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article imageOp-Ed: Banning fun — Tyranny on the rise in schools

By Cameron Christner     Dec 5, 2013 in Politics
A Long Island middle school has taken away virtually all playground equipment, banning "anything that might hurt someone."
So, apparently in some elementary school in some God-forsaken state, the administration has decided that it would be a good idea to ban "anything that might hurt someone." *sigh* Well, I guess that means banning staplers, walls, fists, shoes, food, towels, pencils, sports, running, walking, dancing, tag, cartwheels, fun, etc.
So, while the school has not taken it that far, only banning most playground equipment, how far are they willing to go to keep these kids safe? Are they willing to remove fun in the name of safety? The exact same pattern can be seen in the United States with terrorism. Wait, hold on…how did he get to terrorism? In the words of Kevin Hart, let me explain:
Throughout history, there is an eternal cycle. It goes freedom, then security, when people get scared from some outside threat and start giving up liberties to remain “safe,” then tyranny, when leaders abuse the newfound power entrusted to them. Apparently, we are in the same stage in schools that we are in government: that transitional stage between freedom and security.
The reason: people are scared to death of death. They will try to cheat it however they can, even if that means giving up their liberties, in this case, fun. In America, it takes the form of terrorism. People are so scared of this exaggerated threat that they are willing to give up freedom for security.
It's really interesting how we can see this cycle within our daily lives, that is, if you pay attention. So, how much freedom are we willing to give up for security? Is it even possible to totally prevent injuries? That is the real hole in this school’s logic. I think we can all agree that injuries will continue no matter how many things they ban, effectively voiding the effectiveness of the bans. So why ban it?
But in reality, you can't really blame the administration when you realize the pressure they're under. After all, they're in charge of hundreds or even thousands of kids, and it is their legal duty to make sure they remain safe…which is impossible. So, the blame must also fall on a society that is metaphorically high on suing.
As the rule goes, when you give someone power, eventually they will abuse it. The administrations of these schools are tempting fate, trying to build students into their image, however warped that image may be.
The evidence can be seen in schools all across the country. Hats are gone. The length of girl’s skirts is regulated. More and more, we see principals and teachers telling students what they can and cannot do and wear. Why? Are we really that incapable of deciding for ourselves what is appropriate and what's not? Well, for some people, yes, they are that stupid. But for most, it is an unneeded and unwanted intrusion on our individuality and self-expression.
Don't get me wrong, there is a fine line between fashion and distraction, and there should be certain rules that people need to follow in order to sustain a prolific learning environment. However, it seems like it's mainly schools that are crossing the line, not students. I mean, is it really in the student’s best interests to ban dreadlocks? How about best friends? It sounds like a joke, but a school has actually banned best friends. In another elementary school, playing with imaginary finger-guns can get you arrested. There are even some radical liberals that have signed a petition for mandatory helmets for everyone in the U.S. to protect them while walking.
This is true tyranny. Children are being raised in a system where creativity has taken a backseat to rigid conformism. More and more there is an emphasis on grades and fitting the mold instead of individual talents. So don't call it anything else or pretend it's meant as protection. I own myself, and I will decide what I will and will not wear. I will decide who I associate myself with. Nobody decides that for me, not parents, not a principal, not even the president himself. I for one, refuse to grow up in a society that is governed by rules and regulations with the imagined purpose to protect us. It's demeaning and it's irresponsible. Freedom in schools should be held in just as high esteem as freedom in the real world, but it seems that both have taken a turn for the worse. So the question now becomes: What are you going to do about it?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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