Tag Archive for school

Pun-Break

I feel punny today. Sometimes I just want to take a day off from the seriousness of the world.  Because I’m a word-person, on those days you’ll have to put up with a pun or two.  Remember that you were warned!

#1–When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

#2–To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

#3–(One more, because it’s one of those days.) Police were called to a daycare, where a 3-year-old was resisting a rest.

Good.  It’s out of my system.  I’ll be all better tomorrow.

A Bully-Pulpit Invitation

Here’s a bully-pulpit for you.  There’s so much in the news about kids being bullied and the damage it does to them not just at the time but throughout their lives.  We never forget those bad experiences when others teased and belittled us, made us feel inadequate, unloved, unwanted, a laughing-stock, emotionally drained, physically ill, terrorized, totally alone in the world.

Use this forum to share an experience you had in which a bully made you feel this way and how it affected your life. Put your story in Comments and I’ll pass it on in a future blog entry.

I’ll start.  I was in 7th grade, shy and plump and walking on crutches and leg braces.  When I’d walk by a certain group of boys, they’d talk in a foreign language, look at me, imitate the way I walked, make hand gestures pointing out my roundish figure.  They even waited until I walked by the stairwell and dropped spit on me from above.  I cried a lot.  I avoided that stairwell whenever possible.  I was afraid to tell anyone or ask others to walk with me.  I was miserable and alone.  Later, that was the language I chose to learn for my college language requirement, and it took several friends from that ethnic group to get me over my fear and, yes, loathing of that group.  As an adult, I still get a twinge of discomfort when I think of those junior-high days, but I’m tuned into bullying and ready to step in whenever I see it.

Now it’s your turn….Write your experience in “Comments.”

Sweet–and Fair–Fundraising

There’s a knock at the door.  It’s a youngster with chocolate bars.  You buy because you want to support the soccer team.  Warning: in your eagerness to help one group, you may be harming another.  Do you know where the cocoa beans came from?  Were the growers paid fairly for their work?  Enough to feed their families and meet basic needs?  Most likely, the workers, including very young children, are living in poverty in another country, and their hard work doesn’t earn them enough to climb out of hardship. 

Meanwhile, fundraisers enjoy big profits, passing on a tiny amount to your soccer kids.  Next time your group wants to raise money, suggest a compassionate alternative, Fair Trade Chocolate.  For example, there is Divine Fair Trade Chocolate, the first brand in the world to be farmer-owned (www.divinechocolate.com).  Or try one of these which are fair to the growers and kind to the earth: www.equalexchange.com, www.sweetearthchocolates.com,www.ChocolateBar.com, or www.VosgesChocolate.com.  Some offer discounts for fundraisers. 

What a deal — the kids raise money, social consciousness, and quality of life for families all at the same time!

For Our Kids–Arm Everyone

I’m all for having armed guards in every school.  In fact, they should be anywhere children gather.  That includes churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques; Scout meetings; children’s birthday parties (disguise the guard as a cowboy); family reunions (never know when there will be a drive-by shooting); the zoo and children’s discovery museum; even political events where politicians kiss babies.  And hire only babysitters who pack pistols. Nothing is too extreme to safeguard our children.

These should be trained guards, required to take a two-hour gun safety course.  Some may be volunteers (I’m sure the NRA will recruit willing volunteers from their membership).  But many will be professional peace officers, fire-fighters, and school principals.

Expensive?  Not really.  The  Kids Are Our Concern (CROC) program can easily be paid for by money saved by revamping our penal system.  First, execute all the roughly 725  people currently on Death Row–they’re taking up space and using too much court time and money on appeals.  Maybe a few will be executed for a crime they didn’t commit, but if they’re on Death Row they must have done something else terrible enough to be taken out of society permanently.  Then, within two weeks of having been sentenced to death, execute newly convicted felons.  Next, sentence to death anyone using a gun that causes, intentionally or unintentionally,  any kind of bodily harm (except to animals, of course).  Think of all the money we’d save on housing and feeding these monsters AND we’d free up space in our prisons–maybe close down a few, thus saving even more money.

And all that savings would be earmarked for the CROC program.

I urge you to write your members of Congress (once they climb up from the bottom of the cliff) and urge that they adopt the CROC program at once!

[To my shocked readers: Remember that irony is one of the tools I use to make my point.]

