You don’t have to go to St. Mike’s to be bullied.

The original intent was to ignore the bad public relations of St. Michael’s College School. It amazes me that the current situation there could be handled so badly. The principal and president might have taken the fall because they might have been a few generations behind times but it is the students who are feeling the pressure and it is the fault of their parents.

It is the parents who spend $20,000 or more per year to send their kid to exclusive schools, who are buying into false promises. It might be nice that they can spend lots to show they care but the kid can screw up there just as easily as at the public school around the corner.

The theory with these exclusionary schools is that your kid makes friends that will help him or her throughout adulthood after you have cashed in. Have you no confidence in your kid at all? Will s/he be traumatized with these feelings of inadequacy through a lifetime? Where’s your confidence?

Of course, you want the best for your kid. If you had told me, when my dear, sweet daughter was 15 and at a private school, that she would turn out later in life to be an excellent mother and a respected financial advisor, I would not have stopped laughing for a week.

With both a son and a daughter who had some experience of private schools, I can tell you that private schools are a very bad idea. They are an uncontrolled industry that sucks discretionary money out of the economy. Sure, there are kids with special needs. We should help them. And we should remember that public schools are always a work in progress. They must come first.

And, while we are at it, what qualifies any parent to home school their kid? I do not care how good and smart a teacher they might be. The days of the one-room school are long gone. Kids need interaction with a peer group. They need to socialize. They need to experience.

And do not get me going on religious schools. The worst thing we can do to children is to tell them they are better or different—or tell them Sally down the street is different because of religion. Canada is a secular society. Religious schools make a travesty of our equal treatment for all. They build walls of bigotry. They do not teach, they live in the past and attempt to condition.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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