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Archive for the ‘school’ Category

         China is the place of the most recent earthquake…there are over 10,000 people dead.  Many were buried under rubble; children were trapped as school buildings came tumbling down.  Landslides closed roads needed to allow access to receive help; phones became disabled, electricity lines were disrupted causing power outtages.

       Chaos is ensuing with rail lines broken, running water that is scarce, hospitals with patients who are leaving in a panic, the streets are covered with many people who know not, where to go, or what to do.  The military is trying to get to those in need; but navigating the roadways is difficult at best.

       As China continues to acess the damage the death toll will continue to rise, as will the number of people who are injured and displaced.  It seems that the very bowels of the earth are churning to and fro and we the residents of it’s surface will be tossed around much like kernels of corn.  We must pray for those around the world who are in need and offer assistance where we can be effective.

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       By now, most of you have probably heard about the derranged daddy who destroyed the lives of at least 8 people.  They lived in Austria.  He locked his 18 year old daughter in his specially designed, tiny basement for 24 years.  He abused her;  impregnating her 7 times.  One of the babies died soon after birth; and, the father allegedly put the baby into the furnace.  What a psychological nightmare…something out of an almost unbelievable book of fiction; that noone wants to read.

        Over the years, he had the daughter write a letter saying she could not care for her 3 of her children…after she “disappeared”.  The mother raised three of the children.  How could she do this and not push for some answers?  Did she push for answers?  Or was she just as abused in her own way by this man?   Three more of the children were locked in this basement along side of their mother.  This is the only world they have ever known.  The trauma,fear and pain they must all be in seems almost too much to bear.

       Many people are saying…did the mother know> how could she NOT know?>why would she not push to know more>   There is so much that we do not understand at this time; i am afraid there will be even more horrors to come out in time.  For instance, who helped him build this basement with secretive rooms?  Why didn’t authorities search his home when the daughter went missing?  How did food and water…and other basic necessities keep them alive without SOMEONE KNOWING?  And if someone did know…how could they not do something to end this world of pain and suffering?  There are more questions than answers at this point in time.

       The father admits this horror is true.  His daughter and her three children, that were confined, are getting help; but it may take a lifetime.  But truly, is any amount of help ever going to allow these poor people to live a normal life?   They certainly deserve to live in peace and safety. 

        What about the three children who lived “upstairs” with their grandmother and for lack of a better term GRANDFATHER?  Were they abused?  How will they process the fact that they lived right above their mother and siblings?  How will they deal with the knowledge that their mother and siblings lived like caged animals while they did not?  There is going to be long term mental health treatment for all of these people. 

        They have never had education, normal human interaction, health care, or freedom.  It must be a bit like flying into space and finding an alien environment and being forced to land there and function. 

         And let’s talk about the father…how does someone become such a detached person to cause such damage to those you are “wired” to love and protect in a normal way?  What a contemptible situation for human beings to be in. 

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         There are alot of things in life that are disappointing.  Parenting is one of those areas in life where we really desire and expect to excell.  I don’t know why we expect things to turn out well when there is no exact parenting plan to follow.  When a child is full grown and turns out well; meaning that they are productive, respectful, well- educated, and, showing caring and concern for others…it is no small feat.

           In today’s society, in America, it seems successful parenting is almost a rarity.  If you can get a child through elementary school without being expelled for violence, sexual harrassment, bullying, profanity, drug/alcohol use; well then, you are considered a paragon of virtue.

         You see we allow our kids to be exposed to violence on television 4 or 5 hours a day, we dont filter what they see in between shows regarding commercials with more skin than a newborn baby exposes, sexual innuendo’s on “family entertainment shows”, magazines with suggestive pictures and titles, we have lowered the bar on the level of respect that is reflected in their conversations, and their behaviors are over the top because consequences are not consistent. 

           Let me tell you, stepping into the schools today is a bit like stepping into another world…even children as young as elementary school aged children are not immune from these types of issues.  The lack of discipline, manners, respect and appropriate behaviors is staggering. Teachers have a thankless job.  Chaos reins in the classroom because the teachers have to spend so much time dealing with behaviors that educating the children often comes in second place to discipline. 

           Moving on to middle school is no less disallusioning.  The negative attitudes and behaviors have only amplified into open contempt.  By this age, many students have been led to believe that they are their own person and as such really do not have to listen to their parents.  Rebellion has taken on a life of it’s own.  Even students who wish to learn in school have trouble doing so because of the chaos going on around them in school. 

