Detoxing America Schools: From Social Agency to Academic Urgency examines the issue of toxicity in public education institutions. Today’s students are exposed to personal beliefs, lifestyle practices, and politicized educational policies—many of which are in contrast to the values of their upbringing. The innate toxic intentions of some teachers are revealed by their unabashed calls for students to take sides through avenues of shaming and even civil disobedience.
Schools have become vessels of social agency. The time has come to detox American education and to call for teachers to return to the urgent, fundamental mission of educating students academically.
Too many teachers are following the paradigm found on many college campuses, as they use prior experience to stir up students and bring new levels of emotion into their classrooms. The classroom environment has flipped and what was once tolerance has become the new toxic intolerance.
Fractious Americans seem addicted to the use of polarized issues as social and emotional intoxicants. Groups are strategic in seizing upon differences to ensure augmentation and marginalization upon ideological lines, intensified often by the flames of social media and intolerant activism.
College students emerging from Gen Z are more radicalized from their time at college. Unless American educators agree to step back from certain poisonous rhetoric and noxious activism, our nation will continue to lose sight of the academic urgency before us, and with it a generation of children.