Children are the victims of the worst modern human rights abuses.
Schools are among the least humane institutions in the world. Tell me what this sounds like to you: "Despite being innocent, you have to spend hours in this building every day whether you want to or not, and while inside you must do everything the designated authority says, or you will be punished". It sounds like slavery, doesn't it?
Pre-teen-age, attendance is almost never voluntary as far as the children are concerned; obedience is coerced by threats of punishment. And being forced to go to an otherwise humane place of learning would be abuse, but schools are far from it. A place where you need someone else's approval to speak, hell, to even leave your seat, even to use the toilet, is not a human place of learning. And to top it off, the people involved in this system claim to think child abuse is wrong.
The only difference anyone can offer is that it's "for their good". Somehow, if it's "educational", slavery becomes okay again. I plan to write separately about how schools are inefficient at teaching, but even if they weren't, that wouldn't justify slavery, for fuck's sake.
Abusers always talk about how children don't have the experience to make their own decisions, but then conclude not that our role is to help them gain that experience safely, but that they have no rights unless they do everything we say. Being dependent on others - especially when those others chose to bring you into the world knowing you would be helpless at first - doesn't give others the right to control you, any more than it's okay to force disabled adults who need help living into a room against their will and dictate their every action. Involuntary detention and control of another person is called slavery.
When I was in kindergarten we had to "take a nap" at the end of each class while the teacher graded our homework (read: lay down and pretend to sleep and not make any noise or you'll be yelled at). This is not embellishment. There were a lot of horror stories like this in just one year of school. Thankfully, I was homeschooled for the rest of my childhood. Even in that year of horror I was incredibly lucky compared to some kids.
Oh, by the way, that link was censored from r/news. A month on a sub with almost 20 million subscribed accounts and 28,000 online as I write this, without a single comment or vote, on a platform we know does shadowbans. I also checked the New tab about 15 hours after posting it and it wasn't in its spot - there were posts from before and after it strictly in order, but not it. (It was also banned from r/politics when I posted it there.)
That our government has laws restricting child labor is bitter comedy in light of that they enslave children. And some people not only want kids to be corraled into slave indoctrination camps, but want parents to be put in jail for not cooperating... for fuck's sake.
And lest I give the impression that the government is the only enemy here and that private education would solve the problem entirely: the problem with this isn't that education "isn't the government's job", because this would be no less evil if it happened in a private school or at home (which it certainly does, if to a lesser extent). It's that forcing someone to sit in a room against their will and obey you is slavery, and it doesn't matter if it's "for education". As much as I love to hate governments, this is something that can't really be blamed on statism.
Many people rightly criticize spanking, but that's a much smaller problem since they don't have to suffer it for hours every day and a lot of people recognize it as abuse, whereas school is hailed by most people as For Their Own Good. And yet you can tell even the people who preach against spanking are still affected by the double standard. They don't see as it the violent abuse it is. They don't believe they should treat it the same way as an adult striking a disabled person. Hell, sometimes small children are physically assaulted in public by their own parents, and everyone just turns a blind eye. I cowered the last time I was tested. This is what all forms of violence depend on: those who would defend the victim being convinced that it's "not their place".
That "not your place" concept is a much more deeply connected root of evil than most realize, and appears in a lot of other places. For example, in some households (like the one I came from), children are even taught that if they're wronged by a sibling, they have to go get an adult to help, and they're actually wrong to fight back on their own, even if they'd be taking the exact same actions as the adults. They're already being trained to be statists: to think that not only is authority not subject to the same rules as oneself, but authorities are the only ones who have the right to enforce the rules.
Does the rule "it doesn't matter who started it" sound familiar to you? I was told that. Thankfully, despite my catholic upbringing, my parents never managed to persuade me of that one. Of course, it definitely does matter who started it when an authority shows up. Or maybe the rule is that violence is just always okay when an authority does it. In practice, it seems to be the latter. Unless, of course, it offends higher authorities.
One of the most important things to notice is that for all intents and purposes, "authority" is defined as "whoever has the power to force you". Parents and school teachers both gradually lose authority as their subjects age. Of course it's because older children are likely to fight back if abused to the same extent as younger ones.
HeartyHuman tweets about schools a lot, and while it didn't take them to make me see that schools are abuse camps, I think they did help me realize the extent of the problem. There is one difference between racial slavery and modern child abuse: this time, it's all of us for part of our lives instead of some of us for all of it. Fascinating how this mirrors the abuse of democracy: "as long as we're all violated equally we're free". The easiest way to convince someone that their abuse was okay is to give them a turn with a whip.
It's also because many of us would have to see our own parents as violent abusers to confront the truth that children are people. I've already done that... I never let go of the hatred. I think if I had I'd have never turned Protagonist.
Rechelon has another excellent piece on this. Reading it is almost certainly a better use of your time then whatever else you were planning on.