The War on Kids

The War on Kids is a 2009 documentary film about the American school system. The film takes a look at public school education in America and concludes that schools are not only failing to educate, but are increasingly authoritarian institutions more akin to prisons that are eroding the foundations of American democracy. Students are robbed of basic freedoms primarily due to irrational fears; they are searched, arbitrarily punished and force-fed dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. The educational mission of the public school system has been reduced from one of learning and preparation for adult citizenship to one of control and containment.

Filmmaker Cevin D. Soling details how irrational fears have transformed the public education system into a virtual prison in this thought-provoking documentary. With metal detectors, armed security guards, and prescription drugs, contemporary schools are safer than ever before — or are they? Today’s schools resemble high-security prisons more than they do hallowed halls of learning, but are decrees like the “Zero Tolerance” policy actually doing more harm than good by suspending kindergartners for playing cops and robbers? Are we overmedicating our children on the advice of pharmaceutical companies that have a vested interest in keeping school kids hooked on Ritalin? In 2003, the principal of Stratford High School in Goose Creek, SC, suspected that drug activity was taking place in his school, and called in the SWAT team. In the resulting raid, innocent students were terrorized and traumatized. Not only that, but during the raid, the SWAT team turned up no evidence of drug activity or illegal weapons whatsoever. By exploring this case, speaking with experts, and opening a dialogue with students, Soling attempts to discover just how we got to the point where regular students are considered guilty until proven innocent, and ponders what measures can be taken to ensure that future generations of Americans don’t have their rights stripped away in order to get an education. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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