Tuesday, April 27, 1999
I hear on both NPR and the Rush Limbaugh Show people saying that we need to put our kids in uniforms so they won't have cliques and won't make fun of each other. To quote Colonel Potter "Horse hockey!". First of all even in schools with uniforms there are cliques. There are the jocks and the cheerleaders and the nerds and the dweebs and the ones that smoke out behind the gym. Having uniforms will not change this.
The rich kids will still live in fancy houses and come to school in fancy cars and wear more expensive something than the poor kids. Uniforms will not change the parents that don't pay attention to their kids, or abuse their kids, or buy off their kids. All uniforms will do is give the parents an out. They will use uniforms as an excuse that they don't need to be better parents, the uniforms are suppose to take care of it all.
If the kids have problems, for whatever reason, uniforms are just a bandaid. They don't solve the problem. Teaching responsibility to both children and parents and teachers and administrators is the only thing that will help with the problem. Nothing will ever totally solve the problem, but stressing responsibility and character will help.
Banning guns won't solve it either. Do you really think that if a kid wants a gun they can't get it? They can get one in New York City, which has very strict laws. Stricter laws take the responsibility away from the individual. They let the government be responsible for what they do and what they think, and if it doesn't work they blame the government because they feel that they, as individuals, should not be held responsible for their actions.
Religion is also a bandaid. A lot of killers grew up in religious homes. A lot of fine decent law abiding people grew up in agnostic or atheist homes. Prayers in school won't stop the killing. It won't stop the teasing. Some of the most hateful, snotty kids I knew growing up were religious. They could give a killer (sorry for the pun) testimony in church that had the adults just sniffing into their hankies and saying "Praise the Lord", but around kids they felt superior to they were hateful.
You can't legislate morality but you can legislate consequences. You can't make people love each other, but you can make clear the consequences of hitting each other. I soon realized with my children that I could not make them live in peace and love at all times, but I could make it clear that if they didn't behave they would go to their room. I could also make it clear that I loved them and I would always love them and I thought they were fine people, whatever other people said to or about them, but if they fought each other, they would face the consequences.
You know, they turned out pretty good despite the absolutely apalling clothes they wore at times. I allowed them to read whatever they wanted, but let them know my opinion of books that I thought were awful books. You do need to protect your children from things that are dangerous, but even there your best defence is to have allowed them enough freedom to learn to make choices. If they have no experience in making choices, they won't be very good at it.
Walked - 3 miles