           Schools officials try to have more influence on the kids as many households have no control over their children whatsoever.   When they can’t control the kids…they call in law enforcement.   Some schools even  hand out condoms and medical advice, refusing to inform the parents because of privacy issues!!!  Say what?  Who’s child is this?  Who is legally responsible for providing for that child…not the school, surely.

           When the troubles come…and they do…then the system pulls in the parents and expects them to correct the situation or control the child.  The parental authority has been diminished by each and every person who trys to chip away at that God given authority….whether it be a school counselor, sports coach, the students very own peers, organizational leaders or whomever it may be.  It can’t be both ways…others can’t be in control of the students and still expect the parents to have the same influential authority that they should have had from the beginning.

         High School…now here is the real breakdown.  Parents are a killjoy.  They are always telling their children no.  They are trying to control their teens.  Rules are meant to be broken; right?  Yet when it comes right down to it…who is left with the responsibility when the teens have crossed the line…and entered into something illegal, immoral, or something self-destructive?  It is the parents.    Is it any wonder that many families are broken beyond repair?  We need to get back to having appropriate boundaries and expectations; so that our children know that they are loved and that they have someone close to them who cares what happens to them.

              It should be the most natural thing in the world, to turn to your parents when a kid finds themselves in trouble.  Often they are not the first person that a kid turns to.   Many times, it is a misquided, ill-informed, or rebellious peer; or, another enabling adult who wants to befriend the teen in some ignorant attempt to feel better about themselves.  This is the environment we are raising our children in today. 

         So, when a teen or preteen comes into your presence and complains about the evil parent they have at home…listen to the complaints carefully before you are pulled in.  It could just be a venting session like every other teen in the history of time.  If it is a genuine situation that needs intervention, such as real abuse or neglect, then by all means…recommend they talk to a professional. 

          Parenting isn’t easy; parenting when you are a teen is even more difficult.  When people decide to have children…they don’t think of all of the problems to come their way in the future.  When starting a family…you dream of the good things to come your way; and that is how it should be.  Parenting shouldn’t be mainly about disappointments…it should be about successes.

        

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      Great news…those tax incentive rebate checks that the government is promising will be on their way in a matter of days, to those who requested direct deposit.   For others…it will be here by the middle of summer.   Isn’t that great?  

       Curiously, while the announcement that the checks were going out a week ahead of schedule was being announced in the media; the news was plastered with the bad news that rice sales are being limited, by some chain stores, due to rising costs; as well as, fear of food hoarding.   Other troubling financial concerns are highlighted on the evening news at a frightening rate.

        The gasoline prices keep increasing.  Farmers are in distress because of the cost to produce our nation’s food supply.  Grocery shopping is becoming a lesson in financial management.  Heating our homes is equal, for some families, to planning a major household purchase.  Homes are being foreclosed on in record numbers; and now, the latest news is that even rental homes are being foreclosed on causing more homelessness.  Food banks can’t stay stocked in basic necessities; charities are in need themselves.  People are dying for lack of medical insurance to cover their physical well-being. 

          Is this country trying to recreate the Great Depression?   Where is Franklin Delano Roosevelt when we need him?   Our national economy is taking a nose dive.  Corporations are moving outside of our country’s borders.  Layoffs are at an all-time high.  Schools can’t get enough funding to keep quality teachers and tools.  School violence is making education a joke; our future leaders are not going to be competitive with other nation’s leaders if these trends continue.  The children in our country are filled with hoplessness.   All around our country, the morale is beyond the typical hysterical feeling one achieves when riding a roller coaster. 

           Does anyone seriously think that these $300.00-$600.00 checks are going to ignite tax payers to run out and make purchases to stimulate our economy?  No way, people are going to use that money (for the most part) to survive!  I love what I read on one online forum….the writer said something to the effect of, “Yippeee…that is three tanks of gasoline for me!!!”   Sad isn’t it?  A van or large truck can take up to $100.00 to fill.  Some people still have not received their checks…here is a number you can call to check on the status of your rebate check if you have not yet received it:  I don’t work for the IRS so i wouldn’t know about when someone would be receiving their rebate; however, here is a toll free phone number to check on the status of someone’s rebate and whether they will be receiving one or not. 1-866-234-2942 Good luck to you.

