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Back to January Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 264 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS JANUARY 2008

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Walking Targets: How Our Psychologized Classrooms Are Producing a Nation of Sitting Ducks, B. K. Eakman, Midnight Whistler Publishers 2007, 286 pages, $24.95

Public school curriculum, while failing to provide most students with a solid foundation of academic knowledge in literacy, math, history, or science, devotes more time each year to students' feelings, motivations, beliefs, and worldviews. In Walking Targets, B. K. Eakman sounds the alarm on psychology-based programs in schools, and on the more general psychology-based mindset that treats every individual quirk as a classifiable mental illness demanding medication.

The book collects the author's essays and articles covering topics such as universal mental health screening, invasive school surveys, outsourced parenting, and the looming threat of government surveillance and data gathering. Each essay incisively identifies what the government and schools are doing that they shouldn't be, and what they are not doing that they should. While the middle class spends thousands of dollars each year to protect family and property from crime, taxpayer money goes to programs that in the name of "safety" and "well-being" invade the home and family in search of mental illness and pathology.

These programs condition students and others to government interference in spheres of life well outside of government's competence. Incidents of school violence and other tragedies serve to justify the new psychological focus and measures such as mental health screening. "Only a few seem to connect the sudden surge of high-profile student violence with the progressive undermining of adult leadership, denigration of religiously based moral values, lurid media entertainment, and lack of substantive tasks to occupy the child's mind and time," writes Eakman.

Eakman also points out that the failure to teach basic civics has created a generation of voters to whom half-baked socialist ideas sound plausible and convincing. This rising "large egalitarian faction" believes that "the socialist system falls short only when legislation fails to give everyone an equal piece of the pie."

Walking Targets paints a frightening picture of a society where children are less and less equipped to resist tyranny, at the same time that data gathering, profiling and surveillance make tyranny a more and more present reality. The author's vivid writing style and constant use of stories and examples make the book as interesting and readable as it is thought-provoking and disturbing.


Walking Targets is just now rolling off the press, so it is not yet at the bookstores or some of the better-known online outlets. You may purchase this book directly from the printer through http://www.lulu.com/midnightwhistler

 
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