How to end public school violence? End public schools.Submitted by snakepit22 on Fri, 12/21/2012 - 14:40
While everyone on the right, the left, and in between continues to search for how to end issues of violence in our public schools, the root of the problem continues to be ignored. Even many in the liberty movement, while thoroughly defending the 2nd Amendment, continue to support a culture which assumes the root of the problem as a basic necessary part of society. The root of the school violence issue isn't mental health, or lack of armed teachers, or lack of gun control laws. The root of the issue is the very existence of public schools.
Although a well informed public is essential for the existence of our republic, government run schools are noticeably absent from our founding documents. Some might attribute this to oversight by our founders, however let us remember that roads, mail delivery, even a military, as well as education, all existed in America before the existence of the government of United States of America.
Having said that, the founders likely understood that not only would government run education be less effective than the free market competetor, but it would, by it's very nature, be completely incapable of functioning while simultaneously supporting the Bill of Rights.
To put it plainly, nowhere in America are the unaleieable rights of the people more alienable than in our public schools. In a country who's first defining principle is the freedom of speech, our government run schools not only inhibit speech (religous speech, political opinion, vulgarity), but they also unconstitutionally compel speech (I pledge Allegiance). In a free market of education, school speech codes, curriculum and rules are subject to the school maintaining enough students and parents who wish to continue abiding by their particular set of rules. However, public school explicitly compels the public to support its speech codes through the taxation that all citizens must pay to support the schools, regardless of whether they agree with the religiously nuetral nature of the school, or the strict policies against vulgarity, opinion, etc. On top of the taxation used to force this support, laws exist which compel participation in this government run marketplace, thus making any attempt to withdraw from the school system, inherantly costly to the individual.
For these reasons, public schools continue to exist even though they are less effective, more costly, and less free than their counterparts. While the government claims to want to reach every child through public education, the truth is that much like every other program the government runs, they are vastly inefficient at this task, and are completely incapable of serving the uniqueness of each child. In short, it is too costly to use tax payer funds to indvidually shape the education of tens of millions of children. The Constitution however, was specifically designed to protect the rigths of those same children, and defend their right to that uniqueness.
Unfortunately, this paradox of public schools has also extended itself to the Second Amendment as well, which may be more important as that is the very right which protects the First. Even I can't really fathom the solution to school violence for the entire nation. However, I can easily conclude that the government's solution will be counterproductive, costly, ineffective and unconstitutional. Having said that, just like every major issue we face, the free market tends to solve these issues better than any one politician's idea ever could. The problem we have today is that even after multiple school massacres, the free market isn't allowed to work because the government has a monopoly on the issue, and they have inexplicatbly decided to restrict Constitutional rights in trying to solve the issue.
The Constitution allows for the diversity of each state, down to each city, down to each neigborhood, and each school, all they way down to the individual. A government run program simply cannot run efficiently in trying to provide for the needs of 300 million diverse people. Just as each school contains students and families with their own ideas about what religion, language, and curriculum is appropriate, each school exists in areas who have not only unique solutions to school violence, but vastly different needs when it comes to the need for a solution. The idea that one government law could solve the issues of a school in central Los Angeles just the same as it could solve issues in Elko, Nevada, are laughable as well as almost always unconstitutional.
The solution? Well, it is nearly always the same, and luckily it is already in place if we would just follow it. The solution is simply to follow our Constitution. Although states are legally allowed to offer public education, they are cerntainly not allowed to compel their citizens to participate in that program at the cost of their free speech and right to bear arms.