IMPORTANT: Successful revolutions require organization, communication, careful strategy planning, and goal directed behavior. This website is not meant to suggest to any student that individual or independent disobedience, truancy, negligence or any form of disrespect or violence is appropriate. We can only effect change by coordinating in a responsible way and earning respect as sensible and intelligent individuals.

 

ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER: This website is not about teacher bashing or blaming teacher unions or for that matter the denigration or criticism of any individuals or groups for the obvious problems in schools. We have all had our share of good teachers and even some great teachers whom we have loved.

 

           While there are reasons why the public schools have become havens for those few teachers who are not well qualified, the vast majority are highly competent professionals, dedicated, caring, and willing to learn all they can about their field or their special subject matter. The chronic problems are structural and built into the framework that establishes our institutions as top-down bureaucracies. Teachers are typically victims of a systematic assault on autonomy and on organic processes and normal relationships because of external factors caused by the legal framework that dictates arbitrary conditions.

 

 

DEAR STUDENT,

HOW OFTEN DO YOU FEEL AS IF THE THINGS YOU ARE BEING ASKED TO STUDY AND LEARN IN SCHOOL HAVE ANY MEANINGFUL CONNECTION TO ANYTHING ELSE OR TO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE? ARE COURSE MATERIALS AND CONTENT RELEVANT TO YOUR ACTUAL GOALS, AMBITIONS, OR WISHES FOR YOUR FUTURE OR DO YOU TYPICALLY FIND ANY CONTINUITY BETWEEN THEM?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF hypocrisy IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF game-playing IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF unfairness IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF confusion IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF frustration IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF favoritism IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF repetition IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF repetition IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU WONDER WHY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF repetition IN SCHOOL?

 

DO YOU EVER FEEL LIKE A PRISONER, INSTEAD OF A FREE YOUNG AMERICAN CITIZEN IN SCHOOL?

 

 

 

WHAT HAS YOUR SCHOOL EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE?

 

Is something wrong with kids who hate school? Are you secretly one of those kids? Can you imagine a time when all schools will be places that truly live up to the glorious hype and that kids will attend without being browbeaten or forced to go for twelve unbearable years? Can you imagine schools where students are actually regarded as full US citizens with rights, even though it is recognized that they are obliged to obey rules and respect the rights of others?

 

WHY DO SO MANY STUDENTS FAIL & FAIL TO FIT IN AT SCHOOL?

Have you often felt neglected, ignored or invisible in school? Have you ever been humiliated by a teacher or treated as if your thoughts or feelings didn’t count? How often have you felt confused, bullied, or stupid in school? Does it ever seem as if you are punished unfairly or punished doubly because you are in trouble with your parents when your teacher contacts them or puts something on your report card or when your grades aren’t as good as expected?

 

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE IN A PRESSURE COOKER?

Do teachers warn you all the time that your school record will follow you throughout your life (it’s called the “cumulative file”) or make you feel guilty or dumb because you don’t do homework; because you’ve done something they disapprove of, such as talking in class, or if they think you aren’t “working as hard as you should”, or “performing up to your potential”.

 

 

 

IF YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON, WHY ARE YOU TREATED BADLY?

Do you think you are a bad person or that you need to be constantly controlled or punished or hounded so that you will do what adults (including people you’ve never met) want you to do, even when it makes no sense to you and feels like a gigantic waste of precious time? Why do you not have time to just stop and think, or to contemplate what you have been studying, how you feel, or what it all means for you and others? Students are indeed held under the authority of the state for many hours each week without any say in the matter under the false presumption that they won’t study or learn if not treated like prisoners. Even their parents cannot choose to keep them out of school, unless they are approved for home schooling.

            It’s a free country- unless you are a kid.

 

CITIZENSHIP IS A BIRTHRIGHT – YOU’RE A CITIZEN WITH RIGHTS

            If one does an Internet search of cases that have been decided in the US Supreme Court or in various lower courts in which the rights of students are central, one can find a substantial number of cases and a very large volume of text debating how much latitude students have in expressing themselves and in trying to exercise various rights and privileges as citizens of the US.

