Childhood suicide is to be feared most.
The brightest children of all ages are often the ones who suffer from crash-and-burn behavior. They can be publicly shamed and lose their place in their world.
Since there can be no definite proof that high stakes testing alone is responsible for childhood suicides, we must simply use our own observations.
Childhood suicide rates have increased tremendously during the same years that No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top with their high stakes testing have existed.
Actual and perceived pressures by children often cause extreme behaviors, but the destruction of their own persona, the “smart” one or the “top” one, can be destroyed with one bad grade on an easy test, a high stakes mandated test, that “everyone” else passed.
Freeze on one day during one high stakes test? Be publicly shamed. Peer shamed. Be re-labeled for life. Crash-and burn.
This is a taboo subject. No adult wants to read about or experience this horrific reality. As parents, we must face it and do all we can to prevent it.
Why risk it? Take the pressures off by refusing or opting out for your child. Go to United Opt Out National for state-by-state sample letters and directions. You and your child have basic parental and civil rights. This is no time to be overly polite or timid because some intimidated administrator attempts to intimidate you and you child.
Peggy Robertson, one of the teacher moms who founded United Opt Out National, has this to say in her superb Peg With Pen blog.
We must stand between the children and the harmful mandates that are being used to fail them mentally, emotionally, and physically. Colorado’s suicide rate has increased 16.7 percent from 2012 to 2013 alone. We must question why countries, such as China and Japan, where high stakes testing is rampant, have such high suicide rates. We must question – what is becoming of our country? And do we care enough to stop it? Or have we been placated by the consumerism that surrounds us?
WHAT SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS SHOULD A PARENT WATCH FOR?
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in school performance
- Declining grades
- Difficulty with concentration
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Irritability, anger, or hostility
- Frequent crying
- Withdrawal from friends, family
No parent of children in grade school or high school has experienced the same level of pressure from the extremes of high stakes testing and the incredible numbers of school days wasted upon test preparation and testing. The purpose of high stakes testing is private profit for a few billionaires and the legislators whose campaigns they contribute to.
PLEASE PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM THE CRASH-AND-BURN PROCESS.
REFUSE OR OPT OUT OF HIGH STAKES TESTING.