General Question

JLeslie's avatar

What do you think about public boarding schools like the SEED Program?

Asked by JLeslie (56374points) June 9th, 2010

I have wondered for years if something like this would work. Let children get out of their difficult home environments and actually live at a boarding schools where they can feel safe and focus on academics.

Are you in favor of it?

Do you think the money to support such a program is well spent? I don’t know how much more it costs to run a school like this compared to a typical public school.

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19 Answers

Seek's avatar

I would have died, or sacrificed small animals in the name of education, to get into this program. Please, PLEASE take me away from my home for ten months at a time. Please.

In fact, if this existed for me, I would probably still be in contact with my parents today. Maybe.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr – You know? Absolutely the same here. ::high five::

Had a chance for a few seconds to go to boarding school at 12, but my almost-benefactor decided to give all her money away to the ASPCA and move to India.

Nullo's avatar

Public accommodations tend to be pretty crappy; it might not be such a nice place.

JLeslie's avatar

@Nullo A lot of these kids live in war zones practically with drugs and violence. It is a public school and they apply by lottery, no one forces them to go. The video I saw did not look bad.

Nullo's avatar

@JLeslie Sorry, I have a “Public = Pruitt Igoe” association.

YARNLADY's avatar

Programs like that one and many others through out the U.S. are wonderful. I did some volunteer work at one in San Diego, and the students loved being there so much, they didn’t want to go home for vacations or anything. That’s when I went in, since the instructors did want to go home for vacations. My husband at that time was a part-time counselor and got me into volunteering.

rooeytoo's avatar

In the Northern Territory of Australia there is always talk of such endeavors for the Aboriginal children but they never seem to make it to fruition because they are rarely politically expedient. In the meantime there is generation after generation of kids who are illiterate and will probably spend their entire lives (short spanned as they are) on welfare. There is education available but parents do not send the kids and really how many kids would go to school without forceful parental encouragement. These parents are illiterate themselves and often having drug and alcohol problems therefore just simply don’t care.

So based on my observations, I think it would be a wonderful idea, but I don’t see it happening on a large scale.

YARNLADY's avatar

@rooeytoo You will probably find that the best programs don’t happen on a large scale. Every little bit is the best we can hope for.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I am assuming they live in a country like settings, not inner cities? I wasn’t even thinking of it in terms of rural areas. Do you think the aboriginal families would send their children to such a school?

rooeytoo's avatar

@YARNLADY – some small scale projects are funded and started but usually lose funding the following year and then wither and die.

@JLeslie – The aboriginal people, for the most part, do not send their children to school so I can’t imagine a boarding school would be any different. The kids are up all night either playing video games or cannot sleep because the adults are drunk and fighting, so when the bus comes the next morning the kids sleep through it and of couse the adults do as well. It will not happen unless the government forces the children to go. But that will not happen because it is a political bomb. It is an interesting situation. We had a young aboriginal boy living with us while his father was in jail and his mother had too many kids. His parents “gave” him to us. But we insisted he go to school so he ran away every couple of days and would go back to his mom (in the same area). Then when he got hungry or wanted a hot shower he would come back. This went on for months. Finally he just went back to his mom, the lure of no discipline was too great. He was about 11 then, he is now 16 and was just caught petrol sniffing. It is heartbreaking, we tried but this behavior is accepted and condoned in the name of “culture” and now he will probably go down the same path that so many others do. He is basically a really nice kid but the nature vs nurture thing is hard to break.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo Good God. How very sad. I don’t know what the actual laws are on the books in America, but I was always told you had to go to school until the age of 16 by law. You know, if they were productive, I would be less critical. I would still want them to be able to read and write, but if they lived in their own villages, farmed, were self sustaining, healthy, happy, I would not judge it for a minute, as long as the children and families had the option of an education. But, their situation sounds so unhealthy. I find it very interesting actually. I compare it to our poor here, not only inner city, but Appalachia and other very poor places. And of course I am sure you are aware that the Native Americans here, especially on reservations have high rates of alcoholism, and poverty.

What do the Aboriginal people themselves say about it? I assume there are educated prosperous people from that culture/race (not sure the right word) who must want to influence what is going on and help them, especially the new generation.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – sorry I missed your last response. I don’t think the situation here correlates to Applachia, seems as if there the people are poor and undereducated because of their circumstances, not by choice. The Aboriginal people here have so many opportunities (many of which are open only to them, if they were open only to white people the cry of racism would reverberate around the world) but most do not choose them or encourage their children to choose them.

There are many educated prosperous Aboriginals, some take leadership positions and are often disliked by the others and a lot of non indigenous as well because they rock the boat and want to make education, hygiene for children etc. mandatory for the indigenous as it is for the rest of the population. Also there are a lot of indigenous leaders who are getting rich in the process of “helping” their own people out of this downward spiral. It is a most complicated problem.

The saddest part though is the children. Kids who should be removed from irresponsible, incapable parents are left in their homes because of the implications of the Stolen Generation, or because there are not Aboriginal families to foster these children. The worry being that if they are placed with white or non indigenous families, they will lose their “culture.” Never mind that at this point in time, it is their culture that is killing them, figuratively and all too often literally.

I live in USA for over 50 years but always on the east coast and I was never really aware of the situation with Native Americans, but from what I read now the situations are similar.

YARNLADY's avatar

@rooeytoo Yes, you are correct. Many Native American children were removed from their families and sent to church schools where they were punished for speaking their native language and practicing their native customs.

Edit: the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma now owns and operates a boarding school which teaches our children to be proud of our heritage, and embrace the American Way as well. The Choctaw were on of the first tribes recognized as already practicing and embrace the new ways of the newcomers from overseas.

rooeytoo's avatar

@YARNLADY – and have the politicians and lawmakers become so afraid of the possible political backlash because of it that children are left to whither and die in despicable conditions? That is what makes me sad. I lived in the midst of it and wonder why there cannot be a middle ground? Why has the pendulum swung so far the opposite direction? Why can’t there be one set of laws that are applied equally to all? The kids have so little chance as it is. I wondered often if children are better off in a culture where the average life expectancy is 48 for a male or would they be better off growing up in a different culture where their chances for education and health and life were more promising and then they studied their own culture later in life.

My heritage is German/Irish, am I less of a person because I do not speak the languages or cook ethnically? I am not saying that out of insensitivity, I am asking out of genuine interest.

YARNLADY's avatar

@rooeytoo Thank goodness, most of the Native American ‘tribes’ have taken it upon themselves to do the best they can. However, there are still thousands of children who are left languishing because of the lack of resources to help. In the U. S. there are hundreds of recognized Native American tribes and many more groups that do not even have official recognition, and many of their children are living below poverty level and uneducated.

I hasten to point out that there are thousands of non-native (American) children in the same straits. In my opinion, it is a national disgrace.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY It is a national disgrace in my mind also. I do have a question though about our native Americans in America. Are there any tribes/groups/communities not sure which to use for the question, who really live the old traditional way, as they would have 200 + years ago? Similar to how the Amish are a very separate culture in our country.

YARNLADY's avatar

Many members of the Klamath Tribes do.

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