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Mande: Ritalin Is Good, But Chapstick is Bad?

FIFTH-GRADER CHALLENGES SCHOOL’S CHAPSTICK BAN By Mande Wilkes ||  Mostly, when I confess my intentions to homeschool my son, I get a lot of blank stares. I know, I know … what business does a nice, if annoyingly new-age, Jewish girl like me have with homeschooling? Isn’t that mainly for the Evangelical…

FIFTH-GRADER CHALLENGES SCHOOL’S CHAPSTICK BAN

wilkes announcementBy Mande Wilkes ||  Mostly, when I confess my intentions to homeschool my son, I get a lot of blank stares.

I know, I know … what business does a nice, if annoyingly new-age, Jewish girl like me have with homeschooling? Isn’t that mainly for the Evangelical set?

Well, yeah. For the time being, at least.

As you might expect, my reasons are legion – one of them being that I cannot imagine the prospect of medicating my kid into submission. Which is what’s being done to students – especially “unruly” boys – in government-run classrooms across the country.

That’s why I had to laugh at the irony of the news about a fifth-grader in Virginia who is taking on her school board over the use of… Chapstick.

Grace Karaffa, age 11, has been collecting signatures for a petition to change the school district’s policy on Chapstick, which it currently classifies as a medication.

Naturally this is over-the-top, beyond-the-pale ridiculous. And unfortunately, this isn’t a phase or a fluke or a blip on the radar. This is the “new normal” in American schools: militarized, regimented little fiefdoms reigned over by lazy simpletons.

As young Grace accurately clarified for the school board, Chapstick is simply “a little tube of Vaseline,” not a pharmaceutical product.

Meanwhile, of course, a number of Grace’s peers are being pharmaceutically lulled into compliance by actual medicines like the ADD pill Ritalin as well as a menagerie of antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Diagnoses of childhood ADD, ADHD, OCD, depression, and generalized anxiety disorder have absolutely skyrocketed in the past decade. In so many cases, it’s at the schools’ behest that students are medicated, because tranquilized kids are obviously easier to wrangle.

Come to think of it, if little Grace herself were medicated, she probably wouldn’t be with-it enough or awake enough to challenge the school district. Which would make it a lot easier on the school, of course. And that’s the whole point of government-run schools, right? To turn out compliant, pliant, meek-mannered citizens who won’t mind or even notice everything that’s going on…

Mande Wilkes is a wife, mother, businesswoman, author, etc. residing on the South Carolina coast with her family.

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39 comments

Same ol' Same ol' September 10, 2014 at 6:26 am

We live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots. (I know it’s old, but it’s true)

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Not a M.D. September 10, 2014 at 6:41 am

Weak. Weak indeed. No school writes prescriptions for Ritalin. Doctors do that. The professional testing may be suggested or recommended after screening by trained professional health or psychology staff, but only doctors pull the trigger and prescribe.

Ritalin may be over-prescribed, but schools don’t authorize the prescription and doctors who do usually are a part of a group that ALMOST ALWAYS includes parents, the ultimate facilitators.

Congrats to you for working in the “gubmint run schools” comment. No FITS piece on education would be complete without it. Of course no private school would ever allow Ritalin on its campus, nor any homeschooling Evangelical or Jewish mother either.

Did you graduate school or simply get a Certificate of Completion in Popular Cultural Propaganda??

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J Mande Wilkes September 10, 2014 at 7:23 am

You might note that I didn’t make mention of private schools, because with few exception (the Waldorf model, specifically), I don’t believe that private schools are any better than public.

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Not a M.D. September 10, 2014 at 7:56 am

So, am I left to believe that the only alternative left to parents is that of “home schooling?” It’s obvious from your backhanded and gratuitous slap at “Gubmint Run” schools and your subsequent reply re: private schools that you don’t believe in either of them.

What about my other comments/questions? Do schools prescribe Ritalin? Do doctors often prescribe it without parental involvement? Is it used by parents who home school? Is it used by only children?

I have a 55 year old friend who is ADD. In his words: “Ritalin has changed my life.” He has been functional as a high achieving adult now for the past 15 years since being diagnosed and treated, for the first time in his life.

