They were a group of 3rd grade children, aged 8 to 10 who most probably had seen too many TV progams or movies for their own good. Their teacher made one of them stand on a chair and this aroused anger for one reason or another. After class, they talked and mumbled and grew angrier as the slight appeared to assume a gigantic insult or degradation to their sense of self worth. A group organized for the attack on the teacher, one to bring a paperweight for use in rendering her unconscious, another was to bring duct tape for binding, and another was to bring a steak knife to be used for stabbing the teacher as she lay helpless. According to parents, the children comprised children with a variety of needs ranging from hyperactivity to ADD to academic issues.
Nne children have been given suspensions, and three will be charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault since they did bring weapons to school. Some children told police when they heard the plan being proposed, “we thought they were just kidding.”
There will be columns and editorials written about this incident to prove it resulted from TV or violent movies or children being pampered. Unfortunately, these hypotheses bear scant resemblance to reallity. Such stories are found throughout human history since we forget that our idea of “children” is rather different than how that group was categorized in the past. Learned psychologists will declaim about ADD or some other psychiatric category to explain behavior. At no point, will anyone raise issues as to whether the process of modern education is partially(not completely) a factor in children losing contact with reality. Modern education subjects youth to the unreality of constant testing and categorization so that any joy in learning soon disappears. Modern American schools have cut back on free play,have cut back on art and music, have cut back on children having time to dream and wonder.
I do not know anything about these children. I have taught thousands of children in my life. They range from wonderful warm, charming, emotionally stable to those who border on psychotic. Children are no different than adults in being capable of love or hate. Children are simply the result of our society. Is there any wonder some wander into the dark corridors of anger and violence?