I am fascinated by yesterday’s well-organized walk-out in Boston public schools.
What would happen if all the high school students in the nation refused to go to school? It’s logical that they would not want to go to school. They are infantilized. High school is pretty much living hell for most kids.
But conditioning for high school starts in preschool, when children feel little sense of power or independence. So by the time high school comes, the kids have been brainwashed to feel powerless over their own lives; they do whatever they’re told.
What if that were not the case? What if kids realized they have more power than the adults? If kids stopped going to school we’d have to deal with them. We’d have to genuinely address their concerns. Which, for now, are relatively small. But that’s only because the kids in Boston are experimenting with their power.
Our society is dependent on kids being locked up for most of the day. We are not set up to deal with them in any other way. But we think the risk is small that high schoolers will walk out en masse because we’ve scared kids into thinking their life depends on getting good grades.
This reminds me of risk management in business. Look at the business model for a place like VoucherBin. Coupons. If everyone who shopped at a given store redeemed coupons there would be a problem. But that doesn’t happen. Or Dylan’s Candy: Super crowded every time I go there. If all the people in there decided to steal candy at once, no one could stop them. The candy is so small. We juggle such risks all the time in the business world.
Usually nothing terrible happens. But GroupOn’s stock price tanked when too many people used their coupons and put small companies out of business. So it’s possible. Those Boston kids really inspire the dreamer in me.
If kids understood their power, they would push for more than school funding, as the Boston kids want. The power of high school students is army-level. I hope I get to see them discover that and use it.