Government schools and the state of the republic

September 25, 2014


I start this essay with a bit of false reasoning, argumentum ad verecundium, which means appeal from authority.

I was a teacher in government schools for 37 years. I was able to observe what these schools do to the mindsets of students who attend. This essay will address these mindsets and how they have shaped and are shaping the United States of America.

One mindset that government schools teach, either overtly or by implication, is that government action is the solution to all social problems. Many teachers complained that private schools did not do as well as government ones and children should not go to private schools.

The teachers unions extol government schools and claim that private ones take money from the government ones. School staff equally slander home schooling. The First Five
people advocate that government should start teaching (brain washing) children long before kindergarten.

The implication is that parents are incapable of teaching their own children and that only the state is qualified to perform this function. Our governor, the Honorable Jerry Brown, is moving funds so the state can start indoctrinating three and four year old tykes the beauty of the state and its leader. Ever hear of North Korea?

Government schools use textbooks that praise state action. History books are replete with anecdotes about leaders of countries, wars, and legislative acts. The government textbooks claim that: progress occurs when laws force people to accept “good” changes; many private individual acts are evil if they go against the state; and wealthy entrepreneurs are “robber barons.” or, by implication “greedy capitalists.” Heroes advocate government action.

A following mindset that comes from the indoctrination students receive is that is the duty of the state to meet all citizens’ needs and that people have a right to the things they need. This extends from providing health care, shelter, employment, protection, transportation, and education. Soon people may demand from government
clothing, food, and funeral expenses. The belief is that the state is God and God shall provide all our needs. We must worship God to have our needs met.

Government school unions control most of what policies state schools have. The unions do this by actively trying to elect officials at the local, state, and national levels. Policies that make these schools more powerful and wealthy benefit union members.

Most people call government schools “public schools” because that sounds better and is less threatening. Restaurants such as: McDonald’s, Applebees, Chilis, etc., are public because the public is welcome. The public is not welcome in government schools. If one is not an employee or student and shows up on a public school campus without permission of the principal one is breaking the law and may be escorted off the campus.

Gary Kirkland is a retired teacher, an Atascadero resident, 35-year-old stockholder in the Atascadero Mutual Water Company and president of the San Luis Obispo County Libertarian Party.


Gary: Well you certainly did deliver what you promised in your first sentence; “I start this essay with a bit of false reasoning, ….

Public schools are called public schools because the entire public is welcomed as students at public schools, whereas private schools can pick and choose who they allow to enrolled as students, and having the right amount of money certainly influences that decision.

Government can be an effective solution for many issues of society, but as we all know full well, sometimes government can be over-cumbersome and downright intrusive; what is needed is a balance, and where that balance point discussion is usually what defines the left/right paradigm. Gary makes the assertion that public schools teach that “government action is the solution to all social problems”; are students really taught that they should call a government agency to solve their social ills? Really? How about an example of “all” social problems being solved by government action?

Government action does have a place in our contemporary society; in the 1970s, people were being made sick and dying because factories could pollute with impunity and not be made to answer for their actions. A Republican president, Richard Nixon, called for and signed into law the forming of the EPA. Is the EPA, or for that matter, any government agency on any level “perfect” ? Since all government agencies are staffed, managed and overseen by humans, the answer is a resounding no. Again, the issue is balance; do government agencies achieve more benefit for our society than they do harm or intrusion into our privacy?

I believe that on the whole, on the balance, most government agencies at all levels strive to do more good than harm, but I fully recognize that some do fall very short when it takes months for a permit to be issued, or circumstances cannot have allowances tolerated, like for the DeGroot facility.

I view this opinion piece, as we all do, through my own personal filter; this article, IMO, is a near rant against government, period. You want to have an extremely weak government? Look at the situation in Somalia; is that what some of you Libertarian types really want for America?

While I might want to see something more like Norway or Sweden, I do realize their model of government isn’t going to transfer to the US of A due to the huge difference in populations, and their up until recently, lack of diversity.

So we end up looking for that elusive “balance”; enough “good government” so that society does have enough protections from corporations that only care about profit, and not being so intrusive and obnoxious that we despise everything about our government. Please remember that “government” is made up of individuals, citizens of the same nation we all live in.


