What Is Really Weakening Our Schools

I have really taken a good hard look at the way things are today as opposed to the way they used to be. I have gone off on tangents at conferences and did nothing but speak from my heart. I feel as though my way of thinking is slowly becoming extinct, but I believe that regardless of popular opinion or political correctness I have a voice, I mean ever body else does right? I have written hundreds of essays and blog posts but, the fifteen essays contained in this book are the essays that describe what I call the Kryptonite Syndrome and explain what really is weakening our schools and at times weakening us as a society. Here are the abstracts so you can decide if this book is for you.

We Have Medicalized Education

I choose to joust with no one regarding the condition of ADHD. My only goal with this essay is to give educators a clear view of the topic and help us all determine what is organic and what is truly learned behavior. We have medicalized education! Truthfully we have gotten to the point where meds are the first choice in treating behavior problems not the last. Medication has proven to help kids with ADHD or ODD. Talk to any therapist though and they will tell you that medication in combination with therapy is the plan that nets the best result. In schools meds are relied on too heavily, and need to be used in combination with solid discipline and effective consequences. Where were ADHD and ODD 40 years ago? They didn’t exist or they weren’t invented yet. Why, because kids with behavior problems were few and far between. Authority was respected by parents and students. When we discovered that disrespect is now the norm and not the exception, we began to create conditions to support the behavior. If a kid acts up today it is usually attributed to the fact that he doesn’t take his medication consistently, when in reality he is not being disciplined effectively.

 Disrespect Is Pervasive In Our Schools

Sadly disrespect is not only pervasive in our schools but in our society. Students aren’t corrected for it and they become adults who believe that they can say and do whatever they want. And that includes instilling the fear of God into a teacher who tries to correct their kid. Teachers complain about it, but no one talks about the problem. Why? Because this fear ascends the ranks and school administrators and even the superintendent live in fear of irate parents. No one confronts and everybody runs. The schools are controlled by 20% of the parents with the loudest voice and the most threatening attitudes and behaviors.

No One is Responsible, No One

Everybody knows that excuses are built around circumstance, environmental and genetic circumstance. Crimes get committed and circumstance is always brought up. Tough upbringing, or he was raised on the wrong side of the tracks are just two excuses used. We are determined, that’s who we are, and we can’t change. Circumstances only influence they don’t determine behavior. Provide enough excuses for anyone and they will provide you the evidence to support your belief. Teachers have been forced to excuse behavior by a dysfunctional system. A system that has been shoe horned into education by a dysfunctional society.

Self Control Should Be Taught

Self control should be taught but, unfortunately it’s not. Have you looked at the condition of society? 1 in 4 homes are in foreclosure. I guess we can blame the banks, or can we? Everybody wants something bigger and better. To get bigger and better the money has to be made to get it, unless the bank doesn’t care. But, in the final analysis the decision is made by the buyer. Teenage obesity, diabetes, addiction, alcoholism, are all evidence of the lack of self control in society. And oh, did I mention anger issues and the left over bitterness from childhood that gets carried into adulthood wreaking havoc on families. Society has lost control of its thoughts, its words, and its actions. Everybody knows. What produces a nation of people with self-control, consequences do. Unfortunately many people are sitting in that leaking boat right now and are experiencing the consequences of the lack of self control.

 We Lie To Kids

Oh we don’t mean to but we do lie to kids. We have inflated their grades because we don’t want to destroy their self esteem. By the way, what is self esteem? Today kids feel good about themselves for no apparent reason. It is almost impossible to be left back, and if a kid has low test scores the teacher always gets the blame. So we let the kid know that he is doing great academically, inflate his grades and give him a false sense of his academic ability. Don’t worry someone will tell him, like the college he will be trying to get into in a few years. Then for sure everybody will know including him.

I Like You But…..

The statement, “I like you, but don’t like your behavior” is a lie. Be honest you don’t like the kid. The truth is we are all are measured by our behavior. I own my behavior, I am my behavior. Like me but not my behavior, stop it. There are some adults that we don’t like because of their behavior, we might be married to one, are kids any different. The truth is I don’t like you because of your behavior, and I go home every night praying that you take the next day off.

