. So yes, it's true that your kid can emerge from a school culture like that without becoming entitled, consumerist trend-followers - I did. But it was at a lot of personal cost to my happiness. Yeah, encountering bullies might not make your kid into a jerk and maybe it's "part of life," but should a kid really fear being ridiculed every day when she goes to school (public, private, whatever)? I don't know what the answer is but I can say with certainty I'd never send my kid to the same kind of school culture that existed in my high school. Even if it was something he wanted to do, I don't think I'd allow it (but who knows...he's only three). It's very hard to buck that system.
In contrast to this, I would suggest that many kids don't experience things the same way that their parents did. I think sometimes if we allow our experience to be the only guide for deciding on our kid's experience we can shortchange them. There are many things that I found difficult in school that my kids don't even seem to notice-- my temperament and sensitivity were much different than theirs and they have received stronger nurturing, so they are much more sure of themselves than I was. It can be important to really evaluate it based on your child's perhaps different needs, rather than your own feelings about certain environments.