John Taylor GattoJohn Taylor Gatto, (1937-2018) American school teacher of 29 years, author, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991

John Taylor Gatto Quote

“Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and by teaching disrespect for home and parents....”

John Taylor GattoJohn Taylor Gatto
~ John Taylor Gatto

The Underground History of American Education, 2001

Ratings and Comments

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

... and here is a "teacher" who is in reality deserving of all of our disrespect!

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

That God we do not have Government schooling in America. I know our Mayor and some of the county politicians and all here. They don't run our schools. Our school here that we hold open to any resident is run by us. We elect our school board and supervise the thing through our involvement. Can anyone tell me where a Government School exists in America for the education of children.

anne cleveland, Gainesville, Georgia

Tax-supported schools do not teach, they indoctrinate.Funded by tax money, which is an in-voluntary relinquishment of ones property, hence thievery, the system is wrong ,based upon the immorality of stealing.More money and better teachers will never correct the horrors of tax-supported schools.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler,your answer is, in Smith Arkansas. Elected school boards are limited on what they can administer. They can not change the theocratic atheism, enslavement doctrine, ritalin epidemic, dummied down school books, etc., etc., etc. that are governmentally financed and/or mandated. The family's falling a part in Amerika can be directly linked to the 4 branches of government, especially the schooling.

E Archer, NYC

The public (i.e. government) schools in Arkansas and Ohio (I believe Waffler mentioned that he is from there) are ranked among the lowest in the nation -- and Waffler is OK with that. The blind leading the blind. Follow the money -- the Federal government money that goes to schools comes with strings attached. And since many private schools accept federal funding, too, they also are required to toe the line. The sad part is that American urban culture is forcing itself on the primarily rural and agrarian societies that are the bulwark of the nation. We used to learn a lot more from our parents and grandparents. Honor thy mother and father, right? Blood is thicker than water, and the ruling class know it better than anyone else -- that is why they keep their families together while the poorer classes are to be molded and fashioned to their will.

Dick, Fort Worth

What's the point of printing quotations from an obvious idiot?

Ken, Allyn, WA

I am stunned: a teacher that actually sees the truth and is willing to put it in writing! It seems like the teacher mafia really doesn't like the light of day shined on their operations. Throw a rock into a herd of swine and the one that squeals is probably the one you hit.

Niel Young, Laconia, N.H.

The term "public schools" is untrue - the public has very little to say about what goes on inside of the taxpayer funded buildings. Social engineering is the order of the day for some educators. What we have is Government Approved Education - the parents have very little to say. How often do we learn of our children being taught (indoctrinated) about social issues that should be part of the child's foundation reserved for PARENTS?

J Carlton, Calgary

Our kids are still being taught that Global warming is "man made". The wheels have already fallen off of that wagon and we know now that its merely a ruse for more control and more taxation....Our kids know it now too. Which is not to say we can keep treating the planet carelessly...but Kyoto is absolute 100% Bulls@*t. And that is all too easily proven. You bet the schools are front line propoganda tools. And you can bet your last fiat dollar on it too.

fmd36, North Conway, NH

A few years ago I shared our local schools "student expectaions" with an educator from another state.... he said he had never seen such low student expectations and felt the children were being educated in "mill town standards "just to fill low paying jobs... I think the man was a prophet... it has happened.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Archer I did not say the schools were good or bad but just said that they are OURS and not "the governments".

Teresa, Boynton BEach, FL

At first glance, Gatto's words bothered me. However, after thinking about it and re-reading it a few times, I realized that in many ways I do agree with his quote. I do NOT believe that it "kills the family" but the idea that children spend 6 - 8 hours per day in school and then bring home homework that can take another 1 - 3 hours has always been an issue for me. The traditional concept of "family" in America is disappearing, but we cannot blame it on schools any more than we can blame schools for children drinking or doing drugs or having sex or cheating. In my opinion, parents are far too quick to blame schools (or video games or peer groups) for their children's indiscretions. We are ALL responsible for our children - their academic and their moral development. When citizens CHOOSE to volunteer at schools, to make their voiuce heard at school board meetings and to educate themselves about the curriculum children are being taught, they can be as much a part of the "government schools" as any member of said "government." Unfortunately most American citizens prefer to make judgements, file lawsuits, and complain that they are victims. I have no empathy for anyone who wants to bitch and moan but does nothing to advocate for change. That is my definition of whining.

warren, olathe

Waffler I can not believe you are that obtuse.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

I don't get your drift Warren. I agree with Teresa. Moi, I am not involved in the school although many here say they would like me to be a sub. Since I am not involved I have no business attacking the system and being a bag of wind. It would be interesting Warren to know what is the involvement of commentators such as yourself. I am glad you are on board Teresa you sound like a voice of reason and not just talk but action.

Kathy, Bellingham, WA

Waffler, all schools funded by government money, ie - public schools, are government schools. The quote is accurate, read "From Crayons to Condoms" for more information. I will be happily homeschooling my child after seeing my older two completely destroyed by the public school system.

cal, lewisville, tx

Waffler, the federal courts have been in our nation's school system for a long, long time.

jim k, austin tx

Dick, Ft Worth, "This man is an obvious idiot"? Please read, if you can read, his qualifications and you will see that your comment brands you as an idiot. He is right on target.

Ron w13, Or

Yes the governmental clones stick out like sore thumbs. Well said Jim !

E Archer, NYC

I can't help but to notice that the guys that most frequently defend their 'public' schooling do not consider Liberty to be an important ideal. They seem to be more concerned with 'fairness' and 'equality', being fed by the lunch lady, being accepted by the 'group' despite their individuality (like being gay -- it is not enough to just be gay, they insist that the group also accept it), and getting money from the government or with the government's help. For the well-conditioned collectivist, true individualists are chastised for not conforming to the 'fashion' of the day -- bullies do not act alone, they have their 'gang' behind them. Essentially, collectivist schooling teaches gangster-ism and racketeering so that they will fit more easily in corporate and government jobs. Individualists are very hard to control -- and that scares most collectivists -- like Waffler and RBESRQ.


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