In my opinion, placing difficult children in Boot camps is not the best action to take, as we grapple with indiscipline in our schools. Citizens should be concerned with the many knee jerk solutions, we are promoting and implementing, in order to curb negative social trends. I find the term Boot camp psychologically dangerous because it is really grounded in semi –military philosophy and could be a very serious turn off for many parents, who apparently do not know what to do with difficult children.
Those promoting boot camps should also be honest enough to inform parents that boot camps were originally intended for teens that were apparently on their way to becoming criminals or had actually broken the law and prison was considered to be too harsh. They also need to inform parents that there is need for after care in order to monitor such children when they leave boot camp because having been actually taken out of the broader school /society they would have to adjust after they return. The question is: Do we have competent professionals assigned to schools to handle such matters?
Many children demonstrating anti-social skills are the products of a negative environment and unless we get serious and begin to address the reasons for their behavior, we could very well end up creating societal Frankensteins rather than the little angels, we would all love them to become. Dysfunctional homes, drugs, peer pressure, divorces, economic hardship, absentee parents and drug addicted parents could be some of the factors contributing to the problem.
Furthermore, while we bury our collective heads in the sand, our island state is swiftly making the transition from Little England to Little America; there are signs that being our brothers keeper is not part of the emerging society. Coupled with two political parties that have succeeded in having a one party state within a two party system, we really need progressive independent thinkers and not party sycophants and opportunists to come forward and rescue us before it is too late.
Education has been a political football since the mid-seventies and that is why we are now throwing our hands up in the air and blaming demons and things that move about in night for our predictable predicament. Parents were unleashed on the teaching profession in the 70’s and the collective political managerial class delighted in castigating the profession for any and every reason.
It is time that we get more clinical in dealing with our children and cut out ready mixed concrete solutions. We need to remember that we are not building houses but future leaders and productive citizens. Some people are speaking as if our children are pre-fabricated homes that can be set up anywhere once there is an appropriate house spot. It is obvious that there is now widespread panic and most people now believe that the schools are almost like war zones. This is not so at all. What we have is an educational system that is quickly becoming an albatross around the neck of national development and maybe there is widespread boredom in addition to all the maladies we constantly hear or read about.