Hi Karen,

You make good points. I actually believe everyone except for the authorities are victimized by authoritarian based social organizations, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic level. Anyone can take or wield authority, it just so happens whites historically get the lion’s share of it in our country.

I am most interested in raising and teaching children in such a way they can enjoy robust mental health as children on up through adulthood.

As a parent of four and an educator for 30 plus years, I have observed countless classrooms, schools, and school systems. The main obstacle common to all of them is their obsession with behavior management.

The only reason to manage someone else’s behavior is so you can force them to comply with your directives. I have found students can be calm, respectful, and fully engaged in learning tasks without using behavioral management techniques, in other words, without lording my authority over them to do what I say, ‘or else.’

Behavior management by an authority in a school is the same as behavior management in a colonialized country. The authority comes in and tells you exactly what you are able to do and not do and makes it clear he or she will be the interpreter in charge of judging when you fall out of compliance.

If educators focus on the task at hand instead of behaviors, then the teacher works at providing effective strategies to students who go off task. This leads to my definition of egalitarian and to the definition of a human being.

As a human the only active role I play in my humanity is to gather information internally and externally to make predictions for what to do next. Once I make a prediction, my nervous system takes over and does everything else for me. My behaviors support my ability to make predictions and behavioral restrictions are the same as handcuffs or blindfolds. Behavioral restrictions cue the brain to be on high alert. A brain on high alert cues for anxiety response. Unmanageable anxiety is the root cause of many mental illnesses.

So if to be human means I need access to my full array of behaviors at all times to make optimal predictions for what to do next at all times, then equal rights means to me, every human has sovereignty over his or her behaviors. No authority has the right to tell me when or how to procreate, when or how to eat, when or how to relieve myself, when or how to wash myself, or when or how to add 2 plus 2.

If I take part in a school, authorities do have the responsibility of organizing each classroom and providing appropriate learning activities. If the authority has the right to control 100% of what goes on in a classroom, there is absolutely no need to control the behaviors of the children as well. Furthermore, when you restrict or forcibly try to control the behaviors of children, they become aggressive or withdrawn. When you don’t control behaviors, students are calm, and there is no need for behavior management.

A child off task does not need behavior management, they need better strategies for being able to predict effectively to complete the task. Controlling the child’s behaviors just makes the child anxious, paranoid, defensive, and aggressive or withdrawn.

Thanks for your response.