Prime Time Crime


(Published in the Similkameen Spotlight week of Nov. 15, 2004)

Schools opt out of Crime Prevention

  By John Martin

Laws, police crackdowns and criminal sanctions may have some impact on one’s decision to commit illegal acts.  But discouraging criminality has long been more successfully realized through the institutions of social control.  The influence of the family, community, church, and school has always been a critical factor in regulating behaviour and encouraging some degree of conformity to the accepted social system.

While it’s arguable that these institutions are no longer as persuasive as they once were, we should be particularly concerned with directions the public education system has taken in recent years.

School curriculum and culture have essentially been hi-jacked by teacher’s unions, politically correct zealots and socialists who see their job as one of indoctrination.  The results are devastating.  Consider a sampling of some of the stunts being exhibited in the name of public education.

A class of grade five students in an Ottawa suburb was assigned to write a letter to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister and the United States President, protesting the detention of Omar Khadr in Guantanamo Bay.  Omar is a member of Canada’s first family of terrorism.  His father, mother, brothers and sister are all either actively involved in terrorism or publicly support it.  The Khadrs admit to working closely with Osama Bin Laden and proudly boast of being an “Al Queda Family”.  Omar personally killed U.S. Sergeant 1st Class Christopher J. Speer with a hand grenade.

I guess according to the school district, it’s never too early to start brainwashing kids to hate Americans and Jews, and get them sympathizing with those who want to destroy western society.  Well done, class.

Less dangerous, but equally offensive is news from California (where else?) that a kindergarten through grade eight school in Carrier Mills announced “Cross Dressing Day” and instructed students to come to class dressed as the opposite gender.  Apparently, this charade is designed to promote tolerance and understanding of transgendered people, transvestites and drag queens.  I guess students can learn reading and writing anytime.  Let’s deal with the important stuff first.

And consider the case of St. Mary’s Academy, a religious school in Kansas.  The school football team was scheduled to play a game against a neighbouring high school.  That is, until they discovered that their opposition included a 14-year-old girl.  In addition to providing a basic education, one of the goals of St. Mary’s is to develop gentlemen.  And according to Father Gerard Beck, running into and knocking over girls is not the way to go about it.

Steadfast in their convictions, St. Mary’s forfeited the game when the other team refused to sit out the girl.  Outraged, the Kansas City High School Activities Association has now threatened to bar St. Mary’s from any games in the state.  The message is clear.  There is no room in this day and age for boys and girls to play in separate sports leagues.  And regardless of one’s moral and religious convictions, boys must be prepared to tackle, block and throw girls face first into the turf if they want to play football.  What admirable leadership.

In addition to teaching core curriculum subject matters, schools have always had an important role to play in shaping character and moral development.  Teachers and administrators have long been more than educators.  They have served as role models and mentors.

Many no doubt still view themselves in this manner and take their position, responsibility and authority seriously.  Many clearly understand they are an integral component in a process known as Crime Prevention Through Social Development. 

Good for them.  It’s a shame they’ve become a minority.

John Martin is a Criminologist at the University College of the Fraser Valley and can be contacted at

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