  Let’s at least be honest here…that money will come in handy…but, if anyone expects it to change the economy’s health…they are fooling themselves.  So…really, what are you going to do with your check?  

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       Hatred is a sickness…it needs tending.  To maintain a good solid hatred, a person has to work at it.  It needs constant time and attention.  It starts to consume a person’s thoughts day and night.  It is destructive.  Hatred can start from a misunderstanding, from hurtful words or actions, it can start from the simplest thing.  But, to build to a point where it starts to destroy…someone really has to invest themselves into it.

        It is sad…but hatred can actually be contagious.  Hatred has claimed another soul…news reports today tell of a young man consumed with hatred.  He has been nurting a hatred for people different from himself allegedly.  The reasons why are on video…to be learned by the public later.   He lives in Chesterfield, South Carolina.   I don’t want to name him…as i think by doing so, sometimes it encourages others who think that they will become famous by following in the footsteps of others who seek to destroy.  That needs to stop. 

        This young man’s parents turned him in to the police.  That had to be one of the most difficult things they have had to do in their lives.  I admire their courage…we need to pray for them. He is still their son.  As a parent we dont have to understand or agree with the things our children do…but we still have to love them and be there for them.   Unfortunately, their son had ordered some ammonium nitrate (10 lbs of it).   The parents had been notified by the Postal Service of an impending delivery and they called the police when they realized what he had done.

         It was then discovered that the young man had a journal where he documented his hatred of others for the last year.  This young man seemed to perform successfully in school and was one of the school’s top students.  He has not been in serious trouble before.  How could this hatred have been bubbling under the surface, without anyone knowing it existed?  Or is there more to the story?  It will unfold in time.

         It seems the young man may have made maps of his school that he intended to blow up.  The young man made a video to be played after his “death”.  He planned for it to be shown after the destruction of his school by his bomb attack.   It has been reported that he had plans to create several bombs; and, he was planning on styling his “attack” to be modeled somewhat after those who implemented the Columbine High School murders in Colorado nine years ago…the anniversary of that horror will be observed this coming sunday.  How close were we to another such national tramatic school attack?  There was no time frame in the young man’s journal…but the nitrate was being delivered just before the anniverary of Columbine High School shootings.  Coincidence…probably not when he already said in his journal that he admired the shooters from the Columbine attack.

          I think the parents of this young man have potentially saved many lives by doing the right (and difficult) thing by contacting the authorities.  Certainly, all of the details are not yet known…the investigation has just begun. 

          However, I am glad that this time, hatred was stopped in it’s tracks.  I am sorry for the parents of the young man.  I am sad at the waste of this young man’s life…as he will most certainly be spending some time behind bars or institutionalized.  However, I am also glad that there is not another “role model” of hatred to be held up and admired by others who are consumed with the need to hate, to destroy and to grab their 15 minutes of “fame” in the media, by trying to kill as many innocent lives as they can with their violence.

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       The power of words has never been illustrated in such an alarming way, until recently.  Today on Good Morning America Ashley Grills, aged nineteen, talked about her part in an internet prank on a social networking site that allegedly incited a thirteen year old young lady, Megan Meier, to commit suicide.

       The horribly cruel prank was allegedly played upon Megan as a way to find out if Megan was talking behind another young lady’s back.  Ashley says that the other young lady, unnamed at this point, was an off again, on again friend of Megans.  The friendship turned sour and the young lady and Ashley wanted to see if Megan was talking badly about her. 

        Ashley alledges that the young lady’s mother, Lori Drew, also was involved in the prank.  What they did was to create a profile of a young man, named Josh, who would initiate an online romance with Megan on the social networking site.  It is important to remember that people can “pretend” to be anything they want online; you can’t read the body language of someone online.

         Megan and “Josh” started up an online relationship.  Back and forth it went…creating interest in one another until; Ashley says she felt badly about the prank.  So, she started saying mean things…and, so did others on the social networking site.  Ashley says that she wanted to end the “online relationship” and told Megan that the world would be a better place without her in it.

          In Megan’s house there was a horrible outcome.  Megan’s mother was aware of Megan’s upset.   They talked but, Megan stormed off and went to her room.  Twenty minutes or so later, Megan’s mother opened the bedroom door to find that Megan had hung herself in her closet in despair over the online words and actions.

