that the children are the government schools’ product rather than their customers.

And that “product” is trained and expected to follow its indoctrination – you know, things like this:

A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.

“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools.

“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises. 

The document also warns against asking students to “line up as boys or girls,” and suggests asking them to line up by whether they prefer “skateboards or bikes/milk or juice/dogs or cats/summer or winter/talking or listening.”

“Always ask yourself . . . ‘Will this configuration create a gendered space?’” the document says.

The instructions were part of a list called “12 steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” developed by Gender Spectrum, an organization that “provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages.”

Other items on the list include asking all students about their preferred pronouns and decorating the classroom with “all genders welcome” door hangers.

If teachers still find it “necessary” to mention that genders exist at all, the document states, they must list them as “boy, girl, both or neither.”

Furthermore, it instructs teachers to interfere and interrupt if they ever hear a student talking about gender in terms of “boys and girls” so the student can learn that this is wrong.

“Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender in a binary manner,” it states. “Ask things like . . . ‘What makes you say that? I think of it a little differently.’ Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.”

The teachers were also given a handout created by the Center for Gender Sanity, which explains to them that “Gender identity . . . can’t be observed or measured, only reported by the individual,” and an infographic called “The Genderbred Person,” which was produced by www.ItsPronouncedMetroSexual.com.

But the real problem and danger is among the homeschooled.  Meanwhile, in the public schools, the enculturation continues unabated.  The product, if metaphorically beaten over the head with nonsense like “purple penguins” will learn to eventually pretend reality doesn’t exist and that “gender” is actually a figment of the oppressor’s imagination.  What they can’t risk is individualism – those who will pull the curtain back and reintroduce reality into the world.  Homeschoolers are one segment that threaten that exposure because they reject the indoctrination.  Time to get them under control.  Time to make it more and more difficult for homeschoolers to continue to do what they do.  Because as far as the left is concerned, the future belongs to “purple penguins” – as determined by their betters, of course.

~McQ

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32 Responses to Of homeschooling and purple penguins

  • I suggest that the Left may have made much progress with their agenda, but in the style of all progressive movements, student like to revolt .. and when the progressives are “THE MAN” they are the target of the revolt.

    • But the progressives aren’t “THE MAN” or even “THE WOMAN” anymore. Transgendered and all that stupid stuff.

  • What happens when these students take Biology? How are they going to create a “gendered space” there?

    • Don’t worry. There will be no shortage of Lamark-esque pseudo-scientists who will produce all the “research” necessary to “prove” that the clear biological nature of gender isn’t even there.

      Doubt that? The left has already made it impossible to discuss genetic differences based on race. Even though there are obvious external cosmetic differences in skin, hair and such, and we know of genetic difference such as vulnerability to sickle cell anemia, the left insists that race has no genetic basis.

      I keep saying this, but people have not internalized it, even here. The post-modern left does not believe in objective reality, and they believe if they force a certain narrative (“race has no genetic basis”) on a sufficiently broad swathe of society, then that narrative is *true*. They are now in the process of doing the same thing with gender.

      • I may have related this tale before, and if so, forgive…

        In law school, I took a course taught by a PhD psychologist (who was really very grounded) called “The Psychology Of Communications”. He had the temerity to say that men and women communicate differently. This resulted in several of my class-mates who had graduated 10 minutes before from a liberal arts program going to the Dean of the law school with very, terribly serious complaints. The guy had uttered heresy. Women and men were EXACTLY the same. There simply was NO difference, begawd. The professor MUST be burned. At the stake! Now!

        It was quite a revelation. Science and a few millennia of human experience were just GONE.

  • My position has been for some years that having a kid in MANY monopoly government school systems is outright abuse.

    If you have a kid in a Connecticut school, you need your head examined. IF you LIVE in Connecticut, you NEED to get the hell out!

    IF you are a parent in the school system in Nebraska noted in the piece, you NEED to get them the hell out. If you have a kid in a “professional” education program in a college or university, you should be monitoring the bullshit they are exposed to.

    Home-schooled kids TEND to be WAY the hell above their peers in terms of what they know and can do. They are at NO DISABILITY whatsoever in terms of their socialization if their parents take advantage of the MANY means to involve them in sports, culture, and interaction with other kids.

    • Home-schooled kids TEND to be WAY the hell above their peers in terms of what they know and can do.

      Is that not also a key part of the problem? Showing that individual families can provide results superior to the state system?

      • Indeed. Plus, it makes those highly edumacated “professional” teachers and administrators look MORE stupid. And it concurrently threatens their rice bowls and dilutes their pa-wah.

  • Snark warning:
    I don’t understand how you binary genderites ever managed to get enough control of the system to force the Nebraska school system to correct things this way! You’d think it was, like, some cultural long standing idea that there are only 2 genders or something.
    Good thing it’s being fixed!

    Off Snark –
    Actually it would be better if voting people in Nebraska’s school systems found out which whackjobwangdoodle asshats are promoting this, and then gave them a speedy opportunity to unbind themselves from the wage-slavery of their current jobs and let them find work they love, say, in hot Pizza delivery.

    In New York or Boston or San Francisco it might be a losing fight, but this one seems like a no-brainer win for a place like Nebraska. Or is there something about cornhuskers I don’t know?
    If they can take the heartland, we’re screwed. If we keep retreating there won’t be any place to retreat to after a while.

    • It’s because school board elections get 15% turnout, and that is heavily on the teacher union side.

  • I read these things and think I have ringside seat, the kind that a historian like Edward Gibbon would sell his left testicle to have.

  • They want so much to be God.

    To be able to say, “Let there be XYZ; and Lo! did XYZ appear, and it was good.”

