Government Schools: Cultivating Collectivist Conformity (Will Grigg)
Monday October 15th, 2012
The central purpose of the government school system is socialization – that is, programming students to think of themselves as part of a government-defined collective. This requires suspending critical thinking and suppressing moral objections in the service of what students are told is the good of the “community.”
A related purpose involves the use of student populations to test new methods of social control. Those purposes intersect in Texas’s NorthsideIndependentSchool District, where officials are threatening to suspend or expel students who refuse to be tagged with a new student ID badge containing a Radio Frequency Identifier chip.
Maryland’s CarrollCountySchool Districtis the scene of another novel and troubling experiment involving tracking technology. School cafeterias are using a scanning system called PalmSecure, which scans a child’s palm at the checkout counter as a way of accessing the student’s lunch account.
School officials insist that this system is more efficient than other means of payment. This efficiency is paid for by a loss of individual privacy – and it cultivates within schoolchildren a potentially fatal trust in the State’s supposed benevolence.