Indoctrinating Children—Disables And Confuses Them…

John Donnelly

John Donnelly

As a young child I was wisely instructed that: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you”. As this empowering information was reaffirmed by my teachers, I cultivated a tenacious resolve that shielded me against the unkind things that would inevitably be said to me throughout my life.

Frequently frolicking outdoors, I discovered that my playmates had received a similar instruction. However, there were times when we departed from our parents’ admonitions and directed indecent comments towards one another. Upon recognizing this infraction, with feigned pity and disgust, we took great pride in robustly scolding the unfortunate playmate who had violated the parental directive that we all had received.

Gleefully, we would persuasively recite in cadence the aforementioned refrain: “sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you”. Didn’t these wretched simpletons know that they had no power to harm us with their words? Without exception, the ‘name callers’ would abruptly cease their taunts and insults.

As children we were aware that the verbalization’s of another did not have the power to hurt. This liberating reassurance freed and protected us from the unkind utterances that can be expected from kids and misguided adults. It formed an indispensable foundation, which prompted us to think, dream, explore and express ourselves in a manner that was independent of the opinion of others.

In stark contrast to that emancipating wisdom, we have a school district that teaches our children: “Words Can Hurt”. A large banner prominently displayed at the entrance to an elementary and middle school greets our students every day with this frightening and debilitating notion. Instructional programs within the school district celebrate and reinforce this dishonest and injurious proposition.  

Children chronically exposed to such indoctrinating propaganda can be traumatized. Where will an antidote that remedies the contamination that is impacting these young minds come from? What other fallacious doctrines does the school district promote as fact. Taxpayers fund every bit of  information disseminated in our schools.

Instructing children that the words of another may damage them, diminishes their capacity to learn, explore and seek the truth. It’s a cruel hoax that provides another convenient alibi for school districts to furnish our children with a second-rate education.

Creating a classroom environment that actually provides a nurturing experience where safety, analytical reasoning, skill mastery and academic achievement internally generates a student’s confidence, self-esteem and imagination is hard and challenging work, however, it’s where the focus of our attention and energy belongs.

Consolidating a concentrated effort to provide every child in the United States with a world-class education can be done. Thus far, we have lacked the will to do so.


Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper] encourages spirited, open debate in comments on our stories. We do ask that you refrain from profanity, personal attacks and remarks that are off point. Please join the conversation!

11 comments on “Indoctrinating Children—Disables And Confuses Them…

  1. i’m long beyond raising young children in fact my son is 41 and i do remember well your ‘sticks n stones’ from my childhood and all well agree the education of today is but ‘edu-indoctrination’ of our young that being said i wonder if the school system is involved in the ‘common core’ standards and guidelines and if so i wonder how many parents are aware of this fact.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDJTJTAXx7k

  2. Great vid post from YOUTUBE.”The War On Boys”, Feminism and The War Against Boys’ are two other great vids that explain the boy learning deficit. Fortunately florida’s students can escape common core cirriculum by attending public charter schools and cyber schools that do not use this cirriculum.

  3. I heard “sticks and stones”, too, growing up, and in my own home I learned sticks and hair brushes really did hurt, and mean words, too, and that carried over into my early schooling, when I was scolded by my first grade teacher and even rapped hard on the knuckles, and often made to carry my chair outside into the hallway and sit there hoping the school principal would not make rounds and find me. The teachers were kinder later, but some students keep the hazing going through grammar school (8th grade). It left an impression, as did words spoken to me by my father and his father. Eventually, I had experiences with broke me of caring how other people viewed me, and of what they said to or about me. By then, I was worried about how God and the angels assigned to me felt about and still said to me. Their words of rebuke, when they came, flattened me; put me in fear for my very soul. Plenty of bullying and hazing goes on in Keys schools, and the school principals and management and superintendent and school board make light of it and sweep it under the rug. A gay Key West High School boy, who was being hazed, went home and sent out goodbyes on Facebook, and killed himself with his father’s pistol, and the school and management and superintendent and board swept that under the rug. Be careful, John, that you don’t encourage those nice people running our schools and entrusted with children of this community to continue their ways, when what might be needed is a few good men (Marines) going into there midst and putting the living fear of God in them to see to it that children can go to school and not have to worry about the kind of shit I faced in grammar school, and in my home. But for the black woman who worked for my parents and adopted me and loved me as one of her own, I might have gone insane a lot sooner; I might have killed myself even.

  4. Love the story. Penetrating insight into a deliberate action, attempting to indoctrinate our children into dependency upon the government school’s, to protect them from their interpretation of what constitutes ‘hurt speech’.

