L. Neil Smith's
Number 262, March 7, 2004

Remember: Free Hunter!

It Doesn't Have to be This Way
by Jonathan Taylor

Exclusive to TLE

Have you ever wondered why you are required to go to school, then searched and treated generally like a criminal for the entire time you're there? Why those in charge of the school system expect you to submit willingly and happily to intrusions upon your rights—intrusions that would be unthinkable if they themselves were the targets? Why simply going to school, as you're required to do, gives the government carte blanche to take away almost every civil liberty this country was founded upon?

The answer's simple—the public school system exists for no other reason than to subjugate your rights to the collective good, and to indoctrinate you into a lifelong dependence on someone else's protection. The school needs to protect its charges, to keep them safe from lunatics with guns, from drug dealers, pedophiles and terrorists trying to sneak in, from gang members, and from Jehovah's Witnesses.

And when you get older, after learning this lesson so well, when the government tells you that you need to surrender your right to keep and bear arms to keep you safe from lunatics with guns, to give up your right to free speech and association—in cyberspace or elsewhere—to keep you safe from pedophiles and terrorists, to give up your right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure to protect you from drug dealers, and your right to religious freedom to protect you from cults, you'll be ready for it and used to it.

The fact of the matter is, though, your rights are your rights, and they are yours because you are a sapient human being. They don't age like fine wine when you turn 18. They don't mysteriously disappear between the hours of 7 am and 3 pm while you're in school. They are not subject to negotiation, limitation, litigation, or any other "ation" I may have left out. They are yours; they are inalienable; and any infringement upon them is immoral, illegal in the United States, and opposed to every principle upon which this country was built.

Imagine if the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States—the Bill of Rights—applied to all people, not just those who have passed beyond the grasp of the public education system or have reached some artificial age of majority. Where would your principal and teachers be then?

Those ten amendments are the highest law in the land—a law put there by the founders of our country as a reminder of the absolute lines our government could never cross. There is no provision in the Bill of Rights exempting the Department of Education (Thomas Jefferson is doing cartwheels at the very thought), and anyone who violates that law is a criminal, pure and simple.

The public school system is diametrically opposed to that principle. Where is your protection from illegal searches when police with drug sniffing dogs roam the parking lot? Where is your right to keep and bear arms when you are searched for weapons entering the building? Where is your right to free speech and expression, when wearing the wrong shirt or pointing a chicken tender at someone will get you sent home?

The good news in all this is that the public school system is withering on the vine. The schools in the inner cities have long since degenerated into armed camps, with learning secondary to keeping kids off the streets in a kind of makeshift, preemptory juvenile hall. The schools in more affluent areas are losing students hand over fist to private schools. And those in rural areas are still stuck in the early 1940s. Any credibility the system once may have had is rapidly succumbing to the Coriolus effect, and your children will almost certainly not have to deal with this same mistreatment 20 years hence.

Until then, I say we hasten the collapse.

Until then, question everything. When someone asks to search your book bag, your locker, your car, or your person, ask why, and then ask for a warrant. When you are told they don't need one, ask to see the constitutional amendment exempting them from the fourth amendment, or in fact to see where in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution it says that the government shall have mandatory control of all children under the age of 18 between 7 am and 3 pm.

Until then, if you have any doubt as to who is your friend, and who is a mall security guard shoved into the role of shepherd for America's youth, there's a real easy way to tell. Your friends, and people who respect you as an individual, will not try to scare or intimidate you out of exercising your rights. Anyone who does is not your friend—they are there only to brainwash you into accepting this kind of treatment as necessary and proper.

Most importantly, until then, remember that this treatment is completely intolerable from anyone to anyone; remember the resentment you feel towards those responsible, and make the choice that you will not accept it in your adult life, nor will you ever accept it for your children. Remember that it doesn't have to be this way; that the nation was founded on the principal that it shouldn't be this way.

And in 20 years, the public school system will be as obsolete as your computer lab is today.

Jonathan Taylor is the new Libertarian Youth Underground Editor here at TLE (and at NetPlanetNews.com when that craft takes wing Real Soon Now ...). For more information about NetPlanetNews.com, see Hope


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