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I’ve been thinking about two current features of state schools and the implications of them…
Feature #1 – nurses
Approximately 75% of secondary (high) schools have nurses now. I haven’t been able to find the figures for lower schools, but I’m guessing that it’s similar. In my humble opinion this is another form of nanny-statism, and another way of teaching children to rely on the state for all their needs. When kids go to school they don’t just have teachers, they have guidance counsellors and nurses: it’s clear that the state isn’t just interested in education, it’s interested in the whole person (i.e. it wishes to be a parent), and the children of today go to school to get their every need met (including, in some cases, food).
There’s also a subtle cotton-wool effect arising from the fact that children grow up expecting to have medical care nearby. Children who are raised by parents that wrap them in cotton wool – remember that the state wishes to be a parent – turn out to be fearful weaklings that are excessively risk-averse. To put it another way, they tend to be wimps who are forever looking for more cotton wool to hide in, and these types are often happy to accept the poisonous ministrations of Nanny State.
School nurses are also agents of state surveillance and state control of parents. Think about it: almost every child in New Zealand goes to school, and a great many of those schools have medical personnel who are watching over the children. Those nurses can spot things that teachers often wouldn’t and, unlike teachers, their time is devoted to monitoring the health of children. They also have plenty of excuses for examining children in intimate ways. Parents know that if they send Johnny to school with a lot of bruises and/or hungry and/or dirty and/or poorly dressed they might get unwelcome attention from the state authorities, so the mere presence of a school nurse pressures parents into caring for their children in a way that meets with the state’s approval. On the other hand, you deserve what you get when you deliver your children into the state’s cruel hands.
Twenty years ago school nurses were virtually unknown and schools functioned perfectly well without them. On second thoughts, “perfectly well” is the wrong term: it would be more accurate to say that schools without nurses functioned as well as any morally bankrupt state brainwashing apparatus can function. In my humble opinion there is no need for them now and they are a waste of taxpayer’s money.
Feature #2 – ID cards
As far as I can tell all children of intermediate age (11 years) and above have school ID cards with a photo. Once again, schools used to function as well as any school can without them, so why are they necessary now?
We have photo drivers licences – a de facto ID card bought in for spurious road safety reasons – and now schools have photo ID cards. Do you detect a pattern?
If the state ever does bring in a compulsory ID card (according to Ian Wishart this has been on the agenda since 1987) they will face less resistance if they do it when a large portion of the population is already desensitised (comfortable with the idea) by having had ID cards at school. To put it another way, the state is ensuring that the children of today are used to Big Brother policies such as ID cards.
As an aside, what is the purpose of state ID cards? Look at it this way: if you’re running a wholesale business and wish to be efficient you need to know exactly what’s in your warehouse, the location of each item, and the specifications of each item. In the eyes of those who rule the state you and I are simply goods in the warehouse, i.e. we exist for their benefit, and an ID card system makes it easy for the state to put everything it knows about you in one place. For example, a lot of people have an IRD number (tax), a WINZ number (welfare), a drivers licence number, and a National Health Index number. With an ID card system it is theoretically possible to collate all that information under one National Identification Number, although they’ll probably give it a cutsie name like Kiwi Care Number. It is also theoretically possible for a policeman to stop you in the street, scan a barcode on your ID card, and read all your personal data right there and then: income, criminal history, medical records, place of residence, welfare assistance received, and so on*. The purpose of state ID cards is collation and control: collation of information to aid in the control of individuals.
If they did something like this they’d justify it by saying that we should be willing to give up our right to privacy in order to allow the state to maintain social order – read more about that in my post What is a social contract?.
Thankfully the state has a history of being grossly incompetent when it comes to implementing massive computer projects, such as the one that would be required to collate all your personal data under a national ID number. Many people curse the ineptitude of governments but I am thankful for it, because the incompetence of our enemy is what keeps us safe.
Back to schools: I believe that nurses and ID cards in schools are simply examples of the state’s efforts to infiltrate and control every area of our lives. State education has always been about teaching the state religion, and state control of individuals is part of that religion so it is taught to children in a subtle way.
What are your thoughts regarding nurses and ID cards in schools?
What other implications of these things can you see?
I believe that the state should not be involved in education in any way whatsoever.
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* the UK government wanted to make ID cards compulsory for everyone but faced opposition. Now the cards are voluntary for most people, but compulsory for permanent residents who come from a country outside the EU. Click here to see what data is stored on the UK ID card: I believe that this is the thin end of the wedge and that more data will be stored when the opposition has gone quiet.