School Systems Are Smart

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I was talking with my sister the other day, catching up on life, when we got on the topic of my six year old nephew, Zach. A few hours beforehand, I had noticed that my sister’s “status” on Facebook read “is sad for my little boy this morning about going back to school.”

Being the protective uncle that I am, my first thought was, “I will drive to Albany right now and go Billy Madison on someone’s ass.” No one bully’s my nephew. Note: video is bad quality, sorry.

Come to find out, it had nothing to do with him being bullied at school. Rather, it had everything to do with the fact that his teacher sucks donkey scrotum and has been pushing all year to “label” my nephew as having ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). Being a certified teacher herself (in Special Education no less), my sister KNOWS the signs of ADD/ADHD, and recognizes that just because my nephew passes the plethora of “cognitive testing” with flying colors, doesn’t necessarily exclude him from being diagnosed with said learning disorders.

Nevertheless, in the teacher’s words, “Zach often loses focus and lacks discipline throughout the day.” Weird how that happens when you have a school system that only allots 15 minutes per day of recess, and only requires a minimum of three days per week of physical education (which I assume are 30-45 minutes each).

Great Galloping House of Gryffindor, I’m 32, and even I need more than 15 minutes of recess per day or I’m running around like a bat out of hell with scissors in my hands and eating paste for lunch. Seriously though, what six year old kid doesn’t “lose focus” at some point during the day? There are only so many times you can sing Old McDonald Had a Farm or listen to some old hag read I don’t know, The Bernstein Bears Go On a Picnic before you want to go off and do your own thing. Like make an epic Lincoln Log fort or practice your Crane kick on little Johnny’s grill.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think It’s a sad state of affairs that we have gone to such lengths to put biomotor learning/skill development/recreation (which helps promote BOTH) on the back-burner in our education system, and we then wonder why kids’ attention spans aren’t up-to-par. We have teachers and other school administration pushing psychologists to diagnose these kids with learning disabilities such as ADD/ADHD at a pace never seen before. Not to mention we’ve had to rename adult-onset diabetes to type-II diabetes, because we now have children as young as eight developing it. Of course, the obvious solution to the problem is to medicate these kids and/or place labels on them. Conversely, we could just you know, let them be kids, and allow them to go outside and play for more than 15 minutes a day. Just a thought. What do you think?

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