Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Hard Truth From Orlando: Kanye, Serena, Wilson -- aren't they special?

We have an epidemic of rude. And yes, I think it goes back to lousy parenting and the bizarre sense of entitlement which has become pervasive in our society. It’s that my-kid-is-special and nobody is allowed to fail or be shut out. No one is required to conform unless the behavior violates specified legal terms. The “see me, see me, see me; I’m important” behavior is everywhere and everywhere, regular citizens are expected to put up with it while trying to continue to produce and comply with civil standards the “entitled” people are free to ignore.

A mini-cosmos of the national problem is enacted everyday in the classrooms across the country.

You could talk for days about the mandatory “inclusion” of so-called special needs children in classrooms – many of whom simply need real parents. This policy stems from the bad old days when if your child had a physical disability or a slight learning disability, they were immediately shunted off to a “special ed” class, relegated to the leftover educational resources. So now, we’ve gone totally the other way. Children of normal aptitude are expected to perform today in situations we adults file lawsuits on if we are subjected to them in our workplace.

Nowadays, it doesn’t matter if your child is a screaming lunatic with outbursts of homicidal insanity, a threat to themselves and every child around them; they are “mainstreamed” into the classrooms with regular, everyday compliant kids who are in public school to get the legislated education. So your average kid is expected to become proficient in his lessons with Mr. ADHD on his specially designed bouncy seat (yeah, there’s such a thing) next to him, thudding away and twitching and muttering to himself or Mr. or Ms. ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) challenging the teacher, disrupting the class, threatening the students around him.

The kids with problems learn that they don’t have to comply to be accepted into the group. Their inclusion is mandatory, no matter how egregious their behavior. They don’t have to earn attention by good behavior and positive achievement – they become used to having a captive audience to whatever whim passes their way. They’re “special” and they get told this every day. And they have parents who know what their “rights” are, even if they don’t have a clue what parenting is really about.

And regular kids – well, they learn that bad behavior is acceptable and mirror it accordingly, or struggle in silence until they can find another environment or give up and drop out.

We need to start practicing “exclusion” again for incivility and failure to comply. Parents of “special kids” need to foot the bill for their child’s failure to adapt or comply with social norms – their parenting failures are not the community’s responsibility to repair. I don’t see any reason to leave a child behind; I also see no reason to stop the wagon to pick one up if he chooses to jump off. Poor choices need real consequences.

Florida Cracker

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