Price: Why so much depression in our public schools?

Maybe some politicians want to exploit this sadness and depression. The kids are so lost and adrift, they can be persuaded to believe anything

Someone asked this question on Quora: Is there a flaw to the American school system? Why do so many teens have depression? Why don’t people do anything about it?

My answer: Okay, let’s suppose you’re a ninth-grade student in the school system. What are some reasons you might feel anxious and depressed?

First, you sense from the early grades nothing very serious is going on in your school. People never really learn to read. They don’t know any geography, any history, any science. Many students can hardly add and subtract. People sometimes think that taking it easy is a good idea. Yes, maybe for a week or two. But if you feel that your whole school year is a waste of time, you’re not going to be happy.

Second, the school is unnecessarily violent and chaotic. Kids hurt each other, they hurt teachers, they do what they want, at least some of them do. You know you’re in danger. You know you have to be careful not to offend students who are known to be dangerous.

Third, the teachers and administrators tell you continuously that there are many genders. You’re encouraged to wonder which one you are. This is very unsettling. They won’t let you be one thing or another.

Fourth, school officials warn you constantly, the world is coming to an end some way or another. Everybody will be dead in a decade or two. It’s scary to be reminded of this every day.

Fifth, random drills, with violent cops and guns, can interrupt school life at any time. You never feel really safe. You’re stressed out all the time. What’s the point of living like this? Maybe you should just end it, that’s what some friends say.

Sixth, almost everybody cheats, on their homework, on their tests, on their essays. Some people say that’s why we’re in school, to learn how to cheat. That’s what you need to get ahead in a bad world.

Seventh, everything is apparently a lie. Everything taught in the school says that things taught somewhere else are lies. Fake news is everywhere. What can you believe?

Eighth, nobody is sure what their grandparents believed but you are sure they were wrong. Their ideas are all silly, about religion, patriotism, honesty is the best policy, be all you can be. Unfortunately you didn’t find out the ideas that aren’t silly. Life feels very empty. Of course you’re depressed.

CODA: as for doing something about this, maybe some politicians want to exploit this sadness and depression. The kids are so lost and adrift, they can be persuaded to believe anything.

Written by Bruce Deitrick Price for Canada Free Press ~ November 6, 2019

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