I have conversations with high school kids all the time. It is quite amazing to pick their brains and open their worlds. Asking them to research 'the other side' is important because schools sometimes present time-worn books for them to read, many fiction, and parents rarely tell them the truth about the world because they don't know themselves.
The saddest thing to me is the drugging of our children in America. That parents drug their child based on the suggestion of a teacher, Catholic or Public school, is one of the worst situations we are dealing with in America.
I spoke with a 17-year-old named 'Brittany' yesterday. I noticed her because she had a blank stare, which reminded me of the movie 'Deliverance.' She is a good-looking girl, however, and other than the droopy-eyed stare, seemed healthy. She came up to me and we began talking.
After a few opinions about people that take advantage of others, she told me she has been taking the drug Concerta for four years and wants to get off of it. She said her sister takes Ritalin. Concerta is a time-released Ritalin and is given to students that 'look around too much' and basically, have a lot of energy and inquisitiveness. They are happy. Teachers today can't deal with that as they could 50 years ago and want a calm class so they suggest to the parent they drug the child to 'calm them down.' They tell the parent the drug will make them get good grades (but they already are intelligent) and make them popular.
The problem with drugs like these is that they also cause seizures and headaches and turn the child into a slow-moving zombie. I spoke with her about ways to get off the drug, the first being to tell her mother she wants off of it 'for the summer.' Next, to slowly wean herself off and third, to seek legal counsel.
I have seen students that jump up on a table to fart in the face of other kids: Male students that remove their shirts in class down to their bare skin. These kids are not being given Ritalin, although they sorely need discipline and counseling. If anyone should be given Ritalin, it should be the teacher and principles.
What do these intelligent, white children need instead of drugs? Tutoring. There are schools out there like the Silvan Learning Center that do this. All the bright child needs is to learn how to study. But instead of doing this correct thing, parents go the easy route and drug their child. Heaven forbid they spend time helping the child with homework.
That ANY parent would do this; that ANY parent would jeopardize the health of their child based on what a school suggests, is to me the First Mortal Sin. To sentence these parents for child endangerment would be appropriate. These same parents probably do not feed their child healthy meals either.
The second conversations I've had most with students is what they read. A class was reading To Kill a Mockingbird. They weren't sure what the title meant except they thought it had to do with killing a black person that didn't commit a crime. I asked if the story was true and the girl said, "It is fiction." I asked why they gave any credibility to a made-up story. She didn't know.
I asked her if she had Googled white crime in America before Civil Rights and black crime in America after Civil Rights. She had not. I asked if she had researched black crime on white people, black on Jew, Jew on black or any other statistics. She had not. I suggested to her that she should research that.
Later, I spoke with a very talkative girl who could not stop talking and had many opinions. She said she was joining the Army and that the reason we were fighting in the Middle East was because of oil. I told her the United States gets around 6% of their oil from the Middle East. We get our oil from South America, the Gulf and U.S. oil fields and Alaska. I told her Canada produced much oil but does not send it to the U.S. because we have no refineries and instead send it to Europe. Now, if the war was about oil, why does Canada send oil over there? She didn't know. I told her to research it.
I told this future military girl that the war is about supporting our allies, the major one being Israel. I told her the war is about money and destroying nations to make money. I asked for facts to support her opinion. She had no facts. But she is willing to join the Army and fight wars 'for oil.' One thing the military will do, however, is stop her from talking so much.
It is not that our schools are teaching the wrong things. It is that parents don't care to teach their children the right things. Teaching an intelligent, energetic child that to solve a problem they should take drugs is NOT a message any of us agree with. And yet I am certain you personally know parents that do this.
Talk to a teenager. Don't just talk TO them. Listen. You might learn something.