Originally created 02/11/00

Fears for our children's future



I question the frame of mind of parents. Have we taken the time to look at the school system or are we reacting to what the system is producing? Are we so caught up in the media campaign of crime that we overlook how the children are being programmed?

My son would like to drive to school, which is a simple thing in itself. As I was reading over the application for a parking permit, I came to the conclusion that we -- parents and students -- are giving up a lot of personal freedom. In the name of security, the system with our permission is programming the children to accept authority without question. This absence of questioning comes with a price. If we do not comply, under the threat of not being able to park on school grounds, our children are prevented from driving.

That in itself is a little thing. However, what are we saying to our children? You're not responsible for yourself or property. We cannot trust you and that is why rules limiting your freedom are needed. However, when you reach the magical age of 21, you will magically become responsible.

Our schools look like prisons. Uniformed personnel process students on a daily basis and every move is watched on a monitor. The student's day is one of rules, along with the threat of punishment for infraction of these rules. The requirement of school uniforms and identification badges are new, but this adds to the overall look of our schools.

The news media have built headlines around some very disgusting events. This has heightened our awareness of problems in our society and forced changes in these systems. Have we as parents taken the time to look at these changes and pictured the effect on our children? The media's chief interest in printing stories of crime is profit, because crime sells. Who buys? We do, and without thinking. Are we ourselves programmed?

As for my son's application, I will fill it out and become just like everyone else, programmed. But I just cannot help wonder what kind of future we are giving our children.

A. Brown, Augusta