That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.
Antony and Cleopatra,  Act 1, Scene 2

Unsilent Truth
March 23, 2017

The Rockville school rape

Fourteen-Year-Old Girls Don’t Count


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Last week, two Hispanic men (17 and 18, who will be tried as adults) were charged with having raped a 14-year-old girl in a restroom at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, Maryland, during school hours. There are plenty of reports and comments on the Internet already, so I will not repeat them here, except to mention that the two who are accused of rape (not "alleged to have committed an alleged rape") were non-English-speaking illegal aliens and, despite their ages, were enrolled in the ninth (sic) grade.

Suffice it to say that the case has generated lots of talk about immigration policy, safety in schools, responsibility of the schools toward parents, federal laws affecting schools, and so on and on.

So often, we free-market libertarians are accused by our cousins in other movements of being interested only in economics. Well ... we shall see about that.

In the old print edition of The Last Ditch, I wrote about a 1996 case in Pennsylvania in which an 11-year-old was forced to undergo a vaginal examination in a public school. I commented on the wimpiness of parental demands that there be investigations, perhaps firings, certainly disciplinary action, instead of manly rough justice involving bullwhips. I commented on the wrong-headedness of lawsuits against public-school systems that (if successful) would merely extract money from the victims' neighbors. (At least 58 girls were molested. The children were not allowed to call their parents, and a nurse blocked the door to prevent their escaping.)

I wrote also against the folly of home-schooling parents who demanded that their children be allowed to participate in band and sports activities operated by the local school. I railed against Focus on the Family, which, having reported on all of these cases — and others, for example, cases in which teachers had brought in representatives from local abortuaries to propagandize grade-school children and who concealed those invitations from parents — urged its listeners to mobilize to take control of the public-school system, not to abandon it.

That doesn't even begin to raise the question of what passes for teaching in those institutions. It doesn't begin to address the problem of drugs in the schools. It doesn't begin to address violence in the schools.

My message then? Get out! My message now? Get out faster.

Quit messing with political solutions. Quit messing with the schools. Public schools are political institutions. They will reflect the politics of the day. Do you like the politics of the day? No? Then get out. Public schools are institutions governed by "reasons of state," not by the liberal arts, not by mathematics, not by the sciences. The rape of a 14-year-old girl is merely a tragedy. It is merely unfortunate. It is merely an "isolated incident." Discussion of policies related to illegal aliens has become "overheated." Be certain of this: no matter what the final outcome is, none of the policymakers who supported the policies that resulted in this rape will ever have to fear for his own life. The worst that will happen to any of them is to be voted out of office. There will be no resignations, even. No disgrace. For most of them, their positions are safe. For all of them, their lives are safe. They will suffer no fear. At most they'll get a few threatening phone calls or e-mail messages that have no substance. They will endure no nightmares. No one with torches and farm implements will storm their homes or offices.

Little girls are just individuals. They must not stand in the way of the Big Picture.

Only free-market libertarians consistently recognize that Big Pictures are the equivalent of human sacrifice. Only free-market libertarians call on parents to get their children out of the public schools.

Oh, yes, I know, dear reader, none of this applies to you; you are different. You live in a district with fine schools. The school where your child goes has excellent teachers. High graduation rates. High average SAT scores. It's a tiresome echo of the old "throw the bums out" problem in elections. All congressmen are blackguards and corrupt politicians who concern themselves not with the public good, but with getting re-elected. All, that is, except for the congressman from your district, who is honest, hard-working, caring, and effective.

And, besides, doing anything other than sending your children to public schools is just too expensive. Why, there's no telling what you might have to give up to see to their education yourself.

So who's thinking only about economics now?

It is more than 20 years since the events I wrote about, and still parents are whining about the abuse of their children in public schools. Wringing their hands over their concern for the safety of their children — "our most precious commodity," said one radio talk-show host (with teenaged daughters). And still, out goes the call again for political action of some sort. Protests. Demands for policy changes at PTA meetings. Maybe even more attention at election time.

Efforts by a local radio talk-show host to get officials on his show from the Montgomery public school district to discuss, not the case itself, but their policies were met with silence, as were his efforts to interview Rockville school board members, the principal of the high school, the Rockville High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association (not a government organization), members of the Montgomery County Police Department (which enforces the school policies), the county executive for Montgomery County, county council members, and even the congressman who is said to "represent" Montgomery County.

Also refusing to discuss their schools' relevant policies were officials in neighboring districts: the Prince George's County school board, Fairfax County school board, Arlington County school board, and Washington, D.C., school board. Self-government in action.

(You can hear Larry O'Connor's WMAL podcast of March 21 here, and I draw your attention especially to the interview with Loudoun County school board member Eric DeKenipp for a discussion of the relevant federal laws. Loudoun County, Va., is about 48 miles from Rockville High School.)

What do I conclude from all this? I conclude that nearly all of the parents of public-school students in the Washington area — even the ones who are not government employees — are insane. They have been infected by utopian egalitarianism and statish thinking to such a degree that the idea of pulling their children out of public schools and forming, say, voluntary co-ops for educating their children simply cannot occur to them. The idea of taking the safety of their children into their own hands is too outré.

They are so infected that "vote" and "make your voice heard" are the only responses they can conceive when it is clear that their children's minds and bodies are imperiled by the existence of a school system in which education has been replaced by the obvious goal of molding obedient and docile minds that think only permissible thoughts. They are so infected that loyalty to statish ways of doing things is more important to them than the safety, education, morals, and overall well-being of their children.

Statish thinking results in a kind of "Stockholm syndrome," where parents continue to support a system that would sooner teach third-grade girls how to put a condom on a boy than how to derive a logical thought. Statish thinking has made it impossible for them to tell the difference between right and wrong. And that is the legal definition of insanity.

P.S. On March 22 the Montgomery County Council announced that there will be no policy changes regarding its handling of non-English-speaking adults placed in high schools or any of its other policies related to illegal immigrants. Self-government in action. Ω

March 23, 2017

Published in 2017 by WTM Enterprises.

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