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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Monday, September 17, 2007

School 1977 vs School 2007

A friend sent me this recently - it's been making the e-mail rounds:

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1977 - Vice principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his own shotgun to show Jack.
2007 - School goes into lockdown, the RCMP are called, Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors are called in to assist traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1977 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 - Police are called, SWAT team arrives and arrests Johnny and Mark. They are charged with assault and both are expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students.
1977 - Jeffrey is sent to the principal's office and given a good paddling. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra provincial funding because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car and his Dad gives him a spanking with his belt.
1977 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some Aspirin to school.
1977 - Mark shares Aspirin with the school principal as they both have a smoke out on the smoking dock.
2007 - Police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high-school English.
1977 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by local human rights group. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that making English a requirement for graduation is racist. Canadian Civil Liberties Association files class action lawsuit against provincial school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover Canada Day firecrackers, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up an anthill.
1977 - Ants die.
2007 - Canadian Firearms Centre and the RCMP are called and Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. CSIS investigates parents, siblings are removed from the home, computers are confiscated, and Johnny's dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls during recess and scrapes his knee. His teacher, Mary, finds him crying, and gives him a hug to comfort him.
1977 - Johnny soon feels better and goes back to playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in Kingston. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy.

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