Different Floors of the House

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cocaine For Kids

Ever want to browse an educational manual rife with a befuddling array of intentionally confusing semi-factoids and half-truths? Look no further: Here it is.

This manual is a handbook for teachers and parents who are participating in a Portland, OR, program aimed at "problem children." My daughter goes to one of the schools participating in this farcical nonsense...I digress.

No I don't.

This manual, if you don't care to read it (who can blame you?), is littered with what I like to call: "The Birkenstock Academician's Solutions for Resolving a Problem brought about by Birkenstock Academicians".

I can think of other names for it as well, but they don't include the Birkenstock bash, so why bother?

Here are a few talking points the manual attempts to outline:

Social Competence is Essential for School Readiness.

What the flying frog is "Social Competence" and who the funk gets to decide the competency standard? (Hint: think tan leather sandals that only 1970's throwbacks with Marxist tendencies still wear).

Or this sparkling gem of an "educational tool":

The Teaching Pyramid; Promoting Social Competence and Addressing Challenging Behavior.

So...by default any behavior that doesn't meet the standard of "competency" is automatically labelled: "Challenging". And to whit, requires an entire program and teacher training regimen to address...

And here I thought they wanted us to believe--for decades now--that only home-schooled children were automatically socially deficient...

I think I see a pattern here, correct me if I'm wrong.

1. Kids traditionally had been taught by their parents, clergy or people close to the family in skills and trades they could USE when the got out of school. Rich kids had the better deal here, for sure because a lot of them (not all) were afforded standard educations in math, science, law and so on.
2. Around 1840, someone (Mr. Mann), somewhere (Massachusetts) decided American kids should be subjected to a "German" style education that would include poor kids and emphasize math and science and all the other stuff most kids tend to exhibit all the signs of ADHD while studying.
3. Other states tagged along until about 1918 when every state had laws mandating primary education for all kids.
3. Everything went raggedly along until about midway through the last century when kids in school started developing behavior "disorders".
4. In the 1960's, this disorder was labeled as ADHD (and a plethora of other pseudo-scientific terms such as: Hyperkinetic Disorder of Childhood, Defect of Moral Control, and my personal favorite: Post-Encephalitic Behavior Disorder) and was treated with Methylphenidate (Nicknamed: Cocaine for Kids, due to it's similar molecular structure and effects to cocaine) which instantly stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain, which leads to "better" behavior patterns in problem children.
5. In the 1970's Ritalin (Methylphenidate's brand name) is mass produced, marketed and distributed.
6. In 1979 the Education Department is created. No connection between this cabinet entity and the mass dopings of children is made...
7. Starting in the 1980's, parents start questioning the affect and effectiveness and ethical implications of administering psychotropic drugs to kids.
8. In the 1990's doctors start questioning, on large scale, the validity of treating behavioral problems with psychotropic drugs, some go so far as to state that the root of the problem is in the home and stems from bad parenting--not from a chemical insufficiency. But the common consensus was that there wasn't a stable base of data collection to rule out the effectiveness of psychotropic applications...which is a weird way of saying: 35 years of using our kids as guinea pigs is insufficient...we need more lab brats.
9. Certain shrinks and head doctors come to the absurd conclusion that the time kids spend away from parents could be leading to these behavior "disorders" and that returning the kids to home space during school time actually improves their social interaction level and ability to hold attention as well as actually, uh, learn stuff. They are laughed off college campuses and ridiculed on nationally syndicated radio and television shows.

10. Regardless, in the '90's home school enrollment skyrockets.
11. In 2000, the FDA approves a sustained release version of Ritalin.
12. In 2003, we learn what the government knew all along, that Cocaine and Ritalin "compete for the same binding sites on neurons" which essentially means that the rash of Cocaine addictions (Remember Miami Vice?) in the 80's and 90's was quite probably linked to the over prescription of Ritalin in the 70's and 80's.
13. No one cares about these findings. Ritalin prescription remains rampant.
14. In 2008 a transdermal patch which intermittently spits Ritalin into the subjects body is introduced and approved. Now YOU can "Stick it to ADHD!"
15. In 2009, academics and school administrators approve Sek-Pac's behavioral training system to enhance and supplement the already over proscribed doping of our kids in school.
16. In 2010 more students are being taught at home, by clergy or by close family members than since 1918, when elementary education was mandated en masse.
17. In 2020 the U.S. government realizes that public education is ridiculous and endeavorless and privatizes all aspects of education. The government relinquishes control of the Education Department, discontinues it's support for Ritalin and behavioral modification programs, admits the mistake was theirs from the beginning and recognizes that the education template they had initiated 100 plus years ago was the real culprit and that parents, clergy and personal tutors really do have a better idea of how to educate kids than bureaucrats and lame-brained PhD's. Millions of kids are freed from their dopamine laden nightmares and allowed to...well, be kids again for Christ's sake. Oh, and, Birkenstock's are outlawed on college campuses.

Bah. What can I say? I dabble in sci-fi and speculative fiction.


Wakefield Tolbert said...


That's what I need for breakfast.

C.T. Lostaglia said...

You want I should make a call?

Wakefield Tolbert said...

Naw. Trying my best to avoid Generation Pill, in any of its many forms.

Some things are helpful.

Others are part of the phenomenon where the disorder is discovered after the chemical is.

Having said that, coffee is no longer working for me for motivation.