Friday, February 04, 2005

Children and Competition

by Daniel Benson

This year a government school district in Lincoln, Rhode Island had decided to eliminate the district's annual spelling bee, which involved students in grades 4 through 8. The school administrator said she did this because she felt the spelling bee ran afoul of the federal mandates of the "No Child Left Behind" act. She felt it was about one student winning, while the others got left behind, and she was concerned with student "self-esteem."

Here we see something that bothers me. This year we will no longer be able to know which students excel above and beyond the others, for they (the school system) now believes in making mindless drones that can no longer think for themselves, but act, dress, and talk in a certain way. We will no longer have anyone from that school district who can possibly become anyone who will be great in our society, as they are snuffing out any chance that these kids feel they can excel over others.

No more student athletes, no more honor roll, no more contest plays, or anything else that might make one student feel they were not good enough. So where does this take our future in this country, if every government school ends up doing just this to our kids? How many of us will sit back and let this happen as our kids are taught to be no better or different than the next person?

I was taught to be the best I could be, to excel in whatever studies I could, and was happy to do so--but now the government schools will teach someone like me to be just like Johnny sitting in the corner--dunce cap and all. They felt the spelling bee didn't help students to reach a higher goal, but I simply ask--how do they know what the goal is if there is nothing for them to try to reach?

They say they want all kids to have a high level of self-esteem so that they can go anywhere they wish, but then give them nothing to say "that is where I want to be"--no way to challenge them so they build confidence, strength, and the ability to think in every situation. That is now in the process of being taken away from them.

Parents in that school district now seem surprised and unsure about the decision that was reached, but the school district said they had no problem deciding. This makes me wonder where our next generation is headed. I would simply ask that we take our kids' lives seriously and try to do the best for them seriously, and that we reconsider the option of sending them to the state so they can make slaves of their minds. Consider, instead, the possibility of educating your kids at home, so they grow up not only strong, but also with minds of their own, so they can think on their own, and, Lord willing, act of their own when the need arises. God never intended for us to be "left behind" nor did He intend for us to be slaves to a school system that will not help our kids to become something great when the potential is there.

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