America’s Dysfunctional Education System Has Jumped the Shark
June 3, 2013 by Dan Mitchell
I give up.
I’ve been having some fun over the past couple of years by mocking education bureaucrats for absurd examples of anti-gun political correctness.
I have made fun of teachers and other bureaucrats when they wet their pants about tiny Lego guns. I laugh at them when they go after little kids for half-eaten pop tarts that ostensibly have gun shapes. And I abuse them for getting their panties in a wad about pencils, fingers, and…um…well, air.
But in recent months, the exercise has become a chore because I’ve slowly come to realize that bureaucratic stupidity is becoming the rule rather than the exception.
And now I think it’s time to throw in the towel and give up. Why? Because there’s really no hope for government schools when you come across a news report about some moronic paper pushers in Nebraska who wanted a deaf boy to change his sign-language name because it requires his hand to vaguely resemble a gun.
A clear and present danger?!?
Hunter Spanjer says his name with a certain special hand gesture, but at just three and a half years old, he may have to change it. “He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy,” explained Hunter’s father, Brian Spanjer. Grand Island’s “Weapons in Schools” Board Policy 8470 forbids “any instrument…that looks like a weapon,” But a three year-old’s hands? “Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way,” said Hunter’s grandmother Janet Logue. …”We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child,” said Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools spokesperson. That’s just about all GIPS officials will say for now.
The good news is that it appears the bureaucrats have backed off following a public outcry.
But it’s nonetheless outrageous that people like Jack Sheard get our tax dollars and then even contemplate making life harder for a deaf kid.
I realize it’s a gross exaggeration to say that all public school teachers are bad and that all government schools are a failure, but we’re getting closer and closer to the point where the presumption should be that good parents send their kids to private schools whenever that’s a feasible option.
And from a policy perspective, we need to bust up the government school monopoly and implement school choice. And not because suburban kids are being victimized by political correctness. That’s a nuisance, not a crisis. It’s far more important to have competition in education to rescue the kids trapped in failed inner city schools.
So next time we see a news report about bureaucrats running amok and ruining the education system, our energies should be focused on promoting school choice, not attacking political correctness.