Sunday, January 27, 2008

Scary School

(Sierra Vista, AZ)- While I've been sad to have Alex living away from me again, I had been happy with how he landed in Arizona. He really likes the area- the weather, the landscape, the laid-back nature of the kids, and the school. He's been getting good grades and making friends.

But then he laid this bomb on me. A fellow student was stabbed at school. It was a predictable outcome because there was talk it would happen before it happened. It was gang related. From a Sierra Vista Herald article:
A federal hold has been placed on the teenager charged with stabbing a fellow Buena High School student Tuesday morning.

U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Jesus Rodriguez said Wednesday afternoon that the detainer was filed at the Cochise County Jail for Kevin R. Suarez, 18, because the Border Patrol was unable to verify that Suarez was in the United States legally.
Interestingly, the newspaper states that the incident was not gang-related. I always figure the kids know the lay of the land better than the school administration. I know we always did when I was in school. He anticipated more, retaliatory violence, so my visit was a double reason to skip school Friday and visit the Pima Air & Space Museum up in Tucson.

So, I'm glad Alex is on the move once again, going to the Cleveland area. Mainly, he has a lot of family in Cleveland. But getting away from this nonsense makes the move all the better.

As we talked about the incidents, I asked him if illegal immigration was a problem. He said the problem he saw was with students either struggling or refusing to learn English. In either case they slow the class down such that it often becomes tedious for kids to wait for the language to be bridged before instruction can resume. Also, the self-segregating that kids do, aka gangs, is very much along national lines.

I don't see any of that as healthy, but what can you do with a public school system? It has to take all of the kids- until they stab someone- so long as they are citizens.

And this begs the question- why are non-citizens educated in American schools?

Understand that I do not support the rationale of public schooling to begin with. I believe that if you bring a child into the world, you should pay for the child's education. If you don't have kids, you shouldn't be subsidizing someone else and their kids.

There is an awful silence on the part of those who do accept the public school rationale. OK, if it is the role of a community to take on the citizens of the community and support them as their own, but what right is that benefit conveyed to non-citizens?

I've seen the strife this kind of easy, free welfare benefit creates. When in Denmark, I found the Danes suffering a great struggle as immigrants converged to suck up all manner of welfare benefits- without contributing, in the manner the old Danish work ethic demands. It's not merely a strain on the ability of the people to peacefully coexist. It's a strain on the economy besides. In sum, a terrible negative.

I'm a great proponent of legal immigration. I do not want walls at our borders. If those who choose to come here are made to fend for themselves, they either will fend for themselves, or they will go back home. If we give away the store, we will draw those who might not have been otherwise coming- just as the Danes have found. Because we are giving away the store, it's hard to support an open border policy. It's disgusting, but our own welfare state mentality makes nativism a common sense approach.

I don't think any of the presidential candidates have even begun to get to the root of the problem. I've heard some talk about a wall. That doesn't eliminate the draws, like free education. This is the root problem.

At the very least, we need to eliminate public education for non-citizens. We would do even better if we could eliminate public education altogether, and create a social climate of self-responsibility. I'm willing to work incrementally, though, and it should be an easy sell. How can anyone really support the education of non-citizens, at the expense of citizens in terms of cost, and in terms of efficiency of instructing citizen students?

Leaving things as they are, the best rational decision a parent can make is to pull their kids from a school. I'm glad Alex won't be returning to the ironically named Buena High School.

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