“To turn out compliant, pliant, meek-mannered citizens who won’t mind or even notice everything that’s going on…”. Do you really believe that? Or did you make that up in order to become gratuitous enough for FITS standards and for a Certified Propagandist statement.?

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Buz Martin September 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I know people 50+ on Ritalin who are gibbering idiots most of the time. In older people it tends to make them wanna drink. Go figure. Much like coke in that regard, because it’s not far from being that, or from being tweek either. It is vile shit, regardless of some anecdotal stories of people who are function due to taking it.

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euwe max September 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Adderall is the way to go… that shit *rocks*!

RogueElephant September 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Common Core + Ritalin +govt. schools = a quiet, compliant, minimum wage worker that dose what he is told and doesn’t talk back. (think). Exactly what the govt. wants. BTW they also vote Democrat.

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Buz Martin September 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Waldorf is cultic as you can get. Some good stuff, but Steiner was crazy as fuck, even beyond the theosophists. I know many good teachers who tried to fit in at Waldorf schools, but basically they are like the damned Bahais, eventually you get major pressure to declare for the faith. Almost put my daughter in that shit, and I’m really glad I didn’t.

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Buz Martin September 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Bullshit. Teacher says “Ritalin” they get that goddamned evil shit. Doctors these days are drug company whores anyway, they push hell out of all that shit. And Big Pharma sends the hottest babes they can find to sell the doctors on selling that shit. With free samples, sometimes. Give ’em a free taste and get ’em hooked. Oldest pusher trick in the book. I’m not entirely sold on vouchers and shit, and believe most home-schoolers are schooling their kids on ignorance and religion-based bigotry and anti-science, and most private schools are little hot-houses for future elitist shitheads. But the private school system itself is broken beyond repair, and MD’s by and large, as I said, are whores.

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e norma scok September 10, 2014 at 8:04 am

Is your right boob a little bigger than the left one?

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Buz Martin September 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm

This was established long ago. Old news. Imperfections are good. Perfect-looking women are too often vapid and cold.

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Tazmaniac September 10, 2014 at 8:11 am

You are smart to view the public school system with a critical eye. I see them as Lemming Factories that aren’t happy until all children are equally doped and incapable of independent thought, especially little boys. They aren’t satisfied until your boy is drooling and playing with Barbies.

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Toyota Kawaski September 10, 2014 at 8:25 am

I wish i had your nose full of chapsticks… I would never had chaped lips again

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Jackie Chiles September 10, 2014 at 9:05 am

I’m not sure I get the whole “government run schools are medicating unruly children” comment. I’m pretty sure doctors, not schools, prescribe ADD meds.

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Tazmaniac September 10, 2014 at 9:19 am

My cousin was told her boy wasn’t allowed to come to class without taking doctor prescribed Meds. The schools have “counselors” that push to have the kids medicated. It is a canard to blame the actual writer of the prescription.

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Jackie Chiles September 10, 2014 at 11:08 am

Yeah, we should probably blame the school for requiring kids to take their doctor prescribed meds and also not blame doctors for the medicine they prescribe. I mean it’s almost like we think doctors go to medical school to learn how to prescribe meds or something.

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Tazmaniac September 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

Perhaps my wording was lacking in clarity, my apologies. He was not on medication and had never been on medication, until the school said THEY wanted him to be, based on THEIR evaluation. The Doctor was just the means. I guess the DR. could look at the schools paperwork and tell them to pack it, but Doctors profit as well by going along with it.

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Buz Martin September 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

EXACTLY. That is the way it usually works, no matter what they say.

Bible Thumper September 10, 2014 at 9:35 am

The school meds epidemic is not because of behavioral problems parents are having at home, but because of problems at school.

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Pills over Paddles September 10, 2014 at 9:40 am

Much more so now that they don’t have to fear the ruler or the paddle.
We were all the same color when standing in line for Mr. Fran’s two smacks for being late to class. A whack on the ass has no long-term implications for the liver.

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Jackie Chiles September 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

That’s because the kids are at school 8 hours a day.

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Bible Thumper September 10, 2014 at 11:10 am

More specifically, at a desk 7 hours. Which would be better? Get from behind the desk or a pill.