  5. Words Can Liberate… Ideas Can Free… If schools and the politicians that run them, wanted to provide each student with a world class education, it would have been done a long time ago.

  6. Neglecting children with an inferior education, not providing them with the means to attain knowledge, wisdom and enlightenment, creates monsters in the schoolyard.

    Their incompleteness leads to all manner of disorders. Teach Donnelly’s Imperative as a given.

    Most Importantly, create the brilliantly magnificent classroom environments referred to in his article.

    Stop insulating students from reality. It disables them. Instruct them with effective Solutions……….

  7. Sloan, thank you for your comments. Not everyone who wants to be a teacher belongs in a classroom. Not every educator who wants to be a school principal belongs anywhere near a school.

    Disturbed, incompetent and corrupted district recruitment personnel; employ staff in our classrooms and schools that are reflections of themselves. It creates a dangerous environment that is unsafe and not suitable for a child to learn.

    Schools are not a vacuum. Engaged, stimulated and fulfilled children normally do not bully, hate or commit violent acts upon one another.

    Teachers who are a part of creating such an environment, normally do not abuse those trusted to their care.

    Fostering the notion that ‘words can hurt’, distracts and creates cover for these school bureaucracies. They have another alibi for ineffective delivery of services to our students.

    The “Swamp Needs To Be Drained”, corrupted and negligent educators need to be flushed out and terminated or imprisoned.

    Zero Tolerance for verbal, physical and emotional aggression is a standard that, at one time, came with the territoty.

  8. Haven’t African-Mexican and other students, who may be suffering from poverty and low-performance schools, got enough going against them, without being taught that someone else’s words can hurt them. How ridiculous…

    Rather than clear a path for these students, let’s further impede their progress with the lies and distortions of their school district…

    ‘Bureaucratic Dependency Baloney’, no wonder this country ranks last and near the bottom in every measureable academic area, when compared to their world counter-parts. It’s a Disgrace and Shameful…

    We must rid the system of these charlatans, who pose as educators.

  9. The American Public School System is on a downward spiral. We are inundated with a steady stream of data that clearly indicates this disturbing reality.

    We are soft. We cannot compete on the world stage. Unions and corrupt educators in positions of leadership refuse to provide our children with a world class education. They have one excuse after another as to why this can’t be done.

    Politicians needing their votes will not require them to do a better job. Our children and nation are being sold out, never amounting to what they could become.

    Monroe County’s school district has an answer. Post a large banner for all elementary and middle school students to read each day, all day long, “words can hurt you”.

    Indoctrinate these malleable minds with this lie, a lie that they haven’t the means to control. Creates fear, tension and stress in their young lives.

    Ignorant and empty educators will resort to ‘any means necessary’ when they think it’s to their advantage.

  10. I dunno, I hear plenty about how something I wrote hurt someone, or how something I said, hurt someone, and sometimes it was true, because I wrote or said something I should not have said, or wrote or said it in a way that I should not have used. And, sometimes, what got hurt was someone’s ego, which is another matter altogether.

    Sounds from some of these comments that the people who made them think it’s okay for school kids to say to black school kids, “You sorry nigger,” or, “You greasy wop,” or “You Jesus-killing Jew,” or, “You stupid wetback, go back to Mexico (or Cuba),” or “What’s wrong with you that you like to suck dicks?”

    Sure, we all have to get used to such people, but the way some of you come across, it sounds like you want that kind of talk left alone, thus encouraged, in schools. I wonder if you also want big kids who stuff little kids in lockers for an hour, and call in lots of other kids to stand outside the locker laughing, for an hour, this happened at Coral Shores High School last year, to be dealt with by having the big kid and the little kid shake hands, instead of the big kid be put in jail for assault and battery, with bigger kids, who might do worse things to him than stuff him in a locker for an hour and laugh at him, which is about what that big kid deserved, but the principal had them shake hands, and the superintendent signed off on it, and the school board signed off on it.

    So, what happens when a kid gets tired of being asked why he likes to suck dicks, so he takes a banana knife with him to school the next day and walks up to a queer-basher in the bathroom taking a piss and grabs his dick and cuts it off with the banana knife, or, instead its a pistol, and he just shoots the queer-hater on the front steps of the school.

    Be careful what you ask for, or preach, it might have unintended consequences you might not like, or even be able to accept, were set in motion by you, or by someone like you.

    I bet there is not one person in this conversation started by John Donnelly, including John, who was not seriously injured in the soul by mean things said to him or her, and not just once did that happen,. And, I bet, the reverse is also true. We all have said words which hurt someone else in the soul, but it’s okay, because sticks and stones can break our bones, but words can never harm us.”

Leave a Reply