Reasons Not Excuses

Excuses are built around circumstance, environmental and genetic circumstance. Crimes get committed and circumstance is always brought up. Tough upbringing, or he was raised on the wrong side of the tracks are just two excuses used. We are determined, that’s who we are, and we can’t change. Circumstances only influence they don’t determine behavior. Provide enough excuses for anyone and they will provide you the evidence to support your belief. Teachers have been forced to excuse behavior by a dysfunctional system. A system that has been shoe horned into education by a dysfunctional society.

We Have Lost Our Independent Thinkers

Everyone has to pass the state test. How is it administered? The kids are sitting in rows. Why are they taught in groups? It is almost mandated in some districts that everyone sits in groups. Does everyone like working in groups? Some kids are introverted and prefer to work alone. This kid is going to earn himself a trip to the school psychologist because he is anti social. How many jobs require people to work in pods of 4-6 all day long? If they did no one would get any work done. That’s just what’s happening in our schools.

Compliance or Obedience?

Years ago the only thing we wanted was for a kid to obey; now it’s the last thing we get. As a matter of fact obedience has become a dirty word. The educational gurus who have spent their time attacking education from a theoretical standpoint, but never really spent any time interacting in a classroom with a group of wild kids liken the word obedience to dog training. They fear that we will destroy the creative side of a kid’s brain by not allowing him to choose and by forcing obedience. Okay already, let’s change obedience to compliance. The definition; doing what you are told when you are told to do it, with a good attitude. The NJ Turnpike has a sign posted right after you pay the toll, it reads; you have left the NJ Turnpike OBEY local speed laws. I guess we only have to obey as we get older.

The Playground is Now a Parking Lot

Run, jump, pull-up, push-up and throw a softball. The requirements for physical fitness as set forth by President Kennedy in 1961. The president’s council on physical fitness was formed because America was getting soft. Well guess what; it’s getting softer. Do you know why? Because our kids don’t get out and play enough at least not in school. Years ago if we finished our work as a class you know what we did? We got to go out for a game of football, wiffle  ball, or softball. Now when kids are done with work do you know what they can look forward to? More work, or better yet a brain break for about two minutes that is equal to a good stretch. Childhood obesity and diabetes let’s put an end to them; you know how. Give kids more opportunity to run around on the playground.

 NCLB (No Child Left Behind)

I agree that no child should be left behind, but they all are. Kids don’t leave first grade on the first grade level because they all don’t enter first grade at the same level. By the time they hit the third grade some kids are already two years behind. Multiple Intelligence, Differentiated Instruction, Inclusion, all great stuff but truly they don’t meet the needs of the students. All those levels in the same room with an overly ambitious curriculum; everybody is being left behind.

 There is No Fear

Kids don’t fear anything today. As a matter of fact parents fear their kids more than kids fear their parents. Systemic discipline is just a slap on the wrist and dysfunctional schools fight dysfunctional families. While all of this is going on the kids watch, laugh, and say and do what they want without any real consequence.

Parents Need Parenting

The question is who is going to do it? After speaking to hundreds of parents about their children what I discovered was they don’t talk to their own parents. They lack discipline skills and are so angry and lost that they take out their rage on their own kids. Three generations of dysfunction. Everyone knows it, and talks about it, but no one knows what to do about this disaster that Everybody Knows.

Political Correctness

Kids have lost their ability to get along and are rapidly becoming adults who have matured physically, but not mentally, or emotionally. Society has been taught to disagree, but with the wrong attitude, so don’t disagree with me or I won’t like you. Disagreements are things that get walked away from because of the fear of conflict. The idea that a productive conflict could exist and the two parties involved could leave enough space between them for a disagreement is too tough to imagine because egos are just too big. Win-Win, can’t happen because someone always has to win and someone has to lose. Don’t talk too loud now because someone will hear, and even your whispers will get back to the wrong person, like your boss who will muzzle you and make sure that you always walk the line of political correctness.

 The Inter-generational Tendency

What parents do in moderation, the kids will do in excess. The concern is that things will get worse. We are at a point where we have to put up or shut-up because all the complaining in the world won’t change the mind of parents, teachers, or administrators when they’re egos are at stake. Their own imprint and upbringing are what drive the decisions that get made and keep us surrounded by a sibling society.

