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CHILDREN: The Dumbing-Down, Doping-Up and Spirit-Crushing

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CHILDREN: The Dumbing-Down, Doping-Up

and Spirit-Crushing

By Linda Dobson


Many children receiving antipsychotic drugs have nonpsychotic diagnoses such as ODD or some other disruptive disorder.

If it’s about children and/or education I’ll read it; mainstream or alternative, left or right, a million subscribers or two, doesn’t matter. I’ve done this long enough that it’s relatively easy to stay objective and open-minded, ignoring rhetoric while processing valuable tidbits. This means that at any given time, approximately 50% of my readers are going to have to overlook information with which they don’t agree to get to the “meat.” This article is no exception, though I’ve done my best not to include one-sided rhetoric here.

Not too long ago I was directed to an post titled “8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the U.S. Crushed Youth Resistance,” written by Bruce E. Levine. I went back to work as my subconscious digested it. Trouble is it didn’t digest. It kind of rolled around over and over, instead, so I went back to the source of the dis-ease and read it again.

That’s when it hit me.

The article is a painful commentary. It filled me with sadness. As one who came of age in the 60s, I easily remember the energy, the passion, the heart-rooted belief that we would change all that we saw wrong in the world. We didn’t, of course. Apparently a critical mass of my peers chose to play the existing game, instead, only to play it nastier and more greedily than those who went before. Today the ray of hope I cling to is the growing number of homeschooled youth, as our last resort.

Why? In the list of eight reasons for epidemic youth complacency, the source of seven – seven! – permeates life for the majority of children. Most parents believe they must subject their offspring to the source. The source of seven reasons is government schools.

I recommend performing a Google – or other – search to read in its entirety. Here is the Reader’s Digest version of how the dumbing-down, doping-up and spirit-crushing of our children has been accomplished.

The Reality of  Today’s Children

Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance

            “In 1980 an increasingly authoritarian American Psychiatric Association added to their diagnostic bible (then the DSM-III) disruptive mental disorders for children and teenagers such as the increasingly popular ‘oppositional defiant disorder’ (ODD). The official symptoms of ODD include ‘often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules,’ ‘often argues with adults,’ and ‘often deliberately does things to annoy other people.’ (Has a child ever existed who didn’t do things to annoy others?)

“Heavily tranquilizing antipsychotic drugs (e.g. Zyprexa and Risperdal) are now the highest grossing class of medication in the United States ($16 billion in 2010)…according to the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010, many children receiving antipsychotic drugs have nonpsychotic diagnoses such as ODD or some other disruptive disorder (this especially true of Medicaid-covered pediatric patients).”

Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy

On January 31, 1990, John Taylor Gatto stated: “The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders.”

“The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation. A teacher can lecture about democracy, but schools are essentially undemocratic places…”

Want a Healthier Family? 12 Health Benefits of Homeschooling

See also, “12 Health Benefits of Homeschooling Your Children

No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top

            “These policies are essentially standardized-testing tyranny that creates fear, which is antithetical to education for a democratic society. Fear forces students and teachers to constantly focus on the demands of test creators; it crushes curiosity, critical thinking, questioning authority, and challenging and resisting illegitimate authority.”

Shaming Young People Who Take EducationBut Not Their SchoolingSeriously

            “In a 2006 survey in the United States, it was found that 40 percent of children between first and third grade read every day, but by fourth grade, that rate declined to 29 percent. Despite the anti-educational impact of standard schools, children and their parents are increasingly propagandized to believe that disliking school means disliking learning…

“Today, Americans who lack college degrees are increasingly shamed as ‘losers’…”

The Normalization of Surveillance

“…young Americans have become increasingly acquiescent to corporatocracy surveillance because, beginning at a young age, surveillance is routine in their lives. Parents routinely check Web sites for their kid’s latest test grades and completed assignments, and just like employers, are monitoring their children’s computers and Facebook pages. Some parents use the GPS in their children’s cell phones to track their whereabouts, and other parents have video cameras in their homes.”

[NOTE: This article didn’t mention school surveillance, but it exists in the form of cameras, school-issued computers, and ever-present “resource officers” that look an awful lot like what we used to call armed policemen.]

Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism

“While some progressives are fond of calling fundamentalist religion the ‘opiate of the masses,’ they too often neglect the pacifying nature of America’s other major fundamentalism. Fundamentalist consumerism pacifies young Americans in a variety of ways. Fundamentalist consumerism destroys self-reliance, creating people who feel completely dependent on others and who are thus more likely to turn over decision-making power to authorities, the precise mind-set that the ruling elite loves to see. A fundamentalist consumer culture legitimizes advertising, propaganda, and all kinds of manipulations, including lies…”


            “Television is a dream come true for an authoritarian society: those with the most money own most of what people see; fear-based television programming makes people more afraid and distrustful of one another, which is good for the ruling elite who depend on a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy; TV isolates people so they are not joining together to create resistance to authorities; and regardless of the programming, TV viewers’ brainwaves slow down, transforming them closer to a hypnotic state that makes it difficult to think critically.” [And television viewing feeds fundamentalist consumerism.]

I warned of all of these (though I didn’t see the surveillance coming) 16 years ago in the pages of The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community and Self. But you know what? Someone else warned before me:

“The few who can understand the system will be either so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class, while, on the other hand, that great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that Capital derives from the system, will bear its burden without complaint and without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.”

~ Amschel Rothschild

Originally appeared in Nov/Dec 2011 Home Education Magazine
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2 Responses to “CHILDREN: The Dumbing-Down, Doping-Up and Spirit-Crushing”

  1. Theresa Lode says:

    Linda, I’ve homeschooled/unschooled my three kids for many years with the exception of recently were one of my kids wanted to go to public school. So, I’ve had a glimpse up close and personal with what’s going on. It is, indeed, a sad state of affairs!

    Thanks for posting this. 🙂

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