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Tuesday August 9th 2022

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My 18 Year Prison Term By John Danz, Jr.

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John Danz, Jr. is free at last, and ready to share his experiences with Parents at the Helm. Please join me in welcoming John aboard as our newest guest commentator from Michigan. After reading an op-ed piece by John on the Internet, my first thought was, “Now, there’s a young man who can write.”   Believing that it’s always good to get a variety of perspectives on things, I thought adding a 19 year-old to our guest list was just the ticket. Recently released from public school, John isn’t shy about explaining his feelings associated with his time spent there.

By John Danz, Jr.

I’ve recently been released from prison.

No, not the prison you may have in mind – you call this one public school.

I witnessed firsthand the dictatorship and suppression of freedom of thought.

I witnessed firsthand the pros and cons of public school. One of the most obvious pros was social interaction – however limited any particular school made it. I made friends and built relationships  just to see them crumble every time my family felt the need to move. I understand that I’m a particular case, however, many of the points I make following the only pro I could conjure solidify my stance against public school.

The primary con in my mind was bullying. Gutless sociopaths who feed off  of the weaker to satisfy their hunger that was created by lack of self-confidence, respect, guidance, and self-image.

I witnessed firsthand the dictatorship and suppression of freedom of thought. Teachers who pass off their personal opinion as fact, and fill in the void that a busy or careless parent leaves. A void filled with self-righteous lectures on abstaining from drugs, alcohol, profanity, and sex. A void that the typical parent refuses to fill, or the void that the typical parent expects the society they shelter their child from will somehow fill.

I witnessed firsthand the pressures of peers. The superficiality which leads to a child completely revamping his or her self-image to satisfy the eyes of the shallow and superficial, the same ones who debase them based on their hair, skin, attire, or overall appearance.

I witnessed that same peer pressure mold students into miscreants. Gang members treating public school as a recruiting office for their dastardly organizations.

I heard the stories of last night’s sexual encounters, drug deals, and sneak-outs. The boastful stories of how guys scored with the school slut. The pregnancies which ultimately led to one less student to brainwash.

I witnessed the unjust punishments from intolerant administrators who value the opinion of an employee over the opinion of one who is forced to be there.

I overheard the debasement of students and the cries of “I hate this job” from teachers who spent four years in college to end up in the situation that has them on their knees.

I got social interaction. I made friends and girlfriends. I got a place where, for six hours of the day, my creativity was stripped, but included one hour to remind me of what life is like on the other side of the unforgiving walls. I got into fights, I broke up fights, I got picked on, and started more fights. I undoubtedly received an ulcer from stressors brought on by the incessant annoyances and unsavory nuances that make up the atmosphere of public school.

You may read this and say, “If not for school, you wouldn’t know any of these words or be able to construct a well-written argument.” Nonsense. Most of my learning has come at my own volition. More or less, I homeschooled myself, retained that information and flushed the superfluous crap the school tested me on. I am not the smartest or the brightest, but I can safely say that if I were homeschooled, I wouldn’t have been so shocked every time my family picked up and moved to a new school. I wouldn’t have had that added pressure.

And, I’d have my own drama to worry about in lieu of everyone else’s.

Now that I’ve been awarded my certificate of completion that the administrators call a “diploma,” I plan on beginning my collegiate career. College is much different from public school; you go to college on your own volition. You shape your own opinions, you choose your own path, and you follow it accordingly. The drama aspect is still there, but I believe by the time you reach college age, you mature enough to handle unnecessary drama much more tactfully and gracefully. People mature enough to outgrow gossip and bullying. At least, I assume. You know what they say happens when you assume…

I did all I could to counteract the status quo of public school; I don’t really think I’ll need to try any harder. As previously stated, much of my knowledge has come at my own volition – writing, vocabulary, and, especially, history. Much of what was told to me in school I fact-checked and expanded on in my own time.

And, as with history, I’m confident that I won’t be doomed to repeat what I took from public school. I have learned from it.

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