Are we confusing courage with wisdom?

The Wizard of Oz is one of our families all-time favorite movies. Near the end of the movie the The Great and Powerful Oz was handing out gifts to the scarecrow, the tin man and the lion, as he did he told the lion, "You’re confusing courage with wisdom".

It struck me that in the wake of "No Child Left Behind," the push for "Universal Preschool," and various other mandated programs intended to "help" children, families today are caught in the precarious position of choosing between the safety of their children and a "proper" education.

In my search for understanding of educational issues, I’ve noticed a tremendous increase in teacher arrests. Those arrested are being charged with molestation, rape, drug charges, assault and various other serious charges. 

Thinking back on my own school days, the thought of one of my teachers molesting a student would seem absurd. Many of my own teachers were career women, who were kind and gentle but firm. They were women of integrity, which inspired students to heights of excellence, if not, at least, obedience.

Since No Child Left Behind legislation has been implemented many good teachers have given up and left the teaching profession for much less challenging territory. Others have left the public arena for private schools, which still have a great deal of latitude compared with their public school counterparts.

It would come as no surprise to this author to discover that schools are being targeted specifically by sexual deviants, who prey on unsuspecting children. Of course, hard data is tough to come by, because the schools themselves would not want this question answered and in order to commission such a study, someone would have to be curious enough to actually pay for one to be completed. Something which isn’t likely to happen.

I am truly frightened for today’s children, who must brave the cesspool we call public school. If Assembly member Chan, other legislators and the teachers unions have their way, the Universal Preschool bill will be passed this session.  With the passage of AB 172 we can expect to see a huge drive to enroll more preschoolers under the "protective umbrella" of the public school system. 

Never mind that they are doing a horrendous job of protecting the children currently under their care. Universal Preschool, if passed will expose children as young as three to sexual predators, drug pushers and assault by strangers whose unfettered access provides them with every opportunity to win the confidence of the children left in their charge.

Parents who willingly place their children in the care of strangers for 8-hours out of every week day are very courageous, they are playing Russian roulette with their children’s well-being. Though I admit it’s a courageous act, I do have to question the wisdom behind it.

We are not living in the 1960s any more folks, the world has gone through dramatic changes in the past 45 years. Our system of education has not changed, save the added security guards, campus police and metal detectors.  How many more 5 year-old children need to be handcuffed by police before we wake up?

The days of dropping our children off at the school door and knowing they are in safe, capable hands is long gone. Parents must take a closer look at who is spending time with their children. The courage to leave ones child with strangers -should not be confused with wisdom.