 It has long been recognized that children are citizens entitled to certain rights by virtue of their birth in the US or their status as the offspring of US citizens. However, the courts have consistently regarded children as a special class of citizens whose rights are not fully equal to adults and who can be denied liberty itself or various forms of expression because of their dependence on adults, their lack of experience, maturity, and capability in comparison to adults in conducting their lives, and their needs with respect to education, training, socialization, supervision, and physical or psychological safety and development.

            The basis that is customarily used to sharply limit the degree of freedom and autonomy that students have in schools is that the school is providing educational opportunities for all students that is good for them or a personal benefit to them and that no individual student should be allowed to disrupt the group or to interfere with the ability of the teachers or others to instruct or educate and supervise all the other students. Anything that appears to be distracting or that might somehow be wasting valuable time is a reason to deprive a student of rights or to subject that student to punishment, discrimination, suspension, or expulsion.

 

YOU ARE ENTITLED TO DIGNITY, RESPECT, & CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS

Don’t let them steal your youth or deprive you of authentic opportunities to learn using the weak excuse that most kids have to be abused, confined, restricted and controlled constantly by arbitrary rules in order for them to learn discipline and respect. Respect is ALWAYS a two-way street and self-respect has to grow simultaneously with respect for others.

 

ATTENTION GRADUATES:

HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU BECOME SO INTERESTED IN WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN YOUR CLASSES THAT YOU DIDN’T WANT ANY INTERRUPTIONS? Rarely? Never?

 

Were you typically bored stiff in classes? Did you believe you were learning anything useful or memorable when materials and “subjects” are made super bor-r-r-ring?

 

Do you believe that report card grades & tests accurately measured progress, learning ability, & IQ? Or, were grades, testing & evaluations usually fair? NO?

 

WAS SCHOOL TRULY GOOD FOR YOU? DO YOU KNOW THAT A FAMOUS TEACHER & AUTHOR (JOHN HOLT) & OTHERS HAVE SAID THAT “SCHOOL IS BAD FOR KIDS”? (Google that phrase!) Holt knew a lot about school.

 

Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been programmed or indoctrinated to obey and comply without thinking for yourself or questioning authority? Pay attention!

 

Do you think that kids from rich families usually receive better treatment in school than those from ordinary or middle-class families? Is it possible to truly comprehend democracy if you spend twelve long years living under an arbitrary authoritarian system where choices are limited to innocuous or meaningless things and democracy is mere theory?

 

Can a student learn much of value from a teacher if students and teachers don’t feel love for each other, or if they don’t have a relationship based on mutual respect, trust, affection and friendly communication? Do schools as we know them foster affectionate, close and positive, relationships between teacher and student? The answer is too obvious. Why don’t they?

 

If you would like to be part of the efforts to create meaningful change so that when you have children they will have a better experience in whatever schools they attend and so that education will be much better understood and interrupted much less by laughable tasks, assignments, and tests, stay tuned here and learn more about what we are trying to accomplish. The educational revolution can happen only if young people are intimately involved and aware. Social media can make all the difference. But, it must be understood that in order to avoid the impenetrable walls and roadblocks that people have encountered for generation when trying to improve schools and achieve authentic educational goals, children must know that they are in school because their parents have made a clear, conscious, and voluntary choice to enroll them and keep them in attendance and that they can speak up and be heard at both home and school if things don't make sense or if they feel neglected or abused.

 

Note: This website will be evolving and expanding for an indeterminate period, depending on time, resources, and the amount of assistance available. Currently, it is the product primarily of just one principal author and one or two technical assistants. Some pages will clearly not be completed or have a conclusion or satisfactory summary until time allows. It has been decided however, that the message as it exists so far is important enough and well-enough organized to date to merit publication in order to inform and involve others who may find it inspiring and motivational.