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Jackie Chiles September 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Get to college and you’ll learn that everyone at the top of their class is “juicing” their brains with those pills. Better to get your kid on it early to get that scholarship.

Nope September 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

And that, my friend, is horseshit.

Jackie Chiles September 10, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Lol. Right. Keep living in fantasy land.

E Norma Scok September 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm

‘Zackly. Had Aderall and Ritalin been around when I was in college I’d would have probably started out 3 times what I did. All I had was cheap draft beer.

Jackie Chiles September 10, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Adderrall is easier to get on college campuses today than beer.

Nope September 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

And that, my friend, is horseshit.

????????? September 10, 2014 at 12:38 pm

It’s also a lot of parents fare lat out asking/ begging for them bc THEY can’t handle their unruly kids! I know quite of few.

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Jackie Chiles September 10, 2014 at 1:50 pm

And? They got their kids meds so they could handle them. Now we’re blaming them for getting help handling their kids?

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????????? September 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

your point was placing blame —where is the blame for the parents? Some of it, at least from what I’ve seen, is parents who would rather medicate than discipline their children.

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Bible Thumper September 10, 2014 at 9:31 am

“And that’s the whole point of government-run schools, right? To turn out compliant, pliant, meek-mannered citizens who won’t mind or even notice everything that’s going on…”

“I cannot imagine the prospect of medicating my kid into submission. Which is what’s being done to students – especially “unruly” boys…”

“Unruly boys” use to be considered normal, now require medication.
Girls are outperforming boys in this “conform to the norm ” mass production education system, but that doesn’t mean they perform better than the boys after graduation and too many of the boys never make it through to graduation.
We have one size fits all education system that acknowledges gender difference in athletics and bathrooms, but believes recognizing gender differences in pedagogy would be a sexist war on girls.
You should research the differences in achievement between girls and boys in school and their success after graduation. Both girls and boys are being short changed by the current one size fits all system.

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Good night John Boy September 10, 2014 at 9:35 am

First children were educated on the farm.
Then a community built a school room.
Eventually a teacher was hired.
Then a bigger school was built.
Next rural areas were incorporated and taxes were collected
Bigger schools were built and more teachers were hired.
Somebody decided that there must be a government agency to manage the system.
Transportation was needed to go out further to get more kids to support the giant.
More activities were needed to attract the kiddies – give us art, music, sports, food.

Problems began to occur. Children were outpaced by other students.
Safety became a concern. Religion another.
Parents began to take their children out of the giant “failing” schools.
Home schooling takes hold and grows.
Children are seen with their parents at local restaurants during school hours.
Children can be seen getting their haircuts during school hours.
Neighboring children are seen leaving for vacation just after public schools re-open.
The neighborhood pools have children playing alone during normal school hours.

Local news runs an article about home-schooled students playing sports.
Public schools allow students to play on their teams, join their clubs, attend functions.
Local news reports that local moms form an association for home-schoolers.
Home-schooled students start attending “class” at another’s home with others.
This association, with 8500 students discusses expanding for additional space.
A new “building” is contemplated openly.
Students are turned away or put on a waiting list for membership in the association.
Association states that their purpose is to expose students to different parents with different “specialties”. Some math, others language, etc.

Some things were done for a reason. Nothing is perfect.

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Buz Martin September 10, 2014 at 9:38 am

As a ravingly ADHD kid who grew into an ADD adult (with the H) going deeply mental and not physicalized when I got some age on me, I fucking HATE the way they dope kids up because the teachers can’t deal with them. They also grossly over-diagnose the condition. Ritalin has been proven to be more of a “gateway drug” than weed could ever possibly be, second only to booze and tobacco.

You’re right on this one, Mande. Banning chapstick. Holy FUCK, these “educrats” are absolute idiots!

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TopAssistant September 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Buz: Have you ever cussed like this to your mom?

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Buz Martin September 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Nawsuh. Learned it from my dad, though.

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Just another Joe September 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Ritalin made my son constipated. Then when the dam broke the school staff got all upset. Wife and I took him off Ritalin ourselves and the kid’s poop returned to normal.

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E Norma Scok September 10, 2014 at 5:17 pm

And that too shall pass

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