Originally Posted by mijumom
Could you just let me know a little more about what is so bad or scary about Waldorf. I believe you that you have had a bad experience, i just want to know what is so threatening that it could be worse than public school. When I went there were gang members, oercrowded classrooms and very scewed information being taught (especially history). We were always subject to the beliefs and personal baggage that each teacher brought to teaching. It was usually pretty bad. There was one teacher who's beliefs and personality were inspiring...ONE.
That sounds pretty bad. My public school education was much better (although, again, ignorance may have been bliss - this time my own ignorance). I graduated high school (Chatsworth, CA) in 1970. My education was very good, I think. There were a lot of activities - we went on field trips to see live performances/plays of Shakespeare and some more contemporary works. Little or no gang activity back then. But if the comparison is between Waldorf education and today's public education, I'm not sure I can make a case. If the comparison is Waldorf vs other alternatives, then there is room to question Waldorf.
I am reluctant to list everything that happened that was horrible in the years my kids attended Waldorf, and it would take a lot of time and space on this board - and I'm sure a lot of people already believe I'm here to bash Waldorf - so while the invitation is tempting, I'll just mention a few bullet points. If there is anything you would like me to go into detail about, please ask.
To get a feel for how and why these things can happen, one must understand that Waldorf teachers, unlike other school teachers, are bound by a religious philosophy and that part of that philosophy permits secrecy and hiding information from the public and from parents. So, when *things* happen in Waldorf schools, and they always do, there is a hive mentality among Waldorf teachers to white-wash or cover up incidents. This is insight that most people don't get so if it sounds too wierd to you I completely understand. Here are the bullet points of *some* of the incidents and crises I have personally witnessed or have had related to me first hand by the participants or victims:
- Children being mistreated, controlled, manipulated by teachers. Corporal punishment (cleaning restrooms).
- Children being sexually molested by a teenage son of a teacher and the school participating in a cover-up of the incidents (two separate) - and subsequent exposure of the cover-up.
- A teacher who dispensed medication to children it was not intended for in order to calm them down. A school cover-up of the incident - and subsequent exposure of the cover-up. A report to the police revealed that while this is a crime in public schools, this is not a crime in private schools.
- Teachers lying to parents and children.
- A teacher telling a child in a troubled family situation that she would like to adopt the child.
- A teacher wispering threats to a child.
- A teacher reading stories about rape, incest and mutilation on several occasions to 10 year old students.
- A teacher striking a child.
- A male teacher grabbing the buttocks of a 10th grade female student on a camping trip.
- Administrators interfering in legal actions.
- Administrators with control issues leading to parents being mistreated, ostricised or publicly ridiculed or defamed.
- Bullying (many times).
- Fist fights while teachers looked on.
- Students on a camping trip unsupervised on a public road who ended up hitchhiking to their campsite.
- Drugs and drug trafficing on campus.
I could be making all this up, of course, but if one looks at the rate at which people leave this particular Waldorf school (25% per year) it becomes obvious there is at least smoke and very likely fire here. Waldorf schools are not perfect, but they are especially imperfect because of the system in place that allows these types of incidents to be covered up or spun into acceptable gossip - or the people relating the incidents to be defamed or ridiculed. The system worked well for them, to some degree, but with the invention of the internet, word has been getting around and people in the US are discovering that the same things are happening in schools in Australia and in the Netherlands and Great Britain and everywhere. The advantage of other schools, even public schools, is that there IS accountability for the actions of the teachers. In Waldorf schools, there isn't. In public schools, teachers aren't bound by a religious belief system that endorses hiding the nature of the belief system from the public. In Waldorf schools, they are.