Kids who Hide in Plain Sight

Over four million KIDS are on the streets, unaccompanied by an adult, in the U.S. each year. At least a million kids either couch-surf at friends’ homes or sleep on the streets every night. Why don’t we see them? We see the adults loitering, sleeping, or asking for hand-outs, but why not the kids?

Because they try to melt into the population. They hide in plain sight, maybe attending school regularly and/or working at low-paying jobs. They try hard to be invisible. They want to be invisible so they can avoid the shame and stigma associated with homelessness.

We must recognize that the homeless are not just the drunks, the dirty scavengers, the beggars on the street corners. The problem is much larger than that. It’s the adults hiding in plain sight. And it’s the kids. The kids.



Is Child Abuse a National Pastime?

80% of the child abuse cases within the Boy Scouts of America between 1970 and 1991 went unreported. Churches (Catholic and Protestant and other faiths) have hidden cases involving their clergy, youth leaders, and other members of their staffs.  School administrations have quietly moved accused offenders to other schools and positions.  Coaches of youth teams carry on abuse in locker rooms while others look the other way. The perpetrators are not strangers.  In fact, more than 90% of the children who suffer sexual abuse know their abusers.

A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds.  What about all the other, unreported instances?

Why do so many people feel it’s okay to harm our vulnerable children?  Apparently, many people do feel this way, because there are so many abusers and so many people and organizations that cover it up.   When we hear about it, we act shocked, shake our heads in dismay, then go on with our lives.  In effect, those of us who do nothing to stop it are helping to perpetuate it.

Has this national shame become a national pastime, simply another tolerated violence like boxing and hunting?  I hope not.

For the Sake of Our Kids

This bothered me greatly. We MUST do more to protect–not scare–our children. We MUST do more to build a world where this is not necessary or the norm. For their sake.

A Birthday and a Warning

Thirty years ago today a British computer scientist submitted a proposal that formed the basis for today’s World Wide Web, making today the Web’s 3oth birthday. It’s a marvelous invention, but one that we must protect our children from. Consider these scenarios:

A kid you know is complaining about mean messages about him on Twitter, an embarrassing picture of him on Facebook, a humiliating profile that popped up on another site, a rumor about him sent out on all his friends’ email or texts.  All of these are examples of cyber bullying, and none of it is harmless fun that will just fade away.  In fact, kids who are victims of cyber bullying tend to have life changes: cut classes, use drugs and alcohol, do poorly in school, become unhealthy (physically and emotionally), and be victims of in-person bullying. 

All adults in a youngster’s life need to be vigilant to guard against this.  We must keep aware of what our kids are doing online, and that includes the Internet, social sites, emails, and texting.  We must talk with our kids about what goes on in cyber-space, set rules, and monitor adherence to those rules.   All schools have such rules, and we must make sure that we and our kids are familiar with them.  Yes, the kids will complain.  But—and here’s what’s important—they’ll be safe.

Measles Outbreak!

It seems like a small number–107 kids in 21 states with measles–but the year is only a little more than half over. (There were 118 cases in 2017 and 86 the year before, according to  the CDC.) But measles spreads so easily. In fact, you can get it if you enter a room within two hours after a person with the disease has been there, because that’s how long it stays in the air.

Measles hadn’t been a problem since the introduction of inoculations for it. So why are the numbers of cases increasing? Because the number of unvaccinated people is rising. Yes, some of those people come from other countries, but more people right here are refusing to have their children vaccinated.

Be sure to ask your child’s school or daycare center if they require that the children under their care be vaccinated. Some charter/private schools do not. And keep your kids’ vaccinations up-to-date. Don’t take a chance with the health of your child and family.

Family Giving Tree

Do you have a Family Giving Tree in your area? If so, please support it with a box of crayons, a notebook or two, a soft pencil pack, a ruler, or an entire backpack filled with these things and other items kids need to start the school year. You can even donate a backpack online. How easy is that? AND some stores will either sell you a filled backpack or give you one when you buy one for your own child.

There are other organizations who do this: Kids in Need Foundation, Operation Backpack, A Precious Child, etc. All are needed if this gap is to be filled.

Why give to programs like this? Because educated kids can change lives, in their families, communities, and the world. Yet 16 million American kids arrive at school the first day too poor to provide their own necessary supplies.

I don’t normally ask for donations in my blog, but I’m making an exception this time, because it’s something most of us can easily afford and–here’s the important part–IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!