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How Was School Today, Honey? Great! I Practiced Fellatio.

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Posted on January 23 2011 4:18 pm
Suzanne Venker, a.k.a. "No Bull Mom," is an author, blogger, and speaker. You can find her at www.suzannevenker.com.
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Oh, the irony. While Americans are busy chastising ‘Tiger mom’ Amy Chua for her observations about the state of parenting in the United States, at Markham Elementary School in Oakland, CA, second grade students got naked in their classroom. And engaged in oral sex. And the teacher was there. In the classroom. While it was going on.

Here we are, publicly debating whether or not parenting in America is seriously lacking, and along comes a story about seven-year-olds who are licking each other’s private parts in school.

Good Lord, America: wake up. This is pathetic. Pitiful. Egregious. Flat out disgraceful. Amy Chua may not have used this terminology to describe how American parents, or just adults in general, have failed our nation’s kids – but she could have. And she’d be right.

When I heard this story, I was reminded of Chua’s Today show interview with Meredith Vieira.  Chua used teen sex, or teenage pregnancy, as an example (along with rampant drug use and the abdication of parental authority) of where Western parenting has gone wrong. Vieira was horrified. Wait a minute, she said.

“It’s not like we condone that.”

Vieira did what one would expect of any left wing member of the media elite: she defended the parents of America. She had to – otherwise they’d feel bad about doing a bad job of raising their kids. And we can’t have that.

Meanwhile, while second graders in China are busy learning their ABCs in a traditional classroom environment where the teachers – not the kids – are in control, second graders in America are doing something else altogether. And we wonder why China is running circles around America.

Wait, you say. Isn’t the culture at fault? Yes, but all cultures are comprised of tiny communities called families, each of whom make up one piece of a very large pie. The place to focus our attention is on the family itself. That Meredith Vieira let parents off the hook makes her almost as guilty as the parents who churned out the kind of kids who would take their clothes off in school and make nice with their classmates.

What about the schools? Aren’t they to blame? Of course — the lack of discipline in public schools is just as pathetic as the lack of discipline in America’s families. But before schools went downhill, parenting did. Think of it this way: Even if America’s schools were stellar, they’d still have to contend with the quality of kids parents bring to their doorstep. Now reverse that. If parenting in America were stellar, schools wouldn’t have the problem in the first place. Which means when push comes to shove, it all comes back to the state of the American family.

One has to wonder what images the children are seeing on television, at home or with their friends that lead to this kind of behavior,” writes Boyce Watkins, Ph.D.

It’s time we called a spade a spade. American parenting is, as Chua and her Asian friends say, “shocking.’ Perhaps a little stigma is just what American parents need.

Suzanne Venker is an author and former classroom teacher. Her new book, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know – and Men Can’t Say is due out March 15, 2011. Suzanne’s website is www.suzannevenker.com.

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