lack of democracy in schools: strip searches

Today's NY Times has an article about a 13-year old girl who was stripped searched to see if she had prescription-strength ibuprofen pills on her. This is yet another example of the invasion of human rights we have grown to accept within institutions that are ostensibly social services. And the case shows the growing inability of citizens to view the limitations of the rights of children as a dangerous thing. No wonder: most citizens themselves have been raised within this system and see it as normal.


Schools in the 20th century rapidly grew more centralized and sought efficiencies of scale (see Decentralization, this blog). And, consequently, for over a hundred years, children have spent increasing amounts of time in authoritarian and undemocratic structures. The more small-scale social structures of the family and local communities have been battered and do not now support children or families as they live with this institution.

Generalizing from this fact, some thinkers feels it is no wonder we have trouble, as a country, staying out of wars since the advent of industrial factory schooling. We are patterned and overexposed to large groups that function without the freedoms that smaller groups will usually display. The very success of large industrial schooling is what needs changed and this is why "school reform" is so very hard to achieve.

Real school change must first identify what is wrong with the schools and what is wrong is an overall system design that was always an error but was mitigated in its effects.  Now the system itself needs change and homeschooling provides the grassroots knowledge for this change.  Homeschooling is a direct, citizen response to a failing system. 



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