          Ashley says that the other young lady’s mother, Lori Drew, was involved in writing some of the verbal interactions with Megan.  The news reports state that Ashley has been given immunity to testify against the other young lady’s mother, Lori Drew, in court.  She says that the mother was aware of the whole process and involved.  For the record,  i have read statements that the mother, Lori Drew, denies any involvement.

           The fact remains that the very young Megan is dead.  Her family is devastated.  Their lives will never be the same.  Their child was vulnerable and was destroyed.  

            Ashley says that she is taking responsibility for her actions.  I don’t know what that means other than admitting her involvement.  I would  imagine it would be hard to live with the knowledge that her actions directly influenced Megan Meiers to hang herself. 

             It would be a very valuable tool, if indeed Ashley is sincere in her regrets, if she was to start some kind of community service going into schools and educating young people about the dangers of online harassment.  The old saying, sticks and stones may break your bones; but, words will never hurt me, is not true.  Words have power to influence others…both in good ways and in bad ways!  We must communicate the dangers in harassing others.

        There may be legal repercussions in the future for the participants of this prank.  Whether they can prove the mother’s involvement is not clear at this time.  However, it doesn’t change the fact that this whole situation has had long lasting consequences for all of those involved; It is sadness personified.

          The next time that you are on a website where comments can be made…it is wise to remember that there is still a standard of accountability to be upheld.  Our words and actions have impact on others…why not make that impact a positive influence on others?  Look here, http://theimpactfactor.net?id=35 and see if you can impact others positively in your personal life, business life, or spiritual life! http://theimpactfactor.net?id=35.  

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         It’s a good cause; if i have heard that phrase once, i have heard it a million times.  How do you know if a cause is good enough to support.  Hmmmmmmmmm…you really dont.  🙂  You have to trust your own instincts.   How is that for clarity? 

         With the economy being so depressed and everyone feeling the pinch…schools, churches, communities, and organizations are pulling out all the stops when it comes to fundraising.

          Every young child that comes to get you to purchase a non-essential item to help fund a band booster program,  scouts needing to sell more and more items each year to provide a positive influence on the girls , communities trying to fund activity centers to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble, the groups fighting a debilitating illness or disease; the list goes on and on, and the needs of each group or individual are no less important than the one before them.

         What it really comes down to is, that most of these causes are good ones, it is true.  So, how do you decide where to throw your own dwindling funds?  Personally, i have to make a judgement call; which cause most affects those that i care about? 

          Often, i have to remind myself that those causes don’t just need MONEY; they volunteers, organizers, fundraisers, problem solvers etc.  So, if lack of money is an issue…maybe there is another way you can support the “Good Cause”.  Don’t just file the request in the back of your to do list…get creative if the cause pulls at your heart strings; make a commitment…find another way to “donate to the cause” whatever that cause may be!

       

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      Have you ever known someone in your life who is toxic?  I mean, maybe it is a co-worker, a neighbor, a creepy service provider, or maybe a family member. 

      A toxic person is someone who is unhealthy for you to be around either because of their over- dependency on you, abusiveness, emotional lack of well-being, mind games, mental illness, possessiveness, jealousy, nosiness, sneakiness, stalker-like behavior or maybe just a heavy -duty lack of appropriate boundaries.  Have you ever had someone like that in your life? (more…)

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       I dont know about every state….but here in michigan, a special needs student that graduates high school and gets a diploma cannot continue to receive educational services. 

       If that same student, instead, chooses to get a certificate of completion; they are entitled to educational services through the schools until they reach the age of 26.  This may include teaching them daily living skills, a job coach among other services. 

         Unfortunately, in years past, families were not appropriately informed that they had a choice.  Consequently, many families are in the position of not being able to access additional services for their student.  This is unfair.

      Now, i suppose if you are living in a metropolitan area where there are more organizations, and more agencies geared towards the idea of improving the lives of special needs adults, you just might do ok.  (more…)

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     Well, ok, i know i am weird…but i am not one of those parents that can’t wait for school to start.  Mostly, i like having my kids home for the summer.  So, even though back to school is exciting (what with new school clothes, book bags, shoes and all) it is somewhat a mixed bag.

     Less time to come and go without worrying about getting home before the end of the school day.  I have to be more organized (which i hate and am not good at).  But on the other hand, i have been telling myself that  there has to be some changes around here so that i can work on my writing..with less interruptions.  So, i am excited a bit myself.  Good luck to me!

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