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Ending Public School Violence


Washington, D.C., officials are shocked over a Washington Times report detailing an extraordinary increase in violence in D.C. public schools. The Times reported that “the number of assaults with deadly weapons in the District’s schools has doubled during the past four years, with as many as 423 students caught last year alone carrying concealed weapons.. Simple assaults in the 68,449-student school district rose from 384 to 475 over four years, and threats against students and staff increased from 156 to 225.”

One school board member “found the numbers very upsetting.” Another expressed concern about “untoward activity in schools.”

The solutions that board members are proposing include more metal detectors and requiring school principles to make regular reports of school violence to the school board.

Now, why didn’t anyone think of those marvelous solutions before now?

The school officials are struggling with the age-old problem that faced the Soviet Union: “How in the world do we make a socialist program such as public schooling successful?”

The correct answer, however, is: “You can’t. It’s impossible.” No matter what how many reforms, reports, and metal detectors school boards implement in these drug-infested camps of violence, the system will continue to grind out children who end up hating to learn and who have had the sense of awe and wonder with which they were born pounded out of them.

The real question is: Why do parents—especially those in the inner cities of America—continue to support the very idea of public schooling, when they can so readily see how destructive it is for their children? If parents want the best education possible for their children (and most do)—there is one—and only one—solution: End all government involvement in education by separating school and state, as our ancestors separated church and state. That would entail repealing the state’s school compulsory-attendance laws and school taxes and relying entirely on the free market to provide families with education. The free market produces the best of everything, and it would do the same in the area of education. Why should children be given the worst when they could be given the best?

Here’s the URL for the Washington Times article: http://www.washingtontimes.com/metro/20020208-5675240.htm.

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    Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.