social contagion is as easy as abc!
as a religious school teacher, there was not one year in which the following occurred: while the class full of 5 to 7 year olds are seated and paying attention, a child raises their hand and asks to go to the restroom. within 30 seconds, i am then barraged with hands raised claiming the same urgency for the bathroom.
children are keen observers as to rewards and model their behavior to follow suit. the torah, with the tower of babel and the golden calf, provide cautionary tales of social contagion.
given how easily children are influenced by simple rewards, youth’s choices on all matters should be viewed with extreme skepticism.
given the susceptibility to social contagion that can occur in young students, educators and school districts promoting that children are capable of making life changing decisions are both dishonest and morally bankrupt. teachers have the power to transform and mold children in many ways. some of these teachers’ agendas are not in accordance with mainstream values. the teachers know that these students, with the provision of a tasty snack or time out of the classroom to play, will do anything. in schools, even non-teachers understand their powers. while in elementary school, the head custodian formed a club and convinced students to spend their nutrition break going around campus armed with brooms and dust pans. he assembled a clean up crew that only cost him a box of popsicles that he handed out on fridays.
in sum, when appreciating the ease upon which children can be influenced, societies should never allow for schools to have children engage in any extra-educational activity, i.e. gender change or abortion, without parental consent. in the case of abortion, is it not important that parents become aware of the fact that their child has been sexually active? likewise, in the case of abortion, parents may be aware of medical issues that may impact the nature and extent of the care that should be provided. further, in the worst case scenario, a teacher arranging for an underage student’s abortion may in fact be the one that impregnated the child. as such, the schools are providing cover and protections for their own sexual abusers.
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