With all the coverage of grandiose tragedies as of late caused by the hurricanes, less attention has been paid this year to the regular back to school festivities. However, it is at such times of mass distraction that the abridgements of liberty pose the greatest threat and this is especially true of the mundane bureaucracies that govern much of every day life but are not very exciting in and of themselves such as the public schools.
One annual ritual that connects one generation with the next is the subdued sense of joy that comes each year when parents and children go to acquire the supplies needed for the pending academic term. A less enjoyable accretion to this rite of passage is the additional practice of various schools staking a claim to this educational paraphernalia in the name of the community.
As there are as many ways to commemorate special occasions as there are families, despite the desire of radical educators to turn out students of a uniform communitarian mindset, each school goes about the homogenization of property ironically in its own individual manner.
Some such as Jennie Reed Elementary School in Tacoma, Washington are rather open about their intentions to pilfer school supplies from their students. In doing research for this annual column, I came across the school’s 2004/2005 list on the Internet with the following proviso tacked on in the bottom left corner of the page: “Also, all supplies are considered communal supplies and considered a donation to your child’s classroom.”
Thing is, such a bellicose proclamation can only be implemented if students are willing to abide by it. Thus, skilled parents could possibly get around the decree by instilling in the minds of their children that while they must be respectful towards their teachers that respect only extends so far and that their ultimate loyalty must always be towards the parents who insist that under no circumstances should little Billy or Sally turn their crayons over to school personnel.
However, some blackboard Bolsheviks have themselves found a way around the need for students to assent to having their supplies confiscated in the name of the classroom. After all, why bother asking when you can just take what you want for the alleged good of the group?
According to one blog I came across, one mother writes that her son came home the first day of second grade and told her that the teacher had rummaged through the students’ knapsacks during recess and pillaged the contents. Educrats can make all the arguments they want about the need to ransack student satchels in pursuit of drugs, weapons, or whatever other excuse they wish to invoke in the name of homeland security in order to squelch opposition to such abridgements of civil liberties, but school authorities have no right whatsoever to take items from the students' possession that are in no way illegal and are necessary to fulfill normal school activities.
In the eyes of the law, which the slayers of Terri Schiavo insist must be upheld at all costs to the letter regardless of what we think about it, isn’t the taking of property without permission or awareness of the owner theft? And if students were caught taking things out of the teacher’s purse or desk, wouldn’t they be banished from the schoolhouse, remanded to the local constabulary, or both?
Why shouldn’t the same befall these pedagogues schooled in the art of five finger discount? And if those in authority are not going to be kept in line when it comes to the little things like school supplies, where will the voracious appetite of the state end? In light of the Kelo ruling, these Bolsheviks already think it’s within their purview to seize your home.
The American people had better wake up since there is little else left to take. Too bad some student didn’t have a mouse trap waiting to smack the fingers of those unable to keep their fingers from doing the walking. That would have been an interesting story on the evening news.
Reflecting upon the innate response children exhibit to having their possessions wrenched from their tiny hands, one teacher snottily remarked in the Winchester Star that “...little children often get upset when they learn that the crayons and washable markers they so carefully picked out will be shared by the whole class.” How would this old marm like to show up to work and learn from here on out all of the automobiles owned by the teachers would be placed in a common motor pool since not everyone can afford the same quality of transportation.
“Ridiculous!”, the preconditioned liberal will snap. “Cars and pencil boxes are totally different.” And though the only thing the two objects have in common in the mind of the adult will be their size if the likes of Al Gore has his way, is not the pencil box in the mind of the child as important in teaching the lessons and pride that derive from that nearly sacred four letter word “mine”?
It takes a lot of brainwashing at the hands of educators to keep a smile on your face while your stuff is being snatched from you so everybody but you gets to use it. That is why the communalists find it imperative to begin their conspiracy of mass redistribution so early in the life of the proper member of the community.
Copyright 2005 by Frederick Meekins
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