If you agree with some or all of these statements and want to read more about what is really weakening our schools please Click on the link below to get an immediate download of the entire book for only $5.

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Classroom Kryptonite

Before You Read This Book Please Read This

  1. In writing this book I interchange kid, student, child, and he and she. They all mean the same thing.
  1. I interchange parent, teacher and society. They all merely mean someone who is supposed to be in charge.
  1. You will find one intervention used for multiple behaviors. That’s because they work with different kids in many situations.
  1. I see many behaviors as being learned but don’t doubt that there may be organic problems that cause the behavior.
  1. I will not joust with anyone regarding conditions such as ADHD or ODD. My goal is to help create an understanding between what is a condition and what is a learned behavior.
  1. I don’t doubt that circumstances can give us reasons for certain behaviors; but there are no excuses.
  1. In my final thoughts I include an article “Everybody Knows” please read it. By the way you can find it on youtube and it is now a self study course that you can purchase here http://payhip.com/b/E1cs
  1. I am sure that there are many more behaviors that teachers and parents deal with other than the ones mentioned here.
  1. I am an Anti Bullying Consultant, retired principal, speaker, and writer. I have observed that most behaviors that we deal with are relationship based and disrespect, irresponsibility, and unkindness, apathy, and willful non-compliance pervades our society.
  1. Some things work some of the time but, nothings works all of the time.
  1. This is only volume one. If you have behaviors that you would like me to include in future volumes please email me at jameshburns55@gmail.com.
  1. Please read the articles associated with the behaviors and other supporting information in the appendix.


There are people that we absolutely can’t stand. There are those that lie, cheat, and steal. There are whiners, complainers, gossip hounds, and sneaks. There are some who are so arrogant and are such a know it all that a conversation with them is almost painful. There are those that are so angry that we avoid telling them things that they don’t want to hear because we fear their reaction. Then there are those who are absolute criminals who don’t have a conscience who do things that are designed to inflict pain and suffering on other’s. Professionals who work with these people are trained to look beyond certain behaviors and convince themselves that they like the person but don’t like their behavior. Good luck if you are a teacher because kids who exhibit certain behaviors are just plain unlikeable, and in reality they know that they are unlikable and it may even be his/her way of getting the negative attention that he is starving for. The adults who exhibit some of the behaviors mentioned above were once kids who learned how to get away with things like disrespect, irresponsibility, and non-compliance as students and now have taken their deviance to a level that their life and the lives of others are being negatively impacted.

It doesn’t matter if it is organic or learned certain things just can’t be tolerated. Some of the behaviors are so inter-generational and so ingrained that that we can believe that the person is determined and that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and up bringing or genetics is the issue. In reality though we are only influenced by our genetics or upbringing and there has to be a switch in thinking as we change our response to negative influences. By the time a child starts kindergarten certain conclusions have already been drawn and he/she already believes that a temper tantrum gets the job done and I will get what I want when I want it. Until of course they discover something different and have to revert to deviance to get what they believe they are entitled to.

Behaviors like the ones just mentioned can’t be and should not be tolerated by schools or by society in general. Why; because they weaken families, systems, and classrooms. They become like Kryptonite and can begin to eat away at the moral fiber of society. For teachers life can become a nightmare when they have to deal with continual deviance and can’t do what they are paid to do and that’s to teach. Here are ten behaviors that I believe are like Classroom Kryptonite and if not dealt with early will do nothing more than prepare kids for a lifetime of misery who will try and shoehorn themselves into systems that will not accept their perception of life and their negative behavior.

We will assume that there are two reasons for negative behaviors; they are either learned or that they are organic meaning that there is some form of mental illness associated with the behavior that has affected a person’s judgment or has resulted in poor impulse control.

Kids often have what I call a “Choosing Disability.” In other words they have not developed the ability to make the correct choices and have trouble determining right and wrong behavior. There are reasons for poor choices but there are no excuses. Excuses when used can imply that we believe that the behavior should be excused with no consequences being imposed. Reasons explain the circumstance but regardless still hold the person accountable with a consequence. There is a short article that I wrote many years ago that offers a clear explanation. You can find it in the appendix as article one.

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