The kind that sells newspapers, of which an example appears here, has to do with priests messing sexually with youngsters. The articles imply deep hyprocrisy, and demean religion. Shock, horror, scandal. But hence, more sales.
Those exposés seldom quantify the problem; how many priests, how many children, how often etc., so it's not easy to get a measure of its extent. But it's fair to say that such behavior is anomalous; there is nothing in the Roman canon to endorse it. As readers of my Which Church (if any)? know, I'm critical of Roman Catholicism for quite different reasons, and have no evidence that its priests betray their trust more than other men; though it's true that in their job the rate ought to be far less.
We may also discount reports of this activity somewhat, on the grounds that child witnesses are so very susceptible to suggestion. In the 1980s particularly, government caged a number of good people operating child-care centers, on the twisted and wholly fictional testimony of young kids who had been drilled to say what the prosecutors wanted the court to hear. So while there is probably some fire behind the smoke, the problem may be exaggerated by media thirsty for revenue.
In any case, all that's as nothing, compared to the massive child abuse that government commits.
"The mind is a terrible thing to waste" is a slogan coined by the United Negro College Fund, back in the days when political rectitude still allowed use of the word "negro." It drew attention to the fact that there were many negroes with excellent minds, who were not getting the quality of education from which they could greatly benefit. That's still very true; for government schools in predominantly black areas are the worst of the worst. But it's not just a racial matter; all government schools in all areas are mind-wasting, child-abusing institutions.
The process is deadly. For the first 5 or 6 years of life, children learn - at home, from parents - at a phenomenal rate. From zero, with no linguistic structure to begin with, they master a language! In many cases they can read and write basic words and sentences. They frequently learn something about numbers, even performing simple arithmetic. They learn eating, drinking, dressing, washing, relating to other children and adults. All this they do far more rapidly than at any other time of life - and while parents can and do help there are no "professional" teachers present at all. Yet after those incredibly productive years, they are removed to an institution called "school" and parental influence is immediately downgraded. A heavy brake is applied to the rapid learning speed.
This abuse is enforced by two sets of laws, which must be obeyed under threat of separating child from parent altogether: the child is compelled to attend a school of which government approves, and the parent is compelled to pay the costs of schools that government operates. The latter is done even if the adults have no children, even if they do but prefer the use of private or home schooling, and even if they profoundly disagree with what their own children are being taught. The kids are not forced to attend a government school, oh no! - but the means to afford any alternative are systematically closed, for all but the very rich or the very determined.
Further, once in a government-approved school (almost all of which it operates directly) the pattern of instruction is to group children 25 or 30 to a teacher and deliver material in 50-minute segments, varying the subjects from hour to hour regardless of the child's interest in each, if any. When the bell rings, interest in Subject A must be shelved and that in Subject B, aroused. Further, the task of arousing it is not only beyond the skill of most teachers, it is beyond the skill of any teacher to kindle and satisfy interest of all the children in such a large group; for some of them are naturally slow learners in Subject B while others are fast ones.
The entire theory, that children can be educated in such a mass-produced manner, is false. Nobody expressed this fundamental error better than John Taylor Gatto, as here. The result is that chlildren learn confusion, indifference, dependency, low self-esteem and absence of privacy. The further result is that graduates today have a lower literacy rate than they did two centuries ago when taught at home by parents without degrees in education.
Once under the control of these indoctrinators, the curriculum itself damages young minds. This process is ongoing; it has become worse by the decade, and will doubtless get worse yet. As an outside observer, I get only glimpses of what happens inside the classroom, but can notice a few of the ominous trends. History, for example, has been largely replaced by Social Studies. History is a lot of fun, for it concerns a multitude of facts ready to be assembled into a pattern, and different students will choose varying patterns until the most credible one emerges. Most of all, it's the factual record of what governments have done, over the centuries, and it makes a very ugly picture. Not surprisingly, government teachers choose to downplay that ugliness, to make the picture fuzzy, to focus instead on events and views from the present day, which are necessarily hard to interpret until time has passed and perspective gained. When some great event has to be addressed - such as one or both of the great 20th Century wars, for example, a standard interpretation is conveyed to the kiddies; hence the second of them is described as a "good war", a triumph of good over evil. If students were encouraged to look at the facts and interpret them for themselves, it would fast emerge as no such thing.
Religion is perhaps the most controversial subject on the curriculum. Prior to the Scopes Trial all the kids were taught that the Theory of Evolution was wrong. Since Scopes, the government indoctrinators have reversed themselves and directed that the Creation theory is wrong. In a true educational establishment, both would be presented ready for the student to reason for himself. It's what "education" is supposed to mean; to lead a person out, so that his own mind takes the journey.
Mathematics, alas, has also been seriously distorted - and that must have been tough for the indoctrinators because math is so inherently logical. They did it partly by introducing the new math which was fortunately abandoned as too arcane, and by reshuffling the sequence in which the various components of math are taught. Geometry and algebra are prime examples. I know of no better way to develop reasoning power than by an early study of geometry; its whole nature encourages the student to develop conclusions from given premises. It drills his mind to think for himself. I learned simple geometry - and even some algebra - at age 9; today, government schools introduce the subject at age 15 or 16. Reasoning skills, so very vital to true education, are thereby postponed until that later age - by when many kids may very well have "shut off" all interest in the classroom out of sheer boredom. The purpose of government schools is to teach submission to authority, not to reason; and this deliberate, six-year delay provides good evidence of that fact.
From the day Prussian King Frederick III decreed that children would be schooled by government, that has become the task eagerly undertaken by its indoctrinators worldwide. As one of them, John Swett, put it: "children arrived at the age of maturity belong, not to the parents, but to the State, to society, to the country.” No, they do not. They each have sovereignty over themselves, with parents assuming decreasing care as regents until maturity is reached.