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"War on Kids" documentary

Original post made by Paulette, Val Vista, on Aug 6, 2010

I met a nice young man on Ebay who has been buying up some of my "vinyl" record collection. He is a psychology student in North Carolina and we've become sort of friends since then. We've even exchanged heirloom seeds from our family gardens. Anyway, this nice young man found out that I love to go to the IBEW Hall and see the documentaries shown there once a month and he told me about this film that he thought would be an excellent choice. It's called "The War on Kids." So, I told the IBEW about it and they thought it sounded good too. So, on Saturday, August 7th, at 7:00 PM, we'll be showing this film that interviews students, teachers, psychologists, and many more people who are alarmed at the direction education has taken in this country, where schools are becoming more and more modeled after prisons, where police are called in for infractions that would've just sent a kid to the principle's office back in the days that I went to school. Parents are being told to put their children on all sorts of medications in order to keep them orderly and obedient, rather than taking the time to teach children manners at home. So much is discussed in this film, including the fact that schools are now being built by the same companies and the food services are from the same companies that build prisons and feed prisoners. Jesse was right. This is a real fine film. Ordinarily, the Pleasanton Weekly puts the IBEW movie night's feature in their bulletin board section; but, I guess they forgot this time. That's to bad; because education of children is so important. Kids today know alot, if you listen to them. The IBEW Hall is at 6250 Village Parkway, Dublin. Feel free to bring your kids to this one. It would be fun to hear what they have to say about education in our area. I imagine it's probably better than it is in many places; but, it still would be fun to hear their take on the film. At 6:30 PM, we also have a potluck and after the film, we have a discussion period, for those who want to talk about what they just saw. Some people stay and some people go. Next month, the IBEW will be having a doctor of economics come and discuss his latest book on what's wrong with our economy, Dr. John Rasmus. He spoke there last year and now this year, he's written yet another fascinating book.

Comments (2)

Posted by Paulette
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Here is a description of the film that I lifted off of Wikipedia on Facebook. It tells the story better than I can.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The film was written, produced and directed by Cevin Soling.

The film is now available on DVD.

The War on Kids is a 2009 documentary film about the American school system. The film takes a look at public school education in America and concludes that schools are not only failing to educate, but are increasingly authoritarian institutions more akin to prisons that are eroding the foundations of American democracy. Students are robbed of basic freedoms primarily due to irrational fears; they are searched, arbitrarily punished and force-fed dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. The educational mission of the public school system has been reduced from one of learning and preparation for adult citizenship to one of control and contain.

Film Content
The film begins by studying the Zero Tolerance policies in public schools in the 1990s, which were designed to eradicate drugs and weapons at schools. By arbitrary application of this policy via unchecked authority, soon nail clippers, key chains, and aspirin were considered dangerous and violation of the rules. This policy, combined with Columbine-inspired fear, has resulted in kindergartners being suspended for using pointed fingers as guns in games of cops and robbers; students being suspended for having Midol and Alka-Seltzer; this policy has turned schools into Kafka-esque nightmares, absurd and demoralizing. Increasingly, issues once dealt with by the guidance counselor or a trip to the principal’s office, are now handled by

Students are denied basic constitutional rights. They can be searched., drug-tested, forced to incriminate themselves and capriciously punished. Surveillance cameras, locker searches, metal detectors are shown to be common place. Courts routinely uphold the school’s right to do whatever they choose, creating an atmosphere of fear and loathing, anger and despair. The physical structure of these institution are themselves oppressive, resembling prisons in many ways, yet even more dreary.

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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I would have like to have gone, but I'm reading this too late. I was disgusted when I read that a middle school student was strip-searched by school officials looking for ibuprofen.
Adults are morons. I feel sorry for children.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A former middle-school student who was strip-searched by school officials looking for ibuprofen pain medication won a partial victory of her Supreme Court appeal Thursday in a case testing the discretion of officials to ensure classroom safety.

Savana Redding was 13 when administrators suspected that she was carrying banned drugs.

No medication was found, and she later sued.

The justices concluded that the search was unreasonable but that individual school administrators could not be sued.

The larger issue of whether a campus setting traditionally gives schools greater authority over students suspected of illegal activity than police are allowed was not addressed fully by the divided court.

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