The way government is growing in this country I see us becoming another North Korea,

while you mention Somalia in your article. I don’t know which is worse, North Korea, where government seems to control all aspects of peoples’ lives, or Somalia, where government

controls very little. I’ll go with Patrick Henry, “give me liberty or give me death.”



i see it everyday. nobody has any common sense and thinks the government is responsible for solving all their problems. it is very rare in the working world to come across an employee who doesnt feel entitled, who can solve problems, and think for themselves. these employees contribute greatly to the success of the company.


“It is very rare in the working world to come across an employee who doesn’t feel entitled, who can solve problems, and think for themselves.”

Do you pay your employees more than just the minimum wage? Do you honestly value their contribution to your workplace? Are they recognized for their contributions?

If they aren’t being paid better than a burger flipper, how can you expect them to be “invested’ in your company? If they are not recognized for their contributions, how can they be expected to continue to contribute?

Generally, you get what you pay for; in both money, and time- the time you invest in training and cultivating a culture of contribution and cooperation. Pay your employees and recognize them and you will usually be amazed. And yes, there are always going to be slackers who only want to “put in their time”, just staring at the clock waiting for their shift to end. That is the most challenging employee to mould into a productive, contributive asset that could make you proud to be a boss who knows how to motivate and train.


What a bunch of reactionary bovine droppings !

It may be only personally anecdotal, but I attended a public high school in a smaller town where about half of the students had ‘graduated’ from religious grade schools. Those students were about 3 – 4 years behind in most academic courses. This dumbed down the entire curiculum, and those of us that were up to speed pretty much were forced to endure classes that we had taken years previous.

Much time was spent having to counter the false belief systems that had been indoctrinated into these miseducated youngsters; including science, biology, history, geography, …even basic mathematics !


Made up tripe! I attended private Christian school for my first three years of high school. For my senior year I transferred to my local public school, in a very affluent area. My senior year at public school was a complete repeat of my junior year at private school. It was the easiest set of straight A report cards ever without even trying. Granted if was over forty years ago, but I would venture that public schools were ever better 40 years ago before they were forced to teach a PC curriculum.

Theo P. Neustic

Your continuous stream of posts, on all subjects, certainly validates the case against the public education (indoctrination) system.


The whole purpose of the government schools (and colleges) is to produce committed leftists.

The government schools have been hijacked by liberalism. Liberalism hurts the student.


Many of those who opposed government funded schooling in the early to mid nineteenth century when Horace Mann of Massachusetts began setting the standard for public education were concerned that:

Public education would result in higher taxes

Churches feared that public schools would fail to teach religion sufficiently and

Private school teachers were concerned that they would face lower pay or lose their jobs.

How prophetic.

I do think the author, to be true to his values, should forego his government pension, however.


Though not well written, the point is taken and obvious to anyone who cares to pay attention. Schools are strictly here to control the herd.


Thank you for your comment. Please elucidate me as to the poor writing as I wish to

improve my skills.

Thank you.



I’ve seen some really stupid opinion pieces here over the years but this one takes the cake. Now I understand the frequent and total dirision given to libertarians. Gary, you need to go review Ayn Rand again…and remember that she was an athiest and her writings are novels.


I don’t know — he does have a few valid points. The big problem is that like all ideologues, Gary tends to view everything through a filter provided by his ideology. The reality is that all ideologies have their own flaws and that most of the followers refuse to think critically about them. (Same for religions.) But that doesn’t mean they don’t also have some positive aspects. Nor does it mean that all the criticisms that ideologues throw at their opponents are necessarily wrong.

Schools, public or private, vary in quality and in honesty. So do teachers. Anyone can pick bad examples of one and good examples of another to make their case but it is dishonest (intentionally or not) to do so.

Broad generalizations about motivations of others is particularly suspect. There are probably some in the public school system (near the top of the bureaucracy) whose agenda is not far off from what Gary is concerned about. However, I don’t think that even all of them agree and I am sure that it doesn’t extend to most of those who actually teach. His editorial strikes me as full of exaggeration and bias. The only question I have is whether that is intentionally done for political propaganda or whether he honestly believes the views he presents are totally correct.


Thank you. What does the fact that she was an atheist have to do with her writings? I don’t use Ayn Rand for most of my Libertarian beliefs. I use Adam Smith, Fredrick Bastiat, and

Thomas Jefferson.


Rich in MB

Government Schools Good

Private Schools Bad

Government Employees Good

Private Sector Employees Bad

Government Taxes hurting Consumers Good

Private Business making money is Bad

State and Governmental Control Good

Individual Freedom and Liberty Bad

Control the Education System….and you control the Future….