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Education Lost: Higher Ed No Longer Caters to the Best and Brightest

The atmosphere in colleges today has changed so dramatically as to be scarcely recognizable. With the complicity of a supine administration, students now hold the whip hand over their professors.

“Snowflakes” must be given their panic rooms and antifascist fascists must be tolerated, even encouraged. A student who feels his/her/xe/xem/xyr gender fluidity has not been properly recognized can claim discrimination. Students registered in a Disability program who feel, rightly or wrongly (usually wrongly), that their special needs have not been treated with the expected reverence can file legal suit and have the offending instructor hauled before a provincial Human Rights Tribunal. That the majority of these disability claims are trivial or manufactured -- or simply what most of us routinely experience -- seems beside the point. As Dudley Moore playing a psychoanalyst in the film Lovesick advises a patient suffering from anxiety, “That’s not a problem you have. That’s life.”

Professors are admonished to be sensitive to students’ emotional and psychological needs, even to the extent of changing the way they teach and the material they teach in order to cater to the weakest and most fragile of their charges. Not to do so will often lead to punitive action on the part of university officials against faculty “dissidents.” Meanwhile the better students are sacrificed in favor of the mediocre and the clamorous. We have arrived at a state where the educational transaction between teacher and student has been crippled by the faux dispensation of academic “justice.”

In my day as a teacher we did not live in terror of our students. We had more than our share of dysfunctional students, but the atmosphere was generally cordial and qualified by a spirit of workable reciprocity. We did not have to mollycoddle the tiffany legion spooked by their own shadows -- since they did not detectably exist. The minim of violent students was summarily shown the door. True, some of our students -- drastically fewer than the current crop of petitioners -- suffered from actual and visible disabilities, and we accommodated them without administrative interference or threat of sanctions. None of us found ourselves facing a Human Rights Tribunal or the peril of suspension for a nothingburger. We did not mince our words and watch our language lest we be arraigned on charges of “hate speech” or giving offence. And since we were professionals, we taught as we saw fit, without “social justice” oversight.

Moreover, in my time as a student we had no such advantages as pertain to the ludicrous and self-indulgent pronominalists -- “he” and “she” were good enough for us. The vast precipitation of “snowflakes” deliquescing in “safe spaces” would have been utterly foreign to us. The masked marauders invading classroom and campus, had there been any, would have been immediately arrested. And the cohort of the putative and multitudinous “disabled” -- now approximately one out of ten students by my count -- who are provided with an armory of special devices and exemptions that make a mockery of genuine learning would have been laughed off the premises.