    That’s the extent of creativity these idiots have. They do NOT have the capacity to design and test and revise and otherwise do-what-is-necessary in the real world to MAKE a “thing” and bring it to market. (That’s plebeian and boring, anyway. They’re busy thinking DEEP THOUGHTS about how they can force other people to be “better”, as they alone choose to define the word.)

    So they stick to their wishful thinking, and have decided that if they all band together and simultaneously WISH REAL HARD, they’ll . . . wind up on Barsoom. Or create Utopia. Or something else that will be really, really swell. (As somebody here has noted, because “I have decreed it”.)

    Same thing O’Barky does in his speeches. “Blah-blah-de-blah-blah. Ho-kay! We fixed that and it’s all better now, right??” So, Dear Reader told Putin he was being all silly-20th-century — that solved the Ukraine problem, right? He told us Ebola was unlikely but if it arrived here we’ve got it handled, easy-peasy. No worries, THERE, right? And so forth, ad infinitem…

    The basic idea is if the Right People get together and beat Reality about its head and shoulders with huge cudgels of words (and possibly some hashtags), Reality will turn and run away. Right???

  • Let me get this straight… It is better for children to be addressed as something they know they patently are not, both purple and a penguin, than to address them as something they obviously are, a boy or a girl? How can any mentally competent adult believe that children will not see this as some sort of stupid game and that the people running the asylum are probably a bit thick? I am thinking that “purple penguin” is just a politically acceptable step on the road to calling them all comrade or citizen or something else equally dreary.

    • The generation of children that watched Tinky Wink are now educating the next generation.

      You tell me it’s just a coincidence that ol Tinky was purple and carried a purse.

      Why purple penguins? Why not, magenta caterpillars?

      • Why an imaginary object at all (apologies to Erb and his stable of clearly very real magenta caterpillars)? If you don’t want to use “boys and girls” why not just say “children”. Since they have no need to divide the class according to boys and girls then why not use the commonly used noun for the group… i.e. children? What is with introducing fricking penguins??? Are penguins now asexual gender neutralized birds… ooops, isn’t bird slang for chick, err, girl?

        However I do love this:

        If teachers still find it “necessary” to mention that genders exist at all,

        So, which is it, does gender exist or not? If it does, why deny it to children who are far from as stupid as these people? And if it doesn’t exist, what can the necessity possibly be to mention its existence? I suspect the answer to that is that they don’t want to face lawsuits by having little Johnny and Jane using the same changing rooms for gym class and swimming, specially when Johnny and Jane are 16 years old and well aware of the fun of gender diversity. This sounds like another chapter of the previous post on liberal insanity of not wanting conservative speakers at an inclusive event on diversity specifically wanting conservative speakers.

        • The reason for penguins – they look pretty asexual don’t they.

          And can we assume from now on that our little formerly male Genderbread penguins will no longer be labeled as ‘Penguin sex offenders’ when they start playing penguin doctor with the formerly female Genderbread penguins? (since the crime always seems to be committed only by formerly male Genderbread penguins).

          I mean, if there ARE no genders, how can there be a problem when they go exploring the non-reality of differing body parts on other purple penguins?

          • The reason for penguins – they look pretty asexual don’t they.

            Demonstrably NOT to other penguins. With apparent relish…

          • MORE of your oppressive gender based reality thinking!
            Lalalalalala we’re not listening!
            Penguins are pure, and sexless!
            And they appear by the process of spontaneous generation from arctic ice floes!
            The miracle of penguin instantiation shall not be dragged through the muck of your gender biased last century thinking!

          • That would be “antarctic”.

            I repudiate myself for a reality-insisting cisheteronomative gender-based pig…

            Oink…!!!

          • arctic, antarctic, what difference does it make! This is science we’re talking about here!
            It’s asexual penguins! They’re created by large quantities of ice floating in the oceans in very cold climates!
            and the only reason there are not, ARCTIC penguins, is because of global warming you genderbiased sex obsessed mean person!
            Global climate change killed them all!
            Anyway if there are no penguins in the arctic, how do polar bears, another endangered species, eat them? eh? eh?
            Where would artists come up with the idea of having penguins chased by polar bears, or greeting cards of polar bears being woken by cymbal clashing penguins? Hah! Hah!
            Hah!
            Those post cards MUST have some basis in reality!
            Science truthiness and research will always triumph!

          • Doooood! Polar bears don’t EAT penguins. They give them Cokes. I’ve seen the pictures. Everybody is cool in the North Pole. We could learn from the Polar bears.

        • “So, which is it, does gender exist or not?”

          Which reminds me, all foreign language instruction must be changed also. Masculine, feminine, and neuter just aren’t enough although it’s better than English. And ‘neuter’ definitely has to go. You thought conjugating irregular verbs was tough before, just wait until you have an five (number is subject to change without notice) genders to conjugate.

          Will this affect cursing? If I wish to call someone an SOB what ever will I do? Which will be more offensive, attempting to insult someone or committing grammatical sexism? I guess I will just have to go with s***head.

          • And I love direct translations –

            “My wife, he is a good cook!”

            Huh, that’s not nearly as funny as when I was a kid back in the 60’s.

  • http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/roots-state-education-part-1-spartan-model

    That’s part 1, follow the rest of the links (five parts) to get a really good history (about 18 pages, 1 1/2 spaced) of STATE schools.

    Here’s a goodie:

    The argument that children belong to the state is found even among American champions of state education. In 1786, Benjamin Rush, an early advocate of American independence who became known as the “father” of American psychiatry, wrote: “Let our pupil be taught that he does not belong to himself, but that he is public property.” “A system of national education,” argued Noah Webster (of dictionary fame) in 1790, will “implant in the minds of American youth…an inviolable attachment to their own country.”