אסרו חג העצרת תשע"ד
I frightening trend has been manifesting itself on the world scene. However, it is far from being a new trend. World Net Daily [WND] reports on it. Here are some of the highlights:
[Dutch] Education chief: Parents should not be allowed to teach
Bob Unruh, September 25, 2013
1. Among major democratic nations, homeschooling already is banned in Germany, under a Hitler-era law, and in Sweden, where authorities have taken offspring out of their family’s arms to crack down on the educational method.
2. Scotland is taking a different approach, demanding that all children be assigned a “nanny” at birth to make sure they get educated. [This means that] the government is proposing a plan that “would assign a government social worker to ‘promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing’ of every child from birth.” That “named person” would have great authority to order what the child – and parents – must do throughout life, regarding schooling, health, social activities and the like.
3. Now officials in the Netherlands are looking to join the crackdown on parents.
4. A report from the Examiner has listed nations where homeschooling also is illegal, including mostly socialist-leaning or former communist territories. They include Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Brazil, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, El Salvador, Georgia, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Trinidad and Tobago and Turkey.
5. The Obama administration has argued in court that parents essentially have no right to determine how and what their children are taught, leaving the authority with the government.
6. “I want the American homeschool community and other friends of liberty to take note – this mindset isn’t limited to Germany. Many U.S. policymakers and academics agree. … They are even working to see them realized here. So far, thankfully, homeschooling isn’t a legitimate reason (anymore) for the government to kidnap your children if they don’t go to state approved schools,”
- Michael Farris, Chairman, Home School Legal Defense Association [HSLDA]
7. [There are] “already too many voices in the United States that want to advance the idea that the state must control education for the safety of the state or other reasons.”
- Michael Donnelly, director of international relations, HSLDA
8. “And this is the same rationale of the German government in perpetrating deplorable acts like this,” he said. “Why should we think it couldn’t or won’t happen here?”
- Michael Farris
9. “Can’t a government that can order you to get health care tell you that you don’t qualify for certain life-saving treatments, tell parents they can’t allow their children to get certain kinds of counseling or that they must have a particular kind of medical treatments or that certain religious speech is intolerant and may not be permitted or must be punished, or that only national curricular standards are acceptable for all children, etc. – can’t a government like that order you to send your children to school? And then punish you if you don’t?”
- Michael Donnelly
Esser Agaroth (2¢):
I believe that this piece really speaks for itself. I will add only a few personal observations and professional experiences.
As a school psychologist in the California public schools, I saw first hand how children were expected to fit into a box. I'll never forget when I when I asked to observe a child in his Kindergarten classroom, because while standing with the other children, singing the ABC song, he was double tapping his feet. The teacher found this quite disturbing, and was almost ready to cry "ADD." I, on the other hand, was almost ready to cry, "So what if he's tapping his feet. Get over it!" I knew that this teacher would simply not hear it. Even after only a couple of hours in the classroom, I was pretty sure that this kid was a kinesthetic learner, and not the disruptive student and burgeoning sociopath this Kindergarten teacher was making him out to be.
|"Sheeple" (Sheep + People)|
To get a better picture of children's learning styles, and how they fit in, or rather, how they are not allowed to fit into the "traditional" American classroom, I recommend reading the very short story Animal School, attributed to George H. Reavis, Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio (1940's).
This brings me to Israel. In a nutshell, those of us in Israel need to be aware, and to keep watch over government crackdowns on homeschooling, independent, alternative, and semi-private educational institutions. As a teacher in Israel's public religious and secular schools, I saw that the indoctrination process simply has different appearance than that in the U. S. The goals are the similar, though:
1) Increase and maintain citizens' trust in the State.Sitting still and absorbing information is not the Israeli focus, when it comes to indoctrination into a loyalist society. In the religious schools, students ask questions, and are encouraged to do so. But, the answers are all in line with government policy, or else that teacher does not last very long. In high schools, the government is sometimes presented as correct. This is when any mass opposition is expected. When the government is presented as being flawed, this is immediately followed with the need to respond with patience and love, and to remember that The Almighty's hand was in the forming of the State. The fact that the State's constant battle against the Torah is staring these teachers and students right in the face simply falls by the waste side, and parents allow it to remain so.
2) Increase and maintain citizens' loyalty to the State, through reward, as well punishment.
3) Discourage independent thinking, and loyalty to anything else besides the State and its laws, including The Almighty, and His Torah.
The State is to be held in such high regard, even if it appears to be leading Am Yisra'el down a path toward communal suicide. Civil disobedience is out of the question, and an soldier can never refuse to carry out an order which violates the Torah, because the students and future soldiers are that there is just no such thing. They are taught that it is all just "part of the path toward ge'ulah (final redemption)." (sigh)
In the secular schools, attempts at removing all Holiness from the Tana"kh (Bible) is the order of the day.
Now you know why Haredim are so protective of their school systems. Whether they are not simply doing the same thing with their communities, to "keep them in line," and whether they should be taking any money from the State of Israel in order to fund them are discussions for future posts.
Of course, there are parents, those who can afford it, who send their children to private schools, semi-private schools, even Haredi schools, not to mention those who go to battle with the Ministry of Education for the "right" to home school their children. The harassment some of these parents receive is truly unbelievable.
Threats from the Ministry, threats from the front line soldiers, the State's social workers are regular occurrences, all in the name of making certain that Israeli children receive a "proper" education, emphasis on the word "proper." What "proper" means, is determined by the government, not the parents, and certainly not by rabbis, who have been demonized for their "disloyalty" to the State.