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No Child Left Maligned: Who are we calling culprits?

Posted By: jim field on April 22, 2003
 
I thought the author did a reasonable job of pointing to a serious problem in schools. However I think she missed a crucial point, one that a child in our study pointed out when she said, "Well we got bullied into anti-bullying". I think there are some real issues being missed here in the way we, as adults treat children in schools, and by extension the way we, as first world adults, treat the third and fourth worlds (that we helped create). But back to the kids--school policies like "zero tolerance" teach intolerance just as much as any unaccepting peer group does. The pressure of a compacted curriculum, the massive drugging of children to get them to sit still and pay attention to a largely out-moded curriculum ( e.g., there are over 40 000 children on ritalin in the province of Alberta alone), the labelling and stranding of children in pull out programs from which they will never recover--these are but a few of the issues that need addressing in a "no child left maligned" plea for a different kind of school. Personally, I think naming childrens' peers as the sole culprits in a culture of violence that has been structured into the make up of schools (by adults) from the beginning, might be regarded as an act of violence itself.

Sincerely,

James C Field, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Calgary
jfield@ucalgary.ca
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 No Child Left Maligned: Who are we calling culprits? by jim